Pete Rose has earned generally positive reviews in his rookie season as a studio analyst for Fox, but Tuesday night many viewers got their first look at him when he appeared on the pregame show before the All-Star Game in his hometown of Cincinnati.
It was a brief assignment; Rose left Fox's on-site desk after less than 20 minutes to prepare for a pregame ceremony that honored him and other Reds greats. But he was his usual, lively self before departing as he bantered with host Kevin Burkhardt and fellow analyst Frank Thomas.
Burkhardt did not ask Rose about his current status in the eyes of Major League Baseball, from which he still officially is banned for life for betting on games he managed in the 1980s.
But Burkhardt did ask him about one of the most famous plays in the history of the All-Star Game -- when he scored the winning run in Cincinnati in the 12th inning by bowling over American League catcher Ray Fosse in 1970.
Well, actually, Rose would prefer you not use the term "bowl him over."
"I didn't bowl him over," Rose said. "I actually went over and tagged the plate with this hand right here and my knee hit his shoulder. I missed the next three games. He went on to play nine more years. So I did not ruin Ray Fosse's career."
Asked whether he had any regrets about how that play unfolded, Rose said: "Hell, no. I won the game. We're safe, man. That's why we're playing the game."
In reviewing the first half of the season, Rose lavished praise on the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, saying: "I'm going to talk all night about A-Rod. He's one of the reasons, if not the biggest reason, why the Yankees are in first place."