Pete Rose said, "I guess I should say it's nice to be back in a ballpark" when he was introduced in Reading, Pa., a surprise guest on a night honoring Mike Schmidt.
Commissioner Fay Vincent apparently didn't think it was so nice. Wednesday, he decided it wasn't so naughty, either.
Did Vincent cave in, hearing the winds of indignation? Did he check out the tiny print in the agreement Rose and ex-commissioner Bart Giamatti signed, the one written in sand?
What can a former big-leaguer on permanent suspension do? And what can't he do?
As a special service, the Philadelphia Daily News brings you one man's version of what Rose can and cannot do:
L * Pete cannot refer to his Porsche as "the big Red machine."
* Rose can buy a Nolan Ryan rookie card, but he cannot lean over the box-seat railing to get it signed at a Texas Rangers game, even if he has paid his way into the ballpark.
* When asked if he's happy to be in the ballpark, he cannot say, "You bet your bleep." He cannot even say, "You bet your bottom dollar."
* If he attends a game at Wrigley Field, he can sit in the bleachers. But if he catches a home run ball, he cannot throw the baseball back onto the field.
* He can sing along with Harry Caray in the seventh inning, especially the part about buying peanuts and Cracker Jack and not caring if he ever gets back.
* He can play an exhibition game with the Tokyo Giants. But he cannot wear the Tokyo uniform. A kimono would be acceptable.
* He cannot appear on the same dais with Donald Trump. Even if they are voted co-Father of the Year.
* He cannot sit on the same dais with Jimmy "The Greek," Chuck Betson, Bette Davis, Betty Ford or Harry Gamble.
* He cannot accept a scholarship from UNLV.
* He cannot share a hot tub with Richard Perry. He cannot share the same ZIP code with Richard Perry.
* He can list his five favorite baseball commissioners for USA Today, but it would not be a good idea.
* He can interview Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez on his TV show, provided they are not wearing their World Series rings.
* He can recite his statistics when interviewed by Jane Pauley on NBC. If he doesn't, it's an imposter.
* He cannot model the uniform he's peddling on the Home Shopping Network. The one he wore when poked in the eye by umpire Dave Pallone. Minimum bid, $10,000.
* He cannot appear at a book signing party for Pallone, no matter how sweetly Pallone asks him.
The rules are subject to change, unilaterally, of course.