Pete Rose Asks for MLB Reinstatement in Wake of Astros' Sign-Stealing Scandal

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2020

Former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose speaks during his statue dedication ceremonies before a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Saturday, June 17, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Pete Rose has petitioned MLB for reinstatement after the players involved in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal went unpunished.

"There cannot be one set of rules for Mr. Rose and another for everyone else," his lawyers argued in the petition to Commissioner Rob Manfred, per Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN. "No objective standard or categorization of the rules violations committed by Mr. Rose can distinguish his violations from those that have incurred substantially less severe penalties from Major League Baseball."

The petition also called his punishment "vastly disproportionate" to the Astros players who influenced the outcome of games.

Rose has been on the league's ineligible list since 1989 for betting on MLB games, ruling him out for the Hall of Fame.

The 78-year-old denied gambling on games for 15 years but eventually admitted to it in 2004 in his book, My Prison Without Bars.

In 2007, he said on The Dan Patrick Show that he "bet on my team every night." Rose was manager of the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 to 1989.

Commissioner Rob Manfred denied Rose's bid for reinstatement in 2015, saying there was "little confidence that he has a mature understanding of his wrongful conduct."

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However, the league's all-time hits leader in essence resubmitted his argument after the Astros were found guilty of using technology to steal signs in 2017. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were both suspended for one year and later fired, while the organization was fined $5 million and lost draft picks, but the players were granted immunity for honest testimony.

Carlos Beltran, the only player named in the report, also lost his new job as manager of the New York Mets.

"Which one is worse, stealing signs electronically, taking steroids or betting on baseball?" Rose asked in January, per Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press. "All three are bad. But at least what I did never had anything to do with the outcome of the game."

The active Astros players remain eligible, while Rose has been banned for more than 30 years.

"Nothing wrong with how Astros were handled," Rose's lawyer, Ray Genco, said Wednesday, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. "The game is strong enough now that the punishments of last century aren't needed to protect the existence of the game. A reinstated Rose is no threat to the game."