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Bits on a Monday

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Happy Monday, the world looks better after a win, if we can show this sort of offense for the last month and a half, it will be fun watching. Fewer games with Barajas or Millar batting cleanup would help. Good offense, good pitching and a Raul Chavez steal each game might be asking a bit much though.

More after the jump...

Richard Griffin has a nice profile of Travis Snider in the Star today, but this line:

It has been a long time coming, but finally the highly touted rookie seems back on track.

seems a little much. A long time coming? The guy is 21. But it is a nice piece with quotes from grizzled veteran Randy Ruiz.

I missed this, from The Southpaw, the other day but he has his take on the failure to sign three of our top draft picks. A little apologetic too, but a fair look.

Basically, I would suggest, there are three separate issues here which coincidentally and unfortunately happened all at the same time. Any one of the three, in isolation, is a non-issue. Any two of the three you write off as crappy luck and still no one can draw too much inference. But three? Three smells funny. But the thing about unusual events is that they are rare (thus the "unusual" part) but they DO happen (thus the "events" part). What we have here was an unusual event - three unfortunate circumstances which HAPPENED to occur at once. 

Around the baseball world, as well as the game ending triple play for the Phillies, John Smoltz, released by the Red Sox for the 8.32 ERA, had a great first start for the Cardinals. He struck out 9, including 7 straight, kept the Padres scoreless for 5 innings, giving up just 3 hits and got the win. Funny how a guy can awful for one team then go out and pitch great for another. But it was only one start and it was against the Padres. Let's see if he can keep it going.

From Jordan Bastain's Twitter:

Rays Maddon on Rangers' Feldman: "That was the best pitched game against us all year." Um, Buehrle might disagree ...

Managers have a short memory.

And, in case you missed it on the weekend, Mike Schmidt made the case for allowing Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame.

So here's my first question: Did Pete Rose, in fact, knowingly compromise the integrity of baseball? And second, did/do the players who used steroids knowingly compromise the integrity of baseball? Pete bet on the Reds to win, never to lose. He never managed with the intention of not winning.

Personally I see betting on games in a whole different light than using steroids. The reason that there are rules against gambling, that every team talks about every year at the start of spring training, is that the game wants to keep gamblers away from from the game. You all know the story of the 'Black Sox' and how a handful of players decided to throw the World Series, way back when. More recently the NBA had their own problems with a referee having ties to gamblers. Fans want to know that the game is being decided on the field.

Schmidt, saying that Pete 'only bet on the Reds to win' isn't really helping Pete's cause. The trouble is when he bets on his team Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, what is he telling the gamblers about Wednesday's game? 'Guys, Pete doesn't believe his team can win on Wednesday.' Besides that when the losses mount what's to stop someone that he owes money to from saying 'hey Pete we can work out a deal.' Or even if the losses don't mount (yeah right) what's to stop someone from blackmailing him, knowing that he wouldn't want baseball to find out that he is betting.

And that's close to what happened. He was betting on other things and losing money, at some point he figured 'why don't I bet on the sport I know?' And later, someone did try to blackmail him, that's how baseball caught him.

Pete was enough of a student of the history of the game to know what would happen if he got caught. He knew Joe Jackson's story. He just figured he was too smart to get caught and that he was too important for them ban him if he was caught.

And Pat Tabler did a couple of minutes on the subject during yesterday's game and he said a couple of things that really don't help Pete. First he said 'Pete only bet when he was a manager, not as a player.' A) how do you know? B) Who cares? It isn't like a manager can't throw a game and it isn't like there are different rule saying a manager is allowed to gamble.

The other thing Pat said was 'Pete admitted to it'. Ummmm well yeah, long after. He denied and denied. And then he said 'I bet but not on baseball'. And then it was 'I bet on baseball but not my team.' It wasn't until he figured that maybe admitting to it all would get him off the banned list that he admitted to it. Sorry but to me that doesn't buy him points. If he was honest from the start, maybe I'd cut him slack on that. 

Yeah it is too bad that Pete has to sell his autograph to make money, but then, if he was in the Hall, he likely would be doing the same. But, the thing that Pete and his apologists don't understand, is it is all his fault. He knew the rules and he didn't think they applied to him.