Pete Rose had a reinstatement plan set up for him by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, but a book he put out in March derailed those plans, so says Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.
Schmidt, who has lobbied for his former teammate many times in the past, wrote a column for the Associated Press Sunday in which he argued for Rose’s reinstatement by Major League Baseball. Schmidt defends Rose, argues that a bad entourage got to the Hit King regarding the gambling, and ultimately says he wants Rose’s name to appear on the Hall of Fame ballot.
One thing to come out of Schmidt’s column that I previously was not aware of is that Selig actually had a reinstatement plan for Rose that was ruined when Charlie Hustle put out a recent book.
From Schdmit’s column:
Following Pete’s apologetic admittance to gambling after 14 years of denial, Commissioner Selig seemed in a cooperative and forgiving mood, actually helping to map out an itinerary for Pete’s possible reinstatement.
Over the following few months, things went sour, as did the commissioner’s attitude.
Pete’s penchant for bad decisions and relationships, plus a need for money, caused a premature book release in New York, which conflicted with the Hall of Fame election news conference. This was a direct hit to baseball and couldn’t have come at a worse time for Pete.
Commissioner Selig never returned to this issue with the same attitude he had that day in Milwaukee, and the Rose case file hasn’t been opened since.
I’m trying to piece together the timeline laid out by Schmidt here. The publication date of the recent Rose book, “Pete Rose an American Dilemma,” is March 11, 2014. The first review I saw for it was Jan. 12, 2014. The results of the 2014 Hall of Fame class voting were announced on Jan. 8, 2014. Seems like Rose had his book reviewed around the same time the Hall of Fame class was announced.
We don’t know all the details of the situation between Selig and Rose. Selig recently said he still has five months to think about reinstating Rose before his tenure as MLB commissioner ends. It seems like he is more than open to the possibility of reinstating Rose, but Pete just can’t get out of his own way. For younger fans, I imagine this is not too dissimilar from working with Jose Canseco, who we all know can be extremely flaky. I still bet Selig reinstates Rose for his last act as commissioner.