19 April 2015

Pete Rose has been hired as an analyst by Fox Sports

Chalk this one up as one of the more unexpected pieces of news this weekend: Pete Rose is joining Fox Sports as a studio analyst for their MLB coverage. Ken Rosenthal, also of Fox Sports, broke the story that Rose will be a guest analyst for studio coverage of games on Fox and Fox Sports 1 as well as well as appearing on Fox Sports Live, America's Pregame and MLB Whiparound.

Ever since Charles Barkley made his debut as a studio analyst in 2000, everybody has been looking for the next Charles Barkley: someone who combines charisma with natural outspokenness. Simply put, Barkley is the rare studio personality in which you tune in for just to hear what he or she will say. Many have tried and have largely failed to find somebody quite like Barkley but it seems like Fox's hiring of Rose is following that playbook.

But Rose's position is unique considering that he, as we all know, was banned for life for gambling on games as Reds manager in 1989 by commissioner Bart Giamatti (a punishment that Rose agreed to). Rose has never been reinstated by Major League Baseball (although relatively new commissioner Rob Manfred appeared to open the door for possible reinstatement when he was interviewed on Meet the Press last month), which will give him a rather unprecedented position of analyzing a sport that he can't be that involved with.

For what it's worth, apparently Fox did not have to get permission to hire Rose but they did inform MLB of their intentions to hire Rose and the league did not object as Rosenthal reported.

Rose really has no television experience (he did host a radio show in the 1990's) but one would be surprised if he did not bring an unfiltered, shoot-from-the-hip style to the television studio. There is no question that he knows the game, he was one of the all-time greats after all, and he is somebody that has never been shy to share his opinions on a subject or two.

It is also a move that makes sense for Fox and especially for Fox Sports 1. Rose has a profile and a household name (for both the right and wrong reasons) that the average studio analyst, like recent Fox hires Raul Ibanez and Dontrelle Willis, simply don't have. And since he really hasn't been around the game all that much, his opinion on the current game is largely a mystery. Compound all of that together and now people will have more of an initiative, at least in the short term, to check out FS1 to see what Rose has to say.

Unless Rose chose to use this platform as a pitch to Manfred and MLB to get reinstated (which he says he won't do), there isn't a great deal of risk for Fox here. If Rose is a dud on television, they can just swap him out. If he's a success, then they've got themselves a high-profile, quality analyst. And for Rose, it's an opportunity to possibly get back into the good graces of the sport. If he puts in the work, I see no reason as to why he can't be a success.

No comments:

Post a Comment