Pete Rose made some powerful remarks earlier this week about his lifetime ban from baseball, saying he should have picked alcohol, drugs, or beating up his wife as a vice instead of gambling on games. The point the Cincinnati Reds legend was trying to make is that players who are guilty of that type of activity get second chances, whereas he did not.
For obvious reasons, the comments rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. On Tuesday, Rose issued a statement of apology.
“If I’ve learned anything over the past 24 years since my banishment from baseball, it’s to own up to my failures right away,” Rose said, via CBS Pittsburgh. “I was feeling sorry for myself when I compared my vice to others, including abuse and drinking. Of course, all vices are not to be excused. I know gambling almost destroyed baseball and I have accepted the way Commissioners Giamatti, Vincent and Selig acted toward me.”
The problem for many people is that Rose made it sound like having some sort of vice was a given. It’s understandable that he feels slighted when admitted juicers like Mark McGwire are on the Hall of Fame ballot, but there are plenty of players who didn’t gamble, abuse their wives, drink, or do drugs. In that sense, you can see why Rose’s comments made him look bad.
H/T Eye on Baseball