Oh, for Pete’s Sake!

You’ll be shocked to hear Pete Rose is again applying for reinstatement to MLB.  What’s fun/funny is what he is using as his justification: the fact that players were not punished in the Astros sign stealing scandal.

From the ESPN article about it:

The lawyers say that Rose’s lifetime ban is “vastly disproportionate” when compared with MLB’s punishments of players who took performance-enhancing drugs and the players involved in the sign-stealing schemes by the 2017 Houston Astros.

“There cannot be one set of rules for Mr. Rose and another for everyone else,” Rose’s 20-page petition for reinstatement says. “No objective standard or categorization of the rules violations committed by Mr. Rose can distinguish his violations from those that have incurred substantially less severe penalties from Major League Baseball.”

Okay, let me address Mr Rose and his representatives a bit here.  First, there ISN’T a separate set of rules for Pete Rose vs everyone else.  Rose violated the one, and only, rule in MLB that stipulates permanent banishment for violators: he bet on baseball.  That rule has been posted in every MLB clubhouse since the 1920’s.  The Astros’ misdeeds were entirely different. Rose was punished according to his own actions.

Second, there are reasons Commissioner Manfred did not punish the players.  (A) They weren’t the target.  Manfred’s warning to teams about using technology to steal signs in 2017 was that the teams would be punished for violations, not players. (B) To get the investigation complete and be able to mete out punishment to the teams, players received immunity in exchange for cooperation.  Again, the players weren’t the target. (C) Even if Manfred had chosen to come down on the players, the MLBPA would have immediately filed a grievance and won.  Why? Because there’s no rule applying to the players about sign stealing that’s part of the CBA.

Third, since they also mentioned PEDs, guess what, Pete?  Since 2006 there have been codified punishments for PED users who are caught set forth in the JDA.  You know what else? It falls under a different set of rules than MLB Rule 21—you know that one since you broke it, got caught, and got banned for it. The MLBPA negotiated the PED rules and punishments with MLB, unlike the use of technology to steal signs (for now).

Fourth, Rose’ reps indicate they don’t see how your infractions are worse than the others mentioned. The difference between the sins could not be more obvious.  People who use PEDs or cameras, etc, to steal signs are cheating in a effort to win.  People who bet on baseball—unless they can prove they always bet the same money every single game without fail—at minimum create the possibility of not always trying to win or score as many runs as possible.  They even place themselves into a position of being potentially extorted in either throwing games or shaving runs.

Yes, I know.  He says he only bet on his team to win and always always always tried his very best.  However, even the perception of a game possibly involving a team not going all out is dangerous to MLB’s bottom line and will thus never be tolerated. That is why betting on baseball merits permanent banning and the other infractions don’t.

Besides, he is the same guy who said for years he never bet on baseball but then admitted he did, including on his team, in his book in 2004.  He still says he only started betting on baseball after he was no longer playing.  Yet Tony Gioiosa says he did, and he lived with him from 1978-1984 and remained a close confidant through 1987.

He also has had allegations of funding a cocaine deal—drug dealing is what got Gioiosa sent to prison.  Gioiosa was also a known heavy user of steroids in the early-mid 1980s, so Rose should be real careful about trying to ride the anti-PED high horse anyway.  Just because he probably never used steroids does not mean he never referred any of his players to his then buddy as customers.

He also admitted in 2015, the last time he applied for reinstatement that he still gambled on baseball games.

In short, if I were Manfred, I would not reinstate Rose.  If he does, that’s fine, but it won’t be because of the “merits” of his current argument.

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