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December 10, 2002



Why reinstate Rose?
By Rob Dibble

Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. As one of the best players to ever pick up a bat, Rose's on-the-field accomplishments are immeasurable. For the years and memories he gave to the game, if he sincerely wants to make amends -- and I believe he does -- he deserves a shot at redemption.

Sources say any deal would likely include Rose admitting wrongdoing.

This is actually a very simple issue that time has blurred. As a player, it was never proven that he bet on games. But while managing the Cincinnati Reds, Rose was accused of betting on baseball and was suspended from the game for life. Since then, the issue has become a "he said-he said," finger-pointing debacle.

Granted, Rose was no saint. But if he's reinstated, it certainly wouldn't be the first time in sports history that bad behavior was overlooked for the sake of talent.

Rose has swallowed his pride. He is prepared to do whatever it takes to get reinstated. Because of this, many of his former detractors have changed their thinking and now support him.

The Hall of Fame is not a "Saint Museum." For crying out loud -- there are former law-breakers enshrined. People who don't know the whole situation should refrain from passing judgment. And people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Rose has swallowed his pride. He is prepared to do whatever it takes to get reinstated.

Baseball needs guys like Pete Rose in the game. He may never be allowed to manage again in the major leagues, but he could certainly return in an advisory capacity. His passion and knowledge would be hugely beneficial to the modern-day player. It's a shame, because those players don't even know what they're missing.

Future generations deserve to visit the most prestigious place in baseball and reflect on all of the game's greatest players. Rose's story would extend beyond that. It would show that baseball, while protecting the integrity of the game, is big enough to forgive.

I support talks between commissioner Bud Selig and Rose. If Rose is reinstated, everyone would win.

Former Cincinnati Reds reliever Rob Dibble is an ESPN baseball analyst and a co-host of "The Dan Patrick Show" on ESPN Radio. Dibble, who was co-MVP of the the 1990 NLCS, contributes regularly to ESPN.com.

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