The Pete Rose drama keeps getting more interesting with every passing week. It all started with the appointment of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, and his belief that Pete Rose is entitled to a fair hearing for reinstatement into baseball. I have written about this before, and I think that was a great move for baseball and the sense of its legitimacy and fairness.
Earlier in the season, Pete Rose took a job as an analyst with Fox Sports - his first real baseball job in 26 years. Then a few weeks ago, it was announced that he would be allowed to participate in activities as part of the All-Star Break and Game. It has been quite the spring for Pete, one he has not had for the better part of three decades. Anyone as old as I am will remember what it was like watching him play with every fiber of his being. Baseball is in his blood.
The latest news is that talks regarding any possible reinstatement will begin after the All-Star break. As Jon Heyman noted in a recent article (read HERE), this process will be anything but smooth sailing. Remember that we have been this close before. In 2003, active discussions took place between Rose and Bud Selig about allowing Pete Rose to return to baseball. Then the deal fell apart and the issue became ice cold from then until now.
There is no way Pete Rose is returning to baseball without significant restrictions. He admitted to betting on baseball, and the penalties for betting on baseball are severe, final, without exception, and without any loophole. The penalty for betting on a baseball game in which you have a duty to perform is permanent ineligibility. Rose's return requires the equivalent of a Presidential pardon, and it is unlikely that Manfred will hand one out for free.
There are a myriad of issues that the Commissioner will have to consider, not the least of which is the integrity of the game, selling it to the old-schoolers who believe in the rules of the game, and the moral hazard of having to deal with the next incident like this one. Of course, whether or not Pete Rose would accept a deal with those kinds of conditions is another issue.
I have my own feelings on this issue. I believe the integrity of the game is of paramount importance. I believe that you don't change the rules for a single person, even one as popular as Pete Rose. Nevertheless, I loved the guy when he played, and it would be nice to see him put on that Reds #14 jersey again. There will be lots more to come on this.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
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