Donald Trump Announces Support for Pete Rose’s Baseball Reinstatement Bid

In the wake of the sign-stealing scandal, Rose is again attempting to be reinstated by MLB

Pete Rose
Kjunstorm/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / February 9, 2020 3:25 pm

The repercussions of the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal are, slowly but surely, beginning to impact a lot more of baseball than just the players and coaches implicated in it. This week, a player who’s been banished from the game for decades has used the scandal as a reason to petition Major League Baseball to revoke their lifetime ban on him. That would be Pete Rose, who has petitioned the league arguing for his reinstatement.

Rose was banned from the game for life after an inquiry found that he had bet on baseball, including on his own team. This, in turn, creates the somewhat surreal reality that MLB’s all-time leader in hits cannot be enshrined in the sport’s Hall of Fame.

Now, it turns out that Rose has a high-profile supporter for his bid. That would be Donald Trump, who The Guardian reports tweeted his enthusiastic support for Rose’s effort. On Saturday afternoon, the President took to social media to make the case for Rose’s reinstatement.

Given the past week, it’s safe to say that this is one of the least controversial statements Trump has made in the last few days. Rose has, as The Guardian notes, made two previous efforts to be reinstated by Major League Baseball; neither one has been successful.

Rose initially denied that he had bet on baseball, but in his 2004 memoir My Prison Without Bars  — in which he compared himself to Bill Clinton, which feels slightly awkward in retrospect — he admitted to having done so, though he contended that he had only bet on his own teams to win. Rose being back in the spotlight following the Astros’ scandal isn’t shocking, given his history, but it speaks volumes as to how rattled the baseball community is by the scandal and its aftermath.

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