Former player and manager Pete Rose applied for reinstatement to Major League Baseball on Wednesday, arguing that his lifetime ban from the league for gambling on baseball games was not a "proportional response".
The Red Sox have been accused of illegally using the video replay room to help steal signs, and apparently they were not the only team that did that. "Rose's penalty has become grossly disproportionate relative to Major League Baseball's treatment of severe wrongdoing by ownership, management and players", the petition said. Baseball banned Rose in 1989 for betting on games while he was manager of the Cincinnati Reds, but he apparently didn't influence the outcome of games.
At one point, a monitor was installed near the Houston dugout so players could watch, figure out the signs and hit a trash can with a bat to signal to their batter what type of pitch was coming, Major League Baseball said.
This isn't the first time Rose has asked for reinstatement, Manfred turned him down in 2015 and Bud Selig rejected Rose's previous application. Manfred's office has only said that they are reviewing his request.
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An MLB investigation found that, at the start of the 2017 season, the Astros used a live game feed from the center field camera to decode and transmit opposing teams' catcher sign sequences for use when an Astros runner was on second base.
Rose is also seeking a meeting with Commissioner Manfred.
There is one problem, however, with Rose's entire line of argumentation: Stealing signs will never be looked at in the same fashion as gambling.
A statement from Rose's representatives also cites the discipline handed down by the league during the "steroids era" of the late 1980s to early 2000s as a motivating factor in filing the petition.
It's apples to oranges, but that isn't stopping Pete Rose from trying.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Houston's baseball operations department put together a system to steal signs with technology in 2016, the year before the team won the World Series.