Says Repoz of the former Big Red Machine receiver, “after 17 years of squatting…Bench still has an unoccupied space between his ears.” Whilst shilling for a hip replacement firm, Bench weighs in on Gamblergate with the Baltimore Sun’s John Eisenberg.
“He claimed it was dirt, which isn’t a foreign substance. But come on,” Bench said. “He was just so blatant about it. Why didn’t he just set off a flare calling attention to it? It was that obvious. I mean, I know he is getting old, but it’s like he put it on and just forgot to wipe it off. I’m going to kid Kenny about that.”
Bench acknowledged that he would be more upset if Rogers’ offense ranked higher on his personal list of baseball subversions.
“It’s not cheating. Very few guys really cheat,” Bench said. “Cheating is putting Vaseline on the ball. That makes it go absolutely crazy. That’s unhittable. That’s not a level playing field. Cheating is putting cork in your bat. Cheating is stealing signs from second base. That’s not acceptable. And of course, using steroids is cheating.”
The latter is a sore subject for Bench, as it is for many former players who dislike seeing their records challenged by players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs.
“I have an idea. Let’s have two leagues,” Bench said. “We can have the normal major leagues, and then there’ll also be what we’ll call the Futura League, for all the guys who test positive or just want to use steroids. We can build new stadiums that are 480 feet down the left-field line. They can use 12 players on the field, six outfielders. A league of steroids users. They can just battle it out on their own terms. Everyone else can play honest baseball in the majors. I think it would work great.”
“If you’re in the Futura League, you can only make $50,000 a year,” Bench said.