For Pete Rose, this is a baseball game that is worth it.
In a 20-page document that was handed over to Commissioner Rob Manfred and other MLB officials Wednesday, Rose's lawyers presented the most recent reasons why her client should be removed from the permanently prohibited list and in particular be considered for the Hall of Fame ,
Rose has been tried before, but that could be his best choice.
The non-punishment of Astros players due to the illegal investigation against signs and the increasing presence of MLB in the gaming world offer the Rosenlager further ammunition to summon Manfred to remove Rose from the permanently ineligible list. That would give Rose a potential opportunity to think about Hall of Fame.
I always thought Rose should have participated in the choice of authors. I was one of those who wrote in his name every year during his term, as a protest against the hall, which did not trust the writers to make this decision at all.
Remember that then-European Commissioner Bart Giamatti banned Rose permanently in 1989, but that didn't take away Rose's right to vote. The hall did this unilaterally two years later, as a preemptive strike against Rose, which first appeared on the ballot, and as uneasiness about what might happen on a potential Rose launch day if living members of the hall stayed away en masse.
In a phone call on Wednesday about this latest petition, Rose's lawyer Ray Genco said: “The ex-post rule is not allowed in criminal justice and this is a simple solution. If we let the voters vote, everything will resolve itself. "
I agree that the Hall of Fame restrictions were an additional, additional punishment. If Manfred Rose wants to banish because his office was founded only because of the Black Sox scandal of 1919, which made baseball gambling the third rail of the sport, then so be it. In theory, the hall is an independent institution. But if Manfred sent a bullying signal to Cooperstown, it would be heavy and force the hall not to hide behind MLB on this matter.
The problem would be, how would you vote about Rose at all? After his active career, he is far over the border because he was involved in the choice of authors. But should that be ignored, since technically it never appeared on the authors' ballot and should therefore have its 10 years for it? Or, a special group of veterans should be formed to decide in which case the one that includes this much smaller committee would be controversial because it could be stacked in one way or another.
But at least considering Rose for the hall would be a compromise. Because I still think a full reinstatement is unlikely.
Yes, like all leagues, MLB is getting deeper and deeper into gaming and cannot resist this huge pile of money. However, those in charge of the league will tell you that (apart from making money) they are trying to build as many firewalls as possible to prevent the next Pete Rose from playing games. They know that betting will go on anyway, better to be a partner and find out how to make sure no one in the game plays baseball like Rose did, which he was banned from.
A convincing case could be brought up by Rose's lawyers that steroid users (some of whom are in the hall) and players involved in the scandal of stealing signs of the Astros had an impact on the results and were not penalized for the rose (if any) has been punished for over three decades. But whether good or bad, there are no hard and fast rules that players would permanently ban for these tremendous acts. There is baseball to play. Rule 21 is in every clubhouse. This is not just a Pete Rose punishment. If it turned out that a player played baseball today, he would be banned forever.
Take the case of the Astros too. There have been suspensions (albeit for a year) for GM Jeff Luhnow, who has since been released, and manager A.J. However, because he was a leader whose oversight should have suppressed the Houston fraud. Rose was the Reds manager when it was investigated for gambling. The players received no punishment for various reasons, particularly the promise that there would be no sanctions if they testified truthfully.
Rose lied to MLB about his baseball game and kept the public lying for years until he tried to sell a book. At that point he was getting clean. Starting with Giamatti, MLB asked Rose to reconfigure his life, which Rose may find difficult to prove.
Rose previously tried reintegration with Manfred and was rejected in 2015. She also tried the hall and was rejected in 2017.
I usually avoid half things. But it would work here. Keep Rose suspended forever, but let voters or an impartial committee decide about his case in Cooperstown. Even if Rose were elected, Rose's plaque would mark the permanent ban, a fairly heavy punishment, but one with the grace to at least allow the decision of who he was on the field as a baseball player.