I love our exchange so far and that we can all "fight" about a contentious issue without being unpleasant.
I still don't see how it's hypocritical to have Rose's artifacts in the Hall or to make note of his records. It is indisputable that:
Rose collected all of the hits that were labeled so by the official scorers. He just did. 4256. In the room in the Hall where they list record holders, you will find Rose's 4256, just as you'll find the home run totals from Bonds and McGwire. They hit those home runs. These are statements of fact.
Was Rose a player whose importance is requisite with, say, displaying a jersey from when he won a World Series? Yes. Including his jersey is further statement of fact: "Pete Rose was an important player on the Big Red Machine and his on-field accomplishment is worthy of mention."
Enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, however, is quite different. Enshrinement requires election through the following criteria: http://baseballhall.org/hall-of-famers/bbwaa-rules-for-election Rose is in violation of 3E and is therefore not an eligible candidate.
I agree that players don't necessarily have to "give 100% on every play." Mantle played through a lot...A LOT of hangovers, but he didn't compromise the integrity of the game. His managers sent him on the field knowing he was hung over. (And Mantle still hit a bunch of home runs that way.) With the gambling, however, we don't know Rose's motivation for his actions. There is simply no way to know. As I've said, I like Pete Rose, but gambling creates a set of motivations that are unknowable and usually run counter to the integrity of what happens on the field.
What I am hearing is that we should assume that Pete Rose's betting on some games cast doubt on his intentions in all games, therefor he is guilty of potentially throwing or fixing games, yet no one has shown a shred of proof that he did so. That smacks of 'guilty until proven innocent.'
Unfortunately, this is not "guilty until proven innocent." As I've pointed out, players gambling on their own sports casts an inherent doubt with respect to what happens on the field. Here's a fun example from my favorite team.
Justin Verlander gave Don Kelly a hotfoot. I love it. This is baseball, friends. What do I think when I see this? "Gosh, I love baseball. Look how the guys bond and screw with each other during the game. This kind of thing has been happening for 150 years and I love it."
But...what do we wonder if it had been proven Verlander was betting on baseball? (Not even close to the case, obviously.) Even if he's betting for the Tigers to win? "Uh oh. Was he trying to hurt Kelly? To take him out? Maybe he thinks that the Tigers have a better chance to win if Kelly's backup is playing..." See? Doubt.
As for deciding one rule is more important than another...we do this every day. Do you go to the electric chair for speeding? Why not? You violated a rule. Why is violating one rule less serious than violating another?