Rose to MLB cheats: Come clean

Pete Rose is one of America’s foremost experts on apologies. Not because he has made a ton of them, but because he spent so much time not making one, then made one, and is now spending his life as a giant, desperate, walking apology.

He knows how it’s done and he knows how it’s not done and he knows that, whatever it is, you definitely need to nip it in the bud before Jim Gray shows up:

Rose’s crime was betting on baseball, a crime so serious that it has overwhelmed what otherwise would have been one of the most obvious Hall of Fame careers of all time. Rose, as you know, has the most hits.

So Rose is trying to do anything he can to reclaim the game’s admiration, and he wants to help those modern ballplayers whose accomplishments are tainted by accusations of steroid use.

"Come clean as quickly as you possibly can," Rose told USA Today on Thursday. "I guess (Ryan) Braun thought he was going to get away with it when he got off the hook the first time. I wish I could go around to all the spring training camps and talk to the young players about what happened to me."

He issued a warning about standing up to The Man.

"If baseball wants to get you," he said, "they’ve got enough resources and enough investigators that they’ll find a way to get you."

Former MLB commissioner Bart Giamatti sacked Rose with a lifetime ban from the sport in 1989 when it came out that Rose had been gambling on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds. He didn’t admit it until 2004, when the years had made it clear nobody was ever going to believe him.

He was asked to compare gambling on baseball and using performance-enhancing drugs.

"What’s worse?" he said. "They’re both bad."