Pete Rose believes that the Houston Astros' involvement in illegal sign-stealing was worse for baseball than what he did more than 30 years ago when he gambled on the sport.
"I bet on my own team to win," Rose told Randy Miller of NJ.com. "That’s what I did in a nutshell. I was wrong, but I didn't taint the game. I didn't try to steal any games. I never voted against my team. I bet on my team every night because that's the confidence that I had in my players. And I was wrong.
"But this (Astros' situation) is a little different. It's a lot different, actually, and I think that's why the commissioner came down so hard."
On Monday, Major League Baseball suspended Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one year following its investigation into the team. Shortly after the ban was announced, Houston fired Hinch and Luhnow.
While Rose applauded the strict punishment served to the Astros by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, he questioned why the club's players didn't receive any sort of discipline.
"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 explained. "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?"
"Most players don't give a damn about what happens to an organization as long as it doesn't happen to them," Rose added. "If I'm a player and every time I bat I'm getting the signs from the dugout, I'm just as guilty as the guy who is giving me the signs."
New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran, who won a World Series with the Astros in 2017 before retiring, was the only player named in a report released by Manfred on Monday. Rose singled out the 42-year-old.
"What's going to happen to Beltran?" Rose said. "Can he manage the Mets now? He was a ringleader, right?"
Rose, who is MLB's all-time hits leader, was permanently placed on baseball's ineligible list in 1989 for gambling on the sport. In 1991, the Baseball Hall of Fame voted to ban players on the permanently ineligible list from induction.