Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose sent a request to new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on March 16 asking that he be reinstated.
Pete Rose has requested MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to reinstate him.
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The Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosencrans confirmed the news on March 16. Manfred told Rosencrans he will be in touch with Rose's representatives:
"I do have a formal request from Pete. I'll be in communication with his representatives about how we're going to handle that request.
"I don't think people should read any predisposition into what I'm saying. I see it as simply he's made a request. Part of my obligation under the major league constitution is to deal with those requests. I don't have any predisposition.
"I'm prepared to deal with that request on the merits. I want to make sure I understand all of the details of the Dowd Report and commissioner (Bart) Giamatti's decision and the agreement that was ultimately reached. I want to hear what Pete has to say and I'll make a decision once I've done that."
Washington attorney John Dowd spearheaded the Rose investigation for "serious allegations." Rosencrans says Dowd's report states how Rose bet on baseball (which Rose denied in 2003). It's now on Manfred whether to lift Rose's lifetime ban from the sport or not.
The Cincinnati Reds, Rose's former team, did not comment on Rose's request for reinstatement. His representatives have no comment either, per Rosencrans.
However, Reds broadcaster and Rose's friend Marty Brennaman, chimed in. "The thing I'm most concerned about about Pete is that Pete keep his mouth shut and let this whole process play out," Brennaman tells Rosencrans. "He can't say something that is going to hurt him, which he's done in the past."
Brennaman added the fact that Manfred is looking into Rose's situation--something Manfred's predecessor, Bud Selig, did not--could be a sign of good things to come, per Rosencrans:
"The fact Rob Manfred is going to hear his case is sensational. Rob Manfred has been more open about this than Bud Selig ever was. It seemed like every time this thing came up Bud bent over backwards to avoid discussing it.
"I think Rob, coming into the office, is embracing the Pete Rose situation. Whether or not that's good for Pete, time will tell."
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds Hall of Fame has the same guidelines as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in terms of inducting players. Both halls of fame will not consider players who are on baseball's permanently ineligible list. Rose happens to be one of them.
However, should Rose be reinstated, ESPN's Mark Saxon says it ought to serve as a first step in making the Hall of Fame. It was in 1991 when the hall refused admission of players in the permanently ineligible list.
Another thing going for Rose: Manfred happens to be a board member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The MLB commissioner told Saxon he hasn't discussed Rose's possible induction with his fellow board members.
Hall of Fame spokesman Brad Horn tells Rosencrans that Rose, should he be removed from the permanently ineligible list, will be evaluated by the hall's 16-member Expansion Era Committee and not the journalists of the Baseball Writers Assocation of America, for possible induction.
Manfred also told ESPN the Rose issue has been a hot-button topic among MLB players. In fact, he has addressed a great number of questions from them about him.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager and former major leaguer Don Mattingly, who met Rose during his days with the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals), told Saxon how he's admired Rose all these years:
"I got a hit off somebody, and he said, '200 a year, kid. Just get 200 a year.' Any time I see him, I love seeing him. Obviously, as a kid, I loved Pete and the way he played. I'm not going to get into all the politics and eveything that goes along with that, but I love Pete and I think Pete's a great player."
For now, Rosencrans stresses Rose can still attend Reds home games, but he will not be admitted into Great American Ballpark on a special admission basis. He will have to watch games as "a paying fan," says Rosencrans. He is not allowed to take the field without permission from the Reds. He is also banned from a coaching or front-office position with the team and its minor league affiliate, the Louisville Bats.
Rose is baseball's all-time hits leader with 4,256. He also added 160 home runs and 1,314 RBIs on a .303 batting average in 3,562 career regular-season games from 1963-86 for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos, per Baseball-Reference.com.
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