Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Pete Rose is one of the better know baseball players of all time. Unfortunately for Pete, it's not because of his record 4,256 hits. It's because of a lifetime ban from the MLB placed on him by Commissioner Bartlett Giamatti in 1989, after gambling on games while playing for, and managing the Cincinnati Reds.

Well, Rose has put in a formal request to Commissioner Rod Manfred to lift the lifetime ban. Manfred said:

"I want to make sure I understand all of the details of the Dowd Report and Commissioner [Bart] Giamatti's decision and the agreement that was ultimately reached...

I want to hear what Pete has to say, and I'll make a decision once I've done that."

Rose previously asked for leniency from Commissioners Fey Vincent and Bud Selig. Neither time were his request considered.

Look, you can read the Dowd Report yourself if you'd like. It's a bunch of legal jargon that I myself only half understand. On the third page of the report it states:

"Any player, umpire or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform, shall be declared ineligible for one year.

Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform, shall be declared permanently ineligible."

This is according the Major League Rule 21(d). This would mean that Pete, having played for and managed the Reds would have earned himself a lifetime ban. It's unfortunate, but it's part of the rules.

Here's the thing though... is it really a fair punishment? He had a gambling problem. He is not the first person, nor will he be the last with this issue. Yes, he chose to place bets on his team. But honestly, at this point in MLB history, hasn't there been greater transgressions?

Look, I make it no secret that I'm not a fan of Selig's. I think he may have been one of the worse, if not THE worse Commissioner in MLB history. Yes, that is a huge claim, and I stick firmly by it. He stood idly by as the steroid era flourished. He allowed it to continue while it was bringing in the dollars for the MLB, but once he realized that fans disliked the loss of integrity to the game, he decided to crusade against it. In a last ditch effort to save face, he went and suspended 12 players for 50 games, and 1 for a unprecedented 162 games. The Hero That Cleaned up Baseball? Probably what he wanted us to think, but the truth cannot be hidden. I only bring this up for argument sake, of course.

Gambling? It seems to pale in comparison. Yes, he was wrong. But a lifetime ban? For MLB's hit king? Don't his accomplishments deserve to be celebrated? At what point do we decide that he has suffered enough, and recognize his talents? If the MLB continues to hold onto this ban, he may never see the day he gets the credit he deserves, and that's a pretty sad thought.

You kind of get to the point where... we're kind of all over it, I think. We're ready to move on, and see the MLB do right by Pete. This doesn't guarantee him a place in the Hall of Fame, but it sure does give him a chance. And he deserves it. He was a great player! He earned every single one of those hits. I think we all know it's time to let go of this ban.

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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