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.