Friday, August 8, 2003
Updated: August 12, 9:09 AM ET
Rose believes his 'love of baseball' makes him ideal
Fourteen years after receiving a lifetime ban from baseball for gambling on the sport, Pete Rose is increasingly optimistic about obtaining the Hall of Fame spot he feels he deserves.
Now, as he and his attorneys continue to work with commissioner Bud Selig on the terms of his readmittance into baseball, Rose has turned his thoughts to returning to the field as well -- by getting hired again as a manager.
Rose discusses his managerial asperations, his Hall of Fame frustration and more in an exclusive interview with ESPN's Bob Holtzman in this week's Sunday Conversation, airing on ESPN during the 11 p.m. ET edition of Sunday's SportsCenter.
"I love baseball. I love to teach baseball. I love young players. I love veteran players. I'd like to rebuild something," Rose said. "I think I proved that I can handle people and I learned some things in those four and a half years (of managing the Reds in the late 1980s) that would help me become a better manager if I ever had the chance again.
"I think I can be an asset to baseball because, there again, we know we made some mistakes, but there again, I think everybody will admit that I love the game of baseball and I approach the game of baseball the way you're supposed to approach the game of baseball and I love young players because they give you all of that enthusiasm."
Baseball's all-time hits leader with 4,256, Rose compiled a 412-373 overall record in parts of six seasons as Cincinnati's manager from 1984-89. His teams finished second in the old National League West in all four of his full seasons in charge.
Despite his ongoing official absence from the game, Rose has made numerous unofficial baseball-related appearances over the years that have kept his name and face in the public eye and helped develop what appears to be a growing sentiment to allow Rose back into the game.
"Whether anybody wants to admit it, my name is synonymous with baseball because of what I accomplished on the field and because I played for 24 years," he said. "I've been on the cover of Sports Illustrated 19 times, and I'm ugly, so people recognize me. And they put two and two together and one's Pete Rose and the other is baseball."
Despite his past, and the fact that he may have to openly admit he bet on baseball in order to gain reinstatement, the ever-confident Rose remains convinced that he will receive another chance to manage a major league team.
"Is there an owner that would give me an opportunity? I have to think so," he said. "I don't want to sound cocky or brash or anything, but there's two things I'm going to bring to the table -- I'm going to win, and I'm going to put people in the seats. If you're not interested in doing any of those things, don't call my number."