Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Schmidt predicts Rose action soon

The Associated Press

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Mike Schmidt thinks Bud Selig has been delaying a decision on whether to reinstate Pete Rose, but the Hall of Famer predicted the baseball commissioner would act by the end of the month.

Schmidt has been pushing Selig for more than a year to reinstate Rose, who agreed in 1989 to a lifetime ban from baseball following an investigation of his gambling. The former Cincinnati Reds player and manager applied for reinstatement in 1997 and met with Selig late last year.

"The commissioner's kind of laid off a little bit," Schmidt said Monday at the Phillies' new spring training complex. "He's riding a high right now with baseball ... based on the postseason. I guess he's just not totally convinced just yet that bringing Pete back won't mess that up a little bit."

Selig repeatedly has said he is considering the application for reinstatement but won't give a timetable for his decision.

"There is nothing new on the issue," Selig spokesman Rich Levin said Monday in New York.

Schmidt, who will manage Philadelphia's Class-A team in Clearwater next year, realizes a decision to reinstate his former teammate would be controversial.

"There's going to be a few disgruntled people, whether it's 50-50 or not from the fan-base standpoint, I don't know," Schmidt said. "But he has been a little slow to react to this thing. ... I would stick my neck out and say before the first of the year that something is going to happen."

Schmidt's past predictions of imminent action have been off.

"I have said that about 10-times, 'Something is going to happen in the next two weeks' over the last six months, and I am going to say it one more time," he said.

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