Athletic Voice: You can bet on it

By STEVEN FOWLER

Should Pete Rose, the all-time hits king for Major League Baseball, be reinstated after nearly four decades of banishment?

Pete Rose, 74,  the legendary ball player from Cincinnati, Ohio, played a lengthy 24 seasons where he compiled an MLB record 4,256 hits, in 3,562 games played, another record.

Toward the end of Rose’s playing career, he served as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Suspicion arose that he was betting on his team’s games, although he continuously denied allegations.

On August 24, 1989, Rose admitted betting on his team to then-commissioner Bart Giamatti. Rose voluntarily accepted banishment from baseball for life. Under the rules of baseball, he would be eligible for reinstatement one year later.

Unfortunately, commissioner Giamatti died eight days after the banishment of Rose, leaving the former baseball great at a cross roads.

A number of reinstatement efforts began, the first in 1992 under Fay Vincent, the successor to Giamatti.

His answer to the disgraced star, “no”.

On three separate occasions, one in 1999, 2003 and then lastly in 2009, Rose applied for reinstatement when Commissioner Bud Selig was in office. Bud Selig never acted on his request.

Last season, Selig’s last as commissioner, Rose told ESPN that he had not given up on him. Selig never granted him his wish of reinstatement.

Now MLB has a new commissioner in Robert D. Manfred Jr., who took office on Jan. 25, 2015.

Nearly two months later, Rose has requested for reinstatement. Manfred announced that he had received the application and will consider it.

Knowing that he can no longer contribute to baseball as he once could, Rose is up for ‘almost’ anything to get back into baseball.

“I want to hear what Pete has to say,” Manfred said.

Rose and Commissioner Manfred announced that sometime, after the MLB All-Star Game in July, they would get together to discuss a possible resolution to end the ban.

Today, as an avid gambler who lives in Las Vegas, Rose connects with fans making appearances around the country while selling his autographs.

Those who saw “Charlie Hustle” take the field will often say that he brought passion and provided a spark in the lineup every day.

It’s time to give Pete Rose another shot at redemption.

Isn’t America the land of second chances?

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