Manfred: Rose will be allowed to be part of All-Star Game

Associated Press

April 24, 2015

In this Sept. 6, 2013, file photo, former Cincinnati Red great Pete Rose walks onto the field during ceremonies honoring the starting eight of the 1975-76 World Champion Reds following a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Cincinnati. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday, April 23, 2015, that Rose will play some role during this summer's All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

NEW YORK Commissioner Rob Manfred says Pete Rose will be allowed to participate in activities surrounding this summer's All-Star Game in his hometown of Cincinnati.

Rose, baseball's career hits leader and a former Reds star player and manager, agreed to a lifetime ban from the sport in 1989 after a Major League Baseball investigation concluded he bet on his team to win while he was managing the club.

Manfred said initial thoughts about Rose's role at the July 14 game will come from Reds owner Bob Castellini.

"I've agreed with Mr. Castellini that we're going to have a conversation about what specific kind of participation the Reds are interested in, and we have not had that conversation yet," Manfred said Thursday during a meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors. "You can rest assured that he will about allowed to participate in some of the activities."

MLB permitted Rose to take part in the All-Century team announcement at Atlanta's Turner Field during the 1999 World Series and a Reds ceremony in 2013 honoring their 1975 and '76 championship teams.

In 24 seasons in the majors, Rose had 4,256 hits, won three World Series titles and was voted the 1963 NL Rookie of the Year and the 1973 NL Most Valuable Player. A 17-time All-Star, Rose made the team at five different positions.

In this April 15, 2015, file photo, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred talks during a news conference prior to a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Seattle Mariners on Jackie Robinson Day in Los Angeles. Manfred said Thursday, April 23, 2015, that Pete Rose will play some role during this summer's All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Rose, who turned 74 this month, applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met in November 2002 with Commissioner Bud Selig, who never ruled on the application. Rose submitted another application for reinstatement after Manfred succeeded Selig in January.

"We have gathered volumes, I mean literally volumes of documents, related to the original investigation," Manfred said, explaining how they had been brought out of storage. "They're in the process of organizing those, preparing summaries so that I can review those documents."

MLB has spoken with Rose's representatives about how the process for Manfred's evaluation will go forward. Manfred said it was too early to estimate a timetable.

Fox, which will televise the All-Star Game, said last weekend it had hired Rose as a studio analyst this season. Because of the ban, Rose is not allowed in areas of ballparks not open to fans, except with special approval from the commissioner's office.

"Fox's decision is their decision," Manfred said. "It's really not something that we have any contractual control over or that we ever had any input in."

Rose has been ineligible for the Hall of Fame ballot because of the lifetime ban. Manfred was asked about the distinction between Rose and players tainted by allegations of steroids use, who are eligible for the Hall but have fallen short of election.

"I don't accept the analogy between steroids and gambling," Manfred said. "I see gambling as different in a sense that baseball's rules on gambling have been in place literally for decades. They've been clear. They spell out specific penalties. The reason those rules exist is that gambling is corrosive in a number of ways, including raising the specter of somebody of not doing everything they can to win. Steroids a very, very different kind of issue."