OXFORD — Pete Rose said it’s an American tradition to give second chances, although he wouldn’t describe himself as optimistic about his application for reinstatement to Major League Baseball being approved.
“I don’t know if that’s the right word,” Rose said Friday in a brief interview between appearances on the campus of Miami University in southwest Ohio. “I think he’s his own man, he’ll make up his own mind. I’m just happy he’s willing to review my status.”
First-year commissioner Rob Manfred has said he plans to meet with baseball’s banned hit king by the end of the year.
“It’s his timetable. He’s the boss, my phone’s always on,” Rose said. “If I get that meeting, I’ll look forward to it.”
Interviewed by Miami student TV journalists, Rose said repeatedly that he made mistakes and that he hopes others will learn from them.
“I’ve been suspended a long time, but I made the mistake, and I’m paying the consequences,” Rose added. “If I’m ever given a second chance, I’ll be the happiest guy in the world. I’m an American. This is America, you get a second chance. … I won’t need a third chance.”
Rose’s college visit was to be capped by a discussion with Cincinnati Enquirer sports columnist Paul Daugherty about ethics and sports as part of the school’s fall lecture series. Miami spokeswoman Claire Wagner said Rose was paid $30,000 including expenses.
“I’m not going to sit here in Oxford, Ohio, and whine about me being suspended. Because I’m the one who screwed up,” Rose said.
But the former player nicknamed Charlie Hustle said: “I never cheated the fans.”
Rose, now 74, is a Cincinnati native who made his debut with the Reds in 1963. The career hits leader with 4,256 was banned in 1989 for betting on baseball.