Picks and Pans Review: Reach for the Sky

updated 09/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The title makes this sound like a how-to tape for highwaymen. It is really Pete Rose talking about his spectacular baseball career, interspersed with action footage. As a motivational tool for business—its advertised intent—this tape doesn't get much past first base. For one thing, this is not the best of times for Rose to be posing as a leader of men, since the Cincinnati Reds, the team he now manages, have struggled through most of the season, hardly playing at a level that could be called inspired. For another, even when Rose remembers that he's supposed to be offering ideas that can be translated into useful advice outside sports, he says such things as, "You can be just as aggressive as a businessman as you can as a baseball player—you just don't get so dirty." Nonetheless, this is an engaging 47 minutes. That's partly due to Rose's boyish optimism. This may be the world's only 47-year-old man who can say, "Life is fun!" and get away with it. Then there's Bob Trumpy, the former pro-football-player-turned-announcer who interviews Rose in a friendly but never obsequious tone. When Rose muses, "I just happen to be John Wayne in a baseball uniform," Trumpy scoffs, "You're dreaming, but go ahead." Rose occasionally lapses: "You start talking about drugs or the stock market or stuff like that, I have people who handle that." Yet he talks movingly about his father and occasionally offers admirable plain talk: "I knew what I could do, and I knew what I couldn't do. And I just concentrated on doing what I could do on a consistent basis." (Morris, $29.95; 800-843-3606; in California, 800-343-5556)

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