Pete Rose lived up to his “Charlie Hustle” nickname this week at SiriusXM’s headquarters in New York City, stopping at, among others, three different channels.
A surprising stance on hitters vs. pitchers
Power Alley’s Mike Ferrin and Mike Stanton wanted to know why offenses are struggling in the Majors. In a turn nobody saw coming, Rose actually defended pitchers:
Most hitters today, they have the same swing 0-and-2 as they do 2-and-0. Grip it and rip it. I’m gonna hit 25-35 home runs, I don’t care if I strikeout 150 times, I’m gonna make $10 million or more. And that’s the philosophy they’re working with. … I hated pitchers, because they were trying to get me out. I would love to be a pitcher today. You can just get guys out on a consistent basis, and if you make a mistake, they’ll hit it out of the ballpark. And some of these ballparks, let’s take Cincinnati, let’s take Philadelphia, let’s take Camden Yards, let’s take Yankee Stadium in right-center. They’re jokes! It’s not fair to the pitchers! You can’t pitch in these ballparks. I mean, I never thought I’d ever be on a show and defend pitchers, but I have to defend pitchers.
Sliding head first
Covino and Rich asked Rose why he slid head first throughout much of his career, when most younger ball players are encouraged to slide feet first. Rose’s answer:
Well, I always thought it was the safest way, I always thought you could pick up the ball if it got by the fielder, and I knew whenever you slid head first, you always got your picture in the paper. … I never got my hands hurt, I never broke a shoulder. [Josh] Hamilton got hurt two straight years sliding head first. Don’t slide head-first Hamilton, because you don’t know how to do it.
Jeter vs. Cano
Robinson Cano has a reputation for not hustling out of the batter’s box on some ground balls. Rose said that attitude wouldn’t bother him … assuming the two were in opposing dugouts.
I would love to play against guys everyday that run balls out like Robinson Cano. And he is a great talent, no question about it. I don’t wanna play against guys like Derek Jeter, because he’s the opposite of Robinson Cano. And I can’t believe a guy like Robinson Cano could play on the same team and the same town with a Derek Jeter, and see how he’s loved because of the way he plays, and play the way he played.