ATLANTA -- Hank Aaron is adamant: Pete Rose has no place in
the Hall of Fame, or anywhere in baseball.
The all-time home run leader harshly criticized the career hit
king for an insincere confession, saying Rose should not be
reinstated after admitting he bet on the game.
"During these past few days, I've looked at Pete on television,
and he hasn't given any signs of an honest confession," Aaron told
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview published in
"Plus, I've seen absolutely no truth whatsoever in what he's
saying," he said.
Aaron, a vice president with the Atlanta Braves, said Rose
should be treated like anyone else who gambles on games.
"I just think it's hogwash to say that he should be put back
into the game just because the public wants it," Aaron said. "A
rule is a rule, and the rule is on every clubhouse door that you
can't bet on baseball. It doesn't say that you're excluded if you
have 4,000 hits or 700 home runs."
Rose admitted betting on baseball while managing the Cincinnati
Reds in the 1980s. He accepted a lifetime ban from the game, which
bars him from consideration for the Hall of Fame.
That's the way it should be, according to Aaron.
"What are you going to do about Shoeless Joe Jackson?" he
asked, referring to the player who was banned after he and seven
teammates were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series. "Ted
Williams said many days to me that (Jackson) didn't have anything
to do with the scandal. If you let Pete in, you have to deal with
Aaron is also skeptical of Rose's claims, considering he is
still a recreational gambler who doesn't see the need for
"It's just like an alcoholic saying that he doesn't drink
whiskey anymore, but he still drinks beer," Aaron said. "Pete
says that even though he isn't a gambler anymore, he still bets on
the horses. That's bad."
In addition, Aaron is perturbed that Rose's book came out just
before Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley were voted into the Hall
"The timing of when he said all of this was very bad," Aaron
said. "I'm still quite angry with it."
During Aaron's frequent travels from his Atlanta home to
Milwaukee for business purposes, he chats often with commissioner
Bud Selig. Aaron doesn't expect Rose to be reinstated anytime soon.
"I know how Bud thinks, so I'm guessing it'll be later," Aaron
That said, he never has never discussed the Rose matter with
Selig. Aaron would like the commissioner to meet with small groups
of Hall of Famers to get their feelings on Rose before making any
decision on reinstatement.
"I don't want people to think that, if I go to Bud, he'll
gravitate to my opinion," Aaron said.
Aaron is the second Hall of Famer this week to come out against
Rose's reinstatement. In an open letter Wednesday, Ferguson Jenkins
said, "Knowing what I know now, I will never support your
reinstatement to the game or your bid for the Hall."
Jenkins had previously supported Rose's bid for Cooperstown.
"It's so apparent now with the gambling issue, he's kind of
lost my vote," Jenkins said.