In a move that should be little surprise to most rational thinking people, Pete Rose was yet again denied reinstatement into Major League Baseball. This time by new commissioner Rob Manfred.
Mr. Rose was barred from the sport in 1989 after M.L.B. concluded that he had bet on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds and that some of the bets had been placed on his own team. At the time, Mr. Rose insisted he had not bet on the sport, although in agreeing to the ban he implicitly acknowledged wrongdoing on his part.
In the years that followed, Mr. Rose continued to deny he had wagered on baseball. But in a 2004 autobiography, he finally admitted to doing just that and to betting on the Reds as well, although he insisted that he had never bet on his own team to lose.
Other evidence emerged over time that pointed to Mr. Rose’s betting on baseball not just as a manager but also as a player. All the while, Mr. Rose, whose long playing career included 4,256 base hits, three World Series championships, three batting titles and 17 selections to the All-Star Game, has never given up hope that the ban would eventually be lifted, allowing him to appear on a Hall of Fame ballot.
The biggest problem I have with Mr. Rose is that he has lied every step of the way here, and still we have no idea if he is being truthful about his involvement in the gambling scandal that got him banned from MLB in the first place. Mr. Rose follows a pattern of admitting further involvement and crimes, just as new evidence comes to light, then attempts to minimize his behavior. He is a man who cannot be trusted. He is interested solely in himself and in furthering his own personal wealth and agenda. This is a man who took a job very recently to comment on the World Series, only to suddenly leave that position in order to follow another opportunity to make money, by singing autographs at a casino in Las Vegas of all places. I have to wonder just how clueless this man really can be. You would think that if a person was truly remorseful that he would stay as far away as possible from the lifestyle that got him into trouble in the first place. But then again, I have to wonder if this man has ever bothered to contemplate the consequences of his actions, or rather does he simply jump to the first dollar he sees, regardless of the long term repercussions.
While many feel this person belongs in the Hall of Fame, and that’s a topic for another day, there should be little doubt that he has no business in the business of Major League Baseball. The man is a cancer, a leach, looking to grab every nickel he can, refusing to fade away into the sunset. Today, I stand up and salute you Mr. Manfred. Today you made a very wise decision. Let us all hope that Mr. Rose takes his cue and fades into the background. You sir are not welcome here anymore.
ScoutsUpdate: You may find the full Commissioner’s statement in PDF form. Below is an excerpt.
Most important, whatever else a “reconfigured life” may include, in this case, it must begin with a complete rejection of the practices and habits that comprised his violations of Rule 21. During our meeting, Mr. Rose told me that he has continued to bet on horse racing and on professional sports, including Baseball. Those bets may have been permitted by law in the jurisdictions in which they were placed, but this fact does not mean that the bets would be permissible if made by a player or manager subject to Rule 21.
“In short, Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorus, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his premanent ineligibility in 1989. Absence such credible evidence, allowing him to work in the game presents an unacceptable risk of a future violation of him by Rule 21, and thus to the integrity of our sport. I, therefore, must reject Mr. Rose’s application for reinstatement.”