Column: A-Rod awaits verdict while Rose just waits

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But he does know something about being in exile, and it’s not a life he would recommend for the Yankees slugger. The money may be good, but it’s not always fun being a baseball pariah.

“I know A-Rod lied about taking steroids. I don’t know about all the other stuff,” Rose said. “But a lifetime suspension is pretty serious for anyone. He loves baseball and loves to play baseball. Now he can’t play the rest of his life?”

Rose says he hasn’t talked to Selig in years about letting him back into baseball. What bothers him is that the commissioner doesn’t say yes or no to lifting the ban, only that he has given thought to the subject.

“Please don’t write this like I’m whining,” he said. “I’ve come to grips with not being in the Hall of Fame. I’ve come to grips with not being in baseball. Would I love to be in baseball? You’re damn right, and you know why? Because baseball is a better game if I’m in it. I love the game, and I care about the game.”

He cares about A-Rod, too, enough to pass along a piece of well-earned advice.

“He screwed up, no question about it,” Rose said. “But if there’s a lesson to be learned in my deal it’s this: If you screw up and do something, don’t lie about it.

“Don’t be like me. Come clean. I eventually came clean, but it was too late.”

Too late to get back in baseball’s good graces, though fans seem more forgiving. They came in a few at a time Friday to buy pictures or jerseys, spending anywhere from $75 and up. The merely curious could stand behind the roped off area and take his picture for free, and Rose obliged them all with a smile.

One couple with teenage daughters bought a black ball and stood next to Rose as he signed it with a gold pen before applying some hair spray to make sure the ink didn’t run.

On the side of the ball he wrote: Hits 4,256. Steroids 0.


Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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