Pete Rose's ban from baseball remains in place

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pete Rose remains banned for life from Major League Baseball.

Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday that he had rejected Rose's plea for reinstatement, citing his continued gambling and evidence that he bet on games when he was playing for the Cincinnati Reds.

Manfred said in a letter sent to Rose and made public that baseball's hits king hasn't been completely honest about his gambling. The commissioner also noted that Rose continues to bet on baseball legally, even though his gambling got him into trouble, making it an "unacceptable risk" to let him back in the game.

"Mr. Rose's public and private comments, including his initial admission in 2004, provide me with little confidence that he has a mature understanding of his wrongful conduct, that he has accepted full responsibility for it, or that he understands the damage he has caused," Manfred wrote.

Rose agreed to the ban in August 1989 after an investigation for Major League Baseball by lawyer John Dowd.

On Monday, Rose's attorneys issued a statement that said they were disappointed with the decision and are reviewing the ruling with Rose and his family. Rose is expected to speak publicly Tuesday.

The statement goes on to say, "Pete's fall from grace is without parallel but he recognizes that it was also of his own making.As such, Pete seeks to be judged not just by the mistakes of his past, but also by the work he has done over the last three decades to take responsibility for his actions."

Manfred tried to clarify that this decision does not affect Rose's eligibility for the Hall of Fame.

"In my view, the considerations that should drive a decision on whether an individual should be allowed to work in Baseball are not the same as those that should drive a decision on Hall of Fame eligibility," Manfred wrote. "... Any debate over Mr. Rose's eligibility for the Hall of Fame is one that must take place in a different forum."

The Hall of Fame's board of directors voted in 1991 to ban those on the permanently ineligible list from the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.

Manfred said Rose can continue to make appearances in ceremonial activities connected to MLB.

"I respect Mr. Rose's accomplishments as a player and, as a result, I will continue to allow him to participate in ceremonial activities that present no threat to the integrity of the game, provided that the activities are approved by me in advance," Manfred wrote.

The Reds said in a statement that they support the commissioner's decision.

"We also appreciate that the Commissioner stated that Hall of Fame consideration is a separate issue and we and the fans think he deserves that opportunity," the team said.

Rose and Manfred met in MLB's offices in Manhattan in September, and the commissioner had said he would make a decision on Rose by the end of 2015. Manfred said when he met with the 74-year-old Rose, the 17-time All-Star at first was not forthcoming about his current gambling. Manfred called that "troubling."

"Rose initially denied betting on baseball currently and only later in the interview did he 'clarify' his response to admit such betting," Manfred wrote.

Dowd said he supported Monday's decision.

"My reaction is I am very proud of the commissioner," Dowd said. "He got it exactly right. I am happy for the game."

Rose, who was banned from baseball in 1989 after the league's investigation into his gambling, applied for reinstatement for a second time in February. Manfred took over as MLB commissioner in January.

For almost 15 years after being banned, Rose denied he bet on baseball. In 2004, he changed his story in an autobiography, admitting to doing so only when managing the Reds.

An Outside the Lines report earlier this year produced documentation from one of Rose's former associates that cataloged his bets in 1986, when he was still playing. Rose's attorney said at the time that his client wouldn't comment, as he was in the process of reinstatement, and Rose has not commented on the matter since.

Sources told ESPN's T.J. Quinn it was extremely unlikely all along, even before the Outside the Lines report, that Rose would be reinstated. MLB officials had no sense that Rose had "reconfigured" his life, as Rose's attorney attested in the reinstatement letter.

Rose passed Ty Cobb as career hits leader with No. 4,192 on Sept. 11, 1985, and he finished his career with 4,256 hits. Rose played for the Reds from 1963 to 1978 and 1984 to 1986, acting as both a player and a manager from 1984 to 1986 and continuing as just a manager until 1989.

He first applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met with then-commissioner Bud Selig in November 2002, but Selig never ruled on Rose's application.

Information from ESPN's Willie Weinbaum and Darren Rovell and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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