Wednesday January 21st, 2015

MLB all-time hits leader Pete Rose says he thinks some of the best players linked to performance-enhancing drugs belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"Would I vote for Roger Clemens? You're damn right I would. Would I vote for Barry Bonds? You're damn right I would,” Rose told Reuters. “These guys are seven-time MVPs, seven-time Cy Young Award winners."

In this year’s voting for the Hall of Fame, Clemens received 37.5 percent and Bonds received 36.8 percent of the vote, well short of the 75 percent needed for enshrinement.

Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 after being accused of betting on games while he was managing the Cincinnati Reds. He finally admitted to betting on games in 2004 and says that he deserves a second chance.

Winter Report Card: Reds | CORCORAN: Pitch clocks in MLB? No thanks

Rose says he is hoping that incoming MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will reinstate him soon. Manfred takes over for Bud Selig on Saturday.

"I don't know Mr. Manfred," Rose said. "For every player in his or her sport the ultimate goal is to get into the Hall of Fame. But I'm the one who screwed up. If I'm ever given a second chance ... I'd be the happiest guy in the world."

This year’s All-Star Game will be played in Cincinnati, where Rose spent 19 seasons as a player and part of another seven seasons as a player/manager. Rose says he hopes to participate in some of the All-Star festivities.

"I'd be the happiest guy in the world if I'm involved in some way along with ... all the other guys on the Big Red Machine," Rose said.

- Scooby Axson

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