What Are Pete Rose’s Reinstatement Chances Now?

By Sean Couch
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I’ll make no secret about it, I am a huge Pete Rose fan. As Major League Baseball’s all-time hit king, a 17-time All-Star and an important part of the back-to-back world champion Cincinnati Reds of the 1970s, Rose is the stuff of baseball legend; unfortunately, both on and off the field.

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Even as an adamant supporter of Rose as a Hall of Famer, I can’t defend all of his actions, nor will I attempt to. So when the news came out recently that evidence had surfaced that Rose was gambling on baseball games even as a player, I had to take a deep breath and come to the realization that there’s a very good chance this new evidence would be the death of Rose’s reinstatement chances with commissioner Rob Manfred.

Earlier this year, Rose submitted a request with Manfred for reinstatement in baseball, and with it, a hope for finally being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Rose’s gambling on baseball while as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds got him a lifetime ban from then commissioner A. Bart Giamatti in 1989. Though he was banned from baseball, Rose has never stopped trying to be reinstated. He applied for reinstatement with Giamatti’s successor, Fay Vincent, and never received an answer. And later with baseball’s previous commissioner, Bud Selig, and again received no answer. When Rose requested for reinstatement this year with current commissioner Manfred, he was at the very least promised an answer. And after all these years, Pete at least deserves that.

So will the new information about Pete’s gambling while as a player hurt his reinstatement chances?

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Ultimately, I don’t think the news of Rose betting on baseball as a player will hurt his reinstatement chances as much as some are saying. The reason I say this is very simple: I don’t know that he had any real hope for reinstatement before this. As much as I want to hope against hope and believe that one day Pete Rose will be enshrined in Cooperstown, the fact remains the same that that day will most likely never come. I can’t say for sure what commissioner Manfred would have ruled about Rose without this new information, but it was a safe bet to say that he likely wouldn’t reinstate Rose. For Manfred, denying Rose reinstatement would be met without backlash or controversy, in essence, it would be a very easy decision. And now with evidence of Rose’s gambling as a player coming to light, it makes Manfred’s decision that much easier.

As I said, I am a huge Pete Rose fan, and I truly believe his work on the field deserves to be recognized in the Hall of Fame. But believing that we will one day see him inducted is getting harder and harder to believe in. Rose seems destined to linger in a Buck Weaver-like state, hopelessly petitioning for a chance to return to baseball, with all his requests falling on deaf ears.

Next: Three Reds prospects selected for Futures Game

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