The five-time All-Star first baseman sat down with Maggie Gray to discuss why the Mets are struggling and the latest allegations about Pete Rose's gambling.
MAGGIE GRAY:It's been a tough month of June for the Mets. How can they pull themselves out of this funk?
KEITH HERNANDEZ: Well, they can [start] by getting around 10 guys off the disabled list. I've never seen a team so racked with injuries. They've got a lot of minor league players who really wouldn't be here [if not for the injured players]. When you have a team that has too many guys who are really minor league players and are not ready for the big league level, it's tough.
MG:We just found out that there's information confirming what a lot of baseball fans already thought: that Pete Rose bet on baseball while he was a player. Is that shocking to you?
KH: I don't know what's going on there, but I know it's not [just about] the gambling. When we were 18 years old, two FBI agents and a guy from the security office or the commissioner's office came in and talked to all the minor leaguers. Every year they came and talked to everybody as a group. We were told that if you gambled, you would be suspended for life. So those are things everybody knew. Pete was a great player. He was one of the greatest players I ever played against. He was a winner. He was infectious—one of the rare players who made people better around him. Is he a Hall of Famer? Well, I think so, but it's up to the commissioner. It just seems to me that there are people out there who are adamant about him not getting in. But maybe they've got a case.
For more of Hernandez's interview, plus the SI Now archive, go to SI.com/sinow
"We were told that if you gambled, you would be suspended for life."
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