After being banned from the sport in 1989, Pete Rose is finally coming back to baseball—as a television analyst for Fox Sports.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Rose has signed a deal to be a guest analyst on various television programs on the family of networks:
Rose will serve FOX as a guest analyst for the MLB on FOX pregame show on FOX and FOX Sports 1 and will also appear on "MLB Whiparound," "America's Pregame" and "FOX Sports Live" on FOX Sports 1. ...
... FOX officials say they are hiring Rose for his on-air presence and that he will make for compelling television regardless of how one views his controversial past.
Rose, 74, is quoted in Rosenthal's report as saying he enjoys "talking baseball, and that's what this is all about. Enjoying the game of baseball, sitting in the green room watching two or three games, getting on TV and talking about it. It's right up my alley, I think."
As far as MLB's reaction to Rose's hiring, Rosenthal spoke to MLB Chief Communications Officer Pat Courtney, who said the "decision to hire on-air talent for its telecasts rests solely with Fox" since the network doesn't have to receive permission about television talent despite being a broadcast partner.
Rose's hiring as a Fox analyst comes at a time when he is trying once again to have his lifetime ban from MLB lifted, as CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported in March:
While there is likely a long way to go before Rose knows if he will ever be reinstated by new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, the all-time hit king does get the opportunity to discuss the sport on a national stage and share insights.
At the very least, Rose can provide a boost to Fox Sports' coverage simply by being a unique, entertaining presence. Time will tell if he has all the necessary skills to be a thoughtful and insightful analyst, but at least he has a lively personality that everyone knows.
This may not be the exact return to baseball that some fans have wanted for Rose, but now he'll be back around the game on a regular basis.