Pete Rose may just be the best baseball player of all-time. He also is perhaps the most-maligned. Rose, who’s 4,256 hits are the most in the history of baseball, has been in baseball exile since 1989. Rose now is wondering if he had picked a different vice, say taking drugs, instead of gambling if he’d still be in the sin-bin.

Baseball’s hit king recently sat down with John Phillips on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh to make his feelings clear.

I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chances in the world of baseball.

The validity of Rose’s statement is hard to argue. In sports we see role models athletes go down the wrong path time and time again, without showing remorse. They get away with heinous crimes that just get swept under the rug, while Rose, who has admitted to his mistake and come clean, is still being punished for a crime that didn’t really hurt anyone but himself.

Rose has been trying for the past 25 years to be reinstated in the baseball community. He believes the hypocrisy shown by the sport in the Steroid Saga is his chance to show that maybe what he did wasn’t so bad, all things considered.

Rose has a point when you think about it. Jason Giambi and Andy Pettite are still playing, Mark McGwire is the hitting coach for the Dodgers, and Alex Rodriguez, well you know that one. Outside of A-Rod the other three are still baseball icons — lauded by baseball people for being solid professionals. They’ve been given a second chance, while Rose (who sticks to his testimony that he never bet against his team) is still begging for one.

Sure what Rose did was really bad, but he has a point when you consider the blatant double-standard in baseball today.

The 17-time all-star said if he ever made the Hall of Fame, he would be over the moon.

“If I ever made [it], I’d be the happiest guy in the world. But I don’t want you to think that I go to bed at night praying I make the Hall of Fame. When I go to bed at night, I pray that I wake up tomorrow morning. That’s where I’m at in my life right now.”