Baseball's all-time leading hitter Pete Rose was at Citizens Bank Park to commemorate the 1980 World Series title he helped them win. But his return to the Phillies after decades led to a rather uncomfortable moment.
At one point, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Alex Coffey asked Rose if he believed his presence sends "a negative message to women." Rose has been accused of statutory rape and has acknowledged having relations with a 16-year-old girl back in the 1970s (the legal age in the state of Ohio at the time).
Understandably, Rose didn't want to address that issue, which later became the subject of a lawsuit. But the wording of his response to Coffey's question might have been worse:
"No, I’m not here to talk about that. Sorry about that. It was 55 years ago babe," Rose said.
As you can imagine, fans on Twitter didn't appreciate the way Pete Rose phrased that response. Sports fans across the country, plus some in Philadelphia, are not thrilled that Rose doesn't seemed to have changed at all.
"This was always a bad idea. Pete Rose proving it," wrote broadcaster Jon Johnson.
"I have no idea why the Phillies are choosing to die on the Pete Rose hill. All he's doing is alienating a sizable chunk of the fan base and tarnishing the org's reputation," Bill Baer replied.
"Pete Rose the player should be in the Hall of Fame. Pete Rose the person remains a dumpster fire," said Teddy Ricketson.
Suffice it to say, baseball's all-time leading hitter didn't endear himself to the wider sports world this weekend.