You know, Pete Rose might actually be able to drum up some support for his cause at this point. As Major League Baseball’s fans and writers try to make sense of what to do with the steroid era and PED users, some people are starting to wonder if Rose’s actions are so much worse. If nothing else, there might be people pushing to lift his ban or get him into the Hall of Fame (even if it is one or the other and not necessarily both).
Rose would be well served to keep quiet and let things play out. Unfortunately that is not really his style, as he showed in the following remarks on Monday during an appearance on the Michael Kay radio show:
“They’re both bad. I think in my case, I know I didn’t do anything to alter the statistics of baseball…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.”
To gesture to men like Ruth, Maris, and Wagner is a bold move indeed. The point Rose is missing, of course, is that we do not get very far trying to figure out which is worse or which did more damage to the integrity of the game. Honestly, he should want us to lump him in with steroid users (who will not be banned) rather than trying to prop himself up above them.