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.