BOSTON (CBS) — With a new MLB commissioner comes some new hope for Pete Rose.
Rose clubbed 4,256 hits over his 24-year career as a player, the most ever by anyone to play the game. But baseball’s all-time leader in hits is on the outside looking in to Cooperstown.
Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 and declared ineligible by the Hall of Fame in 1991 after it was revealed he bet on games he was managing. More recently, ESPN reported that Rose also bet on games when he was a player — the biggest no-no in the game.
But with Rob Manfred taking over for Bud Selig, Rose will likely get his chance to make his Hall of Fame case to the new commissioner. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand from Cincinnati on Tuesday for his weekly call into the show, and said the former Reds great may actually have a chance this time around.
“[Manfred] can’t be less receptive [than Bud Selig],” joked Heyman. “Personally, the sense I get is it’s unlikely he’ll get a full reprieve and the banishment will be lifted. It would have been difficult to begin with in the first several months of a new regime; obviously Bud Selig was the mentor for Rob Manfred. For him to overturn something Bud did for 23 years would be unlikely.
“There’s also the new manifestation that Pete bet on games as a player and not just a manager with the Reds. That doesn’t help matters at all.”
Rose will be featured during Tuesday’s MLB All-Star game in Cincinnati, where you’d be hard pressed to find fans who don’t think he should be in the Hall. Heyman is part of that crowd that believes Rose should not only be on the Hall of Fame ballot, but enshrined in Cooperstown.
“My personal opinion is we should be able to vote for him to be in the Hall of Fame, and I think he should be in the Hall of Fame,” he said. “We have guys who were in the Steroid Era, one is managing the Nationals in Matt Williams and one is the hitting coach for the Dodgers in Mark McGwire.
“I think Pete deserves, at least, to be voted on,” said Heyman. “The full reinstatement is a long shot, at least this year.”
Heyman adds that when Selig was starting to consider the idea, Rose released his book My Prison Without Bars instead of talking with MLB, choosing to make money off the matter rather than state his case to the league. This did not help his cause with Selig.
Heyman also touches on pace of play in baseball and ballpark safety: