By John Erardi
The Cincinnati Enquirer
By his public admission, Pete Rose put the ball squarely in front of Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. But Rose might have lost some leverage by doing it.
Over the past year, it has been widely speculated that Rose would not admit he bet on baseball unless he were given a promise of reinstatement that would leave the door open, however slightly, that he could manage again.
Now, Rose has lost his trump card, but Selig still has his - reinstating Rose for the limited purpose of gaining election to the Hall of Fame.
Rose's people were not commenting Monday.
MLB's only official comment was what it always is: Rose has applied for reinstatement, the commissioner is considering it and there is no timetable.
Rose, however, might have changed the timetable part of it by putting some public pressure on Selig to act.
There is no firm deadline beyond the fact that Rose still has two chances to be elected to the Hall of Fame if he gets reinstated: December 2004 or 2005. Nothing has changed on whether Rose will manage the Reds again. The office of Reds CEO Carl Lindner had no comment on Monday's revelations.
"Certainly this hasn't been as clean or easy as it should've been," said Paul Hagen, president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, which votes on Hall candidates. "I'm very glad he (made a public admission). I think we all believed he bet on baseball. It hurt a lot of people that he didn't admit to it earlier."
Pete Rose's confession that he bet on baseball puts the ball in commissioner Bud Selig's court. What could happen next:
Nothing immediately: Selig said he was waiting to see Rose's book before commenting.
Total reinstatement: Selig could rule that Rose is eligible for Hall of Fame candidacy and a return to the game in an on-field capacity, such as manager.
Partial reinstatement: Selig could rule that Rose is eligible for the Hall of Fame but cannot return as an on-field representative of the game.
Probation: Selig could place Rose on probation for one or two years for Rose to prove he deserves to be reinstated.
Reinstatement denial: Selig could uphold Rose's banishment in all areas.
Hall of Fame: Rose needs to be reinstated by December 2005 to be eligible to be elected to the Hall by the Baseball Writers Association of America. If he's not eligible by then, his fate will lie with the Veterans Committee, which is made up of the Hall's members and is thought to lean heavily against Rose's induction.
E-mail email@example.com. Kevin Kelly contributed.
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