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Baseball’s Rule 21(d):  “Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Pete Rose: Player 1963-86 and Manager 1984-89 broke this rule, betting on baseball games, including games he managed. After lying about his betting on baseball for 15 years, he signed a deal in 1989 with MLB Commissioner of Baseball Bart Giamatti that banished him from the sport forever.

Hall of Fame: A permanently ineligible player cannot be considered for the Hall of Fame. Had Rose not bet on baseball and not been banned, he would have easily been elected to the HOF. See His Accomplishments if you doubt that.

Rose has sought ‘parole’ in the past (5 times?), but neither Commissioners Fay Vincent nor Bud Selig ever considered rescinding the banishment. Now, 25 years later, there is a new Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manifred, and it is likely he will have to decide if Rose should be reinstated. (Reinstatement would not mean automatic entrance into the HOF as Rose would still have to be voted into the HOF in the usual manner by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America.)

The Debate:

1. Rose has served his time and should be reinstated.

2. Rose broke a cardinal rule and should not be allowed back in baseball.

3. Rose should remain out of baseball but be voted in or out of HOF by the BBWAA just as any other rule breaker (PEDs, etc.).

Two articles that address these issues that are worth your time:

Tyler Kepner, NYT: Pete Rose’s Statistics: 4,256 Hits and a Big Error, where in Mike Schmidt says Rose has served his time and should return to baseball. Paul Molitor disagrees.

Thomas Boswell, WaPo: Consider Pete Rose for HOF, but don’t let him back in baseball, where in Boswell says ‘No Way’ Rose should be let back in, but he could/should be considered for the HOF.

My thinking on this ‘debate’ has changed, particularly after reading the Boswell article. I agree with his reasoning and conclusion that Rose should not be reinstated. Not so sure about the HOF issue, however.

Where do you stand? Please so state in the Comment section of this post.


Reminder:  If you haven’t submitted you picks for the 2015 MillersTime Baseball Contests, tempus fugit.