Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!
You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.
-Yeats, "The Rose of Battle"
A report in Newsday claims that Pete Rose is willing to admit that he bet on baseball and to apologize for his denying this fact for 13 years. Rose would then face a reported six- to eight-month probationary period before reinstatement. If his behavior is up to snuff, he could enter Cooperstown in 2004. Bud Selig has required during the "negotiations that Rose fulfill all three obligations: an admission, an apology and probation."
There has been no mention of an admission of betting on the Reds, which would ban him for life, and then some. Therefore, I see no reason for the probationary period other than to exact another pound of flesh from the Hit Earl. The penalty for gambling on baseball is one year, and Rose has served that 13 times over. If the probation is to evaluate Rose's behavior, then he has displayed that not a whole lot has changed in the quagmire that is his personal life in the intervening 13 years. Besides, if Rose were to change for 6 months, does anyone believe that he would be permanently altered in some way?
Whatever, it's good for baseball to end this ugly episode. Let him enter the Hall, be the flavor of the week, and then fade from the baseball landscape.