Rob Manfred taking over as MLB commissioner in 2014 seemed to bode well for Pete Rose. A changing of the guard couldn’t be a bad thing, after all. The guard in charge before Manfred, Bud Selig, wouldn’t let Rose anywhere near the palace — and the Hall of Fame remained a distant dream for the man who had more MLB hits than anybody in history. But it all ended this week, as Manfred rejected Rose’s petition for reinstatement. Manfred and the MLB pointed to the general reason that Rose hadn’t significantly changed his ways in the decades since his ban. Rose lives in Vegas and gambles on games still, though he can’t affect the outcomes as he once could as a player and manager.
But while the failure of Rose to reconfigure his gambling ways was an overarching point that made reconciliation an impossibility, it was the #2 reveal that crushed him. The detail that was impossible to ignore was new evidence that Rose had bet on games he played in. It’s one thing not to be a role model post-career; it’s another to put the entire MLB enterprise at risk by compromising the product on the field. It was long believed Rose only started betting as a manager, needing the juice he once enjoyed as a player. But notebooks that surfaced this summer revealed he’d gambled on games he played in also. And that shut the door.