Pete Rose is asking MLB for reinstatement and is using the Houston Astros electronic cheating scandal in his argument, according to ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr.
Rose made his request in 20 page letter sent to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and a copy was obtained by ESPN.
“There cannot be one set of rules for Mr. Rose and another for everyone else,” Rose’s letter says. “No objective standard or categorization of the rules violations committed by Mr. Rose can distinguish his violations from those that have incurred substantially less severe penalties from Major League Baseball.”
Rose, one of the greatest hitters of all-time, was permanently banned from baseball in 1989 after an investigation found him guilty of wagering on games while he was manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
He has previously applied for reinstatement, most recently in 2015, but has been denied each time.
In his new request, Rose says MLB’s decision not to punish any players in the recent Astros scandal proves his punishment is unjust.
“It has never been suggested, let alone established, that any of Mr. Rose’s actions influenced the outcome of any game or the performance of any player,” the petition says, according to ESPN. “Yet for the thirty-first year and counting, he continues to suffer a punishment vastly disproportionate to those who have done just that. Given the manner in which Major League Baseball has treated and continues to treat other egregious assaults on the integrity of the game, Mr. Rose’s ongoing punishment is no longer justifiable as a proportional response to his transgressions.”
Rose is the all-time leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at bats (14,053) and singles (3,215), and finished with a career batting average of .303 over 24 seasons. Despite that, he has never appeared on a Hall of Fame voting ballot, something the 78-year-old Rose is hoping will happen after reinstatement.
“People should know that I’m very sorry that I made the mistake that I did,” Rose said in an interview with Van Natta for an episode of ESPN’s Backstory, which aired in January.