Report: Pete Rose bet on baseball as a player, not just as a manager


For years one of the primary defenses of Pete Rose has centered on the notion that he only bet on baseball as a manager, not as a player. ESPN’s Outside the Lines is reporting, however, that that is not the case:

But new documents obtained by Outside the Lines indicate Rose bet extensively on baseball — and on the Cincinnati Reds — as he racked up the last hits of a record-smashing career in 1986. The documents go beyond the evidence presented in the 1989 Dowd report that led to Rose’s banishment and provide the first written record that Rose bet while he was still on the field.

“This does it. This closes the door,” said John Dowd, the former federal prosecutor who led MLB’s investigation.

The documents — which you can see via the ESPN link above — were part of a separate organized crime investigation which had nothing to do with Rose specifically or gambling. The records have been sealed for years and even Dowd was unable to get them for the original Rose investigation. He had testimony of an organized crime figure at the time, but no corroboration.

The bets tend to be around $2,000 a game. He bet on multiple games a day for multiple days in a row at a time, his addiction to gambling made plain.

The documents do not provide any evidence that Rose bet against the Reds. Worth noting, however, that baseball’s rules against gambling do not make a distinction, and the competitive integrity of a game can be compromised whether one bets for or against oneself. Also worth noting that, for years, Pete Rose has steadfastly denied betting on baseball while he was still an active player.

Rose is currently appealing his banishment from the game, with Commissioner Rob Manfred stating that he will give Rose’s case a full and fresh review. Some have speculated that his reinstatement could come at the time of the All-Star Game in Cincinnati next month, or soon after. As it is, he has been given permission to participate in on-field activities during the All-Star festivities. One would have to think, however, that this new information will put a serious damper on his appeal.

Video: Debating Pete Rose’s possible reinstatement

pete rose getty

I was on MSNBC’s Shift LIVE today, talking about Pete Rose’s reinstatement along with Ohio State Senator Cecil Thomas, who has sponsored a resolution asking Major League Baseball to reinstate the Hit King and Best-selling MLB author Kostya Kennedy.

We all generally agree that Rose will likely be reinstated and try to read Rob Manfred’s mind about it. I got a bit feisty at the end when PEDs and gambling were equated, but hey, that’s just what I do.


Pete Rose will be allowed to participate in All-Star Game festivities

pete rose getty

Pete Rose remains banned from baseball, but he has been given the equivalent of a weekend furlough from the penitentiary: Commissioner Rob Manfred said today that Rose will be allowed to participate in activities surrounding this summer’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Rose, a Reds legend, native and resident of Cincinnati, remains immensely popular in Cincinnati and his inclusion in activities around the All-Star Game seemed inevitable. Indeed, many suspect that Rose will soon be reinstated by Commissioner Manfred, who recently agreed to consider Rose’s appeals anew. Rose was also recently hired for a commentator’s position at Fox Sports, which is a rights holder for Major League Baseball broadcasts. The league reportedly was consulted on the Fox hire, though Manfred has denied that Major League Baseball had any “input” in the decision.

The last time Rose was offered some sort of special dispensation by Major League Baseball was in 2013, when took part in a Reds ceremony honoring the 1975 and 1976 “Big Red Machine” championship teams. He was also back in 2010, when he was allowed to participate in a ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of his breaking of Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record. Before that, Rose was allowed on the field in 1999 as part of a celebration of his inclusion on the All-Century Team.

This bit of leave from his exile, however, coming in one of Major League Baseball’s “Jewel Events” will likely be far more significant than those appearances. And could possibly be the harbinger of Rose’s permanent reinstatement to baseball.