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The deal MLB should offer Pete Rose

Randy Freking

As a professional familiar with principles governing workplace conduct, I offer the following press release for consideration by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred:

“As commissioner of Major League Baseball, I have completed a thorough investigation of the application of Pete Rose to be reinstated to MLB, after serving a 26-year ban from our sport, including recent media reports that confirm the original decision to ban Mr. Rose. MLB and my office have concluded that Mr. Rose violated the most serious infraction of our sport, and that the original decision and subsequent decisions not to lift the punishment were justified.

“Having said that, I have decided to conditionally reinstate Mr. Rose to MLB. The conditions to his reinstatement are as follows: 1. Mr. Rose will present medical information, acceptable to MLB, that he is not currently suffering from a gambling addiction; 2. Mr. Rose will refrain from gambling of any nature in the future; 3. Mr. Rose acknowledges that he violated MLB’s rule prohibiting gambling on the sport, and that he agreed to his lifetime ban, subject to his right to seek reinstatement after one year; and 4. Mr. Rose will not challenge in any forum a conclusion by MLB that he has violated any of the previous conditions.

“My decision is based upon our society’s belief in forgiveness, and an individual’s opportunity to atone for transgressions, whether of a minor or major nature. ‘Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ Mr. Rose remains a great ambassador for our sport and his continued love of the game supports my decision. Mr. Rose has apologized for his actions, and I accept his apology.

“My decision is consistent with MLB’s prohibition against gambling by MLB personnel on baseball, at whatever level of competition. Other personnel should recognize that they will be held to a similar level of punishment for any such violation. We will not tolerate any violations that pose a threat to the integrity of the sport.

“Finally, because there is no serious dispute that Mr. Rose’s accomplishments during his playing career meet the qualifications for induction into the Hall of Fame, I am recommending to the Hall of Fame that Mr. Rose be inducted along with the Class of 2016 next August, in Cooperstown, New York, waiving the requirement that he be formally elected. In this manner, he will not be considered a ‘first ballot inductee,’ one of our sport’s highest honors.”

I believe that baseball and our society will be well-served by issuing this press release by the start of the All-Star Game on July 14 in Pete’s hometown. It is time to free Pete.

See Randy’s editorial here.

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