Rob Manfred is 'committed' to eventually hearing Pete Rose's case

CINCINNATI -- Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that he remains ''committed'' to giving Pete Rose a thorough hearing in Rose's bid for reinstatement to the game, and that he plans to meet with Rose at a yet-to-be-determined date.

Rose, who was banned in 1989 for misconduct related to gambling, submitted a formal request for reinstatement in March.

"There's no change with respect to the process with Pete Rose," Manfred said at a Baseball Writers' Association of America luncheon Tuesday. "The review of the original investigatory material is ongoing. I frankly was surprised at how much material there was to be reviewed. We're taking a fresh look at all of that.

"I remain committed to the idea that Mr. Rose deserves an opportunity to tell me, in whatever format he feels most comfortable, whatever he wants me to know about the issue. I'm sure there will be an in-person meeting. I want to schedule it at a time when I'm comfortable I have a good grasp of all the factual material."

Rose, who has been doing television commentary for Fox Sports, said last week that he expects to appear at Great American Ball Park before Tuesday night's All-Star Game as one of the Reds' "Franchise Four'' elected in fan balloting. Rose said on a conference call that he will be recognized with fellow Reds greats Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Barry Larkin on the field. But MLB and the Reds have provided no specifics on the extent of his involvement in the festivities.

Rose, 74, amassed a major league record 4,256 hits from 1963 to 1986. Three years later, he agreed to a permanent ban from baseball amid accusations that he gambled on games.

Rose has long ago admitted that he bet on baseball, but said he did so only as a manager. But according to a recent report by ESPN's Outside the Lines, Rose wagered extensively on the game as a player-manager during the 1986 season.

Rose never gained any traction in his efforts to gain leniency from previous commissioners Fay Vincent and Bud Selig. But Manfred declined to second-guess Selig's treatment of the issue.

"Commissioner Selig for 23 years did what I have come to understand was a very, very hard job every single day,'' Manfred said. "On balance, he made great decisions. I would never in a million years second-guess whether anybody was entitled to different treatment from Bud. He did what he did, and he was right way more than he was wrong."

MLB Players Association leader Tony Clark, who also appeared at Tuesday's BBWAA luncheon, pronounced himself "disheartened" that Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader, continues to be in the news 26 years after his ban in conjunction with the debate about his gambling.

"I'm disheartened at how we got here," said Clark, who added that the MLBPA plays "no formal role" in Rose's situation. "It has nothing to do with reinstatement. I'm just disheartened that the Hit King finds himself in a place where every time you say his name, it's tied to gambling and the situation that has dictated 25 or 26 years away from the game. It's just disappointing."