CINCINNATI — Pete Rose's application for reinstatement to baseball was rejected Monday by commissioner Rob Manfred, who concluded the career hits leader continued to gamble even while trying to end his lifetime ban and would be a risk to the sport's integrity if allowed back in the game.
Rose agreed to the ban in August 1989 after an investigation for Major League Baseball by lawyer John Dowd found Rose placed numerous bets on the Reds to win from 1985-87 while playing for and managing the team.
In one of his first major actions, Manfred said in a four-page decision the career hits leader admitted he has kept betting legally on horse racing and professional sports, including baseball. Manfred upheld the conclusions of the Dowd report and said MLB obtained additional evidence not available to Dowd: a notebook of betting records from 1986 kept by Rose associate Michael Bertolini.
"In short, Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established in the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent in eligibility in 1989," Manfred wrote.
Manfred also said Rose has never "seriously sought treatment" for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Behavior, conditions he said in his 2004 book had afflicted him.
"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. "I am also not convinced that he has avoided the type of conduct and associations that originally led to his placement on the permanently ineligible list."
Rose's lawyers said he will comment on the decision at a news conference today.
"While we may have failed at our task of presenting all of the facts to the commissioner demonstrating how Pete has grown and changed over the past three decades, Pete has meaningfully reconfigured his life," Rose's lawyers, Ray Genco and Mark Rosenbaum, said in a statement.
"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 said when he met with Rose, 74, the 17-time All-Star at first was not forthcoming about his current gambling.
"Rose initially denied betting on baseball currently and only later in the interview did he 'clarify' his response to admit such betting," Manfred wrote.
Rose's ban prevents him from working for any major-league team or minor-league affiliate. Players on the permanently ineligible list may not appear on the Hall of Fame ballot, a decision taken by the Hall's board in 1991.