Dear Bud Selig,
Baseball is America's Pastime.
It earned that title through hustle, tradition, and hard work.
No player embodies those points more than Pete Rose.
Nobody loved the game more than Rose. He played every game like he had been let out of jail for one day.
Baseball was his life.
People say love is a strong word, but in the case of Pete Rose it's not strong enough to describe his feeling toward baseball.
Who else do you know that would barrel over the catcher in an exhibition game!?
He sprinted out to his position in the field and chugged over to first on walks as if he had just hit a ground ball that would be the last out of the World Series.
Rose knew who were the strict umps, the loose umps, the strike umps, the ball umps; he knew if the guy umping first was a runner's ump or a fielder's ump; he knew the fielding percentage of each ballboy in the Major Leagues.
Pete Rose knew everything about baseball, his passion for the game oozed through his jersey.
However, like many men have before him, and many men have after him, Rose made some serious mistakes.
He bet on the game that he had loved for so long, and in the world of sport, there is no bigger sin.
And I'm not trying to say what he did wasn't wrong, it was. But don't you think a lifetime ban from baseball is a little harsh?
I mean Bud, let's face it, banning Pete Rose from baseball is like banning Brett Favre from football, or Barry Bonds from steroids, or Lindsey Lohan from alcohol.
Now, I know you're not the one who banned Pete from baseball, but you are the guy who can fix it.
Listen, everybody makes mistakes, but what would this world be without second chances? Michael Vick got a second chance, Pacman Jones got like 50 second chances, even your very own steroid policy allows players multiple chances, so why are we so against giving Pete Rose a second chance?
You know, KNOW he would never make a mistake like this again. In fact, earlier this year when Pete Rose was allowed back in a ballpark for the first time in 25 years, he still spoke with passion for the game, saying "I'm so excited. Just to be able to circle the base paths will be great, They've sold 40,000 tickets, I hear. For a game with Pittsburgh!"
So why won't you re-instate him Mr. Selig?
Sammy Sosa took steroids, no ban. Mark McGwire was on the juice, and he just coached for the Cardinals this year.
But Pete Rose, one of the 15 greatest hitters in baseball history, one of the few guys who cared more about the game than the paycheck, a guy that should be a poster boy for your league, makes one mistake, and BOOM lifetime ban.
How is that fair?
Charlie Hustle is now a 69-year old, lonely, broken man who signs baseballs for $357 that say "I'm sorry I bet on baseball" to make a living. And that's not how a baseball legend should be forced to live out the waning years of his life because of one mistake he made two and a half decades ago.
Bud, you have a chance to fix that.
Please re-instate Pete Rose, he's suffered long enough.