The MLB player with the most hits in the league's history should be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, but that's hard to do when you've been permanently banned from baseball—again. Commissioner Rob Manfred was reportedly set to tell Pete Rose on Thursday he won't lift the permanent ban against Rose that's been in place since 1989, but queries by the New York Times appeared to expedite Manfred's announcement, which he made Monday instead. MLB.com notes Manfred informed Rose, both verbally and in writing, of his decision. The "stark language" of the league's rules dictates "that the penalty for a player or manager who bets on a game in which he has a duty to perform is mandatory, permanent ineligibility," Manfred says in his announcement accompanying the MLB press release. He adds he had instructed staff to gather any new evidence that may have emerged since the 1989 Dowd Report that helped place Rose on the league's ineligible list, based on evidence Rose bet on baseball while managing the Cincinnati Reds—including bets on his own team.
In addition to a polygraph test and a private meeting between Rose and Manfred in September, that new evidence included an incriminating notebook revealed in a June ESPN report that indicates Rose also bet while still playing for the Reds. Manfred notes that during that conversation, Rose had inconsistent stories, made contradictory statements, and couldn't remember important facts from the Dowd document. Another nugget came to light during Manfred and Rose's meeting that appears to have influenced the decision. "Significantly, [Rose] told me that currently he bets recreationally and legally on horses and sports, including Baseball," Manfred notes. Interestingly, Manfred says that while Rose won't be reinstated, that's an entirely different issue than whether he should be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a debate he says "must take place in a different forum." (Read more Pete Rose stories.)