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Honeymoon Atmosphere History in Cincinnati, Says Pete Rose

January 24, 1988|United Press International

CINCINNATI — Tired of finishing second for three straight years, Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose said Monday the "honeymoon atmosphere" is over in the clubhouse next season.

"I'm going to be a firm guy," declared Rose. "We're going to take a little bit of the honeymoon atmosphere away.

"I told the players when I first came here we're going to try it their way. We tried it their way three years and we came in second. Now we're going to try it some other way."

The "other way" will start with a clubhouse ban against business people and players' friends--even team owner Marge Schott's friends.

"You better have a pass to be in the clubhouse this year or you won't be in the clubhouse," said Rose. "Nobody. Not my friends, Marge's friends, anybody's friends.

"It got to be too much last year. We had more businessmen in there than people peddling bats, gloves and shoes. There's a time and place for everything. You don't need friends and agents and people who want you to endorse this and endorse that in the clubhouse all the time.

"We keep reporters out a half-hour before the game, so we'll keep everybody out. If I can keep my friends out, I can keep the players' friends out. I think the players will understand. I think some of the players agree with it."

Rose blamed himself for letting clubhouse visitors get out of hand.

"I felt the players needed their friends in there, so they would be more comfortable and play more relaxed," he said. "But now we're going to have a more business-like atmosphere in the clubhouse."

Rose also is going to be stricter with AWOL players.

"I had a guy (pitcher Frank Williams) who didn't show up for a game last year, I fined him $1,700 and learned something," said Rose. "We're going to back off from letting guys go on off-days and stuff like that."

Although Rose said he's going to be "firm," he insisted he won't turn into a "dictator."

"It's not my nature to be a bad guy and I'm not going to turn into a bad guy," he said. "If it's going to take me being a bad guy for us to win, we're never going to win. I'm not a dictator, I'm a manager trying to communicate with players and trying to handle players."

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