Rose Jr. sentenced to prison for drug distribution

Updated: May 1, 2006, 7:34 PM ET
Associated Press

 Pete Rose Jr.
Rose Jr.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Pete Rose Jr., the son of baseball's career hits leader, was sentenced Monday to one month in prison and five months of home detention for distributing a steroid alternative to his minor league teammates.

Rose faced up to two years in prison and a $1 million fine. Federal judge Robert Echols waived a fine for Rose.

"I made a mistake and hurt a lot of people," Rose said outside the courthouse after the sentencing. "The judge is great. He was very generous and I can't thank him enough. He doesn't have to worry about me doing anything like this again," Rose said.

Rose's attorney, Jeffrey Brodey, said his client will start his monthlong sentence June 5. Brodey said he will request that Rose be incarcerated in Cincinnati, where he lives with his pregnant wife and child.

The 36-year-old Rose pleaded guilty Nov. 7 to distributing the steroid alternative GBL, a drug he used as a sleep aid, to some of his teammates at the Chattanooga Lookouts. Rose played for the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds in 1997, 2001 and 2002.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has said Rose's arrest was part of a larger investigation into a major GBL trafficking organization. He surrendered to authorities shortly before he entered his guilty plea.

The indictment said Rose admitted he received GBL from a person in Tennessee while playing for Chattanooga. He also said he supplied half the players on that team with the drug. Rose said his teammates would take GBL to relax after games.

Rose played most of his career in the minor leagues, but made it to the majors for 11 games with the Reds in 1997, going 2-for-14. Last season, he played for the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.

Pete Rose Sr. holds the major league record of 4,256 hits. He agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 following an investigation that he bet on games; after 14 years of denying it, he admitted in his autobiography that he bet on Reds games while managing them in the late 1980s.

He also served a five-month sentence in federal prison in 1990-91 for failing to report income from signing autographs, memorabilia sales and gambling.

GBL, or gamma butyrolactone, is sold under the counter at retailers and gyms with claims to build muscle, improve physical performance, enhance sex, reduce stress and induce sleep. When taken orally, GBL is converted to the "date-rape" drug GHB, or gamma hydroxybutyrate.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press