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A Rose Is a Rose
Rick Reilly
August 16, 1993
Four years after getting banned from baseball, Pete Rose is still hustling—now to get back into the game
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August 16, 1993

A Rose Is A Rose

Four years after getting banned from baseball, Pete Rose is still hustling—now to get back into the game

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The replay shows that Rose is right. Then, at the end of the next inning, he says, "Hey, Joe, did you notice that the last two hitters got hits after the count had gone to oh and 2?" No, says Morgan. Check the replay. Rose is right. Later he says, "I could tell you what the count was and what the pitch was on every hitter in the game tonight," and he starts to prove it before he is begged to stop.

He is not right about all things. The next morning a story moves on the wire quoting baseball officials who say Rose violated his forever banishment by appearing in the broadcast booth.

Which comes as a surprise to Rose, who still has his press pass from the Cincinnati public relations department.

This is what Rose says as he's riding along the Florida Turnpike listening to Rush Limbaugh hate somebody big-time on the radio and rubbing the Schmozz's hair—the Schmozz being Rose's eight-year-old son, Ty—and thinking about how his own life shimmies like a downed power line there for a while: "Just think about all the problems baseball caused me."

What do you mean? say the parties with Rose.

"Well, do you think if it wasn't for baseball, the IRS would have checked me out? When baseball started putting all that propaganda out that I won half-a-million dollars here and $200,000 there and I lost $300,000 there—hey, people gotta do their job, don't they? Every agency in this country checked mc out and what'd they find? That I underpaid my taxes six percent. The DEA, the FBI. People said I was a money launderer and a drug dealer. And everything checked out perfect."

Of course, perfect might not be the exact right word there, unless you figure that dodging taxes on a total of $354,968 of unreported income and having card-show checks made out to phony names are a citizen's patriotic duty.

All of this puzzles the Schmozz's puzzler a little. "Dad, what's a drug dealer?"

Pete: "A guy who sells drugs."

Ty: "You was?"

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