Tags: MidPoint | Kostya Kennedy | Pete Rose | baseball | ban | consider | lifting

Pete Rose Biographer: 'Might Be Time' to Lift Baseball Ban

By    |   Tuesday, 17 March 2015 08:17 PM

Pete Rose may have a better shot at baseball redemption today than at any time since the league declared him banned for life because of gambling, a Rose biographer told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV.

"It might be time," said sports journalist and writer Kostya Kennedy, author of "Pete Rose: An American Dilemma," about the longtime Cincinnati Red's brilliant play and the gambling habit that got him banned in 1989.

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Major League Baseball's new commissioner, Rob Manfred, said on Monday that Rose has submitted a formal request  to be reinstated.

"He's been out of the game for 25 years," said Kennedy. "There's no question that he's served a sentence, so to speak. And whether or not he should get into the Hall of Fame … that's a big question.

"It's right that it's being looked at and right that he's been evaluated," said Kennedy. "And we'll see. I don't think it's a slam dunk … but it certainly looks a lot better for Pete now than it has in many years."

Manfred will probably review the investigative materials compiled on Rose, said Kennedy.

The original probe found that Rose had bet on other sports — which Rose admitted to — but also on baseball and on Reds' games in which he was the team's manager — two accusations that Rose has never admitted to.

Kennedy said there is not much new light to be shed on the case.

"That's been looked at pretty heavily," he said. "What [Manfred] can look at is what Pete is today, and what he's doing today, and see how comfortable he is with Pete's lifestyle, and how that would affect the game if Pete is let back into the game.

"The way Pete is — out in Vegas, signing autographs for a living — would he be able to continue to do that?" said Kennedy. "It's not really clear."

Kennedy said one dilemma he describes in his book is that Rose, the most prolific hitter in history, played the game with unequaled personal commitment and integrity — his nickname was "Charlie Hustle" — and then threatened the game's credibility with his gambling.

Rose was never accused of throwing a game as the Reds' manager in order to boost his winnings. But the possibility was damaging enough to make him a permanent outcast.

"It's nothing compared to some of the domestic abuse and some of the things that players do, of course," said Kennedy. "But within the circle of baseball it's sort of the ultimate sin because it can jeopardize the integrity of the game."

Kennedy said another dilemma is how to treat Rose in light of the fact he was never accused of using steroids. The Hall of Fame is not open to him, but is to some players accused of cheating with performance-enhancing drugs — another "crime against the nature of the game," he said.

Berliner asked Kennedy if Rose might, in exchange for reinstatement, own up to gambling not just on sports generally, but on baseball specifically, and then allow that admission to go on his Hall of Fame plaque — assuming he's voted into the Hall.

"Well, he's already admitted to gambling, and he's only going to admit to what he's gotten caught doing," said Kennedy. "He's not going to volunteer extra information; it's just not the way Pete operates."

Gaining entrance to the Hall of Fame — where Rose would probably be already if his stellar play were the only consideration — is "a whole other step, a whole other voting process," said Kennedy.

And adding a footnote about gambling to a commemorative plaque "opens up a whole can of worms," said Kennedy, because other potential Hall of Fame candidates might have blots on their baseball résumés.

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Pete Rose may have a better shot at baseball redemption today than at any time since the league declared him banned for life because of gambling, a Rose biographer told MidPoint host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV. It might be time, said sports journalist and writer Kostya...
Kostya Kennedy, Pete Rose, baseball, ban, consider, lifting, Hall of Fame, gambling
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 08:17 PM
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