It’s been 25 years since Pete Rose managed a big league game. Monday…all that changed. Kinda.
Sure, it isn’t exactly the Major Leagues, but thanks to the independent league Bridgeport Bluefish, the Hit King was back in baseball. Even if just for a night.
“I’m not doing this to impress anybody to try to be reinstated. I don’t know that this would make Bud Selig like me any better,” Rose said. “I’m the one that screwed up. I’m not mad at anybody in baseball. I’m not going around whining about being reinstated. I’m going around talking positive about baseball.”
And that’s apparently exactly what the 73-year-old self-appointed ambassador of the game did.
“He’s here, so I’m definitely going to ask him about stuff,” former big leaguer Luis Lopez said. “I’m going to pick his brain about everything, especially hitting, because eventually I want to coach.”
Oh…about that game.
Rose’s Bluefish beat the Lancaster Barnstormers 2-0 in front of close to 4500 fans. Rose, who managed the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 up until his lifetime ban from baseball in 1989, even spent five innings coaching first base.
When asked if he’d ever consider a full-time gig managing an independent league team, Rose said he’d have to decline. It just doesn’t pay enough. As you can imagine, he makes more money doing public appearance across the country and as a regular signing autographs on the Las Vegas strip.