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OnBaseMachine
07-25-2010, 07:22 PM
I'm surprised this hasn't been posted yet:


CINCINNATI, Ohio - "Johnny, its Pete". With those three simple words, years of hard feelings began to thaw. Johnny Bench tells me that when Pete Rose called him out of the blue two months ago, he was somewhat surprised. Especially because Pete said he wanted to talk about the gulf that had separated the two baseball icons for decades.


And Pete was well aware of how the unseemly end to his career had cast a shadow over the proceedings in Cooperstown. He addressed it almost immediately after meeting Johnny July 10th.

"I'm sorry", Pete said solemnly according to Bench. "I know I put you through a lot back then and I'm sorry for it. I could always talk to Joe (Morgan) and Tony (Perez) but I just couldn't open up to you."



Pete offered, "I think I now know what Bart Giamatti meant when he said I have to reconfigure my lifestyle". And apparently he is finally attempting to do that.

Full story:
http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/region_central_cincinnati/pete-rose-apologizes-to-johnny-bench---

Always Red
07-25-2010, 07:38 PM
Wow, Pete finally showing some humility and hubris, at age 69.

Maybe he had a health scare, maybe he's finally maturing and can sense his own mortality. Who knows?

Whatever it is- it's a good thing.

Two of the greatest Reds, on one of the greatest teams ever- the Big Red Machine, ever not speaking to each other for years afterward- very much like like Gehrig and Ruth of the "Murder's Row" Yankees.

PuffyPig
07-25-2010, 08:42 PM
Probably finally understanding that unless he acts differently he'll never get into the HOF.

I'm guessing a financial motivation......

I can't shake his refual to sign a baseball card for my son in 2006 when presented to him. He only signs baseball cards for payment.

Sabo Fan
07-25-2010, 09:00 PM
Interesting stuff for sure, especially about the possibility of Pete humbling himself a bit. However, I was under the impression that things had thawed between the two some years ago. I saw Rose and Bench together at Caesar's in Vegas doing a signing together. Their tables were about 5 feet apart and they were chatting back and forth a bit as well. That's been about 6 years ago so maybe things got bad again in the meantime.

Always Red
07-25-2010, 09:02 PM
Probably finally understanding that unless he acts differently he'll never get into the HOF.

I'm guessing a financial motivation......

I can't shake his refual to sign a baseball card for my son in 2006 when presented to him. He only signs baseball cards for payment.

Well, for whatever it's worth, Bench did the same to me some years ago.

Rose has always been much freer with signing stuff than Bench ever was. And I can't blame either of them for not doing so- it's how they make a living these days. Guys looking to get autographs to resell often take kids with them to sessions to tug on heartstrings.

Not to start a discussion or a fight at all, but I think that Pete will be in the HoF, and he deserves to be there, but it will be after he passes away. They should induct (I almost spelled it "indict") him and Shoeless Joe at the same time.

George Anderson
07-25-2010, 10:18 PM
Well, for whatever it's worth, Bench did the same to me some years ago.

Rose has always been much freer with signing stuff than Bench ever was. And I can't blame either of them for not doing so- it's how they make a living these days. Guys looking to get autographs to resell often take kids with them to sessions to tug on heartstrings.

.

I wouldn't be suprised if most HOF players refuse to sign unless they are paid. It wouldnt be fair to someone such as myself who has paid $45 to get their autograph when they turn around and give a freebie to someone else. It's simply business.

Nice to see Bench and Rose making peace. What the motivation is for Pete to make this gesture is hard to say.

PuffyPig
07-25-2010, 10:51 PM
I wouldn't be suprised if most HOF players refuse to sign unless they are paid.

I must have missed Rose's induction.....

savafan
07-26-2010, 12:03 AM
I must have missed Rose's induction.....

It was in 2004

http://www.wwe.com/superstars/halloffame/inductees/peterose/bio/

George Anderson
07-26-2010, 12:17 AM
I must have missed Rose's induction.....

Fixed it.

"I wouldn't be suprised if most HOF caliber players refuse to sign unless they are paid."

macro
07-26-2010, 02:15 AM
I'd much rather have a photo with the player in question, anyway. Autographs can be bought anywhere. I've honestly never seen the allure of them.

A photo with that player is priceless and irrefutable evidence of your encounter with them.

PuffyPig
07-26-2010, 08:03 AM
Fixed it.

"I wouldn't be suprised if most HOF caliber players refuse to sign unless they are paid."

Barry Larkin gladly signed for my son.....

_Sir_Charles_
07-26-2010, 10:17 AM
Well, for whatever it's worth, Bench did the same to me some years ago.

Rose has always been much freer with signing stuff than Bench ever was. And I can't blame either of them for not doing so- it's how they make a living these days. Guys looking to get autographs to resell often take kids with them to sessions to tug on heartstrings.

Not to start a discussion or a fight at all, but I think that Pete will be in the HoF, and he deserves to be there, but it will be after he passes away. They should induct (I almost spelled it "indict") him and Shoeless Joe at the same time.

Agreed completely. Rose has always been much friendlier to me. I've met him a half dozen times or so. Bench however....he's been a rude jerk every single time. Frustrating because he WAS my favorite Red....until I met him.

As for the hall....it won't happen until after he passes. Shame, but most likely the truth.

Big Klu
07-26-2010, 04:44 PM
Agreed completely. Rose has always been much friendlier to me. I've met him a half dozen times or so. Bench however....he's been a rude jerk every single time. Frustrating because he WAS my favorite Red....until I met him.

As for the hall....it won't happen until after he passes. Shame, but most likely the truth.

I wrote this in a thread a couple of years ago, but it fits here, too.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71877&page=2


When I was 11, I was in an advanced English class in fifth grade. One of our assignments was to write to a famous person, and ask him some questions about his or her job, and also to ask for some sort of information (like a booklet, pamphlet, or photo) that we could share with the class. It was a small class, and there were only two boys--myself and one other guy. I decided to write to Johnny Bench, and the other guy wrote to Earle Bruce, who had just completed his second year as head coach at Ohio State. About a week later, the other kid got a big envelope from OSU with a program, an OSU course catalog, an autographed picture, and a hand-written letter from Coach Bruce answering all his questions, and thanking him for his interest in Ohio State. I got nothing. About six weeks later, I got an envelope from the Reds. I received a form letter in which my name had been written in ink in the salutation. The letter mentioned Bench's awards and accomplishments (which I already knew about, and which answered none of my questions), and was signed with a stamp of Johnny Bench's signature. I also received a blank postcard with a 5x7 black-and-white portrait-type photo of Johnny Bench from 1972, also stamped with Bench's signature. (This was in 1981.) Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

Unassisted
07-26-2010, 04:57 PM
The real test of whether this means anything is if JB comes out with a public statement that's in any way sympathetic toward Pete's plight. His public statements about it in the past have been highly unsupportive. If he just declines to comment about it from now on, even that would be an improvement.

westofyou
07-26-2010, 05:09 PM
Agreed completely. Rose has always been much friendlier to me. I've met him a half dozen times or so. Bench however....he's been a rude jerk every single time. Frustrating because he WAS my favorite Red....until I met him.

As for the hall....it won't happen until after he passes. Shame, but most likely the truth.

FWIW Pete treated my buddy like crap when he met him... and my friend was only 7.

nate
07-26-2010, 05:22 PM
I'd much rather have a photo with the player in question, anyway. Autographs can be bought anywhere. I've honestly never seen the allure of them.

A photo with that player is priceless and irrefutable evidence of your encounter with them.

I was thinking the same thing.

Hoosier Red
07-26-2010, 05:31 PM
About a week later, the other kid got a big envelope from OSU with a program, an OSU course catalog, an autographed picture, and a hand-written letter from Coach Bruce answering all his questions, and thanking him for his interest in Ohio State.


That's nothing. If an 11 year old today wrote a letter like that to Lane Kiffin, he'd probably get a scholarship offer.

:D

REDREAD
07-26-2010, 05:48 PM
The cynic in me says that this is just another way for Pete to get his name in the news.

Who knows if he is ever sincere or not? The guy is a master at getting the media to talk about him, which keeps people asking for his autographs.

Blitz Dorsey
07-26-2010, 08:27 PM
I love it. No need to have a feud between two of the all-time greats to play for the Reds. I've known about the feud for years (Bench quit doing that little daily radio blurb with Marty because Marty stuck up for Pete -- the old "Bench and Brennaman on Baseball" thing) and it's good to know it's finally come to an end.

Blitz Dorsey
07-26-2010, 08:31 PM
FWIW Pete treated my buddy like crap when he met him... and my friend was only 7.

Maybe the kid was acting like a jerk. (Just kidding. Players should never be rude to kids like that. I had Gary Redus of all players blow me off one time and it ruined my day as a kid in '83.)

redhawkfish
07-26-2010, 08:34 PM
As much as I loved Rose as a player, I just wish he would go away. His act has went on too long, and is now more pitiful than any thing.

Blitz Dorsey
07-26-2010, 08:39 PM
As much as I loved Rose as a player, I just wish he would go away. His act has went on too long, and is now more pitiful than any thing.

And you're just referring to his haircut and wardrobe.

Yachtzee
07-26-2010, 09:29 PM
All I'll say is that it's a start (to Pete making amends, not to getting into the HOF).

Yachtzee
07-26-2010, 09:31 PM
Barry Larkin gladly signed for my son.....

That's because Barry Larkin is awesome.

NJReds
07-26-2010, 09:38 PM
I just read "The Machine" by Joe Posnanski, and it went into Rose and Bench quite a bit. And the book ends with a more recent interview w/Rose in Vegas.

westofyou
07-26-2010, 09:40 PM
I just read "The Machine" by Joe Posnanski, and it went into Rose and Bench quite a bit.
Good book, tad shallow info wise IMO, more general audience based I guess.

westofyou
07-26-2010, 09:41 PM
Maybe the kid was acting like a jerk. (Just kidding. Players should never be rude to kids like that. I had Gary Redus of all players blow me off one time and it ruined my day as a kid in '83.)

Anyone besides this guy and I'd say perhaps... but this guy is a choirboy

NJReds
07-26-2010, 09:43 PM
Good book, tad shallow info wise IMO, more general audience based I guess.

Yeah. I was disappointed. I expected more. Not growing up in Cincinnati, I thought there would be more info that I hadn't heard before.

flyer85
07-26-2010, 09:46 PM
I'm so cynical about Pete after all the lies it strikes me as simply an attempt to try to enlist help from others in his HOF quest

gm
07-26-2010, 11:33 PM
FWIW Pete treated my buddy like crap when he met him... and my friend was only 7.

This has nothing to do with Pete and Johnny being jerks but I couldn't help but notice that Wily Mo Pena is finally getting a chance to play some minor league ball--for the Portland Beavers, no less!

Just one of those rare opportunities that will be lost forever when AAA baseball leaves PDX. Maybe I should take my son down to see 'em, one last time?

PM me if you and pedro have any interest

WVPacman
07-27-2010, 12:22 AM
What exactly was the feud about and how did it start?You don't have to give me the long verson of the story.The short story will be just fine.:)

George Anderson
07-27-2010, 01:41 AM
What exactly was the feud about and how did it start?You don't have to give me the long verson of the story.The short story will be just fine.:)

I think part of it was a failed car dealership they had together but more so they both were both huge egomaniacs who couldn't stand it if the other got more pub or love from the fans or press corp.

top6
07-27-2010, 01:51 AM
That's because Barry Larkin is awesome.

He also made almost $80 million in his career, and will never have to worry about making a living post-baseball (unlike Johnny Bench, who made about $3 million his WHOLE CAREER - and likely depends on endorsements and autograph signings to make a living, or at least live comfortably).

Also, yes, Ramon Hernandez is making more this year than Johnny Bench made in his whole career. Of course that's in actual $. But even if you factor in for inflation, the $11 million Ramon made the last two years is still probably more than Bench ever made. Crazy.

redsfandan
07-27-2010, 07:50 AM
He also made almost $80 million in his career, and will never have to worry about making a living post-baseball (unlike Johnny Bench, who made about $3 million his WHOLE CAREER - and likely depends on endorsements and autograph signings to make a living, or at least live comfortably).

Also, yes, Ramon Hernandez is making more this year than Johnny Bench made in his whole career. Of course that's in actual $. But even if you factor in for inflation, the $11 million Ramon made the last two years is still probably more than Bench ever made. Crazy.

According to baseball-reference.com Bench made $2 million over his last 5 playing years ('78-'82) and then retired at the age of 35. He did continue to work but his baseball retirement coincided with arguably the biggest run up in stock market history. He wouldn't have needed to keep that much of that money in the market to have ended up a multi-millionaire.

Yeah, there have been a lot of players since then that weren't as good as him and yet they made more money. But, while it's one thing to say that endorsements/signings supplement his income, I think it might be a stretch to say that he depends on that source of income to make a living or live comfortably. Unless, of course, he was really bad with his money.

Chip R
07-27-2010, 10:06 AM
I think part of it was a failed car dealership they had together but more so they both were both huge egomaniacs who couldn't stand it if the other got more pub or love from the fans or press corp.


I think you nailed it. I'm partial to Bench and had a very good experience with him, unlike others. I also don't think Rose is credible at all. I would look outside if he told me the sky was blue. However, both of them were/are egomaniacs and I'm sure each feels they should have received the lion's share of the credit for the BRM. Looking back on it and looking at the dynamics of teams these days with multiple superstars playing on one team, it's a wonder and a testament to Sparky Anderson that the team got along as well as it did.

top6
07-27-2010, 10:37 AM
According to baseball-reference.com Bench made $2 million over his last 5 playing years ('78-'82) and then retired at the age of 35. He did continue to work but his baseball retirement coincided with arguably the biggest run up in stock market history. He wouldn't have needed to keep that much of that money in the market to have ended up a multi-millionaire.

Yeah, there have been a lot of players since then that weren't as good as him and yet they made more money. But, while it's one thing to say that endorsements/signings supplement his income, I think it might be a stretch to say that he depends on that source of income to make a living or live comfortably. Unless, of course, he was really bad with his money.

I don't think - especially after taxes - that most people could just stop working at age 35 having made $2 million over 5 years. But even if most people could, I'm confident that someone living a lifestyle similar to most professional athletes could not.

Cooper
07-27-2010, 10:52 AM
This might be total BS but here's what i always thought:

pete feels johnny has faults, just as pete has faults --the only difference is johnny is better at hiding his faults.

so pete says to johnny "why do you get to be the hero? you have faults the same as i". and johnny replies "no, my faults are fundamentally different and somehow character building while yours are an affront to baseball men everywhere".

pete knows that johnny has some faults- he also knows these faults would hurt johnny's image of the golden boy. so he holds it over johnny. johnny responds by saying "no one will believe you". at this point, they have enough on each other that they have an informal agreement based on mutually assurred destruction. it's sick and it requires a lot of energy to remind the other that they have this informal agreement.

they get older and both realize that they are human and there's no value in destroying each other. they decide that MAD isn't worth it. they start to put in perspective what they accomplished together. there's no more books to write. there's nothing new to add to the story. as old men do everwhere when they take stock of their lives they decide to make it a happy ending.

RichRed
07-27-2010, 10:58 AM
This might be total BS but here's what i always thought:

pete feels johnny has faults, just as pete has faults --the only difference is johnny is better at hiding his faults.

so pete says to johnny "why do you get to be the hero? you have faults the same as i". and johnny replies "no, my faults are fundamentally different and somehow character building while yours are an affront to baseball men everywhere".

pete knows that johnny has some faults- he also knows these faults would hurt johnny's image of the golden boy. so he holds it over johnny. johnny responds by saying "no one will believe you". at this point, they have enough on each other that they have an informal agreement based on mutually assurred destruction. it's sick and it requires a lot of energy to remind the other that they have this informal agreement.

they get older and both realize that they are human and there's no value in destroying each other. they decide that MAD isn't worth it. they start to put in perspective what they accomplished together. there's no more books to write. there's nothing new to add to the story. as old men do everwhere when they take stock of their lives they decide to make it a happy ending.

Astute analysis, I'd say.

As an aside, did anyone see Bench's impersonation of Harry Caray at the HOF Induction ceremony? It was bizarre and uncomfortable.

George Anderson
07-27-2010, 11:03 AM
Astute analysis, I'd say.

As an aside, did anyone see Bench's impersonation of Harry Caray at the HOF Induction ceremony? It was bizarre and uncomfortable.

Oh I agree.

Bench was my boyhood idol but I find him to be a very strange man.

cumberlandreds
07-27-2010, 11:18 AM
One thing I always heard was that Bench was jealous of Rose because of the local love he received from Cincinnati. Pete was always jealous of Bench because of the National love Bench received. I would say that's is part of it. When Tony Perez was on the team it was always said he knew how to keep Bench's,Rose's and Joe Morgan's ego's in check. When he left the egos went off the charts and played as much as anything for the BRM downfall after 1976.

Cooper
07-27-2010, 12:22 PM
The 77 team got old quick and the front office didn't see it coming. The team depended on a 36 yo 3rd baseman and a 33 yo 2nd baseman to continue playing at a incredibly high level and that was just not possible. When you are those ages your going to have difficulty staying at the top of your game.

Rose and Morgan went from 16 WAR in 76 to 9 WAR in 77 (quick math) -that's about 60% -70% of the ground lost from 76 to 77. Those 2 guys were great, but at those ages they were due for some slippage. The FO really didn't prepare for that. By 78, Morgan though still a great player was getting booed when he left runners on base and Rose was looking at a town that appreciated a soon to be 38 yo 1st baseman. I think he probalby knew he couldn't play 3rd forever and he dang well figured out he couldn't play 1st for the Reds. His options were fading and to continue he had to get out of town.

Dan Driessen playing of 1st base insured 3 of the BRM would leave town or retire too soon and when you think about it -that's amazing: a 38 yo Rose is beginning to have some issues playing 3rd. He wants to make a run at Cobb, but he has to be able to play 1st base somewhere down the line and the team says "nuts". Of course everyone knows about Perez. And then an older Johnny Bench wants to play first base and the team again says "nuts". And soon Johnny decides he will retire after losing a long strange battle with 3rd base. Bench probably could have played 1st base and continued his career and played till 85 or 86. Players tend to hit better when they don't have to battle injuries, but Bench really never got that chance to relax at 1st base and just hit.

In 1976, if you would have told Bench, Perez, and Rose that they'd be moving on to new pastures because of Dan Driessen they'd have shot you a look like you were crazy.

SunDeck
07-27-2010, 05:06 PM
I saw Pete with Paul Hornung at a sports stag in January. Of course, it was in front of a very supportive West Side audience, which included many long time buddies, but he was not apologetic in the least. In fact, given that he and Hornung often appear together, and given the topics they have in common, it would seem that he's not connecting the dots on how these appearances are viewed by MLB at all. But man, the guy can sure tell a dirty joke.

savafan
07-27-2010, 08:04 PM
I've met Bench on two occasions. The first was before he was inducted into the HOF, and he was as pleasant and personable as can be, and the second time was at Redsfest in 1999, my ex-brother-in-law and I were getting a photo with Bench and the 1975 and 1976 Series trophies. We were told to not speak to Mr. Bench, and he refused to look either of us in the eye or open his mouth to utter as much as a word. It was very odd.

As for Rose, if the headline in the morning's paper read "Pete Rose wakes up and gets out of bed," there would be about 20 comments here on Redszone about how he's a self serving SOB, and how he only got out of bed for his own selfish gain.

redsfandan
07-27-2010, 11:48 PM
I don't think - especially after taxes - that most people could just stop working at age 35 having made $2 million over 5 years. But even if most people could, I'm confident that someone living a lifestyle similar to most professional athletes could not.
I don't think most people could stop working at 35 either even with that kind of windfall. But, I don't think I said that he could stop working at 35. I was only disputing these words that you said:

"(he) likely depends on endorsements and autograph signings to make a living, or at least live comfortably)".

Now, you can say that he needs that source of income to help him live comfortably if you want (I'm skeptical) but to make a living? I doubt that even more.

Bench was lucky in that he was able to take advantadge of playing most of his career when the rules for player compensation were starting to change. Bench's major league career started in '67, arbitration started in '70, free agency a few years later. And even back then it was already making a big difference. Yogi Berra retired in '65 and is still considered one of the best catchers of all time. Now, you'd expect Bench to have made a little more in his career simply due to inflation. But, Bench made $400K in each of his last 5 years while Berra made roughly a half million in his entire career.

Yeah, todays players make more, ALOT more. But, I think Bench did ok. And, no, I don't see a reason to feel sorry for him either. Bench was able to capitalize on the changes in player compensation. The players that came before him, like those in the 20's - 60's who were most responsible for the rise in popularity of baseball, weren't able to do the same. If I were Bench I'd consider myself lucky.

RedsBaron
07-28-2010, 07:44 AM
I think you nailed it. I'm partial to Bench and had a very good experience with him, unlike others. I also don't think Rose is credible at all. I would look outside if he told me the sky was blue. However, both of them were/are egomaniacs and I'm sure each feels they should have received the lion's share of the credit for the BRM. Looking back on it and looking at the dynamics of teams these days with multiple superstars playing on one team, it's a wonder and a testament to Sparky Anderson that the team got along as well as it did.
Joe Posnanski stated in "The Machine" that Bench often would refuse to talk to any sportswriter after a game who had first interviewed Rose. Joe Morgan wrote in his autobiography that when he first came to the Reds he was told by teammates that he couldn't be a friend to both Rose and Bench (of course Ken Griffey Sr. would later say that Morgan and Bench were both jerks, although Griff was a bit more blunt).
Yes, Rose and Bench are/were egomaniacs and it is to the credit of both Sparky and Tony Perez that the BRM still stayed together.