BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture


Member since 06 July 2013 | Blog

Helmet Stickers: 1,786 | Leaderboard

Voting Record: 387 / 9

Fellow Buckeyes, I didn't particularly care for college sports until the beautiful day in 2007 when I learned that I had been accepted to Ohio State's stellar Creative Writing MFA Program. From that moment, I have found great happiness in succumbing to the benign tribalism that comes with being a fan of Buckeye sports. (I don't REALLY think that the Wolverines are evil subhumans, but it's fun to engage in good-natured taunting.) Ohio State has a stellar history of nurturing both great writers and great athletes. I hope to contribute poems that will continue both traditions and reinforce that Buckeye sports are really a long and wonderfully complicated narrative.


  • SPORTS MOMENT: 2008 Michigan Game. At the Shoe. We win. (Of course.)
  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER: Current: Kenny Guiton. Past: Brandon Saine.
  • COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER: Current: Aaron Craft. Past: William Buford.
  • MLB TEAM: Detroit Tigers

Recent Activity

Comment 30 Jun 2015

I will try to echo Brewster's comments above, but in a more palatable way, I guess.  

Hope Solo just shouldn't be on the team.  The Outside the Lines investigation includes all of the police reports and photos of the victims and everything that would get any other athlete suspended.  Remember the Carlos Hyde accusation?  He had video proving he didn't do anything wrong.  

And he was still suspended for three games.

But Hope Solo gets to go on GMA and cry and magazines write about her "struggle" in the face of her "complicated" issues. 

The double standard really bothers me.  I'm obviously not excusing what Oden seems to have done, but I'll bet he's going through a "complicated" "struggle," too.  I'll bet it's extremely depressing to have the world on a string and then lose it because your body keeps breaking down.  

It just seems extremely unfair that Josh Gordon got suspended for marijuana and alcohol...and Hope Solo has not been punished at all.  Why is hers the only "complicated" "struggle" we seem to care about?

Nike dropped Adrian Peterson when there were accusations.  Solo is still a part of Team Nike.  Solo hasn't even been dropped by the Reign, her pro team.  It's hard for me to root against the USA team, but the officials really failed us on this one.  Do we want to suspend athletes for domestic violence or not?

Here's the Outside the Lines piece so you know I'm not making up the severity of the accusations. 

Comment 26 Jun 2015

If we've learned nothing else, it's that we should have Harbaugh give our spouses a call if we're caught cheating.

Comment 24 Jun 2015

Wow. 6Tyrone6 really shows us what a "Michigan Man" thinks:

Its a free market. Alabama is doing just fine and players know that they might not get the scholarship that they committed to and still they stay with them because they are Alabama. If Michigan does it when they are at the point of playing in the playoff possibly every year (see OSU and Alabama) then they can get away with it too. Same goes for 5 star players, they can wait till sigining day because they can go anywhere.

I thought they followed the morality set down by Bo, not Ayn Rand with a little bit of Enron. 

Comment 23 Jun 2015

It wasn't one team.  There was quite a bit of it in the game.


The sports endorse gambling by non-players.  Beer companies endorse drinking by non-airline pilots who are in the cockpit. Gun companies endorse gun ownership by non-violent felons.

If you read Asinof's Eight Men Out, you might understand how Jackson's WS BA could easily be disconnected from his fielding and baserunning.  As I pointed out in this thread, when a player gambles on baseball, there is absolutely no way to prove that he WASN'T cheating.  You can't prove a negative.  That's why athletes aren't allowed to bet on their own sports.

As I pointed out elsewhere in this thread, the BBWAA's rules for election to the Hall of Fame require that a player not be on the ineligible list.  3A.

Comment 23 Jun 2015

I absolutely agree that it's crazy that there haven't been any unanimous elections, but that's humanity. You're never going to get a few hundred people to agree on anything at all.  

It's interesting that you bring up Jackson, who is indeed a very sympathetic character. (Read Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out or watch the fantastic John Sayles movie of the same title.)  The problem is that Jackson and several others actually did throw World Series games.  They took money to throw the games.  Yes, the players got screwed out of the money by Attell and the other gamblers.  Yes, Comiskey was a cheap SOB.  But Jackson, as great and as fascinating as he was, took money to throw games.  

This was happening fairly often in the teens and slightly into 1920...until Commissioner Landis booted the eight men out (Weaver unfairly, perhaps).  After that, players were not willing to risk the "death penalty" for a few hundred bucks.  Baseball may not have survived had they not taken such a hard line on the gambling.

The situation is unwinnable for Rose because he still hasn't come clean. If he had admitted everything in 1989...he had a chance.  It's very sad.

Comment 23 Jun 2015

One of the most interesting parts of the OTL piece is that Pete in fact did gamble on other sports.  But he kept losing because he didn't know as much about them...so he started betting on baseball, a sport he knew quite well (and a sport whose games he could affect and to which he had access to inside information).

Comment 23 Jun 2015

Sigh, but the whole reason that gambling is prohibited is because of the doubt you mention.  As I've pointed out in this thread, that's why gambling is verboten in baseball.  

We can, however, prove he bet on baseball while both playing and managing, which is a serious violation and is punished by putting him on the permanently ineligible list, which means he's permanently ineligible.

Comment 22 Jun 2015

Pete is not being "crucified." He's on baseball's ineligible list.

As has been explained in the thread several times, the doubt that you pointed out is the whole reason why gambling gets you kicked out of baseball.  I also wish there were some kind of greater punishment for Bonds, but he did not violate a baseball rule that specifically prohibited steroid use in the way Rose violated a specific rule against gambling.  

Comment 22 Jun 2015

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?

Comment 22 Jun 2015

You pointed out to me that sports must be "socially responsible" and that the "NFL is finding out the hard way."

Do you salute ESPN's Outside the Lines for finally getting the police reports and victim photos from Hope Solo's case?  She plays for both the US team and her pro team.  

Comment 22 Jun 2015

At no point did I say "stabbing a person is ok."  Stabbing a person is a violation of the law.  If you stab a person, you (should) get arrested and face the scrutiny of the criminal justice system.  If you put a loogie on the ball before you pitch, you don't violate the law, but you do violate the rules of the game and will be dealt with by the game's system of internal justice.

Stabbing a person does not affect the game unless you stab a player or something.  

The NFL "finding out that they need to be socially responsible" is a red herring in most ways.  It's only applicable to the Rose situation if you point out that Rose was contributing to organized crime.  Is that what you're saying?  Rose should be in trouble because he was socially irresponsible by giving lots of money to organized crime?

Comment 22 Jun 2015

You're making a claim that simply cannot be proven:

"Every decision Pete Rose made with respect to baseball was done with genuine interest in the success of himself and his team."

Unless you are the world's first psychic (who can read minds in the past), this claim cannot be proven.  As I said, this is why gambling is such a big threat to a sport.

And you point out that Rose made a deal that would be "reviewed from time to time."  This is exactly what has happened.  Manfred is reviewing the case. 

Comment 22 Jun 2015

Honestly, this is a huge "why the hell not?"  I think the vast majority of us believe Pryor can help a team on the field, but why not bring him along and create interest out of bringing a "hometown hero" back?

Comment 22 Jun 2015

Let's pretend that ESPN did wake up one day and say, "Hey!  Let's start to care about Pete Rose and release new information just before the All-Star Game in Cincy!"

Who cares?  Does the timing mean the information is any less true?  Why get upset about the timing of a news story instead of finding out that Pete lied for the billionth time?

Comment 22 Jun 2015

Being a "lying asshole" isn't the issue.  And being a "lying asshole" doesn't compromise what happens on the field.

When it comes to cheating in sports, I like to apply the metaphor of the misdemeanor and the felony.  Would you put someone in jail for life for stealing a loaf of bread?  Of course not.  That person didn't compromise the very rules by which we run our society.  How about someone who stabs a busful of nuns?  That person goes away because they have severely violated the way the country is supposed to run.

Taking a caffeine pill before a game wakes you up a little, but doesn't give you superhuman abilities.  Taking steroids turns you into the Incredible Hulk.

Throwing a spitball gives you another couple inches on your curveball.  Betting on baseball casts doubt on every decision you make on the field and your actions in every play in which you participate.

Can you prove that "Pete Rose's action, as reprehensible as some make them out to be, never affected the outcome of a single game in a negative way?"  Unfortunately, you can't.  There's no such thing as a psychic or time travel, so you can't go back in time and make sure Pete was trying hard on every play and didn't make choices to benefit his bets instead of the team.  This is why gambling is verboten.  You can test a player for anabolic steroids.  You can't test his brain to see if he's gambling.

Addressing your edit: I'm not a "hater."  I quite like and admire most of what Rose did in the game.  I would love to go out for a beer with him.  And baseball's stance is not hypocritical at all.  Of course they are "making money" off of Rose's accomplishments.  So is Rose.  Why else do you think he gets people in Vegas to line up for a few moments with him?  Rose is not banned from being discussed as a figure in the history of baseball.  He is not banned from being celebrated as one of the pistons in the Big Red Machine.  He is banned from working in organized baseball and from being considered on the HOF ballot.