Rob Manfred upheld Major League Baseball’s lifetime ban against Pete Rose. Manfred didn’t pull any punches in his written decision:
Most important, whatever else a “reconfigured life” may include, in this case, it must begin with a complete rejection of the practices and habits that comprised his violations of Rule 21. During our meeting, Mr. Rose told me that he has continued to bet on horse racing and on professional sports,including Baseball. Those bets may have been permitted by law in the jurisdictions in which they were placed, but this fact does not mean that the bets would be permissible if made by a player or manager subject to Rule 21.
In short, Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989. Absent such credible evidence, allowing him to work in the game presents an unacceptable risk of a future violation by him of Rule 21, and thus to the integrity of our sport. I, therefore, must reject Mr. Rose’s application for reinstatement.
The whole process is so sad. Like so many others, I admired Rose as a ballplayer. I wore out the pages of the Official Pete Rose Scrapbook as a kid. I started following baseball and collecting cards during the last two to three years of his march to the all-time hits record. His hustle and determination seemed second to none. And then he was effectively gone thanks to gambling, for reasons I didn’t really understand at the time.
Gambling by players, coaches, or teams is a far bigger threat to the game than steroids. No one would watch baseball if it wasn’t a competitive sport. That’s why baseball treats gambling as a mortal sin.
Rose gambled and he lied about it. He apparently continued to lie about it, even when seeking forgiveness twenty-five years after MLB banned him. Unfortunately, Rose confessed but never repented. It didn’t work. I think Manfred’s decision was a no-brainer under the circumstances.
Given the specific findings Manfred makes in his written opinion, I think this is the last we’ll hear about Pete coming back to baseball. There will be no groundswell for the HOF admitting Rose. Heck, I guess Fox Sports 1 doesn’t bring him back for the 2016 season after today.
What do you think about MLB’s continued ban of Pete Rose?