Pete Rose Doesn’t Know What a Steroid Looks Like

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Pete Rose, the former Major League Baseball player, was asked about the prospect of players from baseball’s so-called “steroid era” being inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Next year Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa will become eligible for the Hall. But all have been linked to the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The big question that has unfortunately been on the minds of sports writers is whether suspected steroid users should be elected.

Rose, of course, knows how it feels to be denied entry into the Hall of Fame. Rose was never accused of using steroids. And his stats were certainly good enough. But the legendary baseball player known as “Charlie Hustle” agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball after he was caught gambling on baseball games both as a player and as a team manager.

Rose’s ostracism is almost complete. Whereas former steroid users always have a shot at redemption – Alex Rodriguez is still collecting on a $275 million contract with the New York Yankees and Mark McGwire is cashing paychecks as a coach for the St. Louis Cardinals – Rose is completely and entirely banned from Major League Baseball.

Rose hasn’t disappeared from baseball. Every year when other great players are added to the Hall of Fame during the annual induction ceremony, Rose makes the trip to Cooperstown. But he never steps foot inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He stops a block away at the “Safe at Home Ballpark Collectibles” store to sign autographs for fans.

This year at “Safe at Home” autograph signing, the Learning Channel network is filming Rose for a new reality television series called “Pete Rose and Kiana Kim Family Project”. And what would make for better television than to ask Rose to ‘diss’ players from the “steroid era” who, like Rose, may be statistically deserving of the Hall but denied due to regrettable choices they made. However, Rose refuses to bite.

Rose understandably doesn’t wish his fate on anyone. A lifetime of not getting into the Hall of Fame sucks. And Rose refuses to judge Bonds, Clemens and company. He refuses to give an opinion on whether they used steroids.

“”I’m not here to say who did it or who didn’t. I wouldn’t know what a steroid even looks like,” said Rose. “I don’t know if they cheated, when they cheated… I can’t comment on that without getting in trouble because those guys are all friends of mine.”

Rose may likely never be recognized by the Hall of Fame. But this year, he did receive considerable praise during the induction ceremonies. Barry Larkin, a former player while Rose was a manager for the Cincinnati Reds, thanked the game’s all-time hits leader for his contributions to the game and to making Larkin a better player.

“Thank you Pete Rose. I love you man,” said Larkin.

Photo credit: Kjunstorm from Laguna Niguel, CA / Flickr via Wikipedia


Herrman, M. (July 20, 2012) Pete Rose unsure if suspected steroid users should get into Hall of Fame. Retrieved from http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/pete-rose-unsure-if-suspected-steroid-users-should-get-into-hall-of-fame-1.3851206

Boeck, S. (July 22, 2012). Barry Larkin thanks Pete Rose in Hall speech. Retrieved from http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2012/07/barry-larkin-thanks-pete-rose-hall-of-fame/1