Daywatch: What’s next for former Foxtrot workers

Good morning, Chicago.

A little over nine years ago, Javier Mancera landed a job at a commissary to supply a startup of boutique convenience stores in Chicago. It seemed promising, he recalled.

And it was. He was quickly tasked with hiring more workers as Foxtrot became known as an upscale grocer and cafe chain based in Chicago, which later expanded to Texas and Washington, D.C. That was until Foxtrot and Dom’s Kitchen & Market abruptly shuttered in April before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, causing chaos amongst their customers and leaving hundreds of their workers suddenly without a job.

The stores in Chicago were all located on the city’s North Side. The commissary, however, was on the Southwest Side, predominantly staffed by Mexican immigrant laborers like Mancera, who never set foot in one of the boutique stores.

As a co-founder of Foxtrot and new investors plan to reopen about a dozen stores this fall, Mancera and most of the other 50 former immigrant workers who worked at the commissary continue to struggle to find new jobs to make ends meet . Mancera said that his quest for employment has been stymied by few opportunities, with competition from newly arrived migrants who are willing to work for extremely low wages and those who have legal work permits.

Read the full story from the Tribune’s Laura Rodríguez Presa .

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A group of migrants traveling from Texas exit a bus in the West Loop neighborhood on Dec. 5, 2023, in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)
A group of migrants traveling from Texas exit a bus in the West Loop neighborhood on Dec. 5, 2023, in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)

Chicago leaders brace for as many as 25,000 new migrants ahead of DNC

Chicago is bracing for as many as 25,000 migrants to arrive by bus ahead of the Democratic National Convention, city leaders said yesterday.

The high-end estimate from Deputy Mayor of Immigration Beatriz Ponce de León came as Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration defended its policy of evicting migrants who stay in city shelters longer than 60 days. That removal policy could be much needed if Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott holds true on promises to send Chicago many more migrants in the next few weeks in order to try to make the migrant crisis a Democratic problem, she argued.

Vice President Kamala Harris, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, greets people on the tarmac after arriving on Air Force Two in Milwaukee on July 23, 2024. (Kenny Holston/The New York Times)
Vice President Kamala Harris, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, greets people on the tarmac after arriving on Air Force Two in Milwaukee on July 23, 2024. (Kenny Holston/The New York Times)

In Wisconsin, Kamala Harris presses case against Trump and for Democratic agenda

Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday began prosecuting her case against former President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, in her first major public campaign rally since President Joe Biden dropped his reelection bid and threw his support behind his running mate.

In her campaign trail debut as the Democrats’ presumptive nominee and only about 48 hours after Biden bowed out, the former California attorney general and prosecutor displayed a potentially potent line of attack against Trump.

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at West Allis Central High School on July 23, 2024 in West Allis, Wisconsin. Harris made her first campaign appearance as the party's presidential candidate, with an endorsement from President Biden. (Jim Vondruska/Getty)
Democratic presidential candidate, Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at West Allis Central High School on July 23, 2024, in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Jim Vondruska/Getty)

Kamala Harris’ Illinois backers turn attention to building an organization

With Vice President Kamala Harris securing the support of enough Democratic National Convention delegates to land the party’s presidential nomination, her backers in Illinois yesterday moved to the next step — putting together an infrastructure to promote her nascent White House campaign.

Alithia Zamantakis, assistant professor at Northwestern's Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, in downtown Chicago on July 23, 2024. Cook County prosecutors dropped criminal charges on Friday against four Northwestern University staff members who participated in the pro-Palestinian protest encampment on the institution's Evanston campus in late April. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)
Alithia Zamantakis, assistant professor at Northwestern’s Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, in downtown Chicago on July 23, 2024. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

Charges dropped against NU educators involved in pro-Palestinian encampment

Cook County prosecutors dropped criminal charges against four people who participated in the pro-Palestinian protest encampment at Northwestern University in late April.

In this image taken from body camera video released by Illinois State Police on Monday, July 22, 2024, former Sangamon County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Grayson, left, points his gun at Sonya Massey, who called 911 for help, before shooting and killing her inside her home in Springfield, Ill., July 6, 2024. (Illinois State Police)
In this image taken from body camera video released by Illinois State Police on July 22, 2024, former Sangamon County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Grayson, left, points his gun at Sonya Massey, who called 911 for help, before shooting and killing her inside her home in Springfield, Ill., July 6, 2024. (Illinois State Police)

Records show deputy charged in Sonya Massey’s fatal shooting worked for 6 agencies in 4 years

The former sheriff’s deputy charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Sonya Massey, a 36-year-old Black woman killed inside her Illinois home, had been employed by a half-dozen police agencies since 2020, according to state law enforcement records.

Sean Grayson’s career included short stints as a part-time officer at three small police departments and a full-time job at a fourth department as well as working full time at two sheriff’s offices, all in central Illinois.

A Glock handgun in custody at the ATF Boston bureau shows a switch capable of making the gun an automatic weapon. (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe)
A Glock handgun in custody at the ATF Boston bureau shows a switch capable of making the gun an automatic weapon. (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe)

City expanding lawsuit against Glock to include two suburban gun shops

The city of Chicago this week moved to dismiss, refile and effectively expand a lawsuit previously brought against gun manufacturer Glock.

Originally filed last March, the since-updated lawsuit raises many of the same allegations against Glock — centered around the recent surge of “auto sears” or “switches” that can quickly modify a Glock handgun into an automatic weapon — though the manufacturer’s Austria-based parent company and two suburban Chicago gun shops were added as defendants in the case.

Pedestrians walk outside the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in downtown Chicago, Jan. 22, 2018. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)
Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune

Pedestrians walk outside the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in downtown Chicago, Jan. 22, 2018. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

Suburban woman pleads not guilty in $1.8 million fraud scheme involving medical equipment for cancer survivors

A Downers Grove woman who works for a medical equipment boutique pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging she participated in a scheme to fraudulently bill more than $1.8 million to private insurers for products that were never provided, including breast prostheses, compression garments, and wigs for cancer survivors.

A photo of Hagen Smith is shown on the video board after the White Sox selected him with the fifth pick in the MLB draft on Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A photo of Hagen Smith is shown on the video board after the White Sox selected him with the fifth pick in the MLB draft on July 14, 2024, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Chicago White Sox agree to terms with 20 draft picks, including 1st-round selection Hagen Smith

The White Sox came to terms with 20 of their 21 selections from the 2024 draft, including first-round pick Hagen Smith.

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Gervon Dexter Sr., (99) warms up during an NFL football training camp practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Tuesday, July 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears defensive tackle Gervon Dexter warms up during a training camp practice at Halas Hall on Tuesday, July 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chicago Bears training camp report: Gervon Dexter got in ‘marathon shape’ for crucial opportunity; Montez Sweat facing a new challenge

The Chicago Bears held their first training camp practice in front of fans yesterday during an invitation-only community day at Halas Hall.

Here’s a rundown from the practice and the news conferences afterward.

Pete Rose got his revenge on the Shea Stadium fans by homering with one out in the 12th inning to give the Reds a 2-1 victory over the Mets and square their National League championship series at two games apiece. Rose had been the object of abuse 10/8 following an altercation with Mets' shortstop Bud Harrelson. (Bettmann/Getty Images/Courtesy of HBO)
Pete Rose got his revenge on the Shea Stadium fans by homering with one out in the 12th inning to give the Reds a 2-1 victory over the Mets and square their National League championship series at two games apiece. Rose had been the object of abuse 10/8 following an altercation with Mets’ shortstop Bud Harrelson. (Bettmann/HBO)

‘Charlie Hustle & the Matter of Pete Rose’ review: A soiled baseball great attempts to come clean

By his stats alone, Pete Rose was one of Major League Baseball’s greats. But in 1989, he was banned for life after an investigation found he was betting on his team’s games during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. In the years since, he’s launched campaigns lobbying for a reversal, but offered little by way of contrition. At 83, after all this time, he might be incapable of it. Even so, the four-part HBO documentary “Charlie Hustle & The Matter of Pete Rose” is a searching look for one man’s conscience, writes Tribune TV and film critic Nina Metz .

Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman star in “Deadpool & Wolverine,” which threatens to be the first of many in Marvel’s buddy-up franchise offshoots. (Jay Maidment/20th Century Studios/Marvel Studios)

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ review: This could be the start of something bleh

How’s this one? Depressing, writes Tribune film critic Michael Phillips .

It’s two hours of creative fatigue and nattering comic strain, wandering through a limb-strewn quantum realm of bleh. But it knows its audience. The shameless, needy streak of sentimental nostalgia in “Deadpool & Wolverine” can’t lose with millions who shelled out for the earlier pictures.

Chillable red wine Jean Foillard Beaujolais Villages. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
Chillable red wine Jean Foillard Beaujolais Villages. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Step aside rosé: This summer’s coolest sips are chillable red wines

After years of simmering under the radar, chilled reds as a category have catapulted into the mainstream, emerging as this summer’s most fashionable pour.

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Column: Questions about Chicago Bears’ depth at edge rusher after Montez Sweat are fair, but the answers could be in-house

If you were reading between the lines when Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles — unprompted — talked about the team’s depth at defensive end before the start of training camp last weekend, you could have inferred he was sending a message to potential job seekers the Bears aren’t going to be big spenders.

“The topic of the defensive end position has popped up multiple times,” Poles said. “It’s our job to look at every option that’s out there to improve our football team. We feel really comfortable with the guys we have on our roster now and I’m excited to see Travis (Smith, defensive line coach) and Eric (Washington, defensive coordinator) really put their hands on those guys and develop them as we go. But we will always have our eyes on the list of players that we could potentially bring in.”

One translation could be, “We like our guys enough that we’re not interested in paying what you’re seeking.”

The Bears have been linked since early spring to free agent Yannick Ngakoue, who had four sacks in 13 games for them last season before finishing the year on injured reserve with a fractured ankle. But it’s worth wondering if the Bears’ depth situation at the position would be resolved if they re-signed Ngakoue. If Ngakoue, 29, is in a similar form to where he was last season when pro scouts said he wasn’t playing with the same power and ability to shed blocks he did earlier in his career, doesn’t the defense have the same issue?

The Miami Dolphins put Emmanuel Ogbah and Ngakoue through a tryout earlier this week before signing Ogbah to a one-year deal that, with incentives, can reportedly reach $5 million. The Bears, if they desire the experience and certainly Ngakoue would provide, could do something similar with a little more than $12 million in available salary-cap space. Money isn’t an issue here.

It’s entirely possible Poles addressed the position before being asked about it because he knew it would be a hot topic and you can take him for his word. He’s got a track record for being a straight shooter, but GMs speaking publicly before the start of training camp are communicating to everyone — media, fans, agents, free agents, you name it.

Certainly, it is important for the Bears to evaluate what they have behind starters Montez Sweat and DeMarcus Walker when the team practices in full pads for the first time on Friday and Saturday at Halas Hall.

It was a week into camp last summer when the team signed Ngakoue to a $10.5 million, one-year contract and you would think the club wants to spend legitimate time analyzing how things are shaking out before considering an addition. Coaches and the front office should know pretty quickly.

Chicago Bears defensive end Jacob Martin (55) warms up as defensive tackle Andrew Billings (97) and defensive end Daniel Hardy (92) look on during an NFL football training camp practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Tuesday, July 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears defensive end Jacob Martin warms up as defensive tackle Andrew Billings and defensive end Daniel Hardy look on during training camp at Halas Hall on Tuesday, July 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

“The first day (in pads) won’t make or break that,” Washington said. “It’s been a long time since this group has played tackle football. But after the first two or three practices, I’ll have a pretty good sense of where the group is. And also, we can identify where need to kind of grow and who needs what specific work and what we need to focus and hone on in terms of trying to develop the depth.

“So I’m not making any absolute statements after the first two or three days, but what we want to do is just make sure we know what we need to do as a staff to develop the depth that we believe we have. If they’re here, there’s a reason why they’re here.”

Questioning what the Bears have as a third or fourth option coming off the edge is fair. After Sweat there simply isn’t a consistent and proven finisher for a defense that ranked 31st with 30 sacks and 26th with an 18.8 pressure percentage in 2023. The statement can be made that if something happens to Sweat, the Bears are really in a jam. Guess what? That’s true for nearly every team in the league if it loses its top pass rusher.

An injury in training camp or preseason could force Poles and his staff to reevaluate outside options, but right now it’s worth waiting to see what Jacob Martin, a free-agent signing in March, and fifth-round pick Austin Booker can do.

Defensive lineman Austin Booker (94) stretches during Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall Saturday, May 11, 2024, in Lake Forest. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)
Defensive lineman Austin Booker stretches during Chicago Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall on Saturday, May 11, 2024. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

Martin, 28, has familiarity with the scheme having played for Lovie Smith in Houston. In 2021, he had four sacks and six QB hits in 698 snaps for the Texans. Martin showed up in practice Tuesday before a day off for the players on Wednesday, getting what likely would have been a sack in 11-on-11 drills and forcing a scramble by Caleb Williams in the two-minute drill. Of course, it’s all projection and guesswork for line play with no pads.

“Jacob, great speed, great speed and quickness,” said Washington, who noted the extra work Martin is putting in before practice. “Very athletic. He’s an excellent space player. But he’s really sturdy at the point of attack. Those types of things you really need to have. I mean, we can anticipate his role being as a three-down defender.”

Booker was rotated through with the first team a little on Tuesday as well, and the speed and ability to turn the corner is evident. He lacks some stoutness at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, but you can find a role for a twitched-up edge rusher with a quick first step in this scheme, especially on passing downs.

“We’re not in pads yet but I saw a lot of things that I’m really excited about,” Washington said of Booker. “His hand usage. His ability to counter. And with a pass rusher, especially a young player, it’s just a mindset. He’s got one objective in mind and that’s to put himself in position to hit the quarterback.”

If the Bears can get significant improvement from 2023 second-round pick Gervon Dexter — and he’s reshaped his body — that could add a lot to the pass rush if they have a more consistent interior push from the three-technique. No one says a beefed-up pass rush has to come from the edge.

Dexter was a two-gap player at Florida and the adjustment to playing a single gap is something he worked his way through in his rookie season, coming on in the second half as nine of his 12 QB hits were in the final eight games. He seems more comfortable on and off the field this summer.

“Words can’t describe it, man,” Dexter said. “My body type, my style of play was a penetrator, disruptor and I was in a defense (in college) that I couldn’t do that. So I kind of had chains on. Now, they’re off.”

Coming off consecutive last-place finishes, the Bears were not going to open training camp with a roster that didn’t have a few questions. Even the best teams enter this time of year seeking answers at certain positions.

Defensive end is a legitimate one for the Bears, and solutions could already be in the building when looking at rotational backups.

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Column: Paramount’s ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ and new theater boost the fortunes of downtown Aurora

Even as commercial theater producers continue to struggle in Chicago, the Paramount Theatre in Aurora has invested more than $3 million in a new immersive environment for a cool new staging of the long-popular jukebox show, “Million Dollar Quartet.” The all-new Stolp Island Theatre, which opened last weekend under a parking garage in the southern reaches of the west suburban city’s downtown area, is another example of how much the success of the nonprofit, audience-focused Paramount has transformed the center of Aurora into a live entertainment destination, and benefitted from the well-documented traffic and other problems affecting the marketability of downtown Chicago.

And I suspect that, even with four busy theaters (including an outdoor summer operation), Paramount is far from done. Certainly, Aurora’s  enthusiastic Mayor Richard C. Irvin and city manager Alex Alexandrou told me in no uncertain terms there was more in the works.

Already, it’s hard to overstate Paramount’s economic centrality to this old and large downtown, especially since the sagging Hollywood Casino is about to exit for a new building closer to the tollway. Casinos don’t do as much for downtowns as live entertainment, Alexandrou said to me, given their interest in keeping gamblers on the premises. People who go to shows, he said, patronize restaurants and stores. Hence Aurora’s enthusiastic financial support for its endeavors. Irvin was on his feet all night long.

In what was once a restaurant and a cable access TV station, Paramount and its skilled designer Jeffrey D. Kmiec have built out a replica of Sam Phillips’ famed Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. This includes a lobby that feels like a theme park environment and is based on the studio’s Union Avenue exterior; it comes complete with a curbed sidewalk, traffic signal and retail outlets selling concessions. Audience members then walk into the recording studio itself, through an outer lobby decked out in detail like Phillips’ office. The show, directed by Jim Corti and Creg Sclavi, is experienced by sitting among Elvis Presley (Alex Swindle), Jerry Lee Lewis (Garrett Forrestal), Johnny Cash (Bill Scott Sheets) and Carl Perkins (Christopher Wren) as they wander in and out, playing, chatting and singing, even as Phillips (Sam Pearson) looks on and Elvis’ visiting girlfriend, known in the show only as Dyanne (Madison Palmer) sings a couple of numbers herself.

As penned by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, “Million Dollar Quartet” is a familiar title, especially in Chicago where it first found its feet. I first reviewed it at the Goodman Theatre in 2008 and then again at the Apollo Theatre, where it ran for an astonishing eight years, meaning I went back for cast changes and the like. That initial production, produced by Gigi Pritzker, also moved to Broadway in 2010 (it did well) and there have been numerous regional productions thereafter both around here and elsewhere. But despite a dozen or so viewings, I’d never seen “Million Dollar Quartet” in this kind of immersive environment, a concept that surely could be replicated elsewhere and is ideal for this material which is, after all, predicated on wanting to hang out with a collection of deceased musical geniuses. The show sells musical nostalgia and hit songs and it never made the mistake of getting hung up on too much plot.

The new, Equity staging benefits from four notably energetic and proficient central performances, but this exuberant new take really is all about trying to include the audience in the jam session. Smart.

I chatted with some folks around me. All had seen this title before; the show’s success these last 15 years or so has been widely predicated on its ability to attract repeat business. You can, after all, enjoy “Walk the Line” many times. And in Aurora, so they were. It’s loud in there, and I found the sound a bit top-heavy, given the lack of baffling, but you don’t come to this show wanting to strain to hear.

The Stolp Island Theatre could be de-themed without too much difficulty and a new show moved in. But don’t expect that to happen any time soon. “Million Dollar Quartet” is already on sale through the end of the year and when I asked Tim Rater, Paramount’s executive director, on how long he thought it could last, he said with all seriousness that he hoped it would never have to close.

And with this title and just 98 available seats in the recording studio, that’s a good bet for a long while. The show’s first eight weeks sold out in 48 hours and performances already are on sale through the end of the year. By the way, tickets are no more than $65.

“Million Dollar Quartet” plays at the Stolp Island Theatre, 5 E. Downer Place #G, Aurora; tickets $65 at paramountaurora.com

Chris Jones is a Tribune critic.

cjones5@chicagotribune.com

 

 

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‘Charlie Hustle & the Matter of Pete Rose’ review: A soiled baseball great attempts to come clean

By his stats alone, Pete Rose was one of Major League Baseball’s greats. But in 1989, he was banned for life after an investigation found he was betting on his team’s games during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. In the years since, he’s launched campaigns lobbying for a reversal, but offered little by way of contrition. At 83, after all this time, he might be incapable of it. Even so, the four-part HBO documentary “Charlie Hustle & The Matter of Pete Rose” is a searching look for one man’s conscience.

Integrity may be little more than a useful fantasy when it comes to the corporate interests of major sports leagues. I’m always interested in the ways that same fantasy shapes how we feel about individual athletes, especially the most talented, when reality paints a more complicated picture. A nickname like Charlie Hustle is a nod to all the qualities we associate with hard work and initiative. Rose would argue his performance on the field bears that out. He’s less inclined to think through the ways his off-field choices embody the less savory definition of “hustle,” as well.

If the modern era of celebrity documentaries has been defined by glossy image management and hagiography, filmmaker Mark Monroe achieves something more absorbing and tension-filled simply because Rose is such a dodgy and unreliable narrator. His story is a tragedy, but one of his own making, and you get the feeling that his head is filled with gusts of hot air, swirling with ego, self-delusion and sadness. What a portrait. All the same, it is also profoundly weird that Monroe doesn’t address the prevalence of sports gambling — and the league’s recent involvement with it — until well into the final episode.

Rose’s career in baseball began in 1963 and he was the rare player who spent most of it with his hometown club (born and raised in Cincinnati). He had the blue-collar persona of a grinder that made him a fan favorite. His confidence could slip into arrogance but he was also funny and charming. After breaking a record for base hits, he stood by, fresh off the game and still in uniform, awaiting a call from President Ronald Reagan. It became a comedy of errors when he was repeatedly put on hold, but Rose kept it light and offered up jokes: “I’ll give him my home number,” he shrugged.

So that was one side of his personality, a spinner of yarns and always good for a quote. Like many athletes, he was probably something of an adrenaline junkie: “You play sports for one reason. You don’t play for exercise, you play to win.”

He was also an inveterate liar. Maybe that’s why Monroe is unable to push his subject to think more deeply about why or how gambling became so central to his life. Rose takes umbrage when he’s compared to the 1919 Black Sox Scandal and Shoeless Joe Jackson: “Joe Jackson was a great player, OK? But Joe Jackson took money to throw a baseball game in the World Series. I bet on my own team to win.” Rose insists there’s a difference.

Even 35 years later, he’s too squirrelly, too begrudging to fully come clean. Occasionally Monroe catches him in outright lies. There were other allegations in the investigation concerning statutory rape and possibly owing money to the mob, meaning “essentially, they own the manager,” which is how the MLB’s investigator put it. Rose also served five months in a minimum security prison in Marion in downstate Illinois for cheating on his taxes. He insists the ruling handed down by MLB was supposed to be brief as well — a one-year suspension — and it becomes yet another baffling disconnect from reality.

Regarding the statutory rape allegation, Rose says the girl was “within the range of her age, so who gives a (expletive).” To which Monroe replies: “Your lawyers filed documents saying that she was of legal age at that time, but pretty young, 16.”

“First of all,” Rose says, “I don’t ever remember going out with a 16-year-old. Eighteen, yes. But don’t forget, I’m not 50 or 60 when I’m going out with the 18-year-old. There’s probably a lot of guys in this room that are 28-30 that date 18 and 19-year-olds.”

(Monroe isn’t miked, which means every time he asks a question — which is often — it’s a faint voice from off-camera, a choice that suggests a lack of forethought about how these interviews were going to unfold.)

It’s clear Rose hopes to sway sentiment in his favor and finally get his shot at the Baseball Hall of Fame, which can only happen if the lifetime ban is lifted. That is unlikely. “He’s never wrong, he’s never going to apologize, he’s never going to back down, it’s always somebody else’s fault,” is how someone puts it. “He is the hero of his own mind.”

What’s behind Rose’s compulsion at this point? His accomplishments stand, regardless of whether he is in the Hall of Fame or not. You can understand or even sympathize with his disappointment. It so obviously weighs on his mind. But as one sports writer puts it: “It matters if the guys who are controlling the outcome of the game are betting and it matters if they’re betting on themselves or their opponents.”

Still, there’s hypocrisy at play here. In a clip, current MLB commissioner Rob Manfred talks about the ways  “sports gaming can be an important source of fan engagement.” Is it wishful thinking to believe everything will remain above board and scandal-free? It’s conspicuous that Monroe never asks Rose his thoughts about any of it.

Pete Rose as seen in the documentary “Charlie Hustle & the Matter of Pete Rose.” (HBO)

Wearing a shirt with “hit king” stitched on the collar, Rose ultimately comes across as sadly aggrieved and more than a bit lonely. This isn’t how he envisioned his golden years. Other guys have done the same or worse, is the subtext that comes through, they just never got caught — and he thinks it’s unfair that he is being held to any standard at all.

There is no wisdom in hindsight. No long-delayed understanding of the sowing/reaping aphorism. Only a desire to be celebrated one last time with an induction to the Hall of Fame. He remains Charlie Hustle to the end, even if he might be happier accepting that his mistakes are too big to wave away. They’re also what make him human and complex — a man filled with regrets he refuses to admit even exist.

“Charlie Hustle & The Matter of Pete Rose” — 3 stars (out of 4)

Where to watch: The first two episodes premiere at 8 p.m. Wednesday on HBO, followed by the final two episodes at 8 p.m. on Thursday (and streaming on Max)

Nina Metz is a Tribune critic.

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