NEW YORK, NY – Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader, three-time World Series Champion Pete Rose, and first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Frank Thomas reprise their roles as studio analysts for FOX Sports’ MLB coverage in 2017. The joint announcement was made today by John Entz, President of Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports.
“Charlie Hustle” and “The Big Hurt” add to an already impressive baseball cast for FOX Sports, which also includes World Series Champions Alex Rodriguez, and Nick Swisher. Rose and Thomas light up the studio desk during the regular season on FS1’s MLB WHIPAROUND and FOX’s MLB SATURDAY pregame coverage as well as during the postseason on FOX and FS1.
Rose and Thomas gained notoriety for their easy banter and astute analysis during the 2016 season on MLB WHIPAROUND, eventually earning their own one-episode spinoff, HURT & HUSTLE, which aired on FS1 following a regular-season game between the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians on Oct. 1. The duo, joined in studio by Rodriguez, also gained wide acclaim for their candid discussion on hitting during the 2016 postseason.
“Pete & Frank had a terrific run last year so we knew we wanted to make sure we kept that momentum going into the 2017 season,” said Entz. “We are ecstatic to have them both back.”
“I can’t wait to get out to the studio with Alex, Frank and the guys,” said Rose. “I love talking baseball and hearing their opinions on the game…especially when they’re wrong!”
“It’s great to be back after a record breaking post season!” said Thomas. “Looking forward to 2017 with our great cast of characters!”
Rose made his Major League debut in 1963 for the Cincinnati Reds, where he played for 16 years before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1979 as a free agent. Over the course of his career, Rose accumulated an MLB-record 4,256 hits, won three National League batting titles and was named to the All-Star team 17 times at five different positions. Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader was named the 1963 National League Rookie of the Year, the 1973 National League Most Valuable Player and, over a stretch of 17 seasons from 1965-81, ranked in the top 10 in the National League in hitting an impressive 13 times. Rose played a vital role in Cincinnati’s back-to-back World Series titles in 1975-76 and Philadelphia’s first-ever championship in 1980. He ultimately finished his career with Cincinnati in 1986 having served first as a player/manager (1984-86) and then as the team’s full-time skipper, producing a 412-373 record (.525 pct.) over his six seasons at the helm.
Following his junior season at Auburn University, the Chicago White Sox selected Thomas as the seventh overall pick in 1989. Thomas made his Major League debut with the team during the summer of 1990. Thomas played 19 seasons in the Major Leagues, was voted to five All-Star Games, won two American League Most Valuable Player awards, four Silver Sluggers and was a member of the 2005 World Series Champion team. He finished his career with a .301 batting average with a stellar .419 on-base percentage and amassed 521 home runs, 1,704 runs batted in, 2,468 hits and 1,667 walks, earning first-ballot induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 2014.
World Series Champion and National League Rookie of the year (2003) Dontrelle Willis, former major leaguer Mark Sweeney and National League Rookie of the year (1992) Eric Karros, also appear as regular analysts on FS1’s MLB WHIPAROUND and FOX’s MLB SATURDAY pregame coverage. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi add reports as FOX Sports MLB insiders while Kevin Burkhardt, Chris Myers and Mike Hill host throughout the season.
Burkhardt, Rodriguez, Rose & Thomas make their 2017 baseball season debut together during MLB SEASON PREVIEW 2017. The one-hour studio show special recaps baseball’s offseason and airs on Monday, March 27 at 10:00 PM ET on FS1.