Selig says things aren't rosy for Rose
FEBRUARY 16, 2000 Print it!
MADISON, Wis. -- Bud Selig pretty much said Pete Rose has no chance of getting back into baseball as long as he's commissioner.
While Selig hasn't officially responded to Rose's application for reinstatement, he made his strongest public statement yet on the career hits leader.
"There is not a scintilla of give in that area," Selig said Wednesday during a speech at the Rotary Club of Madison.
Following an investigation of his gambling, Rose agreed to a lifetime ban on August 23, 1989, a deal announced by commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti the following day.
"Pete did accept a voluntary lifetime suspension from Dr. Giamatti," Selig said. "There hasn't been any new evidence since then. I think just from my answer, you'll understand my depth of feeling on this subject."
Rose applied for reinstatement on September 26, 1997, and the application sat without action until a few weeks ago. Selig's top lawyer, Bob DuPuy, met January 27 with Rose's lawyers and gave them 30 days to submit additional information.
Rose, ineligible for the Hall of Fame while he's on the permanently banned list, claims investigator John Dowd's evidence was not conclusive and he should be allowed back in baseball. Rose's lawyers presented DuPuy with evidence from their experts.
S. Gary Spicer, one of Rose's lawyers, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Selig, who allowed Rose to participate in ceremonies for baseball's All-Century team at last year's World Series, said last week that Rose will not be allowed at a Cincinnati on-field ceremony honoring the Reds' 1975 World Series championship team.
The commissioner kept his remarks light and didn't comment on several current issues, including a federal appeals court's opinion last week that stated the owners' collusion against players in the 1980s was both real and damaging to the sport.
Selig also didn't address a recent medical report that androstenedione, the supplement once used by Mark McGwire, raises testosterone above normal levels and could be hazardous. Andro is banned by the Olympics, the NCAA, the NFL and the men's and women's tennis tours, but is allowed in baseball, the NBA and the NHL.
Selig said he personally wrote the news release concerning John Rocker's suspension. Selig banned the Atlanta Braves reliever until May 1 following the pitcher's remarks that he would never play for a New York team because he didn't want to ride a subway train "next to some queer with AIDS." Rocker also mocked foreigners and called a Latin teammate a "fat monkey."
Selig isn't worried about whether the suspension will be overturned by arbitrator Shyam Das, who heard an appeal by the players' association last week. Selig said his decision, which he made after consulting with Braves executive Hank Aaron, was the right one.
"Baseball is a social institution," Selig said. "It does have social responsibilities. It's a game that has a tremendous influence in society, and you should be protective of that."
Revenue sharing and stadium initiatives were briefly addressed by the commissioner, though not in detail. He said baseball's biggest problem in stadium construction or improvement lies in Minnesota, where little progress has been made in securing a new ballpark for the Twins.
"They're going to have to do something," Selig said. "I've been up there a lot. . . . Minnesota needs to do what every city has done. All these cities confront the same sorts of issues. Minnesota needs to address these issues."
Selig said some realignment and divisional rotation within interleague play could take place for the 2001 season. Some owners want to move Arizona from the NL West to the AL West, shift Texas to the AL Central, move Detroit to the AL East and Tampa Bay to the NL East.
The Rotary Club greeted Selig with a standing ovation and treated the commissioner to sing-alongs of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and "You Gotta Have Heart," from the musical "Damn Yankees."
Copyright 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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