Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose is the only living person who is banned for life from Major League Baseball. Rose, who had more hits in his career than any player in MLB history, has never been given a second chance and is not eligible to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
The 72-year-old has always admitted that he made a mistake by gambling on baseball, but it’s obvious he is bitter that he is the only player who is banned from the game given some of the cheating that has gone on in recent years. On Monday morning, he spoke to 93.7 The Fan’s John Phillips to discuss Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and his own past. Rose provided some powerful quotes.
“Hey, everything is a different case,” he said. “I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it. I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences. However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance. And to be honest with you, I picked the wrong vice. I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers second chances in the world of baseball.”
Many would agree with Rose, who said he also dislikes comparisons between him and Shoeless Joe Jackson. Unlike the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal, Rose insists he only bet on his team to win games and would never throw a game for money. There are plenty of people who would argue that betting on your team to win — when that’s what you’re trying to do anyway — is nothing compared to domestic abuse or steroid use.
Rose said he would love for the ban to one day be lifted but that he doesn’t obsess over it.
“If I ever made the Hall of Fame, I’d be the happiest guy in the world,” he explained. “But I don’t want you to think that I go to bed at night praying I make the Hall of Fame. When I go to bed at night, I pray that I wake up tomorrow morning. That’s where I’m at in my life right now.”
For what it’s worth, Rose also said he is friends with Rodriguez. However, he said he would advise any players who make a mistake in the future to come clean when confronted, rather than denying it and getting caught anyway. Personally, I have far less of an issue with what Rose did than I do with guys like A-Rod and Ryan Braun. Unfortunately, I’m not Bud Selig.
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