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Pete Rose: I'll always have hope

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OTL: Rob Manfred Interview (6:48)

Bob Ley talks with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred about his priorities as commissioner, pace of play, Pete Rose, and legalized gambling. (6:48)

Pete Rose would very much like to talk to new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred about lifting his lifetime ban and possibly allowing the 73-year-old "Hit King" to be eligible to enter the sport's hallowed Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

"I'll always have hope. That's all I've got. I just want to be on that writer's ballot. Let the writers decide. If they want me in, I'm in. If they don't feel I should be in, I can live with it."

Pete Rose, on discussing his lifetime ban with new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred

"I wish I could tell that I know what he'll do, but I've never met him. I've never seen him,'' Rose told USA Today Sports on Wednesday. "But I'd love to talk to him.''

Manfred, who succeeds Bud Selig as commissioner this season, told Bob Ley of ESPN's "Outside the Lines" last week that Rose is on his radar -- just not right now.

"There will come a point where I will have to decide that issue," Manfred told ESPN. "I fully intend to decide it."

Rose told USA Today Sports that he was convinced Selig would pardon him before handing control over to Manfred, but that never happened.

So he'll keep trying to get his name on the ballot.

"I'll always have hope. That's all I've got," Rose told USA Today Sports. "I just want to be on that writers' ballot. Let the writers decide. If they want me in, I'm in. If they don't feel I should be in, I can live with it.

"Once they lift my ban, I should be just like anyone else. If I've never been on the ballot, my clock should start at zero. That will give them 10 years to decide, if they need it.''

But for that to happen, he'll need to talk to Manfred, who recognizes that it's "an issue."

"I was doing some labor work for baseball when it happened, but I wasn't involved in it,'' Manfred told ESPN.com in January. "It's always been a commissioner-only issue. I understand I have to get completely conversant and deal with whatever request comes my way from Mr. Rose. I'm just not at a point in time where I can say anything intelligent about it. I do, however, recognize that it's an issue.''