Sunday’s NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast of the Washington Nationals–Philadelphia Phillies game was a lot looser than your typical baseball broadcast. Especially when Pete Rose was in the booth.
Rose returned to Philadelphia as part of a celebration of the Phillies’ 1980 World Series team. Rose isn’t usually around the ballpark given his lifetime ban from baseball but he was telling stories and letting the expletives fly.
In the first clip, Rose was talking about the time he caught a foul ball that Bob Boone dropped during Game 6. Rose talked about how slow Boone ran and having to “watch out for the horseshit” that was on the field. After saying “son of a bitch” and “horseshit,” Rose asked if the broadcast was an “X-rated show” which probably should’ve been asked before cursing but oh well.
The second clip was a story from Rose’s time with the Cincinnati Reds. Longtime Reds player and broadcaster Joe Nuxhall was interviewing Tony Pérez after Pérez hit a walk-off home run and when asked what he hit, Rose claimed that Pérez said he hit a “cock-high fastball.” Flabbergasted by the response, Nuxhall said, “No shit?”
And then Pete talking about Tony Pérez hitting a "cock-high fastball" and everybody coming to the realization there's no seven-second delay. pic.twitter.com/qdxh8MEKQS
— Phillip Bupp (@phillipbupp) August 8, 2022
In all honesty, cursing on TV isn’t that big of a deal, especially given it’s cable TV and not under the FCC’s jurisdiction. And if that’s all that happened, it would be a more light-hearted time. Unfortunately, Rose’s response to a female Philadelphia Inquirer reporter before the game really shaped the rest of the day.
Rose dismissed a question from reporter Alex Coffey, who asked Rose if his appearance sent a negative message to women. The question stemmed from Rose being accused of having a relationship with an underage girl in the early 70s. Rose admitted to having the relationship in 2017 but thought the girl was 16 (as was the age of consent in Ohio). Rose was 32, married, and with kids at the time. Rose lost his job at Fox Sports as a result.
Coffey said that Rose told her, “No, I’m not here to talk about that. Sorry about that. It was 55 years ago, babe.”
After the game, Coffey revealed that a representative was apologizing on behalf of Rose but Rose was claiming that The Inquirer was trying to “attack” him. Rose joked, “Will you forgive me if I sign 1,000 baseballs for you?” and then said “sorry” at the end of the conversation. When asked by the AP about the incident, Rose repeated that he was there for the fans, his teammates, and the Phillies, adding that people shouldn’t be talking about something if it happened before they were born.
“I’m going to tell you one more time. I’m here for the Philly fans. I’m here for my teammates. I’m here for the Phillies organization. And who cares what happened 50 years ago? You weren’t even born. So you shouldn’t be talking about it, because you weren’t born. If you don’t know a damn thing about it, don’t talk about it.”
Not to be a smartass, but by Rose’s own logic, someone could say the same thing about the Phillies celebration. I wasn’t alive in 1980 when they won the World Series. In fact, according to the United Nations, 63% of the world’s population is younger than 40. “Who cares what happened 50 years ago?” Well, we’re getting very close to not caring about this 1980 team.