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Pete Rose wants PED users in the Hall of Fame to help his own chances

Jul 14, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

pete rose getty Getty Images

Pete Rose has historically slammed PED users. Saying stuff like this back in 2010:

Now, to answer your question about steroids, wouldn’t you like to ask Roger Maris how he feels about steroids? Or Babe Ruth how he feels about steroids? Or Hank Aaron, you could probably ask how he feels about steroids. Because those guys all lost records because of people who supposedly took steroids. So that’s a different deal right there. But I didn’t alter any statistics of baseball.

I may be bad, but not as bad as them, he has argued. I think that may be a tactical thing on his part — in the past he has also acknowledged that guys like Barry Bonds were great players regardless — and that he’d say just about anything to get himself reinstated or considered for the Hall of Fame. More evidence to that effect comes today, as he has now begun advocating for PED users in the Hall. Here he is on WFAN this morning:

Pete Rose wants Major League Baseball to give him a second chance. That’s no big secret.And he thinks he’d have a better shot at reinstatement if Hall of Fame voters can find it in themselves to induct a tainted slugger or two.

“I wish that would happen,” Rose said Monday on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show. “If something like that would ever happen, it would enhance my opportunities.”

Any weapon at hand, I guess.

For what it’s worth I want the PED guys AND Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame. History is history and baseball is baseball. Let’s leave the ethics discussions for the ethicists and lets put the truly historic players in the Hall of Fame.

  1. coffeeblack95616 - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Let the players use whatever they want and when they die early deaths due to any substances they might have used, we can shrug our shoulders and say, “It’s their choice. Who cares?”
    Sports is nothing more than entertainment and the athletes are just paid entertainers. To make them anything bigger than that is stupid. The HOF is a place to see pictures and memorabilia of the greatest of the entertainers. It was the commissioner’s fault for allowing PEDs. If baseball really didn’t want PEDs to be used, they would have done something about it.
    As it is, players are given plenty of warning as to when they need to cycle off the stuff, so only the dumbest or cockiest still get caught. Players are and will continue to use, so quit being stupid and blocking the retired HOFers from getting in. And let Rose in too. This is just entertainment!

    • baberuthslegs - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Baseball is more than entertainment.

      “The game is nuance, romance and passion all rolled into one. Fathers took their sons to games and played catch with them in the back yard — whether Bondses, Griffeys, Alous or your average Joes — and that tradition gets passed on generation after generation. ”
      What Makes Baseball Great

      • zzalapski - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        That kind of mawkish bloviation drives fans like me crazy, because while it may play well in a movie theater, it imbues baseball with more meaning than it deserves.

        It’s a business based on the entertainment derived from following a sport that is highly enjoyable for millions to watch and/or play. Why does it have to be more than that?

      • baberuthslegs - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        ZZ it doesn’t have to be. But to some people it is very special, more than a game. I wish I could explain it, but I can’t. All I know is that I feel connected to it in a way nothing else has ever made me feel.

      • devilsmetsgiants - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:45 PM


      • happytwinsfan - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Stick to your guns baberuthslegs. Sincere sentimentality is a wonderful thing. I feel the same way and I don’t care how stupid or mawkish I look to the ‘clear eyed realists’. Hell, I am mawkish, stupid, delusional and proud of it.

        You want some of that, tough guys?

      • baberuthslegs - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        Happy, thank you. I know just how you feel, and it’s good.

    • tackandcover - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      Babe & Twins fan:

      Get a room you two. Going to prom together?

      I’ve followed the Yankees since the days of Mantle, Maris, Berra, Ford etc. Its a game, pure and simple, nothing more.

      No zen, no secrets into the meaning of life, none of the crap dialogue from Bull Durham.

      Get a life.

  2. mybrunoblog - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Proven PED cheaters? No. Pete Rose in the HOF? Yes.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      One group did something that wasn’t against baseball’s rules and had no associated punishment. The other is Pete Rose.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      No to both, at least for now. I would let likely PEDers in if they fessed up. I also want confessions from the three managers going in the HOF; two of them, especially, I believe knew more than they let on. Oh, and an honest confession from Bud, too.

      Until then, I would keep out Bonds, Clemens, and likely others. Per what I said above, I’d definitely keep out Tony the Pony and Torre; possibly Cox, too (Gary Sheffield among those he managed).

      Per Craig, #disrepecting.

    • Reflex - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      Pete was heavily involved in the spread of PEDs in the game of baseball during the 80’s, actively encouraging his young players to get on the stuff, and sending them to a dealer friend of his to get hooked up. Pete Rose is part of the PED problem.

      He also happens to have compromised the fundamental integrity of the game, which is an even worse crime.

  3. jm91rs - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    I don’t think you’ll find a statement that he ever wanted steroid users kept out of the hall. He’s always tried to lump himself in with those guys, they are a unique brotherhood of all-time greats that have been shunned. He’s not saying anything new here, and to say he’s slammed PED users is probably not accurate.

    • tmc602014 - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Pete Rose sells autographed balls averring to attaining the hits record without steroids. I think that’s a pretty strong statement. Also, I’ll say it again: EVERYTHING Pete Rose says serves Pete Rose. Does Pete love Rafael Palmeiro or hate him? You can count on Pete saying only what he believes will help Pete’s own case to enter the HOF.

  4. bronco58lb - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I am not sure Rose and PED are closely related. Rose has a lifetime ban from baseball, which makes him ineligible for HOF voting. I think Rose’s gambling was a serious offense and he got punished appropriately. But I don’t want to see him get inducted post-humanously. I would like to see MLB reinstate him with restrictions so we can see him with a plaque in his arms.

  5. missingdiz - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Guys took PEDs to improve their performance. The problem with gambling by players or mangers is that it might lead to throwing games–intentionally under-performing. That’s a significant difference. I’m for drawing a line on PEDs, and I think they’ve got it about right. I think the line on gambling is about right, too. Besides all that, Pete Rose whether he’s in the Hall or not in the Hall, will always be an insufferable, self-centered travesty of a human being.

    • jm91rs - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      I think you’re wrong there. I think Pete Rose largely goes away after he’s inducted into the Hall. The number of people that despise him might out number the people that like him right now, and I think most of those people go away shortly after the initial reaction to admittance.

      • zzalapski - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        Pete Rose has been all about self-promotion for a long time, and he’s not going to stop if/when he gets into the Hall. I mean, what did his reality show have to do with him trying to get reinstated?

        If you think he’ll fade away, you’ll be disappointed. Then again, he is good at disappointing people.

    • tmc602014 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      You are right. PED users (and I don’t support them and their actions) primarily acted out of selfishness and affected their own performance, not others. (Well, they may have affected opponents’ ERA or BA but you get what I mean.) Gamblers, especially those with playing time authority, definitely affect others. What if I left that pitcher in because I had a bet he’d go 8 at least? What if he snapped his UCL two weeks later? Or how about I pinch hit for that rookie cuz he was tearing it up, and while I never bet my team to lose, I may bet the Under occasionally. The worst CEOs seek short term results at the cost of long term performance, and I can’t think of a better analogy to a manager who gambles than that.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        PED users definitely affect the performance of others.

        you said it yourself. higher ERA, lower batting averages

        how about this? players didn’t get out of the minor leagues and make it to the bigs and make the big bucks because of players on the farm who were using and did a bit better and got called up.

        PED users kept some players from making the bigs or getting cut in spring training.

        they flat out took money from players who chose NOT to take PEDS.

        now I’m not for EITHER PEDS or gambling, but with words, we may slant anything anyway we want to.

        did pete rose keep players OUT of the big leagues? which is worse?

        they are BOTH wrong and they both did things that were not good for the game.

  6. plmathfoto - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    I think his altering statistics is arguable as well. There’s been no proof either way of how he bet or whether he bet for or against his team, only supposition that he bet on his team all the time. Also what if he bet on his team, but had an over/under bet or his team minus a run or two or whatever.

    Also, it’s not exactly altering statistics, but his continued use of, oh himself in the lineup when he was manager when clearly he wasn’t the best choice, therefore not putting out the best lineup nor the best chance for his team to win alters won loss statistics, not to mention cheapens immensely his hit record. If he wasn’t the manager, no way is he in that lineup, especially at first base.

  7. rcali - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Will Barry Bonds’ head plaque take up two spots in the hall or will they be modeling it before his “Flax Seed Oil” diet?

  8. ctony1216 - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    According to the Dowd Report, Pete Rose bet on fifty-two Reds games in 1987, at a minimum of $10,000 a day. That wasn’t just a violation of baseball’s rules, it was illegal. Rose willingly accepted a lifetime ban in exchange for a non admission of guilt.

    Guys who knowingly broke baseball’s PED rules don’t belong in the Hall of Fame either.

    If the Roses and Bondses, etc., really think they belong in a baseball museum, they can start one of their own. Call it the baseball legends museum. All MLB players would be eligible, PED use or not, and career stat leaders would be the most likely to be voted in.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      So, only people who tested positive after 2005?

  9. devilsmetsgiants - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    You can be sure that if Pete Rose ever does get into the Hall, he will officially change his name to Baseball Hall Of Famer Pete Rose and follow it up with a cheesy-beyond-belief world tour to sell stuff.

    “Appearing this weekend at the Ohio State Fair,,,,Baseball Hall Of Famer Pete Rose! He will be signing official Baseball Hall Of Famer Pete Rose licensed merchandise for $100 each (merchandise not included)”

  10. coffeeblack95616 - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Zzapski is right on as well. Baseball IS entertainment. To make it more than that is to be a fool. I love entertainment, don’t get me wrong. But when a source of entertainment creates stress, adversely affects relationships, causes fights (see the Stow case), and makes people believe they are a part of something more than skilled millionaires playing a game, then those simpletons are deluding themselves.
    I was a huge SF Giants fan back in the 80s. I was happy to see them win two World Series championships recently, but despite going to several games, listening to games on the radio, and following the teams over the years, not a single player knew who I was, my quality of life did not change a whit after the WS victory, and my bank account was unaffected. In short, baseball is nothing more than entertainment. And though I will admit this is purely anecdotal, I would suggest that it’s the same situation for all fans who have no direct connection to a player on the team (and I mean direct , not “I met the guy at a fundraiser and he was really cool.”).
    Let’s not create false idols out of grown up kids playing a game for millions of dollars.

  11. fissels - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Pete knowingly violated a sacred baseball rule that he and everyone who ever played knew about.
    I don’t care about steroid users and if they get in or not. He shouldn’t ever be allowed in.

  12. 49faithful - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Pete Rose only cares about Pete Rose. Who cares what he says/

  13. lawson1974 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Pete Rose just wants his career recognized for the elite of the elite that it was, and whatever argument will help that he’ll latch on to. So what, so would any if you in a similar situation.

    How about we end it by rescinding the ridiculously long suspension and put Pete in the Hall, as he deserves, and then we wont have to argue about any of these sideshows anymore

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Pete Rose just wants his career recognized for the elite of the elite that it was, and whatever argument will help that he’ll latch on to. So what, so would any if you in a similar situation.

      Do we mean HoF worthy, or like top 10 to ever play the game? Because the former may never happen*, and he’s definitely not one of the latter.

      *Honestly, does anyone think he’d even make the requisite 75% of the vote if he were put up one last time, since he’s beyond the 15 year eligibility?

  14. eugenesaxe1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Pete didn’t cheat.
    Let him in.

  15. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Lying hippo-crate only cares about himself? Color me shocked. Why does anyone bother to listen to a thing that comes out of this jerks face. I swear he is worse than a bad house guest. Every time you think you are finally rid of him he says something else stupid to get himself more media attention.

  16. gloccamorra - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    There’s no such thing as a magic pill that invests the taker with super powers. That garbage came from crackpot sports writers who just loved to pen holier-than-thou diatribes with no evidence whatever. They probably watched Popeye eat a can of spinach and throw a battleship, and thought it was real. So if an outfielder is bitten by a radioactive spider, he can climb to the top of the Green Monster!

    Get real! Steroids build muscle, and that’s it. And they only do that if the player keeps WORKING OUT. How do you separate the (unproven) magical effects of steroids from the effect of getting and staying in top shape? It’s all about WORKING OUT.

    The other so-called PEDs either increase testosterone levels making it easier to build/maintain muscle tone, or are amphetamines that help keep you awake and alert. Neither imparts magical properties that increase your bat speed, improve your hand-eye coordination, or give you better eyesight.

    The bottom line is that the sports writers were blowing it out their butts, and combined with George Mitchell’s team of unrestrained investigators, created a witch hunt that threatened the game. Whatever you think of Bud Selig, he and Donald Fehr saved the game by installing a drug testing program that was largely unneeded, and sending Mitchell and his investigators packing.

    As for Rose, he knew gambling was the third rail of baseball, and he bet on baseball while managing. When suspended, he had a chance for reinstatement, but he wasn’t anything close to contrite until recent years, but he still sells his autograph in casinos! He’s finally admitted his failings, and gambling at the level he indulged is a disease, so there’s still a chance for redemption, but he still needs to break with the casino appearances, and limit his paid autograph sessions to books and other special appearances, and give away an autograph once in awhile.

  17. yahmule - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    The perfect compromise. Enshrine steroid-trafficker Pete Rose, Jr.

    Nah, I kid the former leader of the Kannapolis Intimidators.

    But he seems to have turned his life around.

  18. wheels579 - Jul 14, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Pete Rose belongs in the hall after he’s dead. His conduct over the last 25 years shows he believes he is bigger than the game, which is what led him to risk everything in the first place to break the only rule that could get him banned from baseball. He is without question worse than any PED user, and he does not deserve to enjoy the honor of being a living hall of famer regardless of his career accomplishments. Pete threw that all away believing someone would eventually relent and let him in. If that wasn’t the case, he would have spent the last 25 years showing contrition, which he clearly has not done. Let him in once he’s dead.

  19. edelmanfanclub - Jul 14, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    Steroids were part of the era, as wrong as they are you can’t change what happened in the past. Is it wrong? Yes. Does that mean Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, Sosa, Ramirez, Ortiz, Rodriguez should all not be in? Is it possible to say that Griffey, Pujols, Thome, Thomas used and did not get caught? Not sure where to draw the line on these guys, but I’m sure it’ll be drawn somewhere incorrectly.

    Btw Pete Rose should be in the HOF too.

  20. sf1045 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Pete belongs in the HOF. His stats were not because of PED. Yes he gambled, but that did not have anything to do with Pete Rose “the player”. No one will put up his stats. This is why he belongs. Is he an ego guy, yes, but so is baseball. Recognize him for the baseball player and his accomplishments.

    • dexterismyhero - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      Absolutely not!!! He broke the cardinal rule.

  21. wheels579 - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    PED users are more deserving than Rose. You take drugs with the sole purpose of enhancing performance. Not so with gambling.

  22. tackandcover - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    A Rose by any other name still stinks.

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