The reason for the honor: the upcoming 25th anniversary of Rose breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record. Because of the ban, special dispensation was required:
Reds CEO Bob Castellini received the OK to honor Rose from Commissioner Bud Selig.
Reds are celebrating every phase of the 25th anniversary. We approved
the request on a one-time basis,” Major League Baseball spokesman
Patrick Courtney said.
I have no doubt that (a) the game will sell out; and; (b) the crowd will go absolutely nuts with love for Rose. They adore the guy in the Queen City. Which makes me once again question the parameters of Rose’s ban and roll my eyes that the Reds need baseball’s permission to honor Rose like this.
If I were baseball’s philosopher king, I’d still keep Rose banned from holding a substantive position in the game because I don’t think he should be near actual competition. I don’t want him managing. I don’t want him working with young players. I don’t want him doing anything that could even conceivably impact the actual contesting of baseball games.
But the fact that Rose can’t work in promotions or p.r. or charity is kind of a shame. He’s still a huge celebrity in Cincinnati. He could — if properly supervised — do wonders for promoting the Reds. For drumming up interest and support in team charities. He could be a really effective team ambassador if given the chance.
Not that he’s really done anything to earn it, of course. There isn’t a thing he’s done in the past 20 years that cries out for baseball to give him a break. But it has been a long time, and even if Rose never really learned his lesson out of all of this, there’s a lot of good he could do for the fans and the public. I wouldn’t give him a partial reinstatement for his own sake. I’d do it in spite of him for what I can imagine would be the greater good. I’d think of it as baseball’s version of community service.
I do wonder, however, if Rose would even take the chance for such a thing if offered. He probably still thinks he should be managing or working in the front office or something, and that’s just not a good idea given his history and addictions. And he probably would bristle at sensible conditions placed on him such as “hey Pete — if you’re gonna work for the Reds, we can’t have you signing women’s boobs at second-rate casino meet-and-greets, OK?”
Which is what Pete Rose will actually be doing on the actual anniversary of his record-breaking hit this year. The Reds are moving the celebration to the next day — September 12th — to accommodate Charlie Hustle’s hustling career.