Rob Manfred blasts Rose to the stone age in his decision declining reinstatement

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Major League Baseball released the full written decision of Commissioner Rob Manfred declining Pete Rose’s reinstatement. To say it is damning is to fail to do it justice.

In in Manfred clearly and calmly lays out the procedural posture of Rose’s case, explains the reasons for Rule 21, baseball’s anti-gambling rule, and makes it clear that his decision is not about Rose’s legacy, his Hall of Fame case or anything like that. Rather, that it’s solely about Rose’s risk of violating Rule 21 again if he were to be reinstated. He notes that Rose’s representatives submitted polygraph testing which were either inconclusive or not useful and notes that Major League Baseball conducted a thorough review of Rose’s case, complete with new evidence considered and even psychological testing. Rose, likewise, met personally with Manfred late this summer.

His decision makes it abundantly clear that Rose (a) clearly lied about betting on baseball as a player as opposed to just while a manager; (b) has no apparent understanding of how serious his past violations of Rule 21 were; (c) has done absolutely nothing to change his habits as a person which would suggest he would not violate Rule 21 in the future.

Indeed, Manfred specifically cites the facts that Rose continues, to this day, to gamble on baseball where it is legal and that, while he admitted to a gambling addiction in his 2004 book, Rose has undergone no treatment for it. He is a man who clearly has no grasp that what he did was wrong within the context of baseball and has done nothing to show that, were he to be reinstated tomorrow, he would not gamble on baseball again. In light of this, Manfred reasons, his very limited power to re-consider the mandatory lifetime ban under Rule 21 will not be wasted on Pete Rose.

In the interests of completeness, below is the entire decision from Rob Manfred:

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Phillies sign Drew Storen and Bud Norris to minor league deals

Drew Storen
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reported this afternoon that the Phillies signed veteran reliever Drew Storen to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. If Storen makes the major league roster, he will earn a $750,000 salary.

Storen, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 with the Reds. That year, he posted a 4.45 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 23 walks over 54 2/3 innings. Storen then underwent Tommy John surgery, which cost him the entire 2018 campaign. He inked a minor league deal with the Royals last year but struggled in nine appearances with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, resulting in his being released in June.

Robert Murray reports that the Phillies have also signed pitcher Bud Norris to a minor league contract. The right-hander, who turns 35 years old in March, missed the 2019 season due to a forearm injury. Norris was last seen in the majors in 2018 with the Cardinals, compiling a 3.59 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 21 walks over 57 2/3 innings of relief.

The Phillies had major bullpen problems last year and haven’t otherwise made any new additions so far this offseason. They’re hoping Storen and Norris have a little bit left in the tank.