Former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose poses while taping a segment for Miami Television News on the campus of Miami University, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers

Check out this baseball Pete Rose signed for Donald Trump

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Playing to the Ohio crowd at a town hall in West Chester Township on Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stumped for Pete Rose’s inclusion in baseball’s Hall of Fame. “We’ve got to let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame,” the business mogul said.

Rose, ostensibly feeling gracious, signed a baseball for Trump. It said, “Mr. Trump, Please Make America Great Again.”

Donald Trump: “We’ve got to let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame”

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was in West Chester Township in Ohio on Sunday, two days ahead of the primary. He held a town hall and spoke on a wide array of topics, including one of particular relevance here.

Per Cincinnati’s WLWT5, Trump said, “Pete Rose, let him in, right?” He continued, “We’ve got to let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame,” as Jason Law of WCPO 9 reported.

Given the circumstances, it’s tough to tell if Trump was just playing to the Ohio crowd or if he genuinely believes in Rose’s Hall of Fame case. Rose, of course, was banned after admitting to betting on baseball. Rose maintains that he never bet on his team to lose.

Rose appealed his permanent ban, but commissioner Rob Manfred decided not to reinstate him in December.

Video: Pete Rose appears in TV commercial for sports betting app

Former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose poses while taping a segment for Miami Television News on the campus of Miami University, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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When Pete Rose’s application for reinstatement was denied in December, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wrote that the all-time hit king had done nothing to change his habits from when he violated Rule 21, baseball’s anti-gambling rule. In a stunning lack of self-awareness, Rose informed Manfred during their meeting that he continues to bet on baseball where it is legal. Now that his banishment from MLB has been upheld, Rose has apparently decided to double down on his reputation.

In a commercial that will air locally in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl, Rose helps promote the William Hill sports betting app. Former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman is also featured. As you’ll see below, Rose’s ban for betting on baseball is used as the punchline.

It’s a clever spot. Rose is free to make a living, so if he wants to own his reputation at this point, that’s cool. No judgment here. While Manfred’s ruling seemingly left the door open for the Hall of Fame to make their own determination about his status, Rose might feel that he has nothing left to lose.

Rose has often used not being in the Hall of Fame as a form of self-promotion. We posted the commercial here, so it accomplished exactly what it was supposed to accomplish for all involved. But Rose also can’t act shocked why he continues to stand outside the gates. We’re all in on the joke, whether he wants to admit it or not.

(Thanks to Mark Townsend of Big League Stew for the link)

Pete Rose to speak to award-winning high school athletes

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It’s been quite a week for Pete Rose so far. Yesterday the Reds announced that Rose will be inducted into their team Hall of Fame and will have his number retired this year, bypassing the usual election process. Probably because he’d be no sure thing to be elected under the usual procedures. But hey, you do such things for legends. ESPECIALLY in years when you know your team is going to stink and you want a guaranteed sellout on some day in June when you might only otherwise draw 16,257 fans, many disguised as seats.

Today we learn that Rose will get another honor of sorts: He will be the speaker at the inaugural Cincinnati Enquirer Greater Cincinnati High School Sports Awards, which honors All-Star high school athletes from southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky, as chosen by the Enquirer.

The athletes being honored get in to the dinner ceremony free. Their guests have to pay $50 a head. I’m sure getting a famous speaker like Pete Rose will help up the head count for the banquet, especially when you realize that it’s really for the paying guests, not the students, almost all of whom were born a decade after Rose was banished from the game. But hey, it’s for a noble cause:

The reason for the new awards is simple: High school athletics are central to life in our public, private and Catholic schools and in our communities. Whether it be Friday night at the football field or a Tuesday night in the gym for a girls basketball matchup, interscholastic sports promote achievement in our young people and passion among students, parents and alumni.

And who better to celebrate and speak about achievement and passion in youth sports than a guy who was banned from the sport he loves more than anything else in the world for unscrupulous behavior.

Reds bypass election process to put Pete Rose in team Hall of Fame

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Pete Rose may never get into Cooperstown, but the Reds announced that MLB’s all-time hits leader will be inducted into their team Hall of Fame in late June … nearly 30 years after his final game in Cincinnati.

C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that in doing so the Reds will be “bypassing the usual election process and changing its rule that had matched the rule of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, barring those on baseball’s permanently ineligible list from induction.”

Why now, when the Reds could have bypassed those team Hall of Fame guidelines for induction at any point in the past three decades? It’s unclear, but in a statement released to the media Reds president Bob Castellini said Rose going into the team Hall of Fame “will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise.”

Rose was permanently banned by MLB in 1989 and last month commissioner Rob Manfred announced that he would not be overturning the ban, citing Rose’s failure to change his ways and lack of understanding about the situation in general. Rose held a press conference in Las Vegas the next day to address Manfred’s decision. Perhaps a new commissioner making it clear that Rose wouldn’t be getting into Cooperstown motivated the Reds to put Rose into their team Hall of Fame now, rather than, say, 1996 or 2006.

Rose will be the 86th player inducted into the team Hall of Fame and Rosencrans speculates that the Reds will also soon build a statue of him outside the ballpark as they’ve done with other star players like Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench.