Pete Rose to Sing National Anthem for New York Yankees on Opening Day


According to various reports out of New York City this morning, the New York Yankees have asked Cincinnati Reds great and baseball’s all-time Hit King Pete Rose to sing the national anthem before their game at Yankee Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays on Opening Day.  According to the unnamed sources, Yankees’ principal owner Hal Steinbrenner reached out to Rose over the weekend after meeting with Yanks’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez in Spring Training.

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R. E. Porter of the Gotham Times  spoke briefly with  Steinbrenner after the meeting,  and reports that George’s boys was move by A-Rod’s contrition for “being a jerk” and decided that it was time for Rose to get another chance, too:

"I mean, I just realized that, jeez, I’m going to pay A-Rod like a gajillion dollars to do basically nothing for us next year, so maybe I could do something nice for Pete Rose, too.  He’s paid a lot more dues than Alex ever has."

Reached for comment by phone, Rose choked up and then checked his swing for a called strike.  Once his softball game was over, though, he called back and said that he was excited about the opportunity:

"I’m surprised, to be frank with you. I never thought the Yankees would call on me after we whooped their tails in the 1976 World Series, but, hey, I’ll play for anybody at this point.  I’m just happy to be back in baseball.  Tell George thanks for me."

When told that he would be singing and not playing the field, and that it was Hal and not George Steinbrenner, Rose was undeterred in his enthusiasm, saying that he would sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “O, Canada” since the Yanks would be playing the “Expos.”  

“I had a pretty good year with them in ’84,” Rose said.  He finished the phone interview with a simple question:  “Say, how far is Yankee Stadium from Rob Manfred’s office?”

Manfred did not return an early-morning phone call requesting a comment about whether or not Rose’s reinstatement efforts would hinge on his singing ability in the Bronx, but he did issue a statement via Twitter:

“Happy April Fool’s Day, Pete!”

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