His case has been aruged and presented to three commissioners and now newly-elected Commissioner Rob Manfred has it on his plate.

Manfred’s not even commissioner a full year and already he has to deal with the Pete Rose issue.

Yes. THAT Pete Rose. The one that slid into Ray Fosse and broke the Cleveland Indians’ catcher at the 1970 All Star Game. Charlie Hustle.

MLB’s all-time hits leader has been in baseball’s version of time out since 1989 when he agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball after accusations that he bet on Major League games while playing for and managing the Reds. He admitted to the accusations in 2004. The Baseball Hall of Fame voted in 1991 not to allow those who are permanently ineligible to be placed on any voting ballot.

Since that time, Rose has petitioned to former commissioner Bud Selig and the current commissioner in regard of that matter.

Manfred said last Monday that he has received a formal request from Pete Rose to lift his lifetime ban, adding that he is “prepared to deal with it on the merits.”

In an interview at a visit at the Dodgers’ camp with MLB Manfred said that “I do have a formal request from Pete and I intend to communicate with his representatives to talk about how to handle [the review process]. I want to understand details of the Dowd report and [then-Commissioner Bart] Giamatti’s decision and hear what Pete has to say and make a decision once I’ve done that.”

Manfred cautioned that people shouldn’t read any predisposition into his comments in regard to Rose.

Peter Edward Rose is not getting any younger. It’s time that MLB and the Hall of Fame reconsider this matter. It’s not only good for baseball and the fans that support the game through ticket sales, MLB product purchases, et al that are toting the note. After all, it’s their game too. There has been debate as to not only Rose getting in but Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox. While those men are no longer with us, Rose at the very least deserves to be heard. After all, Jackson and his teammates lived in a time where players were treated like chattle, almost like slaves, that could be bought and sold without consent. Such is not the case now, where a player that has senority can veto a trade. The average professional baseball player’s salary in Shoeless Joe’s day was about $25,000, the same salary that a teacher out of college would make today. That same player today would have a minimum salary of about $750,000. There is also debate that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be enshrined as well. If either Bonds or Clemens get in, then so should Rose and Jackson.

Kennesaw Mountain Landis, who was commissioner at the time of the Black Sox scandal, refused to even hear the player’s side of the story and they were banished from the game, like Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. If Landis had tried that today, there would grievances filed and perhaps lawsuits as well. While Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson lived in different eras, they both should be treated equally and fairly. After all, Manfred did say that he would look at Rose’s case on its merits.

Pete Rose needs to be in Cooperstown and he needs to be in the HOF preferably while he can still draw breath on this Earth and not have Johnny Bench deliver his eulogy at his funeral. Manfred’s predecessor at least tempered justice with mercy. The same can’t be said for Landis or Giamatti, who saw themselves as judge, jury and executioner. Let’s hope that Rob Manfred is as kind as Selig if not kinder.

Pete Rose’s case needs to and deserves to be heard on its merits and needs to be heard as soon as possible, while Rose can still walk and draw breath, not while he’s in a casket.

The clock is ticking for Rose and for MLB.

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