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Pete Rose thinks Bud Selig will reinstate him. He may not be crazy.

Jun 16, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

pete rose getty Getty Images

Pete Rose is doing that publicity stunt managerial gig tonight, and since it’s about the publicity he’s doing interviews. And, since he’s doing interviews, he’s waxing optimistic about his chances to get back in the game:

Really, where I belong is back in baseball. I still believe it can happen.”

Yes, he’s talking within seven months, before Commissioner Bud Selig leaves office Jan. 24, 2015.

“To be honest with you,” Rose says, “I really haven’t given up on Bud giving me a second chance.”

I used to laugh at this sort of thing, as baseball has never shown any intention of reinstating Rose. But part of me is starting to wonder if Selig won’t issue a pardon as he leaves office. For a couple of reasons. First, to keep the Rose issue from being one that bothers his successor every couple of years. Second, and more importantly, for legacy reasons.

I never would’ve thought that Selig would have pursued the Biogenesis case in the aggressive and arguably extra-legal manner in which he did. But Selig was a motivated man. Motivated to make A-Rod, and not himself, the face of steroids in baseball. That’s a man who is conscious of his legacy. Rose is obviously a different case — he was his predecessors’ issue — but he is still an immensely popular figure among fans. Imagine what the stories would look like if Rose were reinstated as Selig leaves baseball. He enters amid labor turmoil, fan indifference and drug abuse. He leaves with baseball riding high, the druggies cast out and as the man who brought Pete Rose back. And hell, maybe Shoeless Joe. It’s feel-good stuff for people who either don’t know or don’t care about the history of gambling in baseball. It’s a huge boon to the Hall of Fame too.

Is it likely? I don’t know. I’m assuming Major League Baseball would say it’s preposterous and that Rose is delusional. But I can’t shake the idea that someone close to Selig is at least suggesting how the politics of reinstating Rose and/or Jackson might look as a career-capper. While some of us would be turned off by it, I bet way more people would eat it up.


113 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. tmc602014 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    No on Pete, yes on Joe

  2. tmc602014 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    There are guys who didn’t test positive who can’t get in the Hall because it is perceived that they took PEDs. There are guys who can’t get in the Hall because they took PEDs – before they were illegal. Then you’ve got a guy like Rose who has demonstrated a narcissistic obsession with his own stats. He calls the Hall a joke because he isn’t in it. The rule he broke was written in stone for decades before he was even born – he can’t claim he did not know. He was in management, no longer a member of a union, so his punishment was not subject to a CBA provision. He was told what his punishment was, he said he’d take it, and he’s whined about it ever since. What does gambling have to do with steroids? nothing. What does Rose have to do with Ryan Braun? This: they both dissembled, prevaricated, lied. Do you really think Selig wouldn’t have loved to ban Braun, Rodriguez et al. for life? THAT would have been a legacy. Let’s remember Rose as a great player, a fine competitor, who ruined himself. Stop blaming Bart, Faye, Bud – Rose did this to himself and in his self-serving way he keeps begging for mercy. If Rose got mercy, would he accept with humility? Of course not. F Pete Rose.

  3. tcostant - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    I do believe that Selig would let Rose back into baseball before settling the MASN mess. But in the end, I think he’ll ignore both…

  4. dj4900 - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    First comment failed. Again, if that arrogant, obnoxious piece of dung gets reinstated by ANY commissioner, it will one of the game’s greatest travesties and a slap in the face to every truly decent person who ever played.

    • bisonaudit - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      It doesn’t matter to me whether or not Rose was a descent person. There are a number of hall of famers who were terrible human beings. Pete Rose committed the most egregious crime in baseball. It cuts right to the heart of the game. It doesn’t matter if he was a saint in the rest of his life. You cannot have players or decision makers betting and you certainly can’t have them do it illegally. If the public doesn’t have confidence in the integrity of the games they’re paying to see, you don’t have a product.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:06 PM

        ” If the public doesn’t have confidence in the integrity of the games they’re paying to see, you don’t have a product.”

        Well, you would, but professional wrestling has already filled that square.

    • masher1965 - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      Reinstating Pete Rose would be the epitome of the failure of Bud Selig’s reign as commissioner. Rose has lied about his gambling on baseball and the Reds, he has ZERO integrity . He has earned his lifetime ban and should have disappeared a LONG TIME AGO. To say the PED’s ruined the integrity of baseball and yet support Pete Rose it the height of hypocrisy . Pete Rose should not EVER be allowed near a baseball stadium

  5. musketmaniac - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    Integrity. obviously baseball has none. If baseball had Integrity it would have had black players before WW2. If the game had Integrity Roger Maris would have never stated his biggest mistake in the game was breaking the record, or maybe it was integrity that placed an asterisk above his achievements. And of course the games integrity obviously has trickled down to it’s loving fans, whom constantly their ignorance and hatred when latino players challenge their records or decadence. Integrity has never been a part of this game, why are the people surprised when they finally learn that.

    • simon94022 - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      How about a little context before the cheap posturing? Baseball broke the color barrier before almost any other institution in America did so — before the US Military and long before the public schools. Baseball integrated at a time when virtually all housing, social organizations and places of work in America were segregated. Yes, the color barrier was shameful, but it was an unremarkable fact of life in the first half of the twentieth century, when the exclusion of blacks from the rest of society was simply taken for granted. Baseball was a leader in breaking that taboo.

      And by the way, there was never any “asterisk” placed by Maris’ record. Most home runs in a season is a counting stat. It’s common sense to have a separate record when you change the length of the season.

      You want lack of integrity? Go check out FIFA or the International Olympic Committee.

  6. mazblast - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    This repellent piece of slime doesn’t deserve to be allowed back into baseball. He broke the game’s cardinal rule. The fact that he’s a walking, talking POS off the field doesn’t help him, either.

    I live in Cincinnati, and I’m constantly appalled at how the locals here excuse this pig’s every action with, “but he’s one of OURS”, as if his being from here makes his actions somehow allowable or that being from the same town is a positive reflection on them.

    I cannot believe that this article about this pig is running on the same day that Tony Gwynn, a true credit to the game, died at so young an age.

  7. dmoas - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Well, given that it was a lifetime ban, clearly Joe Jackson should be re-instated. He’s already served that lifetime when he died. As for Rose. The same applies to him. When he dies, the ban can be lifted. But not before then. Let him live his life knowing that he may eventually have a shot at the HOF but not until after he’s dead. Here’s the thing. If you lift a life time ban, that term becomes utterly meaningless.

  8. deedee2die4 - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:44 AM

    Selig* has already taken a huge dump on the legacy of MLB. Torre* and LaJussa* spent decades penciling in cheats* daily. Their reward was the HoF*

    What should happen is a Selig* Hall of Shame*. Move Torre* and LaJussa* there and welcome in Rose, Bonds* Clemens*, etc*.

  9. musketmaniac - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    I can care less about the Olympics, they’ve been a joke before baseball came to America. And only an idiot would buy the `no asterisk`. propaganda. Before Roger Maris death he asked why all the other 162 game players who broke records didn’t have an asterisk, he was the only one. An eight man panel for record consistency dropped the asterisk in the 90s.

  10. regulatedmilitia - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    While there is something very cheesy about Rose – you have to realize that as long as Ty Cobb is in the hall – Pete Rose should be there too.

    Landis had a chance to clean the game up but choose instead to not impact baseball economics – forever tarnishing the game.

    Even PED’s should be on the table. How many current HOFers who escalated their game with greenies?

    Rose is an arrogant, self-serving, lying cheat but the precedent has been set. He needs to go. Tarnish is by clearly stating he was a gambler and see if he wants to go the hall this way.

  11. miamimarlinsfan - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Pete Rose does not belong in the Hall of Fame. As a player he was deserving but once he became a manager and starting betting on games, he lost his opportunity to get into the Hall of Fame.

    The lifetime ban should stick and it should never be an issue. Rose made his decision and now he has to live with the consequences of his decisions.

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