Pete Rose, the would-be Hall of Famer banned from baseball for life because he bet on the sport while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds, says he messed up by choosing the wrong vice.
“I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance,” he told Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan. “They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chance
in the world of baseball.”
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Though Rose conceded he made a mistake, he said there was no comparison between what he did and what the players on the 1919 Chicago Black Sox team did to throw the World Series to collect a paycheck from organized gamblers.
“I understand what happened there. I understand the whole thing about guys throwing the World Series. I don’t like to be compared to Joe Jackson because Joe Jackson, I think, took money to throw World Series games. Well, I know I bet on my own team to win. There’s pretty much a big difference there, but both of us were wrong,” Rose said.
Many fans were sympathetic to Rose’s message.
“Find it kinda funny that people can forgive A-roid yet no one can forgive Pete rose… At least he got his hits clean,” tweeted @BirdmanTorres15 in a reference to Alex Rodriguez’s appeal of a 221-game suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs
“One point I’d like to bring up – Who damaged the game of baseball more, @PeteRose_14 or A-Rod? Which one really deserves a lifetime ban,” tweeted @SGCBarbierian.
Rose, who collected more base hits than any player in Major League Baseball history, agreed in 1989 to be banned from the sport amid charges that he bet on games while playing for and managing the Reds. He finally fessed up in 2004 that he bet on baseball, but insists he never bet against the Reds.
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