Houston Astros players go unpunished, and I'm still on the outs? Come on. That's pretty much Pete Rose's argument in a 19-page letter submitted by his lawyers Wednesday to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, ESPN reports. The lawyers call Rose's punishment "vastly disproportionate" to that of PED-using players and Astros caught in the sign-stealing scandal. "There cannot be one set of rules for Mr. Rose and another for everyone else," they write, arguing that the rules don't "distinguish his violations from those that have incurred substantially less severe penalties from Major League Baseball." Baseball banned Rose in 1989 for betting on games while he was manager of the Cincinnati Reds, but he apparently didn't influence the outcome of games.
Yet he remains ineligible from the Hall of Fame, unlike players in the Astros scandal—who went unpunished after using a sign-stealing scheme that helped them beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in 2017. Now 78, Rose holds the MLB records for most singles, at-bats, games played, and hits—and wants to meet with baseball commissioner Rob Manfred to make his case, per USA Today. Rose isn't commenting, but did tell the ESPN last month that he's "very sorry that I made the mistake that I did." But sports writer Craig Calcaterra isn't impressed, writing at NBC Sports that Astros players went unpunished as per MLB rules, while rules against gambling "are literally posted on the wall of every clubhouse in the game." (Three people did lose their jobs over the Astros scandal.)