Pete Rose, who remains banned from Major League Baseball for betting on games during his years as a player and as a manager, said Monday that his transgression isn’t quite as bad as using performance-enhancing drugs.
“They’re both bad. I think in my case, I know I didn’t do anything to alter the statistics of baseball,” Rose said on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN 98.7 FM. “As you know, baseball statistics are sacred. That’s why baseball cards are worth more than football cards, why that Honus Wagner card is going for a couple million bucks, why baseball memorabilia is much more valuable than football or basketball memorabilia.
“I had nothing to do with altering statistics of baseball, and these guys, that take PEDs — wouldn’t it be nice if you could ask Babe Ruth the same question, or Roger Maris the same question or Hank Aaron, who won’t talk about it. I’d like to hear what their response will be, because those are the guys who lost their records because of supposedly steroids.”
Rose, of course, is baseball’s all-time hits leader with 4,256, yet the 17-time All-Star remains out of Cooperstown. Rose was banned from baseball for life in 1989, and he admitted in 2004 that he gambled on games during his time as a player and as a manager, although the three-time batting champion insists he never bet against his own team.
Rose said Monday that he recently exchanged text messages with Alex Rodriguez, who is suspended for the entire 2014 season for his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Rose said he’s happy that A-Rod, who had been fighting his season-long suspension, has dropped his lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the players’ union.
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