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Pete Rose is going, going, gone

Pete Rose Baseball.JPG It’s rare when a planned interview doesn’t happen. A few have been canceled because airplane flights got delayed or the actor picked up a job at the last minute and became unavailable.

The way a planned interview with former major league baseball player Pete Rose got canceled is really one of the weirdest.

Rose is the subject of the new documentary “4192: The Crowning of the Hit King.” If all you care about are the playing days of the former Cincinnati Reds star, then this is a solid film. The fact it doesn’t deal with his gambling problems or his ban from baseball is like seeing a documentary on the Titanic that ends before the iceberg hits. But, this film was made to highlight the glory days of Rose.

In connection with the documentary, Rose had agreed to sit down with me at a restaurant in Sherman Oaks to talk about his career.

As a matter of full disclosure, I have to admit I jumped at the chace to talk to Rose because I’ve been a Reds fan since the days of the Big Red Machine. I’ve even argued Rose should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Is he a total idiot for betting on baseball? Yes. That was the most moronic thing he could have done. But, the all-time hits leader needs to be in the Hall of Fame. I’ve never been a big Barry Bonds fan but if the all-time home run king isn’t in the hall, the facility will never be a proper tribute the best players in the game.

You can see why I was eager to talk to Rose. Then I got a call.

The Rose interview was not going to happen. Instead of being in Los Angeles, Rose decided to go to Las Vegas. No joke. The guy who got banned from baseball for gambling opted to cancel interviews about a project that honors him as a player just so he could go to the gambling hot spot.

It’s all about priorities.

I still think Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and the documentary’s entertaining on a pure baseball level. I just now have one of the more ironic excuses for canceling an interview in my career.

Responses to "Pete Rose is going, going, gone"

Adam says:

I saw Rose in Vegas signing autographs for money at a sports memorabilia shop in Ceasers a couple of years ago. I thought it was pretty weird that he was there.

Michael Medrano says:

The new film is obviously a public relations pitch for the hall of fame and I hope the voters will someday recognize his on the field accomplishments. Yes, foolish to gamble, but the gambling should be considered a seperate issue.

And to cancel an interview to go to Vegas of all places, a chance to slowly repair his tainted image? Only a truly sick person would behave so irrationaly. Well, it sounds like you did get a good story out of it. :)

Adam says:

Yes, Rose has a regular standing gig at Field of Dreams in the Caesars palace shopping mall, you can often find him there doing what he can to keep an income. Its sad really. Some sort of scheduling snaffu? Odd. Sorry you didnt get to have the sit down. Perhaps you will have to go there to talk to The Hit King—keep your eyes out for other MLB players who make the trek to talk to ‘The King’…you can also find Jerry Tarkanian there often too.

I look forward to the film and Rose’s one day return to the world of the game while he is still alive.

George B. Feist (DUKE) says:

My son and I went to see Pete Rose and Duke Snider and other when they were in Fresno some 20 years ago…Rose should be in the Hall of Fame for his years of phenominal play in baseball. Charlie Hustle..agressive (ask Ray Fosse) and loved (s) the game.

pk says:

Yup….saw him in that same Caesars shop too! Guess he just can’t stay away from the action!

Reds fan says:

FYI… Pete works in Vegas at a memorabilia store in the Forum Shops 180 days a year. That is how the guy makes a living. Why is that any different from an actor getting called into work? Obviously you did not do your research before you start blasting him. Also, You forgot to mention that it was “illegal” gambling that got him suspended. There’s a difference if you didn’t know.

Rick Bentley says:

I did do my research and this was not a matter of being “called into work.” Also, I don’t believe I “blasted” Rose. I made it very cler I believe he belongs in the Hall of Fame. My point was it was just ironic that at a time when Rose is trying to get past the illegal gambling stigma, he cancels interviews to go to a place known for gambling.

Delaine Zody says:

I caught the irony, Rick, and I agree, but not about the Hall of Fame thing.

Dave says:

It’s all about a disease. We don’t seem to care if a guy is an alcoholic nut like Charlie Sheen, or a drug abuser like so many in Hollywood. But we sure care about Rose gambling. Maybe he was in the game 30-40 years too early. Now a days no one would give a damn. Too busy turning the NFL into a touch football league.