NEW YORK (WFAN) — Pete Rose wants Major League Baseball to give him a second chance. That’s no big secret.
And he thinks he’d have a better shot at reinstatement if Hall of Fame voters can find it in themselves to induct a tainted slugger or two.
“I wish that would happen,” Rose said Monday on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show. “If something like that would ever happen, it would enhance my opportunities.”
The disgraced hit king is eager to manage again, and he wouldn’t mind having a shot at Cooperstown. A lifetime ban for betting on games as manager of the Cincinnati Reds prohibits both, though Rose is quick to point out that no Steroids Era stars linked to performance-enhancing drugs have a place in the Hall, either.
Here’s the difference: those players are on the ballot. Rose isn’t, and he never will be unless his exile is lifted.
“My mistake was (in) 1987,” said Rose, who wasn’t banned until 1989. “How many years ago was that? It’s time to get over it. You have to understand, if I made the mistake that I made, that would be the last thing I’d ever do, is make a mistake like that (again).”
Rose defended having his home base in Las Vegas, where he signs memorabilia for a living.
“There are some people that think I’m wrong when I drive by a race track,” he said. “Drive by it. Don’t stop in it. OK? I’m not a casino gambler. And if you don’t believe me, just have someone follow me around. I go to work every day, I get off, I go get me a Subway salad, I go home and watch baseball on TV. (I) never go in a casino.”
The 73-year-old has also been bringing home a check as the face of a mobile fantasy gaming app called SportsBeep.
“You have to understand, I’ve been suspended 25 years,” Rose said. “I have families I have to support. And if baseball’s not gonna give me a chance, I’ve gotta find other opportunities.”
“This gaming app we’ve got right now is gonna be really huge,” he added. “And it’s gonna give me an opportunity … to support my family. I would much rather be in baseball, making the kind of money I should be making as a former baseball player, as a guy who spent 24 years in the big leagues. But, however, I’m not able to do that, so I have to find other means. And the sports app is the other means. And it’s legal, by the way.”
Rose finished his career with a record 4,256 hits. While a spot in the Hall of Fame would be welcome, Rose sounds more interested in returning to the bench.
“Baseball, to me, is a better game if I’m in it,” Rose said, repeating a line from a 2012 interview with WFAN’s Steve Somers. “Because of my passion for the game and for my love of young players, and for the way I like to develop young players. When I managed the Reds from ’84 to ’89, nobody in that clubhouse knew that I was making a bet. Nobody.”
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