Pete Rose has renewed vigor in his pursuit of reinstatement and eventually, placement, in Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. And after a tweet posted by a guy who knows a thing or two about overcoming an establishment that’s actively working against you, it’s clear he’s got a very powerful ally.
President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday, reminded his more than 72 million followers of Pete Rose’s statistical prowess, and told MLB it’s time to “GET PETE ROSE IN THE HALL OF FAME. It’s time!”
Pete Rose played Major League Baseball for 24 seasons, from 1963-1986, and had more hits, 4,256, than any other player (by a wide margin). He gambled, but only on his own team winning, and paid a decades long price. GET PETE ROSE INTO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME. It’s Time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2020
On August 24, 1989, then-Commissioner Bart Giamatti banned Rose from baseball for life, for placing 52 bets on his own team to win in 1987 . The league stipulated, however, that Rose could petition for reinstatement after one year.
Rose has recently revived his pursuit of MLB reinstatement in light of the Astros sign-stealing scandal. On Wednesday, Rose’s lawyers submitted a petition to Commissioner Rob Manfred. In the petition, the lawyers cited the league’s disproportionately harsh punishment of Rose, compared to the MLB’s lenient treatment of Astros players who were not punished at all for cheating.
“The time has come to recognize that Mr. Rose’s penalty has become grossly disproportionate relative to Major League Baseball’s treatment of severe wrongdoing by ownership, management and players,” the petition said.
“There has never been any allegation that Mr. Rose’s misconduct was intended to gain a competitive advantage over other teams,” Rose’s lawyers wrote. “When it comes to subsequent violations of Major League Baseball rules — namely steroid use and electronic sign stealing — this is clearly not the case. They have intentionally and dramatically affected the results of plays and games, including the outcomes of two consecutive World Series. These acts manifestly and deliberately violate the spirit and letter of the rules.”
As Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston writes:
Rose, who turns 79 in April, asked to meet with Manfred, who in his 2015 denial wrote that the 17-time All-Star had “not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established in 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.”
Rose cited the joint drug agreement between MLB and the players’ association, which calls for 80-game suspensions for first offenders for performance-enhancing drugs, 162-game bans for second offenders and lifetime bans for thirds penalties with a chance for reinstatement. Manfred reinstated reliever Jenrry Mejia, the only player disciplined three times for PEDs under the major league drug program.
Rose also referenced Manfred’s decision on Jan. 13 to suspend Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one season for their role in the Astros’ use of electronics to steal catchers’ signs in 2017 and 2018 but to not discipline players.
Baseball’s Rule 21 says that league members who bet on games can be suspended for one year and those who bet on games in which they “have a duty to perform,” such as a player or manager, will be declared permanently ineligible.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn