BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Pete Rose stood behind the batting cage Monday, joking as former major-leaguer Joe Mather hit ball after ball to center field during batting practice for the Bridgeport Bluefish.
“I asked him, ‘What are you working on, a sacrifice fly?’ ” Rose said.
Charlie Hustle’s jersey was too big and he was wearing dress pants as he exchanged lineup cards with Lancaster manager Butch Hobson at home plate. But Rose was back in his element, managing a baseball team, if just for one day.
The 73-year-old whose 4,256 hits are the most in major-league history served as guest skipper for the Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League during their 2-0 win over the Lancaster (Pa.) Barnstormers. He also coached first base for the team.
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The game at the 5,300-seat stadium was his first managing job since 1989, when as the skipper of the Cincinnati Reds he agreed to a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for betting on baseball. He later admitted that he bet on Reds games while running the team.
Monday he said he was trying to show he could be a good ambassador for the game.
“If I’m ever reinstated, I won’t need a third chance,” he said. “Believe me.”
• Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters will have season-ending surgery on his right elbow Tuesday.
• Arizona right-hander Bronson Arroyo is headed to the disabled list for the first time in his 15-year career with elbow tendinitis. The 37-year-old signed with the Diamondbacks during the offseason and had been complaining of a sore arm in recent weeks. He had gone 369 career starts without going on the disabled list, second among active pitchers behind Toronto’s Mark Buerhle at 443 starts.
• Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley will have season-ending surgery next week to repair a partially torn flexor tendon in his right elbow but hopes to pitch in 2015.