Getty Images

Woman gives sworn statement that Pete Rose had sex with her when she was under 16

68 Comments

Last year Pete Rose filed a defamation lawsuit against John Dowd, the attorney who authored the investigative report which got Rose banned from baseball for gambling back in 1989. The alleged defamation occurred when Dowd, in a 2015 radio interview, said that Rose’s book maker, a man named Michael Bertolini, “ran young girls for [Rose] down at spring training, ages 12 to 14,” adding “Isn’t that lovely. So that’s statutory rape every time you do that.”

Rose’s suit alleged that the comment was false and defamatory. Bertolini likewise denied the allegation. The suit has progressed for the last year, with each side conducting discovery and filing competing preliminary motions. Today one of those motions contained a sworn statement from a woman who claims that she and Rose had a sexual relationship back in the 1970s when she was under 16. The document, first reported by ESPN, and which was filed in federal court, can be read in its entirely below. The relevant allegation from the woman is set forth in the motion thusly:

 

In Ohio — where both the woman and Rose lived at the time — the age of legal consent is 16, so her allegation amounts to statutory rape. Rose acknowledges the sexual relationship but says he believed it started when she was 16. It’s worth noting, however, that in Ohio (and in 21 other states) a person’s belief that someone who has not reached the age of consent is, in fact, old enough to consent does not constitute a legal defense to a statutory rape charge.

Rose cannot be charged with a crime as a result of this sworn statement, as the statue of limitations has passed. Criminal charges or not, all of this should present serious difficulties for his lawsuit. And, if the sworn statement is not somehow comprehensively refuted, it’s hard to imagine how Rose’s current employer — Fox Sports — could defend keeping him on the payroll.

The 2017 Yankees are, somehow, plucky underdogs

15 Comments

There’s a lot that has happened in the past year that I never, ever would’ve thought would or even could happen in America. Many of them are serious, some are not, some make me kinda happy and some make me terribly sad. I’m sure a lot of people have felt that way in this oddest of years.

There’s one thing in baseball, however, that still has me searching my feelings in a desperate effort to know what to feel: The New York Yankees are the postseason’s plucky underdogs.

This is not about them being lovable or likable — we touched on that last week — it’s more about the role they play in the grand postseason drama. A postseason they weren’t even supposed to be in.

None of the three writers of this website thought the Yankees would win the AL East or a Wild Card. ESPN had 35 “experts” make predictions back in March, and only one of them — Steve Wulf — thought the Yankees would make the postseason (he thought they’d win the division). I’m sure if you go over the plethora of professional prognosticator’s predictions a few would have the Yankees squeaking in to the postseason on the Wild Card, but that was nothing approaching a consensus view. Their 2017 regular season was a surprise to almost everyone, with the expectation of a solid, if unspectacular rebuilding year being greatly exceeded. To use a sports cliche, nobody believed in them.

Then came the playoffs. Most people figured the Yankees would beat the Twins in the Wild Card game and they did, but most figured they’d be cannon fodder for the Indians. And yep, they fell down early, losing the first two games of the series and shooting themselves in the foot in spectacular fashion in the process. Yet they came back, beating arguably the best team in baseball and certainly the best team in the American League in three straight games despite the fact that . . . nobody believed in them.

Now we’re in the ALCS. The Astros — the other choice for best team in the American League if you didn’t think the Indians were — jumped out to a 2-0 lead, quieting the Yankees’ powerful bats. While a lot of teams have come back from 0-2 holes in seven game series, the feel of this thing as late as Monday morning was that, even if the Yankees take a game at home, Houston was going to cruise into the World Series. Once again . . . nobody believed in them.

Yet, here we are on this late Wednesday morning, with the Yankees having tied things up 2-2. As I wrote this morning, you still have to like the Astros’ chances given that their aces, Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander, are set to go in Games 5 and 6. I’m sure a lot of people feel still like the Astros’ chances for that reason. So that leads us to this . . .

It’s one thing for no one to have, objectively, believed in the Yankees chances. It’s another thing, though, for the New York Yankees — the 27-time World Champions, the 40-time American League pennant winners, the richest team in the game, the house-at-the-casino, U.S. Steel and the Evil Empire all wrapped into one — to officially play the “nobody believed in us” card on their own account. That’s the stuff of underdogs. Of Davids facing Goliaths. Of The Little Guy, demanding respect that no one ever considered affording them. If you’re not one of those underdogs and you’re playing that card, you’re almost always doing it out of some weird self-motivational technique and no one else will ever take you seriously. And now you’re telling me the NEW YORK FRIGGIN’ YANKEES are playing that card?

Thing is: they’re right. They’ve totally earned the right to play it because, really, no one believed in them. Even tied 2-2, I presume most people still don’t, actually.

I don’t know how to process this. Nothing in my 40 years of baseball fandom has prepared me for the Yankees to be the David to someone else’s Goliath and to claim righteous entitlement to the whole “nobody believed in us” thing.

Which, as I said at the beginning, is nothing new in the year 2017. I just never thought it’d happen in baseball.