Pete Rose will be allowed to manage the Cincinnati Reds while he fights his 30-day suspension the harshest for a manager in 41 years for shoving an umpire.
Rose said he was shocked to receive the month-long suspension Monday from National League President Bart Giamatti for shoving umpire Dave Pallone. The two shoves during a loss Saturday night to the New York Mets touched off an ugly scene at Riverfront Stadium, with fans hurling objects at Pallone.Giamatti called the incident "one of the worst in baseball's recent memory." He also chastised Reds broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall for their on-air criticisms of Pallone during the 15-minute barrage by fans, and summoned them to New York today for a meeting. Giamatti called their remarks inflammatory.
The suspension touched off a flurry of irate phone calls to local talk shows Monday, left Reds players stunned by the severity, and brought calls for an equally severe sanction against Pallone.
"It's kind of a harsh fine, 30 days," pitcher John Franco said. "I don't think it's fair to the players, to Pete or to Cincinnati. If anybody should be suspended for 30 days, it should be Pallone.
"Thirty days is too much. There are people who commit crimes and don't spend 30 days in jail."
Rose, too, thought the penalty too severe. He didn't show up at the ballpark Monday because he had arthroscopic knee surgery in the afternoon, but said in a statement released by the club that he'll challenge the penalty. Coach Tommy Helms managed the team in a 3-2 victory over Montreal.
"No player or manager has greater respect for the umpires than I do, and I have demonstrated that over the years," Rose said. "But I am shocked at the length of the suspension I received. While I expected to be suspended, I feel that this unprecedented 30 days is excessive."
It's the longest suspension for a manager since Leo Durocher of the Brooklyn Dodgers was suspended for the 1947 season by Commissioner Happy Chandler for "incidents detrimental to baseball." Durocher allegedly had associated with gamblers.