(CN) – Major League Baseball will not lift Pete Rose’s lifetime ban for gambling, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. announced Monday.
In his 4-page decision , Manfred cited Rose’s admission that he still bets on baseball, and more evidence that Rose bet on the Reds while he was Cincinnati’s player-manager.
“Mr. Rose’s public and private comments, including his initial admission in 2004, provide me with little confidence that he had a mature understanding of his wrongful conduct, that he has accepted full responsibility for it, or that he understands the damage he has caused,” Manfred wrote.
While Rose’s betting on baseball may be legal in the jurisdiction where Rose placed the bets, Manfred said, that would still be a violation of Major League Baseball rules if Rose were reinstated.
The commissioner said that Rose was not forthcoming about his gambling habits in 1985 and 1986.
“He made assertions concerning his betting habits that were directly contradicted by documentary evidence (the Bertolini Notebook) secured by my office following the publication of the ESPN story on June 23, 2015,” Manfred wrote.
Rose is baseball’s all-time hit leader, with 4,256 hits from 1963 to 1986. He was a 17-time All-Star, the 1963 Rookie of the Year, 1973 National League MVP and the 1975 World Series MVP. When he entered the game, before the astronomical inflation of player salaries that began when Curt Flood challenged the reserve clause, Rose said he wanted to be “the first singles hitter to make $100,000 [a year].”
He was banned from the game for life in 1989 for gambling, a grave offense in baseball after the Black Sox Scandal of 1919, in which Chicago White Sox players admitted they took money to try to throw World Series games.
When he was banned, Rose said he’d never bet on baseball, but he changed his story in 2004 with the publication of his autobiography, “Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars,” in which he admitted to betting on baseball, including on the Reds. He justified it by saying he’d never bet on the Reds to lose.
Manfred’s rejection means Rose, 74, probably will never see the Hall of Fame in his lifetime.
In 1991, the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors voted to ban from the ballot players on the permanently ineligible list. Manfred said in his decision that any discussion about Rose’s eligibility for the Hall of Fame “must take place in a different forum.”
Manfred did leave open the possibility of Rose’s participating in ceremonial events, as he did during the All-Star weekend last year in Cincinnati, so long as Manfred approves Rose’s involvement beforehand.
Manfred said the ban does not apply to third-party companies doing business with Major League Baseball. Last season, Rose appeared as a baseball analyst on Fox Sports.
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