Purgatory Online

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Pete Rose and Bud Selig have met to discuss Rose's possible reinstatement. We'll see. Realistically, the ball is entirely in Rose's court. If he admits to betting on baseball, it's a pretty good bet that he'll eventually be reinstated. If he doesn't admit to betting on baseball, it's a certainty that he won't.

One minor point about the article's second paragraph: "The sources said nothing has been agreed to at this point -- including whether or not Rose will be reinstated or regain eligibility for Hall of Fame induction." Major League Baseball actually has no control over who does or does not get into the Hall of Fame. The Hall is run by a private foundation (the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.), and members are selected by those members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America who have been active for at least ten years. Presently, the Hall does not consider persons on MLB's ineligible list as being eligible for induction, but that's strictly their call--not MLB's, let alone Selig's. Technically, the effect of lifting the ban would, in fact, be to restore his eligibility for the Hall of Fame (although see below), but the implication that Selig has any real control over that is false.

Ironically, however, just as Rose may be moving towards removing one hurdle to his induction, another is on the horizon. The rules indicate that, in order to appear on the BWAA ballot, a player must have played at some point in the last 20 seasons. Rose's last year was 1986, meaning that he'd have to be reinstated within the next three years to be eligible for election. Of course, if blows that deadline, he'd still be elected by the Veterans' Committee, but given the contempt with which that particular body is looked upon by a lot of baseball fans, I'd guess Rose would vastly prefer election by the BWAA.