From today’s Enquirer:

ST. LOUIS – Twelve years later, baseball commissioner Bud Selig still is examining Pete Rose’s application for reinstatement.

The career hits leader agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 after an investigation concluded he bet on the Cincinnati Reds to win while he was manager of the team.

Rose applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met with Selig in November 2002. His effort to gain reinstatement appeared to falter after he admitted in his 2004 autobiography, “Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars,” that his previous gambling denials were false.

“It is under review,” Selig said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “He did, as you know, accept voluntarily a lifetime suspension from Bart Giamatti, and there really isn’t much more I can say about that. I did agree to review it. It is under review. We do spend some time discussing it. But it’s not I think appropriate for me to say any more.”

While on the lifetime banned list, Rose is ineligible for the Hall of Fame ballot. The Hall’s board of directors decided unanimously in February 2001 that anyone on the permanently ineligible list couldn’t appear on the BBWAA ballot.

Rose’s final year of eligibility in the writers’ vote would have been 2006. Jane Forbes Clark, the Hall’s chairman, has left open the possibility that the Hall would allow Rose a spot on the BBWAA should he gain reinstatement.

I only have two things to add…for those that said, “if Pete would only admit it, all would be forgiven”, what do you say now? and two, Selig doesn’t want to make this decision, no matter what he does, he’ll tick a bunch of people off if he makes a decision; but if he leaves it as is…

Personally, I believe Pete’s accomplishments as a player should be considered separately from what he did as a manager (which is what he’s suspended for), thus should be eligible for the HOF and if I had a vote, would be at the top of my ballot.

I believe that Selig (and any future commissioners) will leave Rose in limbo…but I think that Pete will eventually be enshrined, though only after he’s passed away.

20 Responses

  1. Dallas

    “I believe that Selig (and any future commissioners) will leave Rose in limbo…but I think that Pete will eventually be enshrined, though only after he’s passed away.”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Once he’s passed away public sentiment will lean more towards Pete’s favor, and the commissioner at the time will state that Rose’s lifetime ban expired at his death.

  2. Y-City Jim

    Rose accepted the lifetime ban voluntarily? What was his other choice? What if he hadn’t accepted it voluntarily? What would have been the consequences?

  3. REDS1

    Well said Bill.

    This absolutely angers me. He was supposed to tell the truth and when he finally did they used that as an excuse to do nothing. Clearly baseball is going to stall this one out through infinity unless there is some significant push that makes MLB look bad for keeping him out. It seems the case for Pete has really fallen apart since the book.

    Pete did not help himself in ’04 with the timing of his book. But is a horrible injustice that Rose is kept out of the Hall. Baseball sat by and let players put illegal chemicals in their bodies and did absolutely nothing because it put butts in the seats. But they will never ever forgive people for betting on baseball. The hypocrisy is amazing.

  4. AnnapolisRed

    I completely agree that Pete will only make the HOF after he has passed.

    And yes, it’s easier to just sit on it and let time take care of the “problem.”

  5. Dan

    I agree that he should be eligible for the HOF… and also banned from currently holding a position in MLB. I don’t see why those 2 things need to be in conflict.

    As far as admitting that he bet, though, come on. Sure, he admitted it, but he did it in the worst way possible…

    –He lied about it for 15 years first.

    –Once he finally admitted it, he didn’t apologize or appear contrite in any way.

    I think he handled that part just terribly.

  6. GregD

    Baseball changed the rules of the significance of a lifetime ban (with respect to the HOF ban) after Pete signed the agreement.

    Part of the agreement included the possibility of reinstatement via this application process.

    By taking 12 years to review it, Selig is essentially declining the application w/o having the balls to just say so.

    IMO, make him hall eligible. Allow him to participate in MLB events/ceremonies (especially if the tab is picked up by mastercard) but continue the ban that would prevent him from working in baseball (coach, front office, etc.)

  7. Jared

    Barry Bonds he is not, but Pete Rose sure did a lot to make himself unlikeable, and that’s not a good way to get a push in the direction you want. As a kid, I remember 3 seperate occassions that Pete Rose was coming to town to sign autographs (for money, of course). I waited in line while he never showed up to any of them. He’s like a teenage girl whining about how she wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend while telling everyone what a horrible jerk he was.

    The facts make it hard for me, a Reds fan, to have a strong opinion one way or another. The word “gambling” is the cardinal sin of baseball, the worst thing you can possibly do, because of what had been done in the past. BUT, he didn’t throw a World Series. On the basis of a career he’s a shoo in for the Hall, but he’s not doing himself any favors in terms of overturning the ban.

  8. pinson343

    Pete should be in the Hall for what he did on the field.
    Not letting him in until he passes away is cruel and unusual punishment. If he passes away before induction, given his national popularity, there’s going to be a backlash.

    When Selig feels he’s in a lose/lose situation, he does nothing, which is cowardly.
    I won’t debate the pluses and minuses of his tenure, but I’ll be happy when he’s gone.

    PS Pete continues to lie about some aspects of his gambling, such as that he never placed a bet from the clubhouse, but so what, that’s a detail. He’s a pathological liar, but there are far worse people in the Hall, as far as character goes, including Ty Cobb.

  9. RedBlooded

    I first saw Pete Rose play for the class D (they had class D back then) and he was amazing to watch even then. I loved watching him play and I loved what he contributed to the great Big Red Machine years. I am a life long, diehard, passionate Reds fan. And I don’t think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. He lied for years and he is still lying about aspects of his perfidy. He brought shame to the game. I don’t think that should be rewarded or swept away. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is an honor. It would turn my stomach to see Pete basking in that glory.

  10. Jimmy James

    The problem is that Pete is an idiot.

    If he had any clue whatever about PR, he would have been reinstated long ago. Every time he opens his mouth, something stupid comes out that hurts his case.

    If he had just kept a low profile from the beginning, only speaking publicly to express contrition, I am positive he’d already be in the HOF. Instead, he says stupid stuff, and lies, and works in Las Vegas.

    Either he’s a complete moron, or his actions prove that he really doesn’t care about being reinstated.

  11. pinson343

    Jimmy, Yes Pete is an idiot (and a liar). He certainly cares about getting reinstated.
    He’s such an idiot, he thinks that if he were, the Reds would hire him as manager.

    But getting into the Hall is the main thing, for him and baseball fans. He should be in.

  12. Dick Bronson

    I’m not gonna bang the drum for Pete. He made his own problems, and the people of Cincinnati have done nothing but solidify their image as morons for giving him support. I know what he did as a player, and that knowledge isn’t going anywhere just because he isn’t in the Hall of Fame. However, it DOES serve as a reminder to Pete and his blind supporters who have always been ready to deny or overlook it.

    Sure, some people correctly thought a good first step for Pete to get reinstated would be for him to admit it, but that was never an official position of MLB. AND, it surely wasn’t their position that he should admit his crimes via a book he could use to make some money.

    Pete made his own mess, and hasn’t done anything to clean it up.

  13. XCCoach85

    The Hall of Fame is for fans. Baseball is a sport. Just open up a separate wing in the hall for Shoeless Joe, Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, etc. for great baseball players with tarnished legacies. They don’t need to even explicitly state this, but it serves the fans while keeping them separate. This is as close to a win-win situation as you can get.

  14. Elise Lotz

    By saying that Cincinnati now has a solid image as a moronic town, will you say the same of New York City, Los Angeles, Boston? How could we not give Pete Rose support for his successes and the success he brought to our team and our city? Which, as previously mentioned, were accomplished as a player, NOT as a manager. Pete Rose never cheated the game itself. He did nothing to gain an unfair advantage over his opponents, as say, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez. And what’s that? They’re still playing the game. They’re still being worshipped. And they will be enshrined one day. As men that played the Great American Game on false abilities. So pardon me, for supporting someone whose lifetime ban is based upon events occurring outside his yet-to-be-topped career in Major League Baseball.

  15. Matt McWax

    I want him in the hall ASAP. His baseball ability is what matters. If we are talking about the Hall of Classy People, then perhaps he has work to do. I’m not really up on his current financial situation so I don’t know if he is holding any debts right now, but in the past, he had some ugly, flaky behavior regarding financial obligations. I would really like to think that my childhood hero didn’t blow a lot of money on stupid gambling, failure to honor financial commitments, and develop into someone lacking any reasonable amount of integrity. His play on the field was the complete opposite. So I would personally feel much better about the guy if he cleared this extra hurdle, but it wouldn’t be necessary for him getting into the hall if it was up to me.

  16. Chris

    It’s going to sound like I’m picking Elise’s comment apart, but I just want to address her thoughts in order, because they’re pretty interesting.

    By saying that Cincinnati now has a solid image as a moronic town, will you say the same of New York City, Los Angeles, Boston? How could we not give Pete Rose support for his successes and the success he brought to our team and our city?

    There’s a difference between support and appreciation, and blind devotion and delusion. Unfortunately, vast portions of Cincinnati does with latter with regard to Pete. I can’t think of anything comparable in another city.

    Pete Rose never cheated the game itself. He did nothing to gain an unfair advantage over his opponents, as say, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez.

    Actually, Pete (like tons of other guys of his era) ate amphetemines by the handful. Essentially, the same thing those other guys did. I’m sure Pete would’ve used roids if they’d have been available.

    And what’s that? They’re still playing the game.

    The difference is that there was no rule against steroids. There has long been a very clear rule on gambling.

    FWIW, I think Pete belongs in the HOF.

  17. REDS1

    Man the comments on this page really bum. We are Reds fans and so many on here don’t even want him in the Hall. I am tired of comments about how Pete is a jerk and not smart. This does not matter. He had more hits than any other player and played or more winning teams than anyone in history. Give him his rightful place.

    So what if he is not likeable.

  18. GRF

    Do not know if anyone heard it, but they were talking about this on ESPN radio this morning. Consensus was just what Bill said, that Selig will “review” it until he is out of office and not risk offending anyone by making a decision one way or another. Tim Kurkjian (s.p.) said even if was eligible, he doubted he would get more than 30% of the writers vote and that the veterans would not put him in.

    All of which is a shame, because he deserves to be there for what he did as a player.

  19. Dick Bronson

    I’ll bet if Pete had conducted himself like a man since the ban, the public, player, and writer sentiment would be so overwhelming that Hall of Fame consideration would be a bigger possibility.

    I blame the Cincinnati fans for this. If he couldn’t count on his die-hard supporters to buy his line of BS, Pete might have taken a different course of action. He and the JTM breathed hoards are codependent, and in need of an intervention.