What thorn? The thorn that has stuck with Pete Rose since then-MLB Commissioner Bart Giamatti slapped Charlie Hustle with a lifetime ban from baseball after the Dowd Report concluded that he bet on games, and possibly his own team, while managing the Cincinnati Reds.
But there’s a new sheriff in town and Commissioner Rob Manfred has already received a formal request from Rose asking that the ban be lifted. Rose’s past attempts from former commissioners Fay Vincent and Bud Selig fell on deaf ears.
At 73 years old, it’s doubtful he’ll ever guide a major league team or even get back in the game in any significant management capacity. This is clearly about that small village in the county seat of Ostego County, New York.
Simple as that.
Rose has admitted he bet on games. And I think any reasonable sports fan can see, at the very least, that’s a huge conflict of interest. Sports has rules. Managing a team and betting on games is a big no-no. Did Rose purposefully rig games his Reds played in so he could make money, or even make other people rich? We may never know.
Regardless, it’s bad.
Former San Francisco 49er Jerry Rice admits he used illegal ‘stickum’ on gloves during his career. But last I checked, he’s still in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Two different situations,” you say? “Not the same thing,” you proclaim?
Illegal is illegal. Facts are facts.
And the fact is that, as a player, Rose had 4,256 career hits, still a major league record. Rose is a Hall-of-Famer. Not for managing. Not for likeability. But for being among the best hitters of all time and one of the hardest-nosed players ever. He was a hit machine!
Simple as that.
So, is it time, after all these years, for the new Commish to lift the ban so the Hall board can vote to induct Rose?
This isn’t the “Humanitarian Hall of Fame,” or the “Nicest Guy You’ll Ever Meet Hall of Fame.” It’s the Baseball Hall of Fame.
And it’s where Rose belongs.