Rob Manfred makes a lot of money, but there are some things he has to deal with that I’d not wish on my worst enemy. From Bob Nightengale’s latest:
Rose badly wants to talk to new Commissioner Rob Manfred and state his case . . . “I wish I could tell that I know what he’ll do,” Rose tells USA TODAY Sports, “but I’ve never met him. I’ve never seen him.
“But I’d love to talk to him.”
Manfred has spent the first few weeks of his commissionership talking to every single media outlet that asks for his time. Really, if you put out hardcore punk ‘zines in the late 80s, you probably got a sit-down with Manfred some time recently. I’d bet a great deal of money, however, that Rose doesn’t make it onto Manfred’s agenda any time soon.
The 2015 MLB All-Star Game will take place at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on July 14. One of the big questions surrounding the event is if Pete Rose will be on hand for the occasion despite his lifetime ban from baseball. Now we have our answer via Reds owner Bob Castellini:
For the record, here’s what outgoing commissioner Bud Selig had to say on the topic last July:
“That will be up to the Cincinnati club, and they know what they can do and can’t do. It’s sort of been subjective. But they’ve done some things with Pete, but they’ve been very, very thoughtful and limited. But that’s a subject that I’m sure they’ll discuss in the next year.”
While it’s now confirmed that Rose will be at the All-Star Game, it’s unclear what his role will be. Still, he’s going to be a hot topic no matter what, so there’s no need to pretend like he doesn’t exist. Of course, this won’t be the first time Rose has been back in an MLB stadium since his ban. He was allowed to participate in baseball’s All-Century Team ceremony during the 1999 World Series and has been on the field at Great American Ball Park for a couple of ceremonies in recent years.
Every few months someone gets it into their head to interview Pete Rose and every few months we get a different take from the Hit King. Really, the guy takes the “let’s see if I can say THIS” approach to interviews, saying one thing one time and a completely opposite thing another, apparently believing no one keeps track of the stuff he says over the years.
His most recent subject of hilarious inconsistency is his stance on PED users and the Hall of Fame. For years he has made a point to tell people that, hey, he may have gambled on baseball, but he was no stinkin’ drug cheat. THOSE are the guys with problems and they were way worse. They “altered the statistics” of the game.
He even has a little rehearsed spiel too, in which he says “ask Babe Ruth, ask Roger Maris, ask Hank Aaron” etc., about how they feel that their records were broken by PED users, and how that’s the real ethical problem in baseball. He said this almost word-for-word in 2010 and said it again a little less than a year ago. He specifically calls out Barry Bonds for tainting both the single-season and career home run records.
Now, however, he’s taking a live-and-let-live approach:
A three-time World Series champion with Cincinnati and Philadelphia, Rose thinks some others denied entry in the Hall — due to links to performance enhancing drugs — belong.
“Would I vote for Roger Clemens? You’re damn right I would. Would I vote for Barry Bonds? You’re damn right I would. These guys are seven-time MVPs, seven-time Cy Young Award winner,” said Rose.
Keep hustling, Charlie. Maybe someday you’ll find some magic words that make everyone change their mind about you.