Pete Rose never had much luck convincing former Major League Baseball commissioners Fay Vincent and Bud Selig to let him back into the game’s good graces, but with Selig lounging in retirement, “Charlie Hustle” is taking a shot with new commissioner, Rob Manfred.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says he has received a formal request from Pete Rose asking that his lifetime ban be lifted and that he will consider the all-time hits leader’s request “on its merits.”
“I want to make sure I understand all of the details of the Dowd Report and Commissioner [Bart] Giamatti’s decision and the agreement that was ultimately reached,” Manfred said after a meeting with Los Angeles Dodgers players in Arizona on Monday morning. “I want to hear what Pete has to say, and I’ll make a decision once I’ve done that.
Rose agreed to a plea deal with former commissioner Bart Giamatti in 1989 that placed him on baseball’s permanently ineligible list following John Dowd’s investigation into whether or not Rose gambled on baseball. In 2004, Rose admitted to betting on baseball, and in 2007, he said that he bet on every single Reds game when he was manager, but that he always bet on them to win.
Due to Rose’s placement on the ineligible list, he is unable to hold a job with a major league team or its affiliates. Rose is also barred from going on the field at major league stadiums without special permission, which has been granted on a handful of occasions over the years and which will be granted this year for the All-Star game, which is in Cincinnati. Since 1991, Rose has also been ineligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, though that’s a response by the Hall of Fame to his suspension and not a direct part of his ban.
If Manfred reinstates Rose, the Hall of Fame will surely stand as the next mountain for Rose to climb. He could, theoretically, make it onto the Expansion Era Committee ballot in time to secure induction in 2017. Though there are no guarantees that the committee would vote in his favor if given the chance.
There are many who feel as though the time is right for Rose to be welcomed back into the game, including Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt and now Tony Clark, the head of the Players Association.
There are also people who feel that baseball’s history museum is diminished by the absence of the game’s all-time hits leader. But with several greats on the outside looking in — including the game’s all-time and single season home run leader, Barry Bonds — thanks to the steroid era, it may be harder to make that argument than ever before.
There is no stated timeline for Manfred to make a ruling and no apparatus for Rose to appeal his decision. Basically, with the new commissioner’s stated willingness to hear Rose’s side and his interest in digging into the details of the case, this request seems like it might be Pete Rose’s last/best chance to get back into the game.