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Odds MLB Lifts Pete Rose’s Lifetime Ban in 2020 Set at a Long +500; Is “No” a Safe Bet at -1000?

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in MLB Baseball

Feb 6, 2020 · 1:11 PM PST

Pete Rose closeup
Pete Rose has sent a petition to Major League Baseball to have his lifetime ban lifted. Photo by Lori Branham (Wikimedia Commons).
  • Pete Rose has filed a petition with Major League Baseball asking to be removed from the ineligible list
  • Rose has been banned since 1989 for betting on games while manager of the Cincinnati Reds
  • Online prop bets on the matter strongly favors the ban remaining in place this year

Pete Rose has submitted a petition to Major League Baseball, looking to be removed from the ineligible list. Back in 1989, Rose was banned for betting on games while employed as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

The 17-time All-Star denied any wrongdoing until 2004, when he admitted to betting on baseball in his book, My Prison Without Bars.

The table below shows the prop bet offered for Rose’s lifetime ban to be lifted. The odds don’t look good for Charlie Hustle.

Odds MLB Lifts Pete Rose’s Lifetime Ban in 2020

Outcome Odds
Yes +500
No -1000

Odds taken Feb. 6.

Rose’s Case for Reinstatement

As reported by ESPN, Rose’s case to have his ban lifted is based on the treatment of players in the wake of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that has loomed over the off-season. No players were punished by Major League Baseball despite Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch being given bans. The Houston Astros were given the maximum fine and docked several draft picks, but no players faced repercussions.

According to ESPN, the petition presented by Rose and his lawyers states that “there cannot be one set of rules for Mr. Rose and another for everyone else.”

The equivalence between gambling and sign-stealing will raise eyebrows. The “crimes” are not the same, so comparing the consequences doesn’t necessarily fit.

Previous Claims For Reinstatement

This isn’t the first time Rose has pushed for his ban to be lifted. The all-time hits leader was rejected by Rob Manfred in 2015, and with Manfred still commissioner of Major League Baseball, it’s no surprise to see the “no” at -1000.

The plan is for the petition to be reviewed, however, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. With Manfred still in charge, it seems improbable that the outcome will be any different. Manfred said in 2015 that allowing Rose back into the game would an “unacceptable risk”.

Rose also applied for reinstatement in 1992 and 1998, but neither attempt went anywhere.

Understandable Opportunism

Rose’s opportunism is understandable. He’s an all-time great ballplayer with extraordinary career statistics. He would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer if he hadn’t bet on games.

The Cincinnati Reds, who are an interesting longshot in the 2020 World Series odds after a big off-season, retired Rose’s number 14 and put him in their Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for the all-time hits leader, that’s likely the only Hall he’ll be getting into in the near future.

The Astros’ punishments have created debate. Many think they’re insufficient, some will argue they’re heavy-handed. There will be baseball fans who want to see Rose’s ban lifted. Ultimately, though, there’s very little reason to think Manfred’s view of Rose’s ban will have changed since he turned down his claim for reinstatement in 2015. The facts are the same, the link to the consequences the Astros faced is flimsy.

Betting Perception

Perhaps the perception of sports gambling has altered since Rose’s offenses. Baseball has embraced legalized gambling.

For that to be enough to see Rose reinstated, however, there would have to be a drastic change of heart. Previous rejections mean Manfred would have to go back on his own verdict – something that seems extremely unlikely. Rose might just want a shot at making the Hall of Fame, and it could be argued he deserves a chance on the ballot, but there’s next to no chance that happens in his lifetime. Maybe, just maybe, attitudes change significantly in years to come that Rose gets a place in Cooperstown.

At the moment, Rose will remain banned. His enormous part in baseball’s history is glossed over, and one can’t help but wonder if his years of denial hardened attitudes towards him.

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