“Given the manner in which Major League Baseball has treated and continues to treat other egregious assaults on the integrity of the game, Mr. Rose’s ongoing punishment is no longer justifiable as a proportional response to his transgressions.”Rose’s Letter to Manfred
The fallout from the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal has come and gone, and Pete Rose has used the situation as platform to base yet another reinstatement attempt.
As some may recall, Pete Rose, the MLB’s all-time leader in hits, games played, singles, at bats, and outs, received a lifetime ban from baseball after he was found guilty of betting on the Cincinnati Reds when he was managing the team in 1989. Rose’s ban came on the back the MLB’s claim that his actions challenged the integrity of baseball. Now, thirty years later, Rose’s lawyers have submitted a 19-page letter to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred in an attempt to lift his lifetime ban.
Rose is basing his argument on the idea that in the wake of the Astros scandal, Manfred decided to opt out of punishing the Astros players, instead hammering managers, coaches, and front office executives. The glaring difference between the two, as Rose points out in his letter, is that the players actions in the Astros scandal actually effected the outcome of games. The Houston Astros took steps to present themselves with an unfair advantage that strongly aided in their World Series victory. Rose, in the exact opposite only bet on his team to win games, instead of betting against his own team and throwing games. In fact, the Major League Baseball never suggested that any of Rose’s actions influenced the outcome of any game or the performance of any player.
Rose’s argument, now more than ever, holds some sort of merit. Sure, Rose’s decisions to bet on baseball weren’t squeaky clean, but the scandal put froth by the Astros was undoubtedly much worse. It’s a great platform to springboard off of, especially with the complete disregard for punishment of players who willfully acted in violation of league rules. If any instance were to become the posterchild for challenging the integrity of baseball, it’s the Houston Astros, not Pete Rose.
With all of this, however, there is no guarantee that Rose’s name will be removed from the MLB exempt list, especially after the ban’s 30 year stand, and Rose’s failed attempt at reinstatement in 2015. The League is faced with an interesting predicament that will define how much they value the integrity of the game, stay tuned to see how they react.