December 11, 2002
Reinstatement possible for Pete Rose

Pete Rose has been negotiating with Bud Selig about getting his lifetime ban from the game lifted. The good news is that Selig has focused on the right thing:

Negotiations are still ongoing on the terms of exactly what Rose will be asked by Selig to admit to before he is reinstated. In order to satisfy constituents who are opposed to Rose's reinstatement, Selig is said to be firm in his conviction that Rose has to admit, in some form, that he bet on baseball.

I'm very much in that anti-Rose constituency. It's more than just outrage over the fact that he violated baseball's One True Rule, it's also that he has been consistently dishonest and disingenuous about his violation of this rule. He's obfuscated the facts and played the part of a victim despite the fact that he signed an agreement that reads in part:

4. Peter Edward Rose acknowledges that the Commissioner has a factual basis to impose the penalty provided herein, and hereby accepts the penalty imposed on him by the Commissioner, and agrees not to challenge that penalty in court or otherwise. He also agrees he will not institute any legal proceedings against the Commissioner or any of his representatives, either Major League, or any Major League club.

You can read the full report here. It's pretty damning. Or you can read this Derek Zumsteg article which deals with Bill James' objections to the Dowd Report. The only reason there is a controversy about Pete Rose is that he's conned many honest and decent people who truly want to believe him and argue on his behalf.

But I believe in forgiveness. I believe in redemption. I will remove all of my objections to Pete Rose and will support his reinstatement and eligibility for the Hall of Fame if and when he comes clean. What I want to hear is something like this:

"I, Pete Rose, broke baseball's most sacred rule by betting on baseball games, including on games involving my own team while I was manager. I was absolutely wrong to do so. I have no excuse for my behavior. I deserved the punishment I got and I am extremely grateful for the support I have received from fans and for the second chance I have been given by Commissioner Selig and Major League Baseball. I am truly sorry for my actions and the shame I brought on myself in doing so."

If we get that and not some weasel word Trent Lott "I'm sorry if you're offended by what I did" apology, then Pete Rose will be worthy of forgiveness. Until then, all he will get from me is pity and scorn.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 11, 2002 to Baseball | TrackBack

Right on!

I've been listening to a lot of talk on this topic lately, and I have to say that I agree with you. What's needed is actual contrition that can only be conveyed by a full and complete public admission/apology. That, and having lost over ten years of what would have surely been a promising post-playing baseball career constitute a pretty significant punishment in my book. If you doubt that, imagine what it will mean for Pete to publicly recant all the BS he's been pushing for years, essentially denying what he'd already admitted to by signing the agreement. Also, if you know anything at all about Pete Rose, imagine what it has meant to him to be LOCKED OUT of Major League Baseball for over ten years.

Posted by: Don on December 11, 2002 4:53 PM

What a lot of crap! Rose is the reason for the rule! If he is allowed to return to baseball, it will just be another nail in the box we know as baseball.
Where in the hell is the responsibility for his actions and what course of action will this bring forth in the future. Why the hell have rules if you let violators off the hook.
Pete was a great player, but that is all. He muffed the one big play of his life and we all know it. Screw his attempts to get in the Hall, he doesn't deserve it!
If Selig lets him back in, then there is no hope for getting back the game. Yes, the game!

Posted by: Rock on January 9, 2004 8:32 PM

Now, after "My Prison without Bars" do what you said and lets see some support for Pete in writing. It is people like yourself that encouraged him to plead guilty (whether he is or not) and you'd support his reinstatement. Are you a liar or do you mean what you say?

Posted by: Barry on April 8, 2004 11:35 PM

Damn straight.

This whole thing leaves one utterly befuddled. How is it that, suddenly, all these baseball "purists" find it so compelling to look "only at his stats....not his life".

Good...let's do just that. But, let's pretend it's 1939. Here are the headlines; Baby Raper Insists He Should Be Allowed In The Hall....Half Of Fans Agree.

What the.....?

What has HAPPENED in America? Somehow, a select few have managed to so twist things that it has become acceptable to separate the athlete from his onfield or off field shenanigans. What a crock of bullshit. We string up college football coaches for betting infractions....and THAT's the friggin' NCAA....not MLB!!

He LIED to us ALL on Nixon, for crying out loud. Well...not really like Nixon, but you get my point...HE LIED. He lied to cover his own ass. Even when he was caught...he lied.

You know what? I hate to sound unforgiving...but if I was Selig, I'd lie to HIM. Here's what I'd do; I'd tell him I would instantly reinstate him, if he'd admit it all. Then, pull the rug out from under him, just like he's done to us, his publisher, his biographer....everybody.

It's not just that he's a liar. He's not contrite. He's not repentant....though he's trying to act like he is. He's enormously self absorbed. He's boorish. He's selfish. He holds himself above the game. He doesn't CARE if he was wrong.

How is this acceptable to 50% (or more) of our bretheren?! He was warned over and over and over and over and over. But, what's the worst of all this? What REALLY got him busted? A bookie he stiffed! What does that SAY about this man? If he'll stiff a bookie, with no concern for waking up in the Mississippi River full of 38 slugs, who would he NOT screw, to get his way?

This guy has ridden this thing and played the victim for 20 friggin' years! GO AWAY! He worked his ass off in baseball...true. But he KNEW the consequences of what he was doing. Now, he gets caught and he wants a do-over in life? This ain't the Search For Curly's Gold! There are no do-overs.

This is not a good man. He is not a good person. I don't care if Ty Cobb was a horses ass. Ty was never accused of betting on the game! Yes, he was surly, he was rude, he was outright beligerent. But, he DIDN'T BET ON THE GAME!!

Hook up with John Dowd (lead investigator for MLB) on a light flight home. Buy him a few drinks...and just ask him this question; would you let your kids hang out with Pete Rose? If he manages to KEEP from spitting a mouthful of gin all over the seat in front of him, here's all he'll say; THIS IS NOT A GOOD MAN!

Posted by: Toad on September 24, 2004 6:33 PM

Pete has came clean. Whether he admitted to gambling on baseball as a move to satisify the blood thirsty folks who have found him guilty but have no finding of fact to support it is another issue. You state at the very beginning when he "comes clean" you'll support him. Now do it. Publicly. I read the other comments and it's the hall of fame not the hall of saints. unlike many of todays players his records and stats stand on their own. Pete must be reinstated.

Posted by: Barry on January 1, 2007 5:28 PM