Pete Rose can uncross his fingers and stop holding his breath -- he ain't ever going to Cooperstown, so says his former teammate Johnny Bench

The Cincinnati Reds legend -- who played with Rose for 12 seasons -- says "Charlie Hustle" broke the rules by betting on baseball back in the day and will have to live with the consequences. 

Bench says he wishes Rose would make the Hall ... but he knows it ain't ever gonna happen, despite Pete having the most hits in the history of the sport. 

Bench also talks about the L.A. Dodgers -- and says he absolutely loves this year's team. He does point out the squad's history of blowing it in the playoffs ... but explains why this team can break the trend. 

But could the '17 Dodgers beat the Big Red Machine? Check out Bench's answer.