Its an argument that has been going on since Commissioner Bart Giamatti banned baseball’s All-Time hits leader from the game for life. But now it has been over 25 years. It’s been long enough that it is time.
It is time for Major League Baseball to forgive Pete Rose.
It’s an argument that will always be there whether Rose is reinstated or not. This isn’t the first time anyone’s written about it. Hell, it is not even the first time that I have written about it!! I did a column on Fansided.com last year about this very debate.
Obviously, my position is that he should be reinstated and take his rightful place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There are a number of arguments that I’ve put forth before and I am not going to go through them one by one.
I will say that, for one thing, besides the gray area of one year where Rose was a player/manager for the Cincinnati Reds, that Rose only gambled as a manager and should go into the Hall of Fame as a player, just not a manager. Everyone knows that Charlie Hustle did not throw any baseball games like the Black Sox did almost a century ago. There is a difference.
The other reason he deserves to be forgiven is the simplest one in the world. HE. IS. THE. ALL-TIME. HITS. LEADER. PERIOD.
All-Time as in the BEST ever.
In my humble opinion, that should take precedence over anything. Some would argue then why not Barry Bonds because of his home run record? All I can is this: Pete Rose got all of his hits without help from any one or any substance. He gambled after he had gotten all those hits … I don’t see why its so terrible that he hasn’t been reinstated.
Over the years many have been “banned from baseball for life” and all but the eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox and Pete Rose have not been reinstated.
With Commissioner Manfred now at the helm things could be different. While I stand firm in my opinion that Rose should be in the Hall of Fame, I like the way Buster Olney put it in his column on ESPN.com,
“Manfred can construct a way that allows Rose to return to the sport in a constructive manner. (The issue of whether Rose would be eligible for Hall of Fame selection can be left to the discretion of the Hall) …
Rose will be 74 years old this April. Even if baseball permits him to return for some kind of role, he would never manage again, he would never be a general manager. If Manfred wants to ensure that Rose could never influence any game, he could stipulate that Rose is not allowed to work in baseball operations in any capacity — not as a spring coach, or a special baseball adviser. Manfred should permit a permanent relationship between Rose and the Reds. Rose should be allowed to make appearances on behalf of the team, speak to fans and contribute to broadcasts. Whether the Reds choose to retire his number should be a decision left to Cincinnati ownership.
But keeping him outside the gates entirely is pointless now. … That’s enough.”
He’s right. Leave the Hall up to the Hall. But with the All-Star game in Cincinnati this summer and a new commissioner running the show – It’s just enough. It is time.