Has Pete Rose burned a bridge he didn’t need to burn?

Has the all-time hits leader damaged his chance to perhaps be in Cooperstown?

According to an “Outside The Lines” report on ESPN, Rose did bet on baseball games in which he participated in as a player, not as the skipper of the Cincinnati Reds in 1986 and ESPN and OTL has obtained documents in regard of that matter.

The report shows new documents that show Rose bet on baseball “extensively,” which could hurt his chances of getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame. John Down, the man who’s 1989 report led to his banishment from baseball said “This does it. This closes the door.”

Sorry, Mr. Down. There are some that still think that door is open. He has not had a chance to give his side of the story to new commissioner Rob Manfred and that meeting will take place sometime after the All-Star Break. At 74, Rose has been in baseball’s version of “time out,” his banishment for life in 1989.

We could talk about Rose’s betting with regard to his chances to being in the Hall of Fame. We could also talk about Ty Cobb’s alleged racism in the time he played. We could talk about all the other things that have gone wrong with the game and are going wrong right now. The bigger question that needs to be asked is “does Peter Edward Rose deserve to be in Cooperstown?” Given the fact that he surpassed Cobb as the All-time hits leader, who had his own flaws and frailaties, like we all do, worse things have been don by better men. This is not to excuse what took place.

Ray Genco, Rose’s attorney, released the following statement from Rose to CBSSports.com, which read: “Since we submitted the application earlier this year, we committed to MLB that we would not comment on specific matters relating to reinstatement. I need to maintain that. To be sure, I’m eager to sit down with Mr. Manfred to address my entire history – the good and the bad – and my long personal journey since baseball. That meeting likely will come sometime after the All-Star break.”

When this meeting takes place, Rose needs to be truthful, forthcoming and honest. He needs to tell EVERYTHING. He needs to be all in on this. After all, Peter Edward Rose needs to be in the Hall of Fame while he can still walk on this Earth, not while he’s in a casket and Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan have done their eulogies over him.

Peter Edward Rose is not perfect.

You know what else?

Neither are we.

The Hall of Fame is for those that have contributed to the game of baseball, whether they were model citizens or the worst of the worst. Given the history of the game, we have cheered for those players that have come through after they’ve made an error on the field. Pete Rose should be at the very least given that chance. When this meeting takes place, let’s look at this with open minds and clearer eyes. It’s all anyone could ever want.

Peter Edward Rose, despite burning his bridges behind him, does deserve to be in Cooperstown. Let’s hope he’s truthful and forthcoming when he and Commissioner Manfred meet.