It's official: the talk here in Cincy is all about how baseball's new commissioner Rob Manfred will continue Charlie Hustle's lifetime ban on baseball.
The decision by Manfred, who succeeded Bud Selig as commissioner last January, comes less than three months after he met with Rose, 74, at Major League Baseball’s headquarters on Park Avenue in Manhattan to discuss his latest bid for reinstatement.
It was the third time that Rose had appealed the ban, which was first instituted in 1989 after an investigation by baseball, known as the Dowd Report, concluded that Rose had bet on games while managing the Cincinnati Reds and that some of the bets had been placed on his own team.
In a report that accompanied Manfred’s decision to uphold the ban, he said Rose informed him at their September meeting that he had continued to bet on baseball, which he can legally do in Las Vegas, where he lives.
That disclosure clearly concerned Manfred. So did what Manfred described as Rose’s inability, at the meeting, to admit that he not only bet on games as a manager but also as a player. Manfred said that recently obtained evidence in that regard — a notebook containing records of bets Rose placed on games in 1986 — contradicted statements Rose made about betting during their meeting.
He also said that Rose, at the meeting, could not seem to remember other facts concerning his betting habits as a player.
“In short,” Manfred concluded in the report, “Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.”
But...and this is a BIG but...there is hope for Cooperstown, still.
However, in his report, Manfred did distinguish between the continued ban on Rose and his eligibility for the Hall of Fame, noting that as commissioner he did not have the authority to determine whether Rose belonged in Cooperstown or not.
“In fact, in my view, the considerations that should drive a decision on whether an individual should be allowed to work in baseball are not the same as those that should drive a decision on Hall of Fame eligibility,” Manfred wrote.
Any debate over Mr. Rose’s eligibility for the Hall of Fame is one that must take place in a different forum,” Manfred added.
In other words, the Baseball Writers Association of America are the ones who determine who gets into the Hall, and Manfred is clearly tossing that baseball-shaped grenade into their camp to deal with it. They voted to ban him from eligibility nearly 25 years ago, so Rose needs to take that up with them.
Whether or not the BBWAA will take another vote in order for Rose to get a shot at the Hall, who knows, but at this point it looks like at least MLB isn't going to budge. I can't imagine the writers doing it either.
I wouldn't hold your breath for Rose to get in anytime soon.