The news came that Pete Rose’s ban from baseball will continue. This may not be the best thing for Rose’s legacy — his chance for the Hall of Fame has probably gone from one percent to zero percent — and gambling on baseball will always be mentioned with his career for record for hits.
However, Rose being reinstated would have shut doors for him in terms of marketability. Rose, who signs personalized copies of his banishment for $500, already knows that his image comes from his infamy and has capitalized on it for years now. In the 48 hours after he was initially banned, Rose sold 50,000 autographed baseballs. He continues to do a great job capitalizing on his fame — or infamy–, regularly signing balls and memorabilia in Las Vegas. Rose even starred in a Skechers commercial in which he joked about his banishment from the Hall of Fame.
Had Rose been reinstated, his regular appearances on FOX’s studio shows wouldn’t matter as much as he’d be just another former star in the booth. However, the fact that he is banned created a hailstorm of publicity for FOX. The publicity around him creates marketing opportunities.
By staying out of baseball, Rose prevents himself from becoming just another ex-player. That’s more valuable to his brand than a plaque in Cooperstown.