President Trump took a break from celebrating his impeachment acquittal to throw out a pitch for disgraced former big leaguer Pete Rose.
"Pete Rose played Major League Baseball for 24 seasons, from 1963-1986, and had more hits, 4,256, than any other player (by a wide margin)," Trump wrote on Saturday afternoon. "He gambled, but only on his own team winning, and paid a decades long price.
"GET PETE ROSE INTO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME. It's Time!"
The fact-challenged prez did get the stats right and Rose has in fact been exiled from the game since 1989 when then commish Bart Giamatti banned the Hit King after a probe found that Rose bet on big-league games while managing the Cincinnati Reds.
Rose, 78, earlier this week asked current commissioner Rob Manfred to reinstate him back into the game.
In a 20-page petition, obtained by ESPN, Rose's lawyers are using MLB's current sign-stealing scandal to advocate for the 17-time All-Star.
Rose's lifetime ban is "vastly disproportionate" to his crime, the petition argues. Rose cited the one-year suspensions handed out to Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for their roles in Houston's illegal sign-stealing scam during the 2017 season. Both were then fired by the organization, but remain eligible to return to the game after sitting out a season.
Trump isn't the only one banging the drum (trash can) for Rose. The former Reds and Phillies star has plenty of support in his effort to get back in the good graces of the sport. But, for now, it is only Manfred's opinion that counts.
Manfred rejected a similar appeal from Rose - who travels the country selling his autograph, including in Cooperstown (home of the Hall) - back in December 2015.
"Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of the circumstances that led to his permanent eligibility in 1989. Absent such credible evidence, allowing him to work in the game presents an unacceptable risk of a future violation by him of Rule 21, and thus to the integrity of our sport," Manfred wrote at that time.
"I, therefore, must reject Mr. Rose's application for reinstatement."
Rose, who after years of denying he bet on baseball, finally fessed up in a 2003 tell-all, "My Prison Without Bars." In 1990, Rose did serve time behind bars as he was sentenced to five months in prison and fined $50K for cheating on his taxes.
The Hall's Board of Directors ruled after Rose's 1989 ban that all players on the permanently ineligible list would be left off the ballot of players for the baseball writer's to consider for enshrinement.
It's doubtful Rose will ever earn a Hall call, but he could be up for a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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