The 25th anniversary of Pete Rose being banned from MLB is Sunday and baseball's controversial hit king sat down for an interview with ESPN to mark the occasion. Like most things Pete Rose, the interview — which aired Wednesday on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" — was far from mundane.
The headline born from it: Rose says 25 years ago when he signed an agreement to be banished for life, it was a mistake. He thought he'd only been suspended for a season.
He told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap:
"It was a mistake because I didn't read the fine print," Rose said. "When I signed that agreement, if you looked at my news conference the day I was suspended ... I looked at it really as a year suspension. To this day, I have no idea why my lawyers would accept a lifetime suspension. Sure, I'm there listening to them, but most players when I played, when you look at your contract and stuff, you don't read the fine print."
That's not the most sympathy-inspiring excuse. The document Rose signed with MLB clearly stated he was being banned for life. There was no "fine print." This is on page three of a four-page document:
Elsewhere in his interview, Rose accepted full responsibility for his actions and said he regretted ever betting on baseball. Obviously, he's hopeful for reinstatement one day.
Current MLB commissioner Bud Selig was also interviewed for the ESPN piece. He didn't give a firm answer one way or another about Rose's future, but said it was "under advisement." From ESPN's T.J. Quinn:
Now my interview w Bud Selig. I asked why he won't just answer Pete yay or nay. He said it's under advisement. But then he said this:— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) August 20, 2014
Gives Rose a lot of thought, "And whoever succeeds me will be able to do the same thing." So he doesn't plan to act? "I haven't decided."— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) August 20, 2014
Selig's portion was filmed before Rob Manfred was elected as new MLB commish last week. We don't know what Manfred thinks about reinstating Rose at this point, but we do know oddsmakers think it's an 8/1 bet.
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