Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pete Rose is Banned From Baseball August 23, 1989

It seems that I am stuck in my Junior year of High School, 1989 with the last two posts. On this day in Baseball History August 23, 1989: The All-Time hits leader Peter Edward Rose is banned for life by MLB Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti for his role on breaking cardinal rule number one: Gambling on Baseball.

Here is the text of the agreement between Rose and Giamatti and witnessed by Reuven K. Katz, Esquire of
Katz, Teller, Brant & Hild and Fay Vincent Jr., August 25, 1989:
In the Matter of: Peter Edward Rose, Manager
Cincinnati Reds Baseball Club


On March 6, 1989, the Commissioner of Baseball instituted an investigation of Peter Edward Rose, the field manager of the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Club, concerning allegations that Peter Edward Rose engaged in conduct not in the best interests of baseball in violation of Major League Rule 21, including but not limited to betting on Major League Baseball games in connection with which he had a duty to perform.

The Commissioner engaged a special counsel to conduct a full, fair and confidential inquiry of the allegations against Peter Edward Rose. Peter Edward Rose was given notice of the allegations and he and his counsel were generally apprised of the nature and progress of the investigation. During the inquiry, Peter Edward Rose produced documents, gave handwriting exemplars and responded to questions under oath upon oral deposition. During the deposition, the special counsel revealed key evidence gathered in the inquiry to Peter Edward Rose and his counsel.

On May 9, 1989, the special counsel provided a 225-page report, accompanied by seven volumes of exhibits, to the Commissioner. On May 11, 1989, the Commissioner provided a copy of the Report to Peter Edward Rose and his counsel, and scheduled a hearing on May 25, 1989 to give Peter Edward Rose an opportunity to respond formally to the information in the report. Peter Edward Rose received, read and is aware of the contents of the Report. On May 19, 1989, Peter Edward Rose requested, and subsequently received, an extension of the hearing date until June 26, 1989. Peter Edward Rose acknowledges that the Commissioner has treated him fairly in this Agreement and has acted in good faith throughout the course of the investigation and proceedings.

Peter Edward Rose will conclude these proceedings before the Commissioner without a hearing and the Commissioner will not make any formal findings or determinations on any matter including without limitation the allegation that Peter Edward Rose bet on any Major League Baseball game. The Commissioner has determined that the best interests of Baseball are served by a resolution of this matter on the following agreed upon terms and conditions:

1. Peter Edward Rose recognizes, agrees and submits to the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the Commissioner:

A. To investigate, either upon complain or upon his own initiative, any act, transaction or practice charged, alleged or suspected to be not in the best interests of the national game of Baseball; and

B. To determine, after investigation, what preventive, remedial, or punitive action is appropriate in the premises, and to take such action as the case may be.

2. Counsel for Peter Edward Rose, upon his authority, have executed a stipulation dismissing with prejudice the civil action that was originally filed in the Court of Common Pleas, Hamitlon County, Ohio, captioned Peter Edward Rose v. A. Bartlett Giamatti, No. A8905178, and subsequently removed to the United States District Court from the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, Docket No. C-2-89-577.

3. Peter Edward Rose will not avail himself of the opportunity to participate in a hearing concerning the allegations against him, or otherwise offer any defense to those allegations.

4. Peter Edward Rose acknowledges that the Commissioner has a factual basis to impose the penalty provided herein, and hereby accepts the penalty imposed on him by the Commissioner and agrees not to challenge that penalty in court or otherwise. He also agrees he will not institute any legal proceedings of any nature against the Commissioner of any of his representatives, either Major League or any Major League Club.

5. The commissioner recognizes and agrees that it is in the best interests of the national game of Baseball that this matter be resolved pursuant to his sole and exclusive authority under the Major League Agreement.

THEREFORE, the Commissioner, recognizing the benefits to Baseball from a resolution of this matter, orders and directs that Peter Edward Rose be subject to the following disciplinary sanctions, and Peter Edward Rose, recognizing the sole and exclusive authority of the Commissioner and that it is in his interest to resolve this matter without further proceedings, agrees to accept the following disciplinary sanctions imposed by the Commissioner.

a. Peter Edward Rose is hereby declared permanently ineligible in accordance with Major League Rule 21 and placed on the Ineligible List.

b. Nothing in this Agreement shall deprive Peter Edward Rose of the rights under Major League Rule 15(c) to apply for reinstatement. Peter Edward Rose agrees not to challenge, appeal or otherwise contest the decision of, or the procedure employed by, the Commissioner or any future Commissioner in the evaluation of any application for reinstatement.

c. Nothing in this agreement shall be deemed either an admission or a denial by Peter Edward Rose of the allegation that he bet on any Major League Baseball game.

Neither the Commissioner nor Peter Edward Rose shall be prevented by this agreement from making any public statement relating to this matter so long as no such public statement contradicts the terms of this agreement and resolution.

This document contains the entire agreement of the parties and represents the entire resolution of the matter of Peter Edward Rose before the Commissioner.

Agreed to and resolved this 23rd day of August 1989,

Peter Edward Rose

A. Bartlett Giamatti
Commissioner of Baseball

Witnessed by:

Reuven K. Katz, Esquire
Katz, Teller, Brant & Hild

Witnessed by:

(Fay Vincent, Jr.)

Following that, Commissioner Giamatti has a press conference on August 24, 1989 and gave the following statement:

AUGUST 24, 1989


The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game's greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts. By choosing not to come to a hearing before me, and by choosing not to proffer any testimony or evidence contrary to the evidence and information contained in the report of the Special Counsel to the Commissioner, Mr. Rose has accepted baseball's ultimate sanction, lifetime ineligibility.

This sorry episode began last February when baseball received firm allegations that Mr. Rose bet on baseball games and on the Reds' games. Such grave charges could not and must never be ignored. Accordingly, I engaged and Mr. Ueberroth appointed John Dowd as Special Counsel to investigate these and other allegations that might arise and to pursue the truth wherever it took him. I believed then and believe now that such a process, whereby an experienced professional inquires on behalf of the Commissioner as the Commissioner's agent, is fair and appropriate. To pretend that serious charges of any kind can be responsibly examined by a Commissioner alone fails to recognize the necessity to bring professionalism and fairness to any examination and the complexity a private entity encounters when, without judicial or legal powers, it pursues allegations in the complex, real world.

Baseball had never before undertaken such a process because there had not been such grave allegations since the time of Landis. If one is responsible for protecting the integrity of the game of baseball - that is, the game's authenticity, honesty and coherence - then the process one uses to protect the integrity of baseball must itself embody that integrity. I sought by means of a Special Counsel of proven professionalism and integrity, who was obliged to keep the subject of the investigation and his representatives informed about key information, to create a mechanism whereby the integrity we sought to protect was itself never violated. Similarly, in writing to Mr. Rose on May 11, I designed, as is my responsibility, a set of procedures for a hearing that would have afforded him every opportunity to present statements or testimony of witnesses or any other evidence he saw fit to answer the information and evidence presented in the Report of the Special Counsel and its accompanying materials.

That Mr. Rose and his counsel chose to pursue a course in the courts rather than appear at hearings scheduled for May 25 and then June 26, and then choose to come forward with a stated desire to settle this matter is now well known to all. My purpose in recounting the process and the procedures animating that process is to make two points that the American public deserves to know:

First, that the integrity of the game cannot be defended except by a process that itself embodies integrity and fairness;

Second, should any other occasion arise where charges are made or acts are said to be committed that are contrary to the interests of the game or that undermine the integrity of baseball, I fully intend to use such a process and procedure to get to the truth and, if need bem to root out offending behavior. I intend to use, in short, every lawful and ethical means to defend and protect the game.

I say this so that there may be no doubt about where I stand or why I stand there. I believe baseball is a beautiful and exciting game, loved by millions - I among them - and I believe baseball is an important, enduring American institution. It must assert and aspire to the highest principles - of integrity, of professionalism of performance, of fair play within its rules. It will come as no surprise that like any institution composed of human beings, this institution will not always fulfill its highest aspirations. I know of no earthly institution that does. But this one, because it is so much a part of our history as a people and because it has such a purchase on our national soul, has an obligation to the people for whom it is played - to its fans and well-wishers - to strive for excellence in all things and to promote the highest ideals.

I will be told that I am an idealist. I hope so. I will continue to locate ideals I hold for myself and for my country in the national game as well as in other of our national institutions. And while there will be debate and dissent about this or that or another occurrence on or off the field, and while the game's nobler parts will always be enmeshed in the human frailties of those who, whatever their role, have stewardship of this game, let there be no doubt or dissent about our goals for baseball or our dedication to it. Nor about our vigilance and vigor - and patience - in protecting the game from blemish or stain or disgrace.

The matter of Mr. Rose is now closed. It will be debated and discussed. Let no one think that it did not hurt baseball. That hurt will pass, however, as the great glory of the game asserts itself and a resilient institution goes forward. Let it also be clear that no individual is superior to the game.
In his book (with author Rick Hill) "My Prison Without Bars" that came out in 2004, Rose makes a full confession on his betting on Baseball. He also confims that admission in an interview with Charles Gibson on January 5, 2004.

I can't seem to find a transcript of that interview online, so I am going to post a few quotes of Rose's comments that are found in the article Pete Rose admits placing bets on baseball games as manager by Peter Schmuck from the Baltimore Sun website dated January 06, 2004:
In the book and the interview, Rose said he admitted during a meeting with Selig in 2002 that he bet on baseball games "four or five times a week," but never against the Reds and never from the Reds clubhouse.

"I was wrong," Rose told Gibson. "I [was] just stupid, the worst thing I did in my life.

"It's time to clean the slate. It's time to take responsibility. I'm 14 years late."

He said in the book that he denied the charges because he felt the admission would be used against him rather than be treated as a cry for the help he needed to overcome a gambling addiction. Baseball has long had programs in place to help employees who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction, but gambling has been viewed as the sport's mortal sin since Chicago White Sox players allegedly conspired to fix the 1919 World Series.

"I should have had the opportunity to get help, but baseball had no fancy rehab for gamblers like they do for drug addicts," Rose wrote. "If I had admitted my guilt, it would have been the same as putting my head on the chopping block - lifetime ban. Death penalty. I spent my entire life on the baseball fields of America, and I was not going to give up my profession without first seeing some hard evidence ... right or wrong, the punishment didn't fit the crime, so I denied the crime."

Rose recounts his 2002 conversation with Selig in the book.

"Yes, sir, I did bet on baseball," Rose told Selig.

"How often?" Selig asked.

"Four or five times a week," Rose replied. "But I never bet against my own team, and I never made any bets from the clubhouse."

"Why?" Selig asked.

"I didn't think I'd get caught."
So it has been 25 years since that fateful day in Baseball History. What do I think about this whole matter? I attempt to answer this in the following questions to myself.

1. Does Pete Rose deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? 

Yes, I think that Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. There was probably no other player in the game that left so much of himself (and opponents) on the field of play.

2. Was his punishment fair? 

Rose broke cardinal sin number one in Baseball which is listed in the Major League Rules, Section 21(d):
(d) BETTING ON BALL GAMES. Any player, umpire, or club official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform shall be declared ineligible for one year.

Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.
Based on that rule, if the league doesn't enforce the rule Baseball loses all its credibility. Considering that it was one of Baseball's greatest players the rule needed to be enforced, hence the punishment befitting the crime.

3. Should Pete Rose be reinstated by either outgoing Commissioner Selig or incoming Commissioner Manfred?

I don't know which of the two should do it, but I do think that Rose should be reinstated. Rose should be given the opportunity to be elected into the Hall of Fame. The man has been banned longer than he played the game. His playing record alone is reason enough for him to be reinstated.

4. Is Rose innocent of a "witch-hunt"?

No, Rose has been his worse enemy post-ban. Instead of just admitting to the gambling from the beginning and disappearing, his ego hasn't allowed him to do that. Every Hall of Fame weekend he signs autographs at a shop on Main Street in Cooperstown where it is customary for all Hall of Famers who are attending Induction Weekend to do so. I'm not saying that he doesn't belong with them, he does but just not on that weekend and not on Main Street in Cooperstown while he is banned from the game.

In addition, Rose hasn't helped his situation by continuing to be involved with casinos. I don't begrudge a person trying to make money to support themselves and their family, but if you know your situation was caused by your gambling problem AND you want to be reinstated, then stay away from the casinos. Period.

5. If you were the Commissioner of Baseball what would you do?

If I was Commissioner of Baseball I would reinstate Pete Rose on the condition that he cannot manage a Baseball team at any level from MLB to affiliated A-Ball ever again. You can't trust (or take the chance) that he will not bet on the game again. I do believe that he should be involved with the game. I believe Rose should be allowed to be an instructor at Spring Training. I believe that he should be allowed to participate at all events that commemorate the game.

It is under these (and only these) conditions that I would reinstate Pete Rose.

There you have it folks. This issue is as hot now as it was 25-years ago and until Rose gets reinstated it will remain a hot topic.

Until Then Keep Playing Ball,
Baseball Sisco

For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access Pete Rose's career statistics from Baseball