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Baseball Stays Firm on Rose Suspension

September 12, 1997|From Associated Press

Even if Pete Rose applies for reinstatement, baseball officials said Thursday they are in no hurry to consider lifting his lifetime ban.

Rose's lawyer, Gary Spicer, met with Robert DuPuy, the lawyer for acting Commissioner Bud Selig, and discussed the process baseball's career hits leader would need to follow if he wishes to lift the permanent suspension Rose agreed to in August 1989. That penalty is preventing Rose from appearing on the Hall of Fame ballot.

DuPuy said he told Spicer that if Rose had anything he wanted baseball's ruling executive council to consider, he should have Spicer give it to DuPuy, who would forward it to the council members.

A. Bartlett Giamatti sought the ban on Rose after an investigation revealed involvement with sports betting. Giamatti, then the commissioner, concluded Rose bet on baseball, although no official finding was made in the agreement between Rose and the sport.

"We discussed the current status of Pete's business and personal relationships and his desire to get back into the game," Spicer told the Cincinnati Post. "We reviewed the present state of the leadership of the game. We also discussed the current procedure and what information baseball would like to review. I think Pete would very much like to be employed within the game. And everyone acknowledges he has a great deal to offer."

Baseball officials, speaking on the condition they not be identified, said they have no urgency to deal with Rose, who was manager of the Cincinnati Reds at the time he agreed to the ban. None of the 14 other people given lifetime bans ever were reinstated.

Not having a commissioner makes reinstatement more difficult for Rose. The Major League Agreement gives the commissioner power to reinstate players. In the absence of a commissioner, the power goes to the executive council, which currently has nine voting members.

There are no rules governing whether the council could approve reinstatement by a mere majority, or whether the margin would have to be greater.

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