Tuesday, October 26, 1999

Sample of reaction

        What some notable figures said about Pete Rose and the controversial Jim Gray interview Sunday:

        • JIM LEYRITZ, Yankees catcher and Cincinnati native:

“I think it was embarrassing. Everybody in our clubhouse was disturbed with the whole interview. It was a celebration night and the guy (Gray) hammered him on national television. It's just unfair. They talk about the integrity of the game. I consider what (Gray) did an insult to the integrity of the game ... ”

        • STEVE CHABOT: U.S. Representative, R-Cincinnati, speaking on the House floor:

        “Mr. Speaker, last night (Sunday) was special night for Cincinnatians and baseball fans across the country. For the first time in over 10 years, the Hit King himself, Cincinnati's own Pete Rose, was back on the baseball field to the ovation of thousands. Although the night was tainted by the senseless inquisition of an overzealous reporter, it still belonged to baseball fans everywhere.” • JAYSON STARK, the Philadelphia Inquirer: Back north in New York, there are 255 pages' worth of documents in the commissioner's office. They show, among other things, that in just a two-month period in 1987, Rose bet more than $850,000 on 390 baseball games — including 52 of his own team.

        But those 55 seconds of cheers seemed to suggest that most people either don't know what Rose did or don't care. So when NBC's Jim Gray pelted him with accusatory questions afterward and the Hit King finally complained that “this is an interview, not a prosecutor's brief,” the early line in Vegas was that there were many more Americans in his corner than in Jim Gray's.

        • DARRYL STRAWBERRY, Yankees outfielder:

        “It didn't sit too well in this clubhouse. We were pretty hot and very disgusted because it was a night of celebration. . .Every player who puts on a uniform cares about Pete Rose.”

        • JOE TORRE, Yankees manager:

        “I thought it was uncalled for, and I was very disappointed . For some reason, we've lost sight of the word respect and I think we deal too much in shock value.” • JOHN DOWD,Baseball's lead investigator on Pete Rose case in 1989:

        “I tip my hat to Jim Gray. I thought he had more guts than any guy I've ever seen.”


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