Pete Rose is a polarizing figure in the baseball world. Pastime traditionalists will yell and scream about how betting on baseball is the cardinal sin, and that Pete Rose is the worst offender. On the flip side, the more modern fanbase has a slightly lax view of Rose’s misgivings, especially since this group of fans grew up with rampant cheating in the league already.
So there’s a big line in the sand between every MLB fan, but Pete Rose might have just found a way to get back into the game.
In a petition sent to the Commissioner’s office, obtained by ESPN, Pete Rose “asks the Commissioner to reconsider his status on the permanently ineligible list due to its disproportionate nature. Mr. Rose continues to express repentance for his acts in violation of Major League Rule 21. However, in recent years, intentional and covert acts by current and past owners, managers, coaches, and players altered the outcomes of numerous games, including the World Series, and illegally enhanced both team and player performance. It has never been suggested, let alone established, that any of Mr. Rose’s actions influenced the outcome of any game or the performance of any player. Yet for the thirty-first year and counting, he continues to suffer a punishment vastly disproportionate to those who have done just that. “
Wow. Pete Rose just found a very good double-standard in the league’s handling of the Astros Scandal. Rose even brings up Jenrry Mejia‘s lifetime ban for his third failed PED test.
“Only one Major League player has ever tested positive for performance-enhancing substances three times, resulting in the same penalty as Mr. Rose. Commissioner Manfred promptly reinstated that player after he had served two years on the permanently ineligible list.”
Pete’s got a point there, a big one. However, his biggest point comes when discussing the penalties given out to the players involved in the Astros sign-stealing, and the MLB’s disproportionate response.
In his initial report on the Houston scandal, Manfred wrote about how difficult it would be to punish everyone involved.
“Assessing discipline of players for this type of conduct is both difficult and impractical. It is difficult because virtually all of the Astros’ players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme, and I am not in a position based on the investigative record to determine with any degree of certainty every player who should be held accountable, or their relative degree of culpability. It is impractical given the large number of players involved, and the fact that many of those players now play for other Clubs.”
And this is where Pete Rose’s petition gets its legs. In invoking his own suspension handed down by Commissioner Giamatti, and the Mitchell report, which was compiled to review the rampant steroid use in the MLB. In that report, Senator Mitchell writes:
“I urge the Commissioner to forego [sic] imposing discipline on players for past violations of baseball’s rules on performance-enhancing substances, including the players named in this report, except in those cases where he determines that the conduct is so serious that discipline is necessary to maintain the integrity of the game.”
Mitchell continued, saying “I learned that letting go of the past and looking to the future is a very hard but necessary step toward dealing with an ongoing problem. That is what baseball now needs.”
“That is what baseball now needs.”
We are days away from a 2020 season that will be mired with problems for the MLB. Over the last three years, the top team in the American League has been cheating, going so far as to win a World Series.
Attendance is down, fans are losing interest, and the game is struggling. If Commissioner Manfred is going to forgive the past transgressions of the Houston Astros players, he should reinstate Pete Rose. To fail to do so creates an impossible double standard.
Pete Rose’s lifetime ban is a line of division between fans of the game, and at a time when baseball needs as much support as possible, it’s time to tear down the wall.
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