Pete Rose's first day on FS1: I'll 'die' as hit king, 'losing sucks' and other gems
Pete Rose came in Monday for his first day of work as a baseball analyst for FOX Sports 1, and it didn't take long for the MLB legend to leave an impression.
Rose sat down with America's Pregame host Mike Hill to discuss, among other things, the Alex Rodriguez saga, his favorite hitters in the game and his legacy as baseball's all-time hits leader. And he didn't mince words about what that honor means to him, as you can see in the video above.
"No, I don't want (the record) to be broken," Rose said. "I'm going to die as the hit king, because there's nobody who can beat my record while I'm alive."
We can all relate to that, Pete, but what about down the road?
"Once I'm gone, I really don't give a damn if someone beats my record," he said.
One thing many people found rather unfair? The punishment levied on Tom Brady and the Patriots by the NFL in the aftermath of the Deflategate investigation.
Here's Pete's take:
Rose eventually got around to talking to baseball, exalting the state of the game but addressing what he sees as a scourge of poor teams:
"There's a lot of bad teams, I must say, in baseball today," Rose said. "That's a sad situation to be in as a player, because when you're on a team that has no chance of going anywhere, you start playing individual, for yourself, worrying about your own stats. And if you're a baseball player, your stats should dictate what the team does."
Rose praised the clubhouse atmosphere of his Big Red Machine teams, saying the positive vibes of a good team playing for each other helped foster the winning environment.
"Somebody's got to lose, somebody's got to win," he said. "I want to win. Losing sucks."
He also tabbed his best hitter in the game -- Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera -- and used one of the more original descriptions we've heard in some time to describe his prowess at the plate.
"That guy, you could wake him up on Christmas morning, he'd get you 2-for-4. And probably line out twice."
The Reds' Joey Votto, Pirates' Andrew McCutchen, Angels' Mike Trout and Marlins' Dee Gordon -- who was hitting .439 headed into Monday -- received honorable mention during the segment:
And then there was the matter of Rodriguez, who recently passed Willie Mays for No. 4 on the all-time home run list. Should the Yankees celebrate the feat, Pete?
"I don't know if they should celebrate it," Rose said. "I never did quite understand anybody that's going to celebrate something that you become No. 4. I mean, he’s No. 4 on the list. Babe Ruth is No. 3. Hank Aaron is No. 2. Barry Bonds is No. 1. A-Rod, nice going, you hit a lot of home runs, but you're No. 4. I don't want to celebrate being No. 4. That’s like celebrating losing the World Series."
As for the matter of whether or not the team should pay Rodriguez the bonus written into his contract for passing the home run milestone, well, that's an easy call for Rose.
"If it's in the contract, I'm not a lawyer, but it sounds like he should get his money."
All that before Rose even took to the set at MLB Whiparound, FOX Sports 1's baseball flagship show that will be his primary stomping ground. Don't turn away.