Commissioner: Reds can still honor Pete Rose after latest controversy -- if they want to

Castellini calls newest Pete saga disappointing

CINCINNATI -- Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred deferred to the Reds on the latest Pete Rose controversy -- claims of Rose having sex with a possibly underaged girl in his playing days.

“I think I made it clear when I decided Mr. Rose’s last request for reinstatement, the ceremonial issues are fundamentally local issues,” said Manfred, in the town for the RBI Softball World Series luncheon. “I think our clubs are best situated to take the pulse of their community and understand what’s appropriate, what’s not appropriate and make a decision on what they want to do with respect to an individual player.

“I don’t think it helps our sport to try to dictate those outcomes sitting in an office in New York. Our owners have great judgment and will make the right decisions for their individuals community.”

That put the issue on owner Bob Castellini, who was also at the RBI luncheon.

So, are the Reds done with Rose?

“All the information has been very disappointing,” Castellini said. “We have no comment beyond that.”

Rose admits having a sexual relationship with a teenager in the 1970s. The woman claims she was not yet 16 when Rose started having sex with her, according to federal court documents. If proven true, that might have qualified as statutory rape since 16 is the legal age for consent in Ohio.

Rose admitted the sexual relationship started in 1975, the year he turned 34, according to court documents. But Rose claims the girl was 16 at the time, and they never had sex outside Ohio. If so, Rose could argue that he hadn’t committed a crime.

The allegations came light as part of defamation suit that Rose filed against John Dowd, who authored the report that got Rose banned from baseball. Dowd said on radio show that Rose had sex with underage girls. Rose sued.

WCPO.com web editor Greg Noble contributed to this story.

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