Every few months someone gets it into their head to interview Pete Rose and every few months we get a different take from the Hit King. Really, the guy takes the “let’s see if I can say THIS” approach to interviews, saying one thing one time and a completely opposite thing another, apparently believing no one keeps track of the stuff he says over the years.
His most recent subject of hilarious inconsistency is his stance on PED users and the Hall of Fame. For years he has made a point to tell people that, hey, he may have gambled on baseball, but he was no stinkin’ drug cheat. THOSE are the guys with problems and they were way worse. They “altered the statistics” of the game.
He even has a little rehearsed spiel too, in which he says “ask Babe Ruth, ask Roger Maris, ask Hank Aaron” etc., about how they feel that their records were broken by PED users, and how that’s the real ethical problem in baseball. He said this almost word-for-word in 2010 and said it again a little less than a year ago. He specifically calls out Barry Bonds for tainting both the single-season and career home run records.
Now, however, he’s taking a live-and-let-live approach:
A three-time World Series champion with Cincinnati and Philadelphia, Rose thinks some others denied entry in the Hall — due to links to performance enhancing drugs — belong.
“Would I vote for Roger Clemens? You’re damn right I would. Would I vote for Barry Bonds? You’re damn right I would. These guys are seven-time MVPs, seven-time Cy Young Award winner,” said Rose.
Keep hustling, Charlie. Maybe someday you’ll find some magic words that make everyone change their mind about you.