Now that the All-Star Game is behind us, there are numerous story lines to discuss, including the future of one Pete Rose.
Rose was honored during pre-game festivities in Cincinnati on Tuesday and received a warm ovation from the Queen City faithful. It was a nice moment for Rose, but has anything necessarily changed regarding his eligibility?
In a word, no.
“I would say we are where we are,” FOX and MLB Network MLB insider Ken Rosenthal told Damon Amendolara and Jason La Canfora, who were filling in as hosts of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “The question I had going into the week was, okay, what if the outpouring is so crazy and so positive for Pete? Would that have an effect on the commissioner? Not that I really thought it would, but that was at least a variable in play. And frankly, the reception was warm, no doubt about it. Was it an outpouring? No, I wouldn’t say it was an outpouring. So we’re back to where we were. Obviously Manfred is going to consider the case, as he has said to Rose. But do I expect that he’ll be reinstated? No. Do I expect that he’ll be made eligible for the Hall of Fame? No. Again, he committed what is perceived to be the cardinal sin in baseball – and that’s betting. Whether it was as a manager or as a player, we can debate that all we want, even with the ESPN report. But he did it, and I don’t know that the commissioner is going to forget it.”
Of course, Rose wasn’t the only All-Star headline or controversy. There was also the issue of fan balloting (here’s looking at you, Kansas City) and the notion that the All-Star Game shouldn’t decide home-field advantage in the World Series.
“I don’t know that either is going to change,” Rosenthal said. “First of all, (MLB loves) the fan voting, and they love being able to say 60 zillion people voted, even if it’s a glitch. It’s not supposed to happen that way, but they like the whole idea that the fans are involved and they’re involved in a big way. Now as for changing the format of the game, I don’t know if that’s going to happen anytime soon, either. This was something that FOX pushed for early on after that game in Milwaukee that obviously did not end well.”
Rosenthal is referring to the 2002 All-Star Game that ended in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings. The All-Star Game has determined home-field advantage in the World Series ever since.
“I actually believe it has improved the quality of the competition,” Rosenthal said of the change. “People can bitch that home-field advantage shouldn’t be decided by this, and I wouldn’t disagree with that. But if you’re actually talking about the quality of the competition of the game, it is better now. In a situation where the managers do play to win, they form their rosters accordingly, and I would say it has definitely improved the actual play. Now, the question of whether home-field advantage should be decided by something as arbitrary as this, that’s a fair question. People can debate that. But baseball and FOX accomplished what they wanted, which was to get the games back to being games and not totally an exhibition.”