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      Smack Zone — Rob Manfred

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      Pete Rose's HOF Fate to be Decided by December

      [caption id="attachment_1112" align="aligncenter" width="474"]Pete Rose: Hall of Famer? The number say yes. Pete Rose: Hall of Famer? The numbers say hell, yes. MLB says hell, no. At least not yet.[/caption] If we here at the Smack Zone were the gambling types (shut up!), we'd put the odds of Pete Rose getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime at about 4,256-to-1. Yes, he remains the all-time hit king (the 4,256 part). But there is the lingering matter of that whole gambling on baseball thing. And, you know, lying about it. And, you know, sort of not really acting like the rules applied to him. But, hey. This is Pete FREAKING Rose we're talking about here. He embodied the game for a quarter-century. He inspired a generation of kids to run hard to first base after a walk and to dive head-first into anything and everything. So, now it comes out that Commissioner Rob Manfred -- the fourth commissioner to preside over Rose's lifetime ban from the game -- somehow managed to avoid all the pope traffic to meet with Pete in MLB's NYC office on Thursday. Manfred says he'll make his decision about potential reinstatement for Rose by the end of this year. [caption id="attachment_1114" align="alignleft" width="175"]Pete Rose: Hall of Famer? Signs aren't great, but there is hope. Pete Rose: Hall of Famer? Signs aren't great, but there is hope.[/caption] Will it happen? Will the game's all-time leader in hits finally become eligible for enshrinement into the Hall? Well, it's not looking great. Manfred already denied a petition for reinstatement of infamous Black Sox anti-hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson. And ESPN sources are telling them that reinstatement is unlikely. Still ... we'll see. Manfred allowed Rose to participate in the All-Star Game in Cincinnati this past summer, so that's a good sign. Right? Right? At least there's hope.  

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