On Thursday, Pete Rose found out he may get a huge Christmas present: baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told him that he would decide whether Rose would be reinstated by January 1.
Rose met with Manfred at Major League Baseball’s Manhattan offices for roughly two hours.
According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, sources assert that Manfred will give a thumbs down to reinstating Rose, who was banned from baseball for life on August 24, 1989 for betting on games. Then-commissioner Bart Giamatti stated, “One of the game’s greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts.”
Rose asked for reinstatement in 1997 and discussed the possibility with former MLB commissioner Bud Selig in 1992, but to no avail.
If the commissioner reinstates Rose, baseball writers may not elect the game’s all-time hit king to the Hall of Fame.
Rose’s attorney, Ray Genco, stated, “Rob Manfred confirmed he wants a decision by the end of the calendar year. We appreciate that, but other than that we have no comment.”
John Dowd, who investigated Rose, and discovered the data prompting MLB’s decision to ban Rose, told ESPN’s William Weinbaum: “I’m glad they met and I have no doubt the commissioner will see him and the game fairly,” adding, “No one in the history of the game who has been declared permanently ineligible has been reinstated. That gives Rule 21 tremendous force that protects the integrity of the game.”
Kevin Hallinan, the former MLB Security Director who aided Dowd in his efforts, said, “The commissioner will decide in the best interests of the game. This is not about the individual.”
Rose had protested that he never bet on games while a player, but Outside the Lines reported in June that documents revealed that Rose had bet on games in 1986 when he served as the Reds player-manager. Dowd then commented, “This does it. This closes the door.”
“What I’m going to do—and I’m not the kind of guy who ever ducks a question—but I’m going to meet with the commissioner in the near future,” Rose responded, “and believe me when I tell you I’m going to tell the commissioner everything that I did, good bad and indifferent, and we’ll go from there.”