Pete Rose talks World Series contenders, Hall of Fame, and why he’ll die as the all-time hit king

Former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose, laughs during a press conference, where it was announced that he will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Cincinnati. The induction will take place the weekend of June 24-26, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

(WTNH)–Pete Rose may not be in baseball’s Hall of Fame, but there’s no question about this: he’s a Hall of Fame personality.

The Hit King was at Mohegan Sun on Thursday for a signing event, and he sat down with our own John Pierson

On the teams that can win it all this year:

“You and I could take about 2 minutes and we could name the teams that have a chance of winning this year. I’ll start on the west coast. San Francisco, and the Dodgers. Then you’ve got St. Louis maybe. Houston and the Rangers, you thought. Then you go to Chicago…not the White Sox, the Cubs. Toronto, maybe. Boston. Baltimore. Not that many teams.

“They can’t win in Miami, they can’t win in Atlanta, they can’t win in Philly, they can’t win in Cincinnati, they can’t win in Milwaukee, they can’t win in Pittsburgh. They’re not going to win in St. Louis this year. There’s about 12 teams that can go to the World Series this year, and it’s a shame to say that. But there’s a lot of bad teams out there, and there’s a lot of great young players.”

On the Reds being awful:

“I hate to say it, but I’m afraid my hometown has a bad team this year. I know they’re 2-1, but I made a joke last week, when I found out that the Phillies and Reds were going to play Opening Day this year, I said, nobody’s going to win.”

On his favorite player in the game today:

“I like a guy, believe it or not–Matt Carpenter. He’s playing first this year for the Cardinals. He played second, he played third. He’s a really good hitter.”

On today’s players being soft:

“It’s all about money. Bless ’em, if they can make money, they can make money. But I like guys who continuously bust their chops and try to win the game. The reason you play the game is to win the game. No other reason. You represent your town, your city, your teammates, and win the game.”

On whether or not he’ll ever be in the Hall of Fame:

“Not in my lifetime. Maybe in my kids’ lifetime. You’re right. But I’m not going to sit here on your show and whine because I’m the one who screwed up. I’m the one who made a mistake. I’ve been suspended 27 years. You know, that’s a long time. I think the lords of baseball understand that I understand I screwed up. They’re just scared to push the button.

“All I do in my life today is sell baseball. I work four and a half hours a day, 20 days a month in Las Vegas at the malls, signing autographs for people, talking positive about the game of baseball. I never bad-mouthed the game of baseball. And you know the last 10 years or so, you could bad-mouth the game of baseball if you wanted to, because of the steroids and all that stuff going on.”

On what he would change about the past:

“Not bet on baseball. That’s it in a nutshell. Other than that, I wouldn’t change anything I did.”

On dying as the Hit King:

“There’s no question in my mind I’ll die as the Hit King. No one’s going to catch me in my lifetime. I don’t know about after that, but in my lifetime, no one’s going to catch me.”

Check out the entire interview above.

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