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Manfred on Rose: the process was "extremely difficult"

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred did a Q&A with Jeff Passan over at Yahoo today, and spoke for the first time since denying Pete Rose's reinstatement. You can read the whole article here, but here's the most Reds-relevant section:

In your first year, you made one choice that stirred significant emotion: not reinstating Pete Rose. How difficult a decision was that?

I felt that it was important to focus on the specific issue in front of me – that is, can I remove Mr. Rose from the permanently ineligible list and open the door to the possibility that he would be directly involved with the play of the game on the field? Once you focus on that issue, I think it was not that difficult to write the opinion that was written. In a broader context, the process was extremely difficult. I’ll give you two things that, given what I said already, weigh on the other side. One is that the guy was one of the greatest players of all-time. And No. 2 is obviously this penalty has been in place a long time. Those factors made it more difficult. But at the end of the day, it’s important to remember what my responsibility is under the major league constitution, and I tried to discharge that responsibility.

TL;DR: Rules are rules, Pete.