Baseball ban 'wears and tears' at Pete Rose

From left, former MLB player and manager Pete From left, former MLB player and manager Pete Rose has his hand squeezed as he shakes hands with Hunter Bowen, 7, of Vermont, as he signs autographs at Safe at Home Ballpark Collectibles during Hall of Fame Week, Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Cooperstown. Photo Credit: AP / Mark DiOrio

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - As he has for several years now, Pete Rose spent induction weekend signing autographs for money a few blocks from the Hall of Fame.

As usual, he drew big crowds and helped reignite the seemingly never-ending debate about whether baseball's all-time hit king ever will be reinstated from his lifetime ban for gambling on the game when he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

Rose was mentioned positively from the podium during Sunday's induction ceremony -- but not on the MLB Network broadcast.

It happened during a commercial break. Hall of Famer Barry Larkin was answering questions on stage and was asked about his favorite moment in baseball. "Being from Cincinnati," Larkin said, "I'd have to say it was when Pete Rose broke the hits record."

Some in the estimated crowd of 48,000 cheered when Rose's name was brought up. Others seemed surprised Larkin would give that answer standing a few feet from retiring commissioner Bud Selig, who has shown no inclination he is considering lifting Rose's ban.

Selig did say earlier this month that Rose may be allowed to participate in next season's All-Star Game festivities at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

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Rose, in an interview with Chicago radio station 670 The Score over the weekend, said Selig's pronouncement "caught me by surprise."

In the same interview, Rose showed the same mixture of contrition and complaining that has angered baseball ever since the topic of his possible reinstatement came up years ago. While saying he is responsible for his ban, Rose also compared his situation to being in jail.

"I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Selig," Rose said, "and I appreciate the efforts of Mr. [Bob] Castellini, the owner of the Reds, and I think that would be a big weekend for the city of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Reds, and all the great fans that support that ballclub and supported me . . .

"But it wears and tears on me and it wears and tears on my family. What do I mean by that? Because they let you do something and the next day you go back in the jail. Then they let you do something else and they put you back in the jail the next day. What do I do? Do I participate in the festivities next year, then the next day they put the handcuffs back on? You understand what I'm saying?"

Rose has appeared on the field in other ceremonies: in 1999 as part of the All-Century team in Atlanta; in Cincinnati in 2010 for the 25th anniversary of his record-setting 4,192nd hit; and last September at Great American Ballpark when a bronze sculpture was unveiled honoring former teammate Joe Morgan.

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