The day many Queen City faithful have dreamed of has finally arrived – the end of Bud Selig‘s tyrant reign as commissioner of Major League Baseball is finally coming to an end as the league owners have voted to elect Rob Manfred as the new leader of America’s long lost love. And his first act should be simple – admit Peter Edward Rose back into baseball.
As current COO of Major League Baseball, Manfred has worked closely under the leadership of Selig – a reason many believed the current owners were on board with his selection. Such a close connection with Selig could be a downfall when it comes to expectations from Cincinnati Reds‘ for the new commissioner.
Selig has long been a proponent of continuing the ridiculous life-long ban of MLB hits leader Rose. And while 55-year old Manfred has studied under Selig for years, this should be the one area in which the former COO differs from his predecessor.
As a caller said on the radio today, keeping Rose out of baseball for 25 years is “way too damn long”. He is exactly correct. Alex Rodriguez cheated in a way that affected his performance for years, and yet he will be admitted back into the game if the New York Yankees (or someone else) sees fit to have him on their roster. Meanwhile, Rose bet on baseball (betting for his team, not affecting his play) and in return is banned for life.
Let’s be realistic now, Mr. Manfred – that’s just bullcrap. Sure, there are quite a few pressing needs that you will need to give your attention to (such as having a unified rule on the DH in both leagues), but this is a very important matter. It might seem like a bigger matter in the Queen City than anywhere else, but that is only because we know the true impact Rose has on the game of baseball – currently and in the past.
Rose is something that baseball hasn’t had much of – a natural baseball mind who manufactured what talent he had into success. The story of Pete Rose gives hope to kids who aren’t starting on their little league teams, and kids who might not come from a family rich enough to send their kid to select teams that travel the country in front of scouts. Rose was the exact type of player this country roots for – blue collar and gritty.
This isn’t about electing Rose into the Hall of Fame, that’s another discussion for a different day. This is about allowing Rose back into the game that defines him – the game that he arguably knows better than anyone else today. Just listen to the man talk sports (begins at the 4:30 mark):
He doesn’t have to be a coach or even an executive, just an ambassador of the game. Having Rose reinstated back into baseball helps the game much more than it would hurt it. And for those saying that his reinstatement would hurt the league’s integrity, just stop.
Much will be asked and expected of Manfred as he begins his term as new MLB commissioner, but allowing Rose back into the game of baseball in time for the 2015 All Star Game needs to be one of his first moves. And on a personal note, can you imagine the atmosphere in Cincinnati next July if Rose is allowed back into baseball? It will go down as one of the greatest sights to see in Cincinnati (and arguably MLB) history.
The man has paid the price, now let him back in already.
Cover Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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