Don’t Ask Johnny Bench if Pete Rose Deserves to be in the Hall of Fame
In case you missed yesterday's Sportstalk, Steve was having a great conversation with Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench until this happened.
It was an awkward moment, but made for great radio and water cooler chat around the station. It got me to thinking. Johnny Bench has probably done hundreds of interviews since Pete Rose was banned from baseball in 1989. Does he always get this defensive and testy when asked about Charlie Hustle???
I went to YouTube and typed 'Johnny Bench Pete Rose.' It turns out this was not the first time number 5 got agitated when Pete Rose and hall of fame were mentioned in the same sentence. Like Steve, this young broadcaster was having a pleasant conversation with Bench until he mentioned the unmentionable.
Clearly there is some deep seeded animosity between Bench and Rose. I don't know if it's jealousy, but Bench comes off as petty and childish. Now 22 years removed from Rose's banishment, the topic of Pete Rose in the hall of fame is still a hot button issue with baseball fans.
As long as Johnny Bench agrees to do interviews he can best bet the interviewer will bring up the subject.
I met Johnny Bench about five years ago at a casino in Las Vegas. He was very polite and cordial.......as long as you didn't mention Pete Rose!