Fox Sports hired Raul Ibanez and Dontrelle Willis to join their MLB studio coverage this season, but their newest hire is surely going to create much more buzz and raise many more eyebrows – Pete Rose is joining Fox Sports as an analyst.

Hiring the 74-year old Rose to appear on their pre and post-game coverage, America’s Pregame, Fox Sports Live, and MLB Whiparound is certainly a bold move by Fox, especially considering that Rose’s television experience is essentially nonexistent. He’s been banned from baseball for more than 25 years, and hasn’t held a job within the game since his banishment by former Commissioner Bart Giamatti.

Fox did inform MLB that they were going to be interviewing, and later hiring, Rose, though they weren’t required to and MLB didn’t stand in their way. Rose has lobbied new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to overturn his lifetime ban, and Manfred said he’ll consider reinstatement.

This is insane. Fox envisions Rose in a Charles Barkley-esque role on their coverage, and his career in the majors gives him an unequaled resume among any current on-air analyst today. But will that resume result in Rose actually being an entertaining, informative, eloquent analyst? It’s anyone’s best guess at this point, but Fox doesn’t have much to lose at this point. If he stinks, oh well – no one really expected all that much from him. If he’s a star, then great – your network made another out of the box hire that worked out well.

[Fox Sports]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.