NEW YORK - The Hall of Fame's doors will remain shut to Pete Rose, who won't appear on the baseball writers' ballot in his final year of eligibility.
Commissioner Bud Selig will not rule on Rose's application for reinstatement before the 2006 ballot is released Nov. 29, according to Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer.
Rose, who last year admitted he did bet on the Cincinnati Reds while managing the team in the late 1980s, doesn't understand why the rules, unless changed, won't allow him to ever appear on the annual ballot of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
"How can I be on a list that expires after 15 years if I'm suspended?" Rose said Sunday in comments relayed to The Associated Press through his manager, Warren Greene. "It should be that time stops."
Rose, baseball's career hits leader, agreed to a lifetime ban in August 1989 following an investigation of his gambling, and the Hall's board of directors decided unanimously in February 2001 that anyone on the permanently ineligible list couldn't appear on the BBWAA ballot.
Rose applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met with Selig in November 2002. His efforts to end his suspension appeared to falter after he admitted in his 2004 autobiography, "Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars," that his previous gambling denials were false.
"The matter remains on the commissioner's desk. He has given no indication that he's prepared to issue a formal decision," DuPuy said.
Rose's final season as a player was 1986, and the rules for the Hall's BBWAA ballot state that players must have been retired for at least five years but no more than 20 to be eligible for election.
He received nine write-in votes in 2005, his lowest total, and has been written in on 239 of 6,687 ballots (3.6 percent) over 14 years.
Jane Forbes Clark, the Hall's chairman, left open the possibility that the Hall would give a Rose a chance to appear on the writers' ballot if he ever regains reinstatement.
"I think that we would look at the situation if the commissioner changes the situation and the position of Major League Baseball," she said. "If something happens, we'll react to it."
In 1989, just after baseball's investigation began, Rose considered himself a shoo-in for the Hall.
"4,256 hits. 2,200 runs. That's all I did," he said. "I'm a Hall of Famer."
Now 64, Rose might never get in despite a career in which he became a 17-time All-Star and the 1973 NL MVP award winner.
"It would be a great honor if I made the Hall of Fame," he said through Greene. "If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't."