GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Officials at the Scumbag Hall of Fame are reconsidering Pete Rose’s candidacy in the wake of an ESPN report that cited documents indicating the disgraced hit king bet on his team’s games while playing for his hometown Cincinnati Reds.
“For years now, (Scumbag Hall of Fame officials) have been hesitant to enshrine Pete Rose for fear that he was only a very good scumbag, but not a Hall of Fame scumbag,” said a source with knowledge of the officials’ discussions. “But now that ESPN has essentially proven he’s been lying to the American public about betting on his own games for more than a quarter century, I think the Hall is starting to realize Pete Rose is truly a legendary scumbag, and not just your standard, everyday piece of shit.”
Located in the city of Gainesville in Florida’s Alachua County, the Scumbag Hall of Fame was initially established to recognize the Sunshine State’s abundance of deadbeat dads, a natural resource in a state where few men feel obligated to accept the myriad responsibilities that come with being a father. But the Hall of Fame expanded in 1982 to include scumbags from all walks of life while reserving a special wing, since renamed the Karl Malone Wing, for deadbeat dads whose child support payments were especially delinquent.
Rose’s candidacy for a spot in the Scumbag Hall of Fame has long been a topic for debate, with those who don’t support Rose’s candidacy insisting Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader falls far short of the level of scumbaggery necessary to be mentioned in the same breath as fellow athletes Lance Armstrong and former Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter, both of whom were first-ballot Scumbag Hall of Fame inductees.
But a damning report aired on ESPN’s investigative series “Outside the Lines” on Monday appeared to offer considerable evidence that Rose bet extensively on Reds games while he was a player for the Reds, something he has denied doing even after admitting he bet on Reds games while serving as the team’s manager in the late 1980s. If the report is true, then Rose has been lying to MLB officials and the American public for 26 years, elevating the 74-year-old three-time batting champion to a level of scumbaggery that experts say merits immediate induction into the hallowed halls reserved for America’s most contemptible human beings.
“This is a game-changer, no doubt about it,” said former Baylor University men’s basketball coach Dave Bliss, himself a Scumbag Hall of Famer for his ill-conceived efforts to hinder the investigation into the murder of one his own players in 2003. “You could argue what Pete Rose did, betting on his own games and thereby affecting the competitive integrity of those games, was much worse than anything I ever did. I just tried to tarnish the reputation of an innocent student-athlete whose life was tragically cut short through no fault of his own in an attempt to cover up my own despicable behavior. That’s nothing compared to betting on games.”
But many of Bliss’s fellow scumbags are not so certain, citing Rose’s singularly focused approach to scumbaggery as evidence that the 17-time All-Star does not deserve a place among America’s most storied scumbags.
“My life’s work has been erased from the record books and the eponymous cancer charity I founded changed its name to distance itself from me,” said Armstrong, a disgraced cyclist who was stripped of each of his seven Tour de France titles in the wake of investigations that determined he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. “That’s how big a scumbag I am. Pete Rose? Far as I know each of his 4,192 hits still count and none of them are in question because he exploited every avenue possible to gain an unfair advantage over his opponents. It’s amateur hour if they let Pete in.”
But the source indicates that Scumbag Hall of Fame board members, which include former United States Vice President Dick Cheney and current Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, appear ready to recognize the man affectionately known as “Charlie Hustle” as one of the country’s premiere lowlifes.
“Trust me, this board knows the difference between a scumbag and your run-of-the-mill degenerate,” said the source. “But even though Pete might not have seduced his adopted daughter like Woody Allen or made ‘Jack and Jill’ like Adam Sandler, the board thinks his commitment to nearly three decades of lying across various platforms is the kind of thing only a genuine and legendary scumbag would do.”