Schmidt Calls Rose ‘A Beaten Man’
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) _ Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt called Pete Rose ``a beaten man″ and doesn’t know whether the career hits leader will gain reinstatement to baseball.
Schmidt, one of Rose’s biggest allies, said Rose didn’t come across as a sympathetic figure in a book tour that included television and newspaper interviews. In ``My Prison Without Bars,″ Rose reversed course from 15 years of denials and admitted to betting on the Cincinnati Reds while he managed the team in the late 1980s.
``It wasn’t the best showing of sorrow and regret,″ Schmidt said Monday. ``That’s just something Pete isn’t great at doing. But I know he truly is sorry and that he regrets everything. He talked to me about it in private, told me that he let me down. And he broke down.
``As soon as I got off the phone with him, I contacted the commissioner and told him, ‘This guy means what he’s saying.’ I believe in him and, you know, I don’t want to get caught in a con game. Pete’s a beaten man.″
Rose agreed to accept a lifetime ban in 1989 and applied for reinstatement in 1997. Last year at this time, Schmidt was predicting that commissioner Bud Selig would make a decision on Rose’s application before the start of the 2003 season.
``He still seems to be dragging his feet on that one,″ Schmidt said. ``He must have a good reason for it.″
Schmidt will coach 20- and 21-year-old prospects this year as manager of the Clearwater Threshers, the Phillies’ Class A farm team in the Florida State League. It is Schmidt’s first full-time job in baseball since he retired in 1989.