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Pete Rose on Astros: ‘I can’t imagine doing something like that’

Pete Rose, one of the most notorious, controversial and polarizing personalities in the history of Major League Baseball, has been left dumbfounded amid the fallout of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

What’s more, the man who is forever banned by the league after landing on baseball’s permanent ineligible list stated he cannot imagine himself getting involved in such dubious activities.

Specifically, Rose wonders why the players accused of utilizing technologically sophisticated sign-stealing methods are not bearing a brunt of the punishment. As it stands, former Astros player and current New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran is the only player singled out in MLB’s report.

“What’s going to happen to Beltran?” Rose said to Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media. “Can he manage the Mets now? He was a ringleader, right? This whole thing … it’s getting technical. I just can’t imagine how many people are really involved. I can’t imagine doing something like that.”

Astros manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were both ultimately fired after the league suspended them for a full season, and Rose approved of those punishments, with one caveat.

“So they fire the GM, they fire the manager, and (MLB) probably is going to get (Red Sox manager) Alex Cora, who was the (Astros) bench coach at the time,” Rose said. “But what about the players who were behind this and taking the knowledge? Should they get off scot-free?

“Don’t you have to do something to the players who were accepting the stolen signs? Nothing’s been done. Is that fair?”

Rose went on to say that “most players don’t give a damn about what happens to an organization as long as it doesn’t happen to them,” but stressed that players taking advantage of the sign-stealing system were “just as guilty as the guy” giving the signs.

Rose argues his gambling on baseball while serving as manager of the Cincinnati Reds in the 1980s pales in comparison to what transgressions the Astros are believed to have committed. Suffice to say, Rose’s damning condemnation of the Astros is certainly something for someone with such a tarnished reputation, to be sure.