Legends On Deck

Pete Rose Should Be Reinstated By Major League Baseball


There, I said it. It’€™s straight, blunt, and to the point. It’€™s been more than 25 years since Charlie Hustle€ voluntarily went on the permanently banned list from baseball and the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, and quite frankly, it’€™s been long enough.

As we all know, Rose is the all-time €hit king€ in Major League Baseball with 4,256 hits. He also holds a plethora of records for switch-hitters at the dish, combined with most career at-bats, singles, games played, and outs. The 1973 NL MVP, 1975 World Series MVP, and 3-time World Series Champion has been an incredible example of how the game should be played; hard work, grit, and an incredible determination to do anything to gain a victory.

However, facts are facts. Rose was found out by Peter Ueberroth and Bart Giamatti, former MLB Commissioners, that the former Cincinnati Red and Philadelphia Phillie great was betting on baseball. In 1989, after John M. Dowd released the €Dowd Report€, detailing the betting on sports, primarily baseball, that Rose was involved. Ultimately, on August 24, 1989, Rose voluntarily signed his name as a permanent member of baseball’s ineligible list. Through 3 Commissioners (Giamatti, Fay Vincent, and Bud Selig), Rose has applied for reinstatement and has been outright ignored.

With the banishment from MLB in 1989, Cooperstown, separate from MLB€™s ruling, invoked that as long as Rose is suspended from the league, he will not be eligible from the Hall of Fame.

I listened to an interview on Pete McCarthy€™’s WOR Sports Zone on New York Citys 710 AM on St. Patrick’s Day with Bill Madden, distinguished baseball writer from the New York Daily News, and he feels that Rose, who recently applied for reinstatement to the game to new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, needed to €œreconfigure his life€ before coming back for reinstatement, after conversations with Bart Giamatti prior to and just as he signed to be a part of the ineligibility list. (Giamatti, in fact, passed away 8 days after banning Rose from the league.) After reading Madden’s article from the same day, I feel that although he should never be allowed to manage or be involved in the front office of a baseball club ever again, Rose should at least reinstated so he can be on the ballot of the Hall of Fame.

Look, I 100% understand why baseball purists want Rose banned still. He ruined the integrity of the game by betting on not just baseball games, but ON his own team. Justifiably, if Rose bet AGAINST his team, which he has repeatedly stated he did NOT do, that could seriously impact an outcome, a score, or a record in tough situations. The purists believe in the simplicity of the game and have been extremely outspoken on keeping €œCharlie Hustle€ out.

I will retort with this. It is highly hypocritical to have Pete Rose out of eligibility of the Hall of Fame, while every star player WHO WERE ABUSING STEROIDS TO CHEAT THE SYSTEM SO THEY COULD MAXIMIZE THEIR PAYDAYS AND BREAK RECORDS are still eligible to possibly gain acceptance. Alex Rodriguez lied on countless occasions, attempted to sue Major League Baseball, the Players Association, and HIS own team, and is still able to collect another $60 million after only a year suspension.

I find athletes who abuse the system with illegal supplements and willingly do so without fear of getting caught WAY worse on the list than betting on baseball. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who were ON TRIAL for lying under oath for denying their steroid and PED usage, still found themselves on the list. Granted, they have not been inducted in yet, but it is outrageous that they were still eligible despite their blatant transgressions to the game of baseball, while Rose is still on the outside looking in.

And yes, I know that Shoeless€ Joe Jackson and the €œBlack Sox Scandal€ are among the same guidelines, but it is totally different. Jackson and the 7 other White Sox players blatantly took money to shape the 1919 World Series in a loss. Rose just bet on the game due to his addiction to gambling. I know both are wrong, but the differences are blatantly obvious. The Black Sox Scandal was an absolute disgrace to the competitive nature of baseball; Pete Rose disgraced HIMSELF. That’€™s a BIG difference.

Look, I understand the rules. Pete Rose got caught betting on the sport. He’€™s paid the price for 25 years. However, enough is enough. If George Steinbrenner could be reinstated after paying a private investigator to find negative aspects to €œdiscredit€ former Yankee and baseball great Dave Winfield, Rose should be reinstated to the game.

The fans want it. The fans need it. Baseball needs it. Enough is enough. Mr. Rob Manfred, 25 years is long enough. Please reinstate Pete Rose and allow him to enter Cooperstown. The Hit King needs to enter baseball immortality, and no, his WWE Hall of Fame induction isn’€™t good enough.


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