Manfred: Rose decision by year's end

Manfred: Rose decision by year's end

NEW YORK -- The Pete Rose situation will be resolved by the end of the year, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday morning during a radio interview with Dan Patrick.

"I've only had a very brief conversation with him at the All-Star Game. I haven't met with him yet," Manfred said during the 17-minute segment. "I'm not going to get into a specific timetable except to say this to you: before calendar [year] 2015 comes to a close, I will have met with him and will have given him a decision."

Rose was suspended for life during the 1989 season by late Commissioner Bart Giamatti after a lengthy investigation determined he had bet on baseball games while he was manager of the Reds. Rose has had the right to apply for reinstatement anytime after one year.

Rose, who later admitted that he had bet on baseball as a manager -- but not on or against the Reds -- applied for reinstatement when Manfred succeeded Bud Selig earlier this year to become Major League Baseball's 10th Commissioner.

Since then, there have been allegations that Rose also placed bets as a player. Patrick asked Manfred if he expected to hear the truth from Rose at the time of their meeting.

"Let me say this: Truth is the bedrock of every relationship," Manfred responded. "I think it would be a mistake for Pete to come in and not tell me everything. The complete truth in respect to everything."

Patrick asked Manfred whether the issues of reinstatement and the all-time hits leader's eligibility for the Hall of Fame can be separated. As he has for the past few months, Manfred reiterated that the Hall of Fame makes its rules, and the Hall says those on MLB's ineligible list can't be considered for election.

Therefore, Manfred said, he has no authority to put Rose on the ballot.

"That is the mix you can't get to," Manfred said. "I can't get to, OK? My authority pertains to the permanently ineligible list in baseball, which is a functional list. These are people that we've reached a judgment that they can't be close enough to the game to affect an outcome because of previous involvement with respect to gambling.

"If I took him off the ineligible list, where he would really go, under the Hall of Fame's existing rules, is to a Veterans Committee. I can't leave him on the permanently ineligible list and make the Hall of Fame put him on the ballot. It's not within my power. That would be a Hall of Fame decision."

Manfred was then asked if Rose had done enough penance to be worthy of being taken off that list.

"I'm very open-minded to this," he said. "But I don't see this as a penance question. I don't see this as having sinned and that sin has been absolved. I see it as this: Can you reach the conclusion that it would be OK for Pete Rose to manage a Major League club? That's the question you have ask yourself with regards to the permanently ineligible list."

Manfred addressed a wide range of other topics during the interview, including his excitement for the upcoming postseason.

"I think the Cubs and Toronto [are] really interesting," he said. "Canada is really important to us. If you had the Cubs and Blue Jays, you'd have two countries fully engaged. We're fortunate this year. We have a nice mix of iconic franchises, big markets and some really interesting stories out there. I'm really looking forward to the postseason."

Asked about the possibility of expansion, Manfred said: "We have a couple of franchises that are working on stadium issues. I think those need to be resolved first. But over a longer term, without putting a specific time on it, we see baseball as a growth business, and growth businesses expand. So I'd like to see us get to 32 [teams], 32 does a lot for us from a scheduling perspective. It will be on the table for baseball."

On expanding to Mexico: "We have talked about Mexico a lot. In fact, I'm going to Mexico next week. We think Mexico is a tremendous opportunity for us. Baseball is strong in their culture. There are a lot of players. We think that having a team in Mexico will help the Hispanic market domestically. So, yeah, a lot of interest in Mexico."

On Las Vegas: "Fundamentally you have to make a decision that the market can support 81 home games. We are different than other sports just because of the bulk of home games involved. I think the gambling issue is kind of a secondary issue. I see gambling in two different buckets. I see legalized gambling very, very differently than I do illegal gambling. Saying that, it does concern me to have a sports book that available that proximate to a Major League club."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.