'Perry cheated, plain and simple'

Updated: January 20, 2004, 9:35 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
It's time to take a break from Pete Rose's new book and reach into the Insider mailbag. Funny thing: I always thought "My Prison Without Bars" referred to Bob Quinn's tenure as general manager in Cincinnati during the Marge Schott era.


Pete Rose
I just read your article regarding the Veterans Committee's negative reaction to Pete Rose. Although I'm also having a hard time being sympathetic to Rose's cause, the Vets may want to choose someone other than Gaylord Perry as their spokesman.

What a hypocrite! While Perry can point to the sign in the clubhouse that expressly prohibits gambling, I have to think there's an equally clear provision in the MLB rulebook that prohibits altering the baseball with a foreign substance. While we can debate whether Rose betting on his team ever altered the outcome of the games, there is no debate that Perry using Vaseline did alter games to his advantage. Perry cheated, plain and simple. He should take the high road on Rose's admission.
-- Dave

For the record, it's Rule 8.02, which states that "the pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball; expectorate on the ball, either hand or his glove; rub the ball on his glove, person or clothing; deface the ball in any manner; or deliver what is called the 'shine' ball, 'spit' ball, 'mud' ball or 'emery' ball." Gaylord must have missed that one while he was boning up on Major League Baseball's gambling rule.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer