Pete Rose, who knows a thing or about receiving a punishment from Major League Baseball, is now wondering why players on the 2017 Houston Astros have managed to “get off scot-free.”

Not so fortunate,were Houston’s former manager, A.J. Hinch, and general manager, Jeff Luhnow. After MLB suspended both Hinch and Luhnow for a year for their roles in a sign-stealing scheme involving the 2017 Astros, they were quickly fired. The team was also fined $5 million and lost its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora announced that they had “mutually agreed to part ways.” Cora was bench coach for the 2017 Astros. His 2018 Red Sox team won the World Series, as the 2017 Astros team did.

A report on the Astros allegations, issued on Monday, notes Cora’s role in the affair, calling him an “active participant.” That report also describes the scheme, which involved banging on a trash can, as “player-driven.”

“Most of the position players on the 2017 team either received sign information from the banging scheme or participated in the scheme by helping to decode signs or bang on the trash can,” it states. “Many of the players who were interviewed admitted that they knew the scheme was wrong because it crossed the line from what the player believed was fair competition and/or violated MLB rules.”

Still, Manfred declined to assess discipline on any of the players on the Astros during that period.

To Rose, it made no sense that Luhnow, Hinch and Cora could suffer their fates without anything happening to others directly involved in the Astros’ scheme.

“But what about the players who were behind this and taking the knowledge? Should they get off scot-free?” Rose said in comments published by NJ.com.

“Don’t you have to do something to the players who were accepting the stolen signs? Nothing’s been done,” he added. “Is that fair?”

Rose has been out of the sport since he received a lifetime ban in 1989 from then-commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti for betting on baseball games. Some of his wagers involved the Cincinnati Reds, for whom Rose had played and later served as manager.

In 2015, Manfred denied Rose’s request for reinstatement and upheld the ban, stating that he had not been convinced that the 17-time all-star would never again bet on baseball games.

“I bet on my own team to win,” Rose told 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.”

In comments published by USA Today, Rose said he thought the only similarities between his case and that of the Astros was that they “both made mistakes” and “got in trouble.”

“I came along too early and paid a bigger price,” he said. “Still, don’t you have to do something to those players?"

There is one player from the 2017 Astros team whose fate still remains somewhat unclear — Carlos Beltrán, who retired after the ’17 season and was hired in November as the manager of the New York Mets. Beltran was named in the report, which stated that he was among a group of players who “discussed that the team could improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter.”

“Can he manage the Mets now?” Rose wondered (via NJ.com). “He was a ringleader, right?”

That decision would appear to be now be in the hands of the Mets, who had no comment as of Tuesday evening. (Beltrán won’t be disciplined by MLB.) Meanwhile, Rose supported the punishments handed down by Manfred.

“When you screw around [with] the integrity of baseball,” he said (via USA Today), “baseball is going to come down hard on you. They came down hard on me."

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