Is This Really Important? You Bet It Is . . .

Recently I had a chance to discuss ‘Charlie Hustle.’ For those who are not baseball fans or remember when the game was much different than today’s offering, Charlie Hustle is Pete Rose. Pete was turfed out of baseball for life because he had a gambling problem and made the mistake of betting on games. Sometimes he played in those games and later when he became a manager he would bet on games even those in which he was managing. BUT–the more important point here is that he NEVER bet against his team. 

He is, in my view, one of the best all time hitters and all around ball players the game has ever seen. He has over 4200 hits and numerous other awards/records including  2 MVP Awards, number of games played, times at bat (over 14,000) and on and on the list goes. The issue here, however, is not his innocence or guilt around gambling. Although he didn’t admit it immediately he did, finally, admit to gambling and all the evidence, which was overwhelming, was indeed true. His fatal mistake was that he defied the investigative committee that was charged with gathering the evidence and denied any wrong doing. He was found guilty as charged when he refused to met with officials from MLB and eventually turfed from baseball–for life. Bear in mind this is a man with an addiction to gambling.

Pete Rose played the game as few others did. He was not afraid of getting his uniform dirty every day. He sacrificed his body to make sure that his team got the best he had to offer them EVERY day he played or managed. Today’s players are more likely grossly overpaid and severely self absorbed. Obviously there are those who play as Rose did but not many.

The point is this. Given the addiction to gambling vs. the players who have ingested PED’s (their free choice) in order to up their performances so THEY can make more money and considering those players who have cheated the paying public and all the kids who believe or want to believe that to get ahead in the sport you have to break the rules, which group or player(s) have done more damage to the game? Today it is almost expected that a player of superior skill must be on the ‘juice’. A player, today, can be caught using a PED (performance enhancing drug) and not only survive the transgression but can be back playing after a 50 game suspension. Those players who initially denied using PEDs and later came clean because they knew they could not dodge the charges any longer are still eligible to enter the Hall Of Fame.

The one shaming document, to me, is the one that was created that stated no following commissioner could overturn Rose’s life time ban. One wonders why that door was not left open, just a crack, for Rose to walk through IF he ever came clean with the truth, stated his mistakes and promised to be a good boy for the remainder of his days being involved as a player or a manager.

Pete Rose deserves to be in the HOF–no question. He needs to be exonerated for being treated as a criminal and punished like a child. The message baseball wanted to put forth was ‘this is how you get treated when you disobey. No one is bigger than the game’ and then upper management became bigger than the game. They also wanted to say that ‘you will have your livelihood taken from you and your reputation will be all but destroyed.’ Today someone who has a gambling problem is seen and helped because they are experiencing a mental health disorder. In today’s world Pete might have a pretty strong legal case to have his case re-examined and overturned so that he could assume his rightful place in the Great Hall.

MLB needs to either start treating players with ‘drug problems’ the same way as Pete Rose was treated–life time bans with no excuses or treat gamblers with the same acceptance as drug users. MLB needs to decide which is more harmful to the game and before Major League Baseball jumps to answer they need to think about the message that is going out to the millions of kids who want to play the game. The Majors and Minor Leagues are sending mixed messages and by doing so have messed up–they need to fix it-now. Put Pete Rose in the HOF so that his amazing baseball talents and accomplishments can be witnessed, acknowledged and appreciated. His personality should not be on trial here but rather his skill at a game that many of today’s players see only as a ‘what’s in it for me?’

Pete Rose played baseball the way baseball should be played–with heart, skill, determination and a love for the game. What do we want our kids to learn from all the business about Pete? There are some great life lessons here that the kids could sure benefit from hearing. One thing they can learn is what it means to COMPETE instead of hearing the mamby pamby messages that some parents give their kids about how winning isn’t important. If you want them to have fun-teach them that it’s OK to win. Winning is fun. Teach them to play the game the way Pete Rose did–flat out with a great deal of passion and pride. If you give the best you’ve got and it isn’t or wasn’t good enough then upgrade your skills and try harder the next time.

Anyways, that’s how I see it–all the best, Jim

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The Week That Was . . .

The above is a pic of a ‘biker’ bar in Florida. Could this be what is in store for some of us who still like to ride?


My weeks usually contain new news and I try to find something for us all to think about–something, that if discussed, might generate some passion in some of us and spur us on to do something out of our ordinary to plant some seeds of change. This week was different.

This week I was reminded time and again about why we seem to be angry with everything and toward everyone. Many don’t take the time to be polite or nice to each other. Others just don’t care any more. That was the opinion of two seniors I overheard talking today about how they each feel that people have come to ‘not care’ much any more about being friendly and polite and caring. They went on to say that even the kids were more rude more often than not. That would not have happened in their day and so on . . .

So their conversation got me to thinking. Of course there is no truth to the statement that ‘everyone’ seems to be this way but it does have a ring of truth to it when looking at why this group dislikes that group and those people have no right to feel that way because . . .

We can’t deny that we are generally more complacent, reluctant, even hopeless, aggravated, edgy and less tolerant as a community of humans than we have been in quite awhile. Considering what I heard, saw and watched this week I might agree with much of what was said. For instance:

–The federal government today announced that 98% of the refugees that we accepted into Canada recently have been placed in permanent housing. Interesting that it only took a few months and yet some of our own citizens who are in need of  social housing have been on wait lists for years–Hmmm?

–The justice system is not about dispensing justice any more but rather seem more concerned about public optics and how a particular decision would affect the stability of a particular area of a town or city. When does the penalty for a life taken either purposefully or accidentally depend on who was killed and do the circumstances create this conclusion or that conclusion. I don’t think it should matter whether the victim or the perpetrator is black, white, green, brown, red or anything else. If a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt then there needs to be one set of rules that are referred to.

If the majority of criminals are white, black, brown or pink so be it. Perhaps one group seems to be more punished than another simply because the majority of crimes are perpetrated by one particular group more than another. Justice should not be influenced by race, colour, orientation, social standing or local/recent events in a town or community.

–Mike Duffy, obviously a white guy, just got away with crimes that any ‘ordinary’ citizen would have been jailed for in a heart beat. He got away with it because of who he was and that he was, supposedly, in poor health. So what! Pamela Wallin got away with cheating the taxpayers and demonstrating gross negligence of public trust. She skipped because of who she was and because she bought her way out of the crime. She offered to pay back the money AFTER she was caught. She was guilty and didn’t spend a day in jail.

–Police officers, who have been caught on tape, are getting away with beating a person who has been subdued and poses zero threat to anyone. When they get away with that behaviour why would anyone trust in the legal system? Assault is assault whether the perpetrator is a police officer or a criminal. At that point they are both the same and should be treated the same way.

There are many more examples of justice not being the focal point in our judicial system. As long as optics take top billing people will never be comfortable, hopeful or feel safe walking the streets they work so hard to pay for. Perhaps these two seniors have a good point.

Anyways, that’s how I see it. All the best, Jim

Any thoughts–let me know:

Pass this along to family and friends if you think it has merit.

Video Of The Week:

Apparently a call went out for 200 folks to gather at Massey Hall to be involved in an tribute to Prince and 2000 showed up instead. They had never sung together as a group before and this is the beautiful result of that effort–enjoy.

Parenting Tip:

Much has been written about raising fatherless sons and most of the articles have been about the negative side of fatherlessness. There are the powerful statistics that show how disturbing fatherlessness can be to a young man. My suggestions to a mom who is facing this monumental task is this:

Be honest with your son. Tell him that he is loved and cherished but that you can’t completely understand how he must feel not having a father or a strong role model to listen to and to learn from. Help him understand that there will be times when things will get crazy because he might not or will not understand what is going on with him or that he may feel lost and without direction as a man in the world. As his mom you will do your best to help him through his tough times.

This is the tougher part–that you as his mom will encourage him find a strong male role model who can help fill that void. That you, as his mom will not be angry or upset if he decides to confide some of his ‘stuff’ in a male role model outside the boundaries of their relationship. In other words give him permission to find his strength as a young man in other places.

All the best, Jim


Author Jim Cloughley's 
Brand New Blueprint For Learning