All-Star Game / Pete / Reds - General

Ending the Pete Rose – Bud Selig Stalemate

Now that the fervor and excitement has ebbed somewhat about Cincinnati hosting the 2015 All-Star Game, it’s time to deal with one of the issues that has been a constant source of controversy within the regime of Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball. Everyone knows what this is about. It’s about Peter Edward Rose.

The question has been raised if the Lords of Baseball will allow Pete Rose to participate in any pregame festivities, since his ban would preclude him from being invited. But this needs to go further. It’s time to resolve this issue. It’s gone on long enough.

Reds owner Bob Castellini has gone the extra mile with Selig and MLB. The Reds hosted back to back Civil Rights games that resulted in sellouts, goodwill and apparently pleased Selig. It was good for baseball, good for the Reds and a step forward. Further, the Reds’ involvement in the community, spearheaded by Castellini, exemplifies how a professional sports franchise should interact and give back to its city/region.

If Bud Selig is still the Commissioner in 2015, here’s what he should do:

As the buildup for the All-Star Game begins in 2015, MLB and Selig should avoid the Rose issue. Then, two weeks before the game (or more important, the week-long festivities) Selig should issue a statement that he will make an “important” announcement regarding the status of Pete Rose on the field of Great American Ballpark just prior to the start of the game.

In this age of instant sports coverage, The Worldwide Leader and Oprah Winfrey replacing Walter Cronkite in terms of breaking news, this simple announcement will dominate the sports world for two weeks leading up to the game. The buildup would be unprecedented, at least for a sport that could learn a few things from the NFL. Baseball would dominate the sports news. All eyes would be focused on the All-Star Game and the City of Cincinnati.

The night of the game, shortly before the National Anthem, Bud Selig would take the field. Standing before a sellout crowd at Great American Ballpark and a massive nationwide audience on television, Selig would introduce seven of “the Great Eight” starting players for the Big Red Machine, to honor what has been judged one of the best teams in baseball history.

Cesar Geronimo. Ken Griffey. Dave Concepcion. All attention would be focused on Selig and Great American Ballpark. All the fans would be on their feet.

George Foster. Joe Morgan. The noise would start to be deafening. GAB’s scoreboard would be showing highlights of the Great Eight and the World Series triumphs over the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Johnny Bench. And then Tony Perez, one of the most beloved Reds of all time. The two championship trophies from 1975 and 1976 would also be on the field. Fireworks would be going off in the background over the Ohio River.

And then, at that point, Selig would make the announcement that Rose would be reinstated to the good graces of baseball. The ban would be lifted and Selig would introduce Pete Rose to the crowd.

At that point, the crowd at Great American Ballpark would erupt. And Rose would trot on the field, reunited with his teammates and embrace the Commissioner. And as Marty Brennaman would say, “There’s pandemonium on the field.”

This is a win-win proposition — good for Selig, good for Pete Rose, good for the City of Cincinnati and good for baseball.

It would cement Selig’s legacy. If franchise stability, a prolonged era of labor peace and both players and owners making obscene amounts of money are truly the Commissioner’s body of work, pardoning Rose is the icing on the cake. Americans, traditionally, are a forgiving people. Selig would no longer be the rigid, immovable Commissioner on the Rose issue; he would be the Commissioner who listened to the fans. Selig could calm down the hard liners in MLB by requiring Rose to do some baseball-related anti-gambling/anti-betting talks around the country.

In Rose’s case, it gives him the chance for enshrinement in the greatest of Halls of Fame. It doesn’t resolve that issue; that’s up to the voters. They stated pretty overwhelmingly how they feel about Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens this year. If Rose becomes eligible, we’ll find out soon enough how they feel about his candidacy.

The Reds benefit by being off the hook. They have honored Rose, in a subtle sort of way during the ban. The Rose Garden, just outside of the Reds Hall of Fame; the number 14, while not retired, is not issued. You can bet (no pun intended) that the Reds would invite Rose to spring training to talk baseball to their young players. Nothing against Brook Jacoby, but if you were a young 20-year old player, who are you most likely to listen to— Brook Jacoby or Pete Rose? Be honest now.

This isn’t to forgive Rose’s wrongdoings. He’s been his own worst enemy the last twenty years and he’s just as stubborn as Selig. His bizarre reality show (Disclaimer: haven’t seen it, unable to watch it from here in Afghanistan, don’t care to see it or any shows of that ilk) hasn’t helped his cause after the reviews that I have read.

If Bud Selig steps down after the 2014 season, then the opportunity would be there for his successor to carry out this action, especially if Selig’s heels are dug in too deep. Timing is everything and if Selig is gone, it fits.

Getting the All-Star game in Cincinnati could be the first step in this process. The opportunity is there, thanks to Bob Castellini. It’s an opportunity that should be seized.

38 thoughts on “Ending the Pete Rose – Bud Selig Stalemate

  1. I am sorry to disagree. Sorry, because I can just feel how great that prodigal son moment would be. I disagree because Pete Rose hasn’t earned it. Had he had a Tony Dungee type mentor who could have persuaded and pushed Pete to do those ‘anti-gambling’ activities over the past few years, he’d be in a much better position.

    I know first hand that Pete did a lot of good works when he played here. And unlike Sam Wyche, he did not issue press releases before and after.

    But.

    He admits he gambled. He admits he lied. Those are only the first steps.

    • I am sorry to disagree. Sorry, because I can just feel how great that prodigal son moment would be. I disagree because Pete Rose hasn’t earned it. Had he had a Tony Dungee type mentor who could have persuaded and pushed Pete to do those ‘anti-gambling’ activities over the past few years, he’d be in a much better position.

      I know first hand that Pete did a lot of good works when he played here. And unlike Sam Wyche, he did not issue press releases before and after.

      But.

      He admits he gambled. He admits he lied. Those are only the first steps.

      What more do you want him to do? Speaking to him outside the Hall of Fame and watching that 15 minute ESPN 30 for 30 makes me realize how depressed and lost he really is.

  2. As much as I despise Selig (for reasons other than the Pete issue) and grew up loving Pete, nothing close to this has any chance of happening. That is, of course, unless Pete has video evidence that Bud Selig personally gave McGwire and Sosa PED injections during the 1998 season while simultaneously putting pine tar on Kenny Rogers’ glove and plotting to move the Yankees to Moscow.

  3. Egos, egos, egos. you’re saying that Selig would have to set his aside to make room for Rose’s. This might all have to happen posthumously.

  4. I am a die hard Reds fan for life. This rule has been posted on every dugout wall at every park. It is the one unforgivable rule of the game. Pete made his bed, and he must lie in it. I would have less respect (if possible) for Selig and the powers that be in the MLB if anything changed on this issue. To me, this is light years removed from the PED issue. This one is so transparent, it’s like it’s not even there.

  5. With the announcement of the 2015 All-Star Game at GABP, thus commences the non-stop chatter and speculation of what to do with Pete Rose. Which will surely reach a fever pitch by mid-June 2015. Countless hours will be devoted to it on sports-talk radio, blogs, columns, and even t.v. So if you think you have heard every argument for or against Rose in the last 24 years, nothing will come close to the next 2 and one half, ad nauseum. And I say this as someone who thinks Pete should be eligible for the Hall as a player but still banned from baseball activity for what he did as a manager.

  6. Well, that was very nicely written and was fun to experience. Glad I did, because it’s never going to happen. Nor should it.
    Like so many others, I grew up loving Pete and listening to Marty and Joe on the transistor under the pillow. And I remember the hitting streak in ’78 so well, listening to games after my Little League games…and Aqua Velva commercials…and hoping Pete was the Star of the Game because he was fun to listen to.
    Nostalgia is a two-sided sword, but the memories are sweet. But, there is really only one rule and since at least 1919, it has been crystal clear.

  7. All the argument of “He issued a statement when the book came out” and “He cheated”, etc., is all foolish nonsense. It might be all true, but to keep him out of the HOF this long is just foolish nonsense. There are people in the HOF who have done a lot worse than Pete did, a lot worse. But, the commissioner has never done anything about them. So many of Pete’s artifacts are in there already. Put the man in.

    What I think ought to happen is this:

    Make an announcement prior to the game that, using the power of the commissioner and “for the good of baseball”, Selig announces that he will introduce the 75-76 Reds teams including Rose as well as he is inducting Pete Rose into the HOF. You would have to think it would be an All-time TV audience to see this. The only takeaway I can see is this taking away from the game itself. But, they have so much else anyhow that takes away from the game itself already, what’s one more thing. More details well after the game that Rose is inducted but he will not be eligible to take on any managerial/executive/administrative positions in baseball whatsoever, that Pete is in on his playing accomplishments.

  8. Pete apparently still spends most of his time in the gambling capital of America signing autographs. Despite the fact that he *finally* fessed up, he really still seems to have no concept that what he did was particularly wrong or how absolutely poisonous to a sport any association with gambling can be.

    I’m very much in agreement with @gosport474. Pete’s the Hit King. His numbers are not tainted. He needs to be commemorated in the HoF – the *whole* story. He does not need to be reinstated.

    PS – John Ring, you are DA MAN!!

  9. Pete bet on baseball. FACT

    Pete bet on the Reds. FACT

    Pete was probably the most competitive player in the history of baseball. FACT (Ask Ray Fosse if you have any doubts)

    Pete always bet the Reds to win. WHO KNOWS

    Look. Pete has admitted that he bet the Reds to win every game. While I believe that, there is no way to prove it, and I would not argue with anyone who thought differently. I would love nothing more than to have him reinstated. Let the Hall voters decide.

    However, he broke the rules, one of the most hallowed. They cannot EVER reinstate him unless they start allowing gambling. I think poor Pete will be banned for life.

  10. @preach: You sum it up perfectly. That’s exactly the way it is. Rule 21 and the penalties for violating it are clear. Rule 21d paragraph 2 states:

    ” Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall
    bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which
    the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.”

    Rose was a wonderful ballplayer and is the undisputed hit king. His banishment however is of his own doing. The only way he goes into the HOF is if the Hall changes its rule that those on the perminantly ineligable from baseball list be excluded from entry. That rule was put in place after the fact I believe.

  11. Honestly I think he should be reinstated for his playing career but regardless a presentation with the big red machine guys and letting him be a part of that on field would be something special even if it meant the ban was still on. I really don’t see Selig doing it though. Then again Pete might cancel due to a prior agreement to sign autographs at some random casino.

  12. @gosport474: @RC: I’m with you guys. “He needs to be commemorated in the HoF – the *whole* story. He does not need to be reinstated.”
    If that means changing the rules, change them.

    I believe his statement of contrition at the Reds dinner a couple of years ago was sincere. It was the first time I was swayed at all by something he said. Has he “reconfigured his life ?” Don’t know, but at least he said he finally knew what Giamatti meant.

  13. PS HOF consideration won’t happen with Selig as commisioner. But it might be one of the first actions of a new commisioner.

  14. Amazed at these responses. Everyone in America deserves a second chance except Pete Rose. Pete Rose is the only person unworthy of forgiveness. For me, this entire “story” comes down to one simple question: Hasn’t the man been punished enough? My goodness, what is with you people? Did he bet on baseball? YES. I get it. But he also signed an agreement that said he could apply for reinstatement after one year. He applied for reinstatement, what, a decade ago? And he has not even been worthy of a response to his application for reinstatement! Positive or negative, how has Bud Selig been allowed to IGNORE Rose’s request all these years?

    He’s been banned from baseball for 24 years. He’s lost many, many millions of dollars as a result. He has been estranged from the game that even the biggest Rose hater cannot possibly deny that he loves. He’s been denied his rightful place in the Hall of Fame. And he has apologized – I believe sincerely (see the speech he gave with his former teammates in attendance a few years back). He’s been punished enough. The lifetime ban is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment at this point. The idea that, if Pete Rose were reinstated, he would be “getting off easy” is laughable.

    On top of all that,.the estrangement of Pete Rose hurts the game of baseball. The fact that the all time hit king can’t be a hitting coach for some team hurts baseball. The fact that the man who played in more winning games that’s anyone else can’t be a bench coach for somebody hurts baseball. The fact that he can’t share his knowledge and experience with young players hurts baseball.

    In case it isn’t clear, I’m one of the few who supports full reinstatement. I’m not in support of something that just allows him to become eligible for the HOF somehow. Pete Rose needs to be reinstated. He’s paid his price. It’s time for baseball to show some mercy.

  15. If ANYONE has earned it Pete has!! There is no Hall without Pete!! Baseball is for the fans and Selig is cheating the fans…..but most people know that he CANNOT say anything…..because Bench and the rest of the Hall of Famers don’t want Rose in!! The scenario mentioned would be a dream come true and ONE HUMONGOUS CELEBRATION that I would crawl to cincy and splerge the whole weekend away!! But I have no interest at all since Pete is left out!! Seems like those haters are always concerned about condemning people….didn’t know that was what the game was about! Pete gets picked on more than anyone I have ever seen! It makes me hate the game and the Reds all the more!! Pete put the Reds on the MLB map for good!! He should have a statue and anything else that the Reds could do for him! He is the reason I even liked baseball. He is baseball. He is the Cincinnati Reds!! Sorry Johnny Bench but it is shame that you are so insanely jealous! But these guys have control of Selig, that is why MLB hired him…..he is there puppet in all things that are in their jurisdiction.

    GO PETE!!!!!!!!! THE HIT KING FOREVER!! Love the show too!!!

  16. Pete Rose Had an agreement with the previous commissioner Bart Gimonti and if he had not dead so quickly, Pete would be in the HOF today and all this crap with Bud Sillyig would be a mute point. Look at what he did for the game and could do for the game. I think he deserves another chance and Bud needs to ride into the sunset.

  17. I don’t care if Pete rose bet his life on the reds and lost it. This man was one of the best to play this game, and there’s no way he should be kept out of the hall of fame. The hall of fame is about stats and giving it your all out best. Show me where on that field where Pete rose didn’t do that. YOU CANT

  18. Bravo! You sure stirred the pot. There is no middle ground here. By the way, I saw the first two episodes of “Hits and Mrs.” It ranks right up there with “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.

  19. @PRoseFutureHOFer: If I violate the cardinal (er, really, really big rules….I think I prefer that term)of my employer and I lose my job and am put on a “not eligible for re-hire list”, in accordance to the rules which I signed off on, should I ever be rehired by that employer? And if I’m not, do I say they are not extending mercy?

    In my business, which is ALL about second, third, and fourth chances I sometimes talk about a man named Adam who had one prohibition which he had to follow. One. it was violated, and there was a heavy price to be paid. Now, do I claim God was unmerciful in His response? No, there was a level of great mercy shown. I have no ill will or unforgiveness toward Pete. He has, or at least had, some compulsions which may have been partially out of his control. I feel very sorry and sad for him and for the game. As a youth without a lot of physical giftings but a heart to play the game, I always admired Charley Hustle. I’m not sure if this analogy is the most appropriate, but since that has never stopped me before…..If someone has a felony conviction and they completely turn their lives around, should that felony no longer apply to their life? There will still always be some restrictions on them no matter what type of contrition they show. Is it fair, I dunno. But it is reality and I don’t think that equally enforcing the rules can be described as unmerciful. And that’s coming from the resident pastor. Just my two cents.

  20. Oh, and if this is the reaction on a Cincinnati Reds fan site, I think we can quickly gather what the overall reaction would be in baseball proper.

  21. Disagree completely with this article. If Pete is included in the All-Star festvities in any way it will detract significantly from all the other great activities planned for that week. While most Reds fans would like to see reinstatement, the rest of the country is much more divided and many consider him to be a buffoon, ala Marge Schott. If he is included at all, it should be something very short and specific, such as being introduced to the crowd on game day. The All Star game should be about what is going on NOW in Cincinnat- a winning team, the Banks, the Casino, Fountain Square, West End revival.

    • Disagree completely with this article. If Pete is included in the All-Star festvities in any way it will detract significantly from all the other great activities planned for that week. While most Reds fans would like to see reinstatement, the rest of the country is much more divided and many consider him to be a buffoon, ala Marge Schott. If he is included at all, it should be something very short and specific, such as being introduced to the crowd on game day. The All Star game should be about what is going on NOW in Cincinnat- a winning team, the Banks, the Casino, Fountain Square, West End revival.

      What does the Banks, the Casino, Fountain Square, etc., have to do with the All-Star Game. If you are getting into those, you have to consider including Pete, also. He’s more directly associated with baseball than any of the items you mentioned.

      There are many more activities during the week that take away from “the All-Star Game”. The Home Run Derby, the Futures Game just to name a couple. Allowing Pete to be a part of it would just be another item.

  22. Here’s my thoughts on the Rose debate:

    1. He will not be fully reinstated, nor should be
    2. I’d love to see all the living members of the Big Red Machine teams celebrated (Including Pete) for the ASG
    3. Pete should remained banned from being a Manager/Scout/GM/etc… but should be allowed to have his number retired and participate in Reds activities
    4. Pete will never be allowed in the HOF while he is alive. MLB will NEVER give him that satisfaction (especially Selig)

    I absolutely love my Reds and Pete Rose, but he did what every individual in the profession knows what they cannot do. I think in the past couple of years he has shown some remorse and deserves to be involved in some ways but not fully reinstated. I also think he deserves to be in the HOF as a player but like I said before, that will not happen while he is alive.

  23. @BJ Ruble: I agree with pretty much everything you laid out.

    1. He should remain banned from being hired by an MLB team.
    2. Mastercard had the pull to include Pete in an on-field ceremony.
    3. I’ve never understood why he can’t participate in pre-game ceremonies.

    4. The Hall of Fame is separate from MLB, right? The Hall is a museum, and I understand that they even have a lot of Pete’s memorabilia within their walls. It was the Hall who changed their rules in 1991 (after Pete’s ban) to not allow players on MLB’s ineligible list to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. So, that leaves two paths to the Hall of Fame:

    MLB can reinstate Pete OR the Hall of Fame can change their “Pete Rose rule” back to how it was pre-1991.

    However, neither of those two steps guarantee enshrinement because Pete would then have to be voted in by the veterans committee. I expect it would be unlikely that the veteran’s committee would vote him in. In fact, the reason neither MLB or the Hall has moved on this (IMHO) is that the powers that be know that this committee would not elect Pete into the HOF.

  24. If anybody wondered why MLB would want to avoid sending an All Star Game to Cincinnati, here you go.

    Lance Armstrong and Pete Rose, heroes who fell. They shouldn’t have made those choices if they couldn’t live with the consequences, and apologizing doesn’t negate what they did and their years of lying.

  25. Pete has spent/will be spending 23 of the 31 days of this month at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas signing autographs. A very similar percentage of last month, a very similar percentage of next month.

    A guy who’s hoping for forgiveness and reinstatement after a gambling suspension does not gain that by spending his life in Vegas.

    http://www.peterose.com/Calendar.php

  26. 100 things I could respond to here. I could write a thesis on this subject. I’ll try to keep it brief.

    1. The claim that “Bench and all the other HOFers” don’t want Pete in is absolutely, positively B.S. I’ve seen plenty of recent interviews with Bench where he has been supportive. We know Morgan has been supportive. We know how supportive Mike Schmidt has been. Hank Aaron has been supportive. Dave Winfield has been supportive. Barry Larkin spent 5 minutes of his speech talking about Rose. Should I go on? Bob Feller and Ralph Kiner hated Rose. The younger generation does not hate him the way those guys do. At this point, I bet Rose would have a better chance with the current HOFers than he would with the baseball writers.

    2. @Preach (primarily): Your biblical analogy is out of place. Your “felony” analogy I find more appropriate, and I actually use it all the time when talking about Rose. The way I frame it is: If someone is convicted of a felony and given a life sentence with the possibility of parole after one year, and he waits ten years or so to apply for parole… What should happen? For one thing, I would think the felon would at least be entitled to a decision on his application for parole. No one has ever been able to explain to me how Bud Selig has been allowed to simply not make any decision at all. Secondly, the parole board would ask itself a few questions: 1. Has the felon been punished enough? 2. Has he been rehabilitated? 3. If released, would he be a threat to society?

    With Rose, it seems like we are, instead, forever arguing the crime itself. “It was written on the clubhouse walls.” “It was baseb all’s cardinal rule.” To me, if we are deciding whether the man deserves PAROLE the crime itself is not what we should be arguing about anymore.

    To answer the first of my three questions: I believe he has been punished enough. (And if you don’t think so, ask yourself this question: If, instead of the current agreement, Rose and Giamatti had agreed to a TWENTY YEAR ban to be followed by a period of probation…do you think anyone would have said Rose “got off easy”?

    I hope to add some more when I have some more time.

    • 2. Has he been rehabilitated?

      Maybe Pete would say something like: I can honestly say I’m a changed man. I’m no longer a danger to society, that’s the God’s honest truth. :)

      • Maybe Pete would say something like: I can honestly say I’m a changed man. I’m no longer a danger to society, that’s the God’s honest truth.

        Nice work with the Shawshank Redemption quote, nice choice. If Pete Rose is trying to be like Red from that classic movie he should change his statement to something about how he just doesn’t care anymore – worked for the character Red, maybe it can work for a former Reds player.

  27. I’m glad that someone posted the actual rule, because it is interesting. here it is again:

    ” Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.”

    Ineligble for what? Not playing ever again? Sure. Not managing ever again? Great. But not allowed on a field before a game without special permission from the commissioner? Uh, why? Not acknolwedged in any way for 4,256 when 3,000 gets lauded as a clear watermark for every other player? Again, why?

    There is and has always been a disconnect here between the crime and the punishment. many within this thread don’t seem to appreciate that nuance.

    For those criticizing Pete’s time in Vegas, maybe he’d prefer to make his living some other way if he could.

    There is a huge spectrum between full-on reinstatement and some compromise where one of the undisputed greats has to wear a disguise to watch a ballgame. That is just, frankly, stupid. If we can’t find a middle where the Reds can retire #14 and Pete can wave to the crowd, then this is the most bizarre and inappropriate rule worship in the history of Western Civilization.

    Let’s go redlegs, let’s go reds.

    • 2015 ALS? What not before the Game 1 of the 2013 World Series, which sources tell me will be at GABP . . .

      That’s the spirit; and while we are at it, why not have the 2015 all star game be on site of the two time defending world champion Reds? Then it would even be more appropriate to talk about the Big Red Machine.

  28. As mentioned, the player and the memories were great, but watching his latest antics bothers me. Let’s not degrade the game or the memories he created by trying to square this round peg.

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