Pete Rose is disappointed in Rob Manfred’s decision to uphold his lifetime Major League Baseball ban; however, he accepted the ban during a Las Vegas press conference Tuesday said he just “wants to be friends with baseball again.”
Rose also acknowledged that the new commissioner was “in a tough spot to make a judgement on my situation,” ESPN reports. He expressed his sadness in Tuesday’s Las Vegas press conference, just one day after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred rejected his plea to be reinstated.
“I’m disappointed, obviously disappointed,” Rose explained. “But I will continue to be the best baseball fan in the world. …I’m a baseball player. I’m a baseball person, and that’s never gonna change.”
Rose started the conference by thanking Manfred and describing their previous meetings as “cordial.” He also suggested that he “should actually be the commissioner of baseball,” since he is such a huge promoter and avid viewer of the sport.
The 74-year-old emphasized that he doesn’t want to be an “outsider” to baseball. He hopes to be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, but he also talked of big players he coached and played with, naming himself “a Hall of Famer by association.”
In a three-page statement Monday detailing why he rejected Rose’s bid for reinstatement, he noted Rose had failed to “reconfigure” his life. Manfred said Rose’s continued gambling and evidence that he did indeed bet on games when he was playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds, ESPN reports.
Rose admitted to placing bets on baseball recreational Tuesday, but he said he thinks he can help other people.
“I think I can teach lots of people not to make the same mistakes I made, to learn from my situation,” he said. “People handed down the wrong path can learn from my situation.”
Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 after MLB launched an investigation into his gambling. He applied for reinstatement in February for a second time.
Manfred took the job as commissioner in January.
For nearly 15 years after being banned, Rose denied betting on the game. In 2004, he admitted to doing so when he was a Reds manager in a story in his autobiography.
Rose said that he has worked hard to change his ways. “I’ve worked hard at it,” he said of his gambling habits. “I’ve got it under wraps the last several years. I’m under control right now. Unlike 30 years ago, when I was out of control as a gambler.
“I live in Las Vegas because that’s where my job is. You’re probably the same as me–I’m a recreational gambler. I don’t bet every day. I’m not a casino guy. I don’t play blackjack, roulette, dice, all that stuff.
“I occasionally like to bet on horses, because I used to be a horse owner and have a lot of respect for people in that industry. But everything I do is legal. I’m very selective with people I associate with now.”
Though he is understanding of his ban, it doesn’t take away his disappointment, USA Today reports.
“I spent 26 years in the major leagues, and 26 years outside of the major leagues,” said Rose. “I can tell you, the last 26 years have been a lot worse than the 26 years I spent in the major leagues. I put my family through a lot of things over the years and they stuck behind me. My fans have stuck behind me; I appreciate that.
“I can’t tell you the ongoing support I get everywhere I go, I think probably because of the way I played the game, approached the game, and tried to sell the game.
“To be honest, I should probably be the commissioner of baseball, the way I talk about the game.”