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Selig’s Final Act Should Be Reinstating Pete Rose

By Mike Silva ~ November 26th, 2011. Filed under: Hall of Fame.

David Brown of Yahoo’s Big League Stew caught up with Pete Rose earlier this week. Rose gave Brown a lengthy and honest interview that is a must-read for any baseball fan. Today, instead of managing in the big leagues, Rose spends his days signing autographs and attending dinners with baseball fans through his web business at PeteRose.com. When you hear Rose talk, I can only think about how the wall put up between him and the game is a disservice to current players and fans alike. Someone who appears to still have a passion for the game at age 70 should be a part of its culture. He should be allowed back in the game, made eligible for the Hall, elected, and then find an opportunity to work in coaching or management.

If Bud Selig is true to his word and retires at the end of 2012, he should end his commissionership with the reinstatement of Pete Rose. It would be a fitting final chapter to a period where the game transformed for the better. It would also dispel the label that he’s a cowardly commissioner that rules by consensus and has yet to make a controversial decision, even if it were for the better. Remember, steroid testing was more a result of political pressure than Selig’s courage and vision.  Personally, I would gain a ton of respect for a man whom I believe has been in the right place at the right time in the games history. A lot of his success has been due to him standing on an oil field. Dealing with the Pete Rose issue might be his toughest and most controversial decision yet.

Long-time readers of the site know that I have vehemently been against the sanctimonious nature of baseball. A sport that has a history of corruption, institutional racism, and close-mindedness should not be judging anyone’s character. Pete Rose broke the rules on gambling, paid his price, and now should be forgiven and reinstated. Anyone who gets stuck on his transgressions should take some time to read the story of Ty Cobb. If baseball were consistent with its penal system I could understand their stance on Rose. They has never been, nor will there ever be, blind justice in the game. This isn’t 1919, the lifetime ban for gambling is archaic and outdated.

When you walk into the Hall of Fame the follow statement greets you:

Hasn’t Pete Rose lived up to the credo? Hasn’t he been one of its “heroes upon whose shoulders the game was built?” Isn’t Rose’s style of play one that you would want all ballplayers to emulate? Shouldn’t he be given credit for finally taking responsibility for his wrongful actions?  Many also forget the foundation of the Reds 1990 title was built during Rose’s tenure as a manager. If baseball is truly “America’s Pastime” wouldn’t it be the American way to give him a second chance and build a comeback story?

When George Steinbrenner passed in 2010 I said that each voter has a right to interpret their ballot individually since there is no consistent standard required. However, it weakens the stance of those that are against Pete Rose entering the Hall of Fame, but are open to Steinbrenner. George was suspended and allowed back in the game, yet Rose hasn’t been afforded the same courtesy. It’s time to abandon that sanctimonious “integrity of the game” that many preach about with regards to the sport. Baseball, like American culture, is imperfect. The beauty of this country is we are free to make our own decisions even if it’s the wrong one. We are also a society about second chances, as everyone loves a good comeback. Baseball is no different.

The clock is ticking Bud. Is the new CBA going to be the cherry on top of your legacy? Not a bad encore, but you could do better. Do you want to go down as the guy that benefitted from the inevitable growth of the game? Is your stewardship only about committees and politics or are you ready to make a real decision? One that could potentially spark debate around the game like only steroids has in the past. Reinstate Pete Rose. Show us that you have at least one fastball in you after nearly 20 years of throwing us nothing but proverbial junk balls.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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8 Responses to Selig’s Final Act Should Be Reinstating Pete Rose

  1. Ken Bland

    Selig’s final act should be to walk the streets of Montreal after dark, and let nature take it’s course.

    He’d look like a clown if he reinstated Pete at this point. Another commissioner could at least look more credible with such a move.

    I still see the merit of keeping Pete at bay from baseball. He maybe paid his dues for the gambling. Heaven only knows what proper reaction is for the about 15 years of public denial afterwards.

    I saw Pete play. Start to finish. I don’t need any C’ton plaque to know what an outrageously awesome ballplayer he was. I’m highly grateful for that darned near one per lifetime privelege.

    I’d probably be ecstatic if I lived to see Pete enshrined. But ecstacy and logic are different roads.

  2. tnt1528

    all rose had to do was admit he bet on baseball the first time they asked him.(even tho they had proof on him )this is a very easily forgiving country.maybe he gets 5 yr ,ban,maybe 1 yr ban,then he would have been elected in.he is an arrogant ass.when he wonders why he never got in the hall all he has to do is look in the mirror and ask “why did i lie so many times”

  3. Chuck Johnson

    The Black Sox first.

    I’ve softened my stance on Rose considering what the steriod users have done to the game, but I still wouldn’t let him manage or coach.

    Rose lied about it for fifteen years and I still don’t believe he’s come 100% clean.

  4. Piazza

    Rose should be in the Hall regardless of his reinstatement. The Hall is supposed to be a shrine to the achievements of the game and should be 100 percent separate from the agendas of Major League Baseball.

    You don’t have to like him or what he did (because I don’t either), but his status as one of the greatest players to walk on the field shouldn’t be overlooked because of something that happened long after his playing career.

  5. tnt1528

    he was a player mgr in 85/86….signs about gambling are in every locker room in baseball.no excuse for his actions.has it ever gotten out that he gambled while playing,besides the horses?

  6. Mister D

    It’s a lifetime ban. When Rose dies, put him back in.

    Speaking of, that ban on Shoeless Joe expired a long time ago…

  7. J Lue

    A long running debate among baseball fans is whether Pete Rose should be reinstated by Major League Baseball, thereby making him eligible for election into the Hall of Fame. In recent years, Bud Selig has considered pardoning Pete Rose from his ban from MLB and this idea has much support around the baseball community.
    It is important to recall the facts about this matter. In 1989, Pete Rose was accused of gambling on baseball games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds. Rose denied these allegations until 2004 when he admitted that he bet on baseball, including betting on the Reds, while he was playing and managing.
    A key role of the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball is to maintain the integrity of the game. Rose jeopardized this integrity through years of gambling and then denied the accusation for 15 years. The passing of time does not change the facts, and the reinstatement of Rose by the Commissioner’s Office would send a mixed message about the seriousness of Rose’s violation. Rose did not hurt anyone physically through his gambling but he impaired the reputation of the league. He was a great player but lacked integrity and should not enjoy the privilege of Hall of Fame recognition.

  8. AmericanSoldier

    J Lue wrote: “A key role of the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball is to maintain the integrity of the game.” WHAT game are you talking about? Baseball? Integrity? Where do you want to start? With racists like Cap Anson and Commissioner Landis, who kept blacks out of MLB until 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier? With stars like Barroid Bonds and Manny Steroids Ramirez, and other pumped-up stars? With Bud Selig, MLB, and Baseball’s Hall Of Fame in conspiring to keep Pete Rose out of the HOF by inventing the Pete Rose rule? Now look at the rule of those being permanantly ineligible to be in baseball being kept out of baseball. Add the fact that they voted on this rule…less than a year before Rose’s name would have first come up for being voted in to the HOF.

    Yes, Pete Rose’s biggest enemy IS Pete Rose, and he still is. Yes, he gambled, and Yes, he lied. Rose is without excuse for this. Yes, I wish the man would act like he’s nearly 71, instead of being the world’s oldest teenager. Still, Charlie Hustle’s accomplishments deserve a HOF Plaque, even if it’s awarded AFTER he’s dying or dead. Rose’s fans deserve to see this happen, too, or don’t they matter at all in your views of integrity and fairness?

    Look at Bud Selig – a former owner, who has stayed considerably longer in his seat as commissioner than was originally intended. Look at how he has dodged the Rose issue, instead of being man enough to say Yes or No to Rose’s application – an application that Rose sent to Selig’s office back in 1997. Just how long does it take for him to grow a backbone?

    And YOU have the gull to mention the integrity of the game? Look at MLB’s history, even beyond just a few facts of what I have shared, and you will see a checkered past, to say the least.

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