Pete Rose has applied for reinstatement; Rob Manfred is considering it

120 Comments

This is not the most surprising news in the world, but the Commissioner taking it seriously and commenting on it is at least somewhat notable compared to how Bud Selig handled it for 20 years (i.e. with almost complete silence):

As I wrote recently, it’d be a pure act of charity for Major League Baseball to even listen to his case because, really, it doesn’t have to. Indeed, we’re to a point in time where “the merits” aren’t as likely as big an issue with Major League Baseball as the fact that, at some point, Rose is just too damn old to be a nuisance anymore and the league can afford to show some mercy if it wants to.

At the same time, it sort of doesn’t matter if Rose is reinstated or not given that the chances of him working in baseball operations is vanishingly small. And, as I’ve argued many times in the past, if Rose were to put some of his fame and notoriety among the fans to philanthropic purposes in conjunction with the Cincinnati Reds, a lot of good could be done, I reckon.

Based on how they’ve proceeded in the past, I wouldn’t expect Rose or his backers to think of it in those terms, though. I assume that, even if he is reinstated, they’ll think of it as vindication of some kind, which would both be wrong and something of a shame. But again, it ain’t like Pete Rose is a pressing issue to modern baseball anymore. Reinstating him would mostly affect whether he could make his appearances and sign autographs in or out of actual ballparks.