NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 17: 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and former New York Yankee Mariano Rivera throws the ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium on August 17, 2019 in New York City.
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera likens the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal to Pete Rose’s offenses.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal dominated baseball talk. During an appearance on ESPN’s “The Michael Kay Show,” New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera offered his unfiltered views.

In fact, Rivera doesn’t see much difference between what the Astros did and Pete Rose‘s gambling that resulted in a lifetime ban from the sport.

“People allowed that to happen,” Rivera said. “That doesn’t happen just because it happened. Someone allowed that to happen. And those that allowed that to happen, what’s the difference between Pete Rose and that? Pete Rose was banned from baseball. What’s the difference? Pete Rose was one player, one manager. This organization was all the players. I don’t care who was in there. It’s cheating. And that’s not right.”

As manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 1989 Rose, who is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, received a lifetime ban from baseball for gambling and betting on baseball, including betting on his own team. In Rivera’s eyes, what the Astros did was no different.

Rivera’s angry reaction to what the Astros did makes sense because he was a pitcher. There’s no chance the Astros would have picked up anything on Rivera because he only threw one pitch. Still, it’s clear that this scandal has infuriated almost everyone in the baseball world, including former players.

Rivera is widely considered to be the greatest closer of all time and, in 2019, became the first player to be unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame. He is a 13-time All-Star, five-time World Series champion, a World Series MVP, an ALCS MVP, and an All-Star MVP. He spent his entire 19-year career with the Yankees.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.