Selig Considering Re-instating Rose
Every year around the time of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, disgraced all-time great Pete Rose gets a little air time for his grievances about being banned from baseball. He's now admitted that he bet on the game, thereby eliminating any fact-based case that he was unjustly barred. At this point, his plea for being brought back under baseball's umbrella is purely based out of sympathy.
Nonetheless, that sympathy seems to be gaining some traction. According to the New York Daily News' Bill Madden, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is considering lifting Rose's lifetime ban from baseball, a result of serious lobbying by "some of the most influential Hall of Famers."
If Rose is re-instated, it would mark a true shift in policy by Selig, who has vociferously spoken out against letting the slugger back into the game in the past. There are a number of other factors that could help ease Rose's way back into the game -- and potentially into the Hall of Fame itself, where players of the ilk of Hank Aaron say they feel he belongs:
- Bart Giamatti, the commissioner who banned Rose and whose legacy was tied in with the swift action, has passed on. There's no question that there was always lingering antagonism between Giamatti and Rose, and it's likely that Selig would have been unwilling to make a move on Rose until Giamatti was out of the picture.
- Rose wouldn't be seriously considered as a managerial candidate. According to some behind the scene sources, Selig previously approached Rose with an offer of reinstatement if he made a full, candid public apology and agreed to be prohibited from managing. When that offer was previously put on the table, Rose scoffed at it. With more years under his belt, it's doubtful that Rose would turn such an arrangement down again.
Does those factors mean Rose is a gimme for the Hall's class of 2011? Hardly. Because he's been out of the game for 20 years, Rose would have to be elected by the Veteran's Committee, meaning that he'd need 75 percent of all the living Hall of Famers. That's no easy task, particularly since some still feel cheated by his gambling on the game.
Veterans Committee or not, that reality would still be a vast improvement over the one in which Rose finds himself now. He would at least have a shot at the Hall of Fame then, which is all any player deserves.
July 27, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
Categories: Hall of Fame , Reds | Tags: Bud Selig, Hall of Fame, Pete Rose, Reds, suspension
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