Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement Monday afternoon denying Pete Rose reinstatement to baseball.
Really, he should have been denied just for that awful haircut and suit he wore on Fox Sports during the playoffs.
Seriously, Manfred lays out in great detail the reasons for no reinstatement for Rose, reasons we've heard many times over the last 25 years, since Rose was banned by then-Commissioner Bart Giamatti. You can argue that there are more serious offenses than gambling on baseball -- and you'd be right -- but gambling on the game has been an unpardonable sin since the Black Sox scandal was cleaned up by Commissioner K.M. Landis. That's coming up on a century ago, and you can still see why it's important. Without confirmation that the games are on the up-and-up, baseball would become a spectacle like pro wrestling. That applies whether a man bets for or against his team, and especially in the case of Rose, a manager who might use his players differently depending on what his wagers were.
In any case, Rose, who will turn 75 next year, wouldn't likely be considered for any significant role even if he had been reinstated. His time as a manager or coach has long since passed.
The case of Rose being considered for the Hall of Fame is different, as Manfred makes clear in his lengthy ruling -- which I have appended as a link at the end of this post. You can make a legitimate argument that Rose's on-field feats deserve note in the Hall. They are, in fact, noted in the museum attached to the Hall of Fame -- and the name of the place itself says it's both: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The issue is whether someone who has, in my view, dishonored the sport by breaking a rule that's posted in every single clubhouse (and which notes that the penalty is a lifetime ban) and then lying about his deeds until he figured he could make money by writing a book to tell the truth. (Which he still hasn't in completion, I don't think.)
In my view, that disqualifies Rose from the Hall, and it seems unlikely the Hall will change its mind about consideration for him.
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