Chat Transcript: Bob Page

Another crop of baseball legends will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend, and again, Pete Rose will not be among them.

When he admitted to gambling on other sports, he was given a lifetime ban from baseball—including enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. The controversy rages on among baseball fans and experts as to whether Rose deserves his place in Cooperstown and, if he does, whether his exhibit should include an asterisk.

Should Rose be inducted into the Hall of Fame? What other players deserve to be there?

Joining us today in a chat was Bob Page, host of the ABC Radio show, Speaking of Sports.

Moderator at 3:59pm ET

Welcome Bob Page.

Bob Page at 4:00pm ET

For those who aren't familiar with my work, I've been at ABC for about 10 years. I took Howard Cosell's place on the show, Speaking of Sports; he was one of my broadcasting idols. My commentaries are heard twice a day on ABC, I do anchor work for ABC and I've hosted talk shows and been in broadcasting for about 26 years now.

Sidesmiler at 4:00pm ET

What are the regulations, guidelines, or criteria for inductees? If Pete Rose meets them, he should be in. If not, he should be out. Period. End of story.

Bob Page at 4:01pm ET

That's an excellent point. There is what amounts to a "morals" clause: you cannot do anything to disgrace the sport of baseball. I don't know specifically how it's phrased, but remember that Rose is banned from baseball, so he's not eligible for the Hall of Fame. And he was the one who signed off on that ban — he agreed to it.

Betsy at 4:02pm ET

Do you believe that players like Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden who have known problems with substance abuse hurt the image of baseball more than Pete Rose's gambling?

Bob Page at 4:03pm ET

Absolutely not. Pete Rose violated a principle that is just so sacrosanct in baseball: he bet on major league baseball games — there's incontrovertible evidence — and he on games involving his own team, the Cincinnati Reds, when he managed them.

Moderator at 4:05pm ET

Carl Webster asks:Dear Mr. Page,

Since it seems that most major sports have more of their athletes showing up on Court TV rather than the sporting venue, why shouldn't Pete Rose be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? He was a superb baseball player!

Bob Page at 4:06pm ET

You can refer to my last answer. What he did was so egregious. It's the one violation of the law, of the rules, and of any moral code, that can't be tolerated. The integrity of the games themselves must be beyond suspicion, above reproach, however you want to phrase it.

He never bet against the Reds. I don't believe Pete Rose threw games or shaved runs — he bet on the Reds to win. Still, you can't do that!! He's an addictive gambler. What he did isn't anything he should be forgiven for, until such time as he admits his transgression and begs for forgiveness.

Charly from at 4:07pm ET

Is it true that there was never an "official" investigation into these allegations? Has Pete Rose ever gone before the bench to defend himself? I would think, given the seriousness of the charges, there should have been extensive hearings before the handing down such stiff punishment.

Bob Page at 4:08pm ET

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