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Pete Rose manages team, 1st time in 25 years

Rose: Tony Was Great For Baseball


By PAT EATON-ROBB

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- Pete Rose stood behind the batting cage Monday, joking as former major leaguer Joe Mather hit ball after ball to center field during batting practice for the Bridgeport Bluefish.

"I asked him, `What are you working on, a sacrifice fly?'" Rose said.

Charlie Hustle's jersey was too big and he was wearing slacks as he exchanged lineup cards with opposing manager Butch Hobson at home plate. But Rose was back in his element, managing a baseball team, if just for one day.

The 73-year-old whose 4,256 hits are the most in major league history served as guest skipper for the Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League during their 2-0 win over the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Barnstormers. He also coached first base for the team for the first five innings.

The game at the 5,300-seat stadium was his first managing job since 1989, when as the skipper of the Cincinnati Reds he agreed to a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for betting on baseball. He later admitted that he bet on Reds games while running the team.

Rose could take this one-game job because the Bluefish are not affiliated with any major league team. He said the appearance wasn't about bringing attention to the ban or getting reinstated.

He said he was trying to show he could be a good ambassador for the game.

"If I'm ever reinstated, I won't need a third chance," he said. "Believe me."

The Bluefish players asked for autographs took pictures and listened to Rose's stories of his glory days. Many, like Rose, also are hoping for one more shot at the big time.

"He's here, so I'm definitely going to ask him about stuff," said 40-year-old Luis Lopez, who has spent 20 years playing baseball, but just two at the major league level. "I'm going to pick his brain about everything, especially hitting, because eventually I want to coach."

Rose said he would never consider managing an independent league team full-time. It just doesn't pay enough. He makes a lot more money these days making personal appearances around the country and signing autographs for cash on the Las Vegas strip.

About 50 fans paid $250 each to get into a "meet and greet" with Rose before this game and others paid $150 to have lunch with him. He did sign some free autographs as he took the field.

About 4,500 fans paid to see the game. George Libretti, 46 of Beacon Falls, brought his 10-year-old nephew, Robert Rosko, so the boy could one day say that he saw the greatest hitter who ever lived. Libretti said he supported Rose's ban 25 years ago, but believes the time has come to put him in the Hall of Fame.

"He's done his time," he said. "It's time."

Rose said he's learned to live with his ban. He was asked during his pregame news conference if he had any advice for Los Angeles Clipper's owner Donald Sterling on how to deal with his.

"All I can say about Donald Sterling is, my fiancee is a lot better looking than his girlfriend," Rose joked before getting serious for just a moment.

"A lifetime ban," he said, "is a long time."

Join the discussion

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balaland June 17 2014 at 11:24 AM

One of THE GREATEST ball players of all-time, He should be REINSTATED...PERIOD.......

Flag Reply +34 rate up
6 replies
elysianfields08 June 17 2014 at 10:52 AM

Reinstate Pete Rose .

Flag Reply +30 rate up
4 replies
David June 17 2014 at 11:22 AM

To chastise and ignore the finest baseball player in my lifetime (67yr) Bud Selik should rot in hell. He is kept out of Cooperstown for betting on his own team to win (You tell me, where is the conflict when a player is so sure his team will win that he puts is $$$ where his mouth is?)

Yet all the juicers, From Bonds to Clements will eventually get the nod. Oh well, Daddy told me life was not fair didn't he.....

Flag Reply +24 rate up
7 replies
petpetdon June 17 2014 at 11:42 AM

When drug users are still allowed to play the game get suspensions for 50, 60 games you know there is something wrong with the baseball and the people in the MLB office. Rose did his time. Put him in the Hall of Fame and let him back in baseball.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
1 reply
tmspitrow petpetdon June 17 2014 at 6:53 PM

I AGREE,BUT IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN,BECAUSE HE IS WHITE.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
jaymark007 tmspitrow June 22 2014 at 11:36 PM

It will if enough of us support him and demand it. In the famous words of Dale Earnhardt Jr. without fans there would be no NASCAR. This is true of any sport. THE FANS RULE!!!

Flag +1 rate up
hotrodchevies June 17 2014 at 12:14 PM

the man got robed look what the others are doing nothing said

Flag Reply +14 rate up
David June 17 2014 at 2:11 PM

It's about time. Geeez. Pete Rose, Charley Hussle, has done enough pennance for himself and all the drug users these past twenty-five years! Just saying,

Flag Reply +10 rate up
mistercd103 June 17 2014 at 10:55 AM

Go away Rose

Flag Reply +9 rate up
4 replies
Phillip Lojek June 17 2014 at 10:51 AM

But the big question is "Did he know the over/under?"

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
ronnie Phillip Lojek June 18 2014 at 12:11 AM

If we the fans would boycot baseball game until the reinstated Pete, he would be back tomorrow.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
jaymark007 ronnie June 22 2014 at 11:38 PM

My sentiments exactly and we wouldn't have to do it very long!

Flag 0 rate up
Rod June 17 2014 at 11:52 AM

Who did he BET on - maybe he 's not gambling anymore (nobody knows) but he lost everything he had including most of his prize possesions ! Guy has a major problem but kept lying about it all - come totally clean Pete & even I will consider your possible or at least your stats under your name ! Very serious crimes that this man committed against MLB & the fans who once believed in him! He signed that BAN knowing well what he did & that there would be even more dirt coming out as this sad story kept growing into a major WEB of DECEIT & LIES !

Flag Reply +4 rate up
5 replies
madddddddddddddd June 17 2014 at 12:27 PM

cant this falied hero just go away............................

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
Carolyn madddddddddddddd June 17 2014 at 5:36 PM

He didn't fail - that's why he wont go away. He made some bad choices but that doesn't take away that he had more hits than any other player in baseball. After all the other garbage that has gone on in the game, what he did was peanuts - and he should be reinstated - he's paid his dues.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
3 replies
Jon madddddddddddddd June 18 2014 at 3:52 AM

ahole

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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