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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Rob Manfred hints Pete Rose’s latest appeal for reinstatement will be denied

Pete Rose

Pete Rose is using the punishment — or lack thereof — that was handed down in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal to argue that he deserves to be reinstated by Major League Baseball, but commissioner Rob Manfred does not sound like he is ready to allow Rose back into the game.

Manfred briefly touched on Rose’s situation in a lengthy interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech that aired on Sunday. The commissioner was asked about Rose recently submitting another petition for reinstatement, in which Rose’s attorneys argued that Rose’s lifetime ban is ““vastly disproportionate” from disciplinary action that has been taken against other players who compromised the integrity of the game. Manfred essentially said the Astros stealing signs has zero relation to Rose and what he’s done or hasn’t done.

“Throughout this I have been resolute in one concept — whatever somebody else was doing or not doing is not relevant to judging your conduct. You’re responsible for your conduct,” Manfred said. “If everybody else was doing it, I don’t see that as a mitigating factor. I never will. It’s part of my makeup. You have to take responsibility for that.”

Astros players were granted immunity in exchange for providing information about the team’s sign-stealing scandal. That’s one of the reasons none of them were suspended. Rose’s latest argument is that players who have been found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs and illegally stealing signs have not been punished nearly as harshly — or at all in the case of Houston players — as he has.

While that is true, Manfred and MLB would likely say Rose has been given ample opportunity to have his lifetime ban lifted, but he keeps screwing up. Former MLB commissioner Bud Selig appeared to be on the verge of reinstating Rose at one point, but Rose derailed those plans with a book he released.

Rose was permanently banned from baseball in 1989 after an investigation concluded he bet on MLB games, including ones involving the Cincinnati Reds when he was managing the team. Rose denied for years that he bet on games until he admitted to it in 2004 when his book, “My Prison Without Bars,” was published. One part of Rose’s case that people find unfair is that there was no rule in place preventing him from being elected to the Hall of Fame when he accepted his lifetime ban, but a rule was implemented in 1991 — a year before Rose would have been eligible.

Rose has shown he has a sense of humor about his ban in recent years, and some wonder if he actually wants to be reinstated. Based on what Manfred told Ravech, it appears unlikely that the ban will be lifted.

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