Pete Rose may not have used anabolic steroids but he can certainly relate to those players with steroid-tainted careers. Like Rose, many of them deserve to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame but will likely never make it. For Barry Bonds Alex Rodriuez and Roger Clemens, it was anabolic steroids. For Rose, it was gambling. It will come as no surprise that Rose is a big believer in second chances.
Rose has asked Major League Baseball (MLB) to give him a second chance on at least three occasions. Quite simply, if the player deliver Hall of Fame numbers, Rose believes they should be elected and inducted.
Rose has filed applications for reinstatement to the game in September 1997, November 2002 and January 2015. Rose was unsuccessful during his first two attempts. The MLB commissioner has yet to rule on Rose’s most recent application.
When it comes to Bonds, Rodriguez and Clemens, he thinks MLB and sportswriters should give them a second chance and welcome them back into the sport thereby paving the way for their inductions in the Hall of Fame.
“My whole thing is not whether they took steroids or not,” Rose said. “It’s none of my business. But I’m willing to give them a second chance. That’s what my statement about those guys belonging in the Hall of Fame is about. And they’re all friends of mine.
“I don’t want to sit here and knock ’em because they made mistakes. They know they made mistakes, like I know I made mistakes. So give ’em a second chance.”
Rose received a lifetime suspension after a 1989 investigation revealed that Rose had gambled on the outcome of baseball games while he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The suspension kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
Bonds and Clemens were never suspended from baseball. Rodriguez was suspended for 162-games. Unlike Rose, the three players remain eligible to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Nonetheless, sports writers have made it clear that they have no intention of voting for them on the Hall of Fame ballot.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred doesn’t seem to mind giving Bonds, Clemens and Rodriguez a second chance in baseball. He probably wouldn’t even mind it if they are voted into the Hall of Fame. But when it comes to Pete Rose and gambling, Manfred considers it a different issue entirely.
Manfred thinks there is a very important distinction between Rose and gambling versus players who used anabolic steroids.
“I don’t accept the analogy between steroids and gambling,” Manfred said. “I see gambling as different in a sense that baseball’s rules on gambling have been in place literally for decades. They’ve been clear. They spell out specific penalties. The reason those rules exist is that gambling is corrosive in a number of ways, including raising the specter of somebody of not doing everything they can to win. Steroids — a very, very different kind of issue.”
Rose has accepted his fate but refuses to remain quiet when in comes to speaking out against the sports writers who demonize Bonds and Clemens. Rose told Larry Fine of Reuters that the poster children of baseball’s steroid era are some of the greatest baseball players the world has ever seen. And they deserve the recognition of a Hall induction.
“Would I vote for Roger Clemens? You’re damn right I would. Would I vote for Barry Bonds? You’re damn right I would,” said Rose. “These guys are seven-time MVPs, seven-time Cy Young Award winner.”
We can only hope the sportswriters from the Baseball Writers of American Assocation (BWAA) start seeing things Rose’s way.
Verducci, T. (July 14, 2015). Pete Rose on his Hall of Fame hopes, steroids in baseball and much more. Retrieved from http://www.si.com/mlb/2015/07/14/pete-rose-interview-all-star-game