Rose Still Outside Looking In
December 17, 2015
The third time was not a charm for Pete Rose.
Appeal number three by Rose was shot down by baseball’s new commissioner, Rob Manfred.
Manfred has decided not to lift the permanent ban imposed on Pete Rose more than a quarter-century ago, meaning that Rose, the game’s all-time hit leader, will continue in an exile that has long kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
Rose, now 74, was 48 years old when the ban started in 1989 after an investigation by baseball, known as the Dowd Report, concluded that Rose had bet on games while managing the Cincinnati Reds and that some of the bets had been placed on his own team.
In a report that accompanied Manfred’s decision to uphold the ban, he said Rose informed him at their September meeting that he had continued to bet on baseball, which he can legally do in Las Vegas, where he lives.
The greatest - Pete Rose
That disclosure clearly concerned Manfred. Manfred was also disappointed in Rose’s inability, at the meeting, to admit that he not only bet on games as a manager but also as a player. Manfred said that recently obtained evidence in that regard, a notebook containing records of bets Rose placed on games in 1986, contradicted statements Rose made about betting during their meeting.
The conclusion within the report stated that “Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.”
Still, there was some good news for Rose and his fans. In his report, Manfred did distinguish between the continued ban on Rose and his eligibility for the Hall of Fame, noting that as commissioner he did not have the authority to determine whether Rose belonged in Cooperstown or not. He basically said that Rose is eligible for the Hall of Fame if voted in.
However, there still is a problem. The Hall, back in 1991, voted to formally exclude any person from induction who was banned by baseball. The vote was clearly made with Rose in mind. Whether the Hall would now reconsider its position after all these years and allow Rose to suddenly appear on a ballot seems like a long shot to me.
But you never know. Especially these days.
Some find it hard to fathom that Rose is not in the Hall of Fame but known steroid users are.
Another crack in the door for Rose is that if he were able to be a candidate for induction, he would be voted on by one of the Hall’s veterans committees, since Rose’s eligibility for the traditional writers’ ballot has long expired. That means less people voting.
Personally, I think 26 years is enough of a punishment for the Hall of Fame. For my young readers, Rose is the best hitter there ever was. His long playing career included 4,256 base hits, three World Series championships, three batting titles and 17 selections to the All-Star Game.
Manfred’s decision comes as Rose has become more visible around the game because of his new role as a studio analyst for Fox Sports. It is a role he does well with. He is vocal with his opinions and is funny.
A Cowardly Act
I have a problem with professional athletes who seek out the media to get their agenda out there and then disappear when things do not go in their favor. This week’s example is LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles.
McCoy was vocal all week about his return to Philadelphia. It seemed like he found a camera every day of the week. McCoy, over and over, expressed his feelings on his former head coach, Chip Kelly, who shipped McCoy to Buffalo this offseason.
McCoy refused to take back any of his previous comments, including when he accused Kelly of getting “rid of all the black players” on the Eagles.
Shortly after McCoy’s return to Philadelphia ended with a loss to the Eagles, many of the same reporters he sought out in prior days gathered around the Bills running back’s locker. But McCoy didn’t stick around long enough for questions. Reportedly, all he said was that he had nothing to say. Then, he disappeared, walking through the slew of reporters.
Class act for the guy Buffalo sent out McCoy as the team’s only captain. In the end, the Bills lost to McCoy’s former team, 23-20. McCoy was bottled up for the most part, rushing for 74 yards on 20 carries and catching four passes for 35 yards. After the game, McCoy immediately ran to the locker room and according to ESPN, “slammed his helmet against a wall in frustration and yelled obscenities as he entered the locker room.”
Cowardly, and selfish.