Addiction though is a funny thing. There is a lot of denial involved. I myself am a food addict. Honestly I have probably been one since I was like 10 years old. At 15 I weighed 300lbs.. and at my heaviest I was probably close to 600lbs. There were days I would consume 20000 calories.
Food has destroyed my life. Gave me a disease.. cost me a limb.. made it that I never had the confidence to do anything in life.. I lived in Reading for over 2 decades. Literally a 10 min ride from the ballpark.. and never went to see a Reading Phils game because of my weight.
BUT.. even with all that evidence of what my eating was doing to me.. it wasnt until just a few years ago that I finally realized that I was a food addict and binge eater. And its truly a mind... when you come to terms with it. Its both an epiphany and a very depressing state of mind. When younger I had 2 jobs in food service (McDOnalds and Pizza Hut). Just like you say Pete shouldnt have taken a job as a manager.. I should never have worked around food. But you dont think about that. Pete, when accepting the manager position, probably never saw his gambling as an issue. Just like I never foresaw being around food for 8+ hours a day as a problem until it was.
To admit you have an addiction means having to admit to not having control. And Pete just might not be able to do that. That ego and all that he is... helped lead teams to championships. And honestly there is probably something from his childhood that drove him to be what he ended up like as an adult... and for decades that way he was, was applauded.. ws encouraged.. There wasnt pushback on it. At age 38 he was a highly sought after free agent.. by 2 countries. He 25 years as a player the man was rewarded and applauded for his behaviour.
And his addiction was no different than Mantle's addiction that pickled his liver and killed him young.. or Billy Martin's that saw him get into multiple bar fights.. and even ones in the dugout and lead to fun actedotes. It just happens to be the one that is against baseball rules.
Pete Rose is a flawed man. We all are. Hes not a good human being. But NO one cared about that when he was helping the Reds and Phillies win championships.. Rose brought alot to MLB. And, even in his gambling, he never harmed it. He made the owners money, He gave the fans what they paid for every day. All eyes were on baseball as he approached Cobb (who may or not be a murder, and was definitely a racist and prided himself in hurting people with his metal spikes but still in the HOF)
Pete Rose gave baseball everything he had. He deserves a plaque.