Neyer: John Dowd’s box of ill logic

From SABR member Rob Neyer at on March 23, 2015:

I don’t suppose it’s any great revelation that Fay Vincent and John Dowd, for all their virtues, have for many years been irrational, single-minded scolds when the topic turns (as it so often does) to Pete Rose. 

Here’s Dowd just now, on Rose’s crimes and why he must not be reinstated or pardoned, 26 years later:

To John Dowd, former special counsel to the commissioner of baseball, hired to probe those now infamous allegations, Rose is the supreme example of why betting on professional baseball is such a sin when done by those within the game itself.

“This (gambling) is just such a terrible business … it really does infect the game,” Dowd told The Enquirer in a lengthy interview last week. “Pete committed the capital crime of baseball.

“But this is bigger than just Pete Rose. There is a reason we haven’t had another gambling case in 26 years. This case wasn’t about Pete – this case was about protecting the integrity of the game. When we investigated (former Philadelphia Phillies star) Lenny Dykstra for gambling, he told us: ‘Thank God for Pete Rose because now I know what the ultimate price was.'”

As I wrote last week, I don’t believe that Rose’s suspension, after all these years, serves any real purpose. Of course I might be wrong. It’s possible that lifting Rose’s suspension, in whole or in part, might send a terrible message to our century’s players and managers that betting’s just fine. I don’t think that’s true? But I’ve been wrong before, and will be wrong again.

On the other hand, I can’t help wonder, as I have before, if Dowd and Vincent’s beliefs about Rose’s perpetual punishment are based on logic, or emotion. Because it seems nobody thought it nearly so serious … oh, 26 years ago.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 23, 2015. Last Updated: March 23, 2015.