Pete Rose may be banned from Major League Baseball, but apparently that won’t keep him from talking about the national pastime for someone else.
The veteran All-Star known to legions of fans as “Charlie Hustle” will serve Fox Sports as a guest studio analyst, the 21st Century Fox unit announced Saturday. He will provide analysis for pregame and postgame shows as part of regular-season MLB games on both Fox and Fox Sports 1, and will also contribute to original studio programs on Fox Sports 1 including “America’s Pregame,” “MLB Whiparound” and “Fox Sports Live.”
“It’s obvious that Pete has a vast knowledge of baseball history, but what is equally impressive is how well informed and opinionated he is about the game today,” said John Entz, executive vice president of production and executive producer at Fox Sports. “He’s one of the most popular players to ever put on a uniform, and we have no doubt that people will truly enjoy his insight and enthusiasm.”
And yet, Rose is “ineligible” to take part in any of Major League Baseball’s business, and has been so since 1989, when he admitted to betting on baseball games while managing the Reds, though not betting against his own team. In recent weeks, Rose has made a request to the new commissioner of Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred, to be reinstated. Manfred told CNBC earlier this month that he was willing to give Rose’s status “a full and fresh look.”
In a story published on Fox Sports’ website, the unit said it had informed MLB of its decision to audition and then hire Rose. “As a courtesy, Fox informed us that they were interviewing Pete Rose for an on-air studio position,” said Pat Courtney, baseball’s chief communications officer, in a statement.”The decision to hire on-air talent for its telecasts rests solely with Fox.”
“I’m not concentrating or worrying about reinstatement,” Rose told Fox Sports. “I’m worried about working, having fun. This will be fun for me. It won’t be like work. That’s the way I look at it.”
The deal with Fox will keep Rose in the studio, rather than broadcasting from a specific team stadium.
Despite the fact that Rose’s pact is with Fox, it will no doubt raise speculation that Manfred may be ready to allow the player, who amassed 4,256 hits during his career, back into the game. The original decision to ban Rose was made by Bart Giamatti, and it has been upheld ever since. Yet with MLB allowing various players found to be involved with performance-enhancing drugs to continue their MLB careers, the league’s stance with Rose may seem less justifiable.