Ex-associates: Rose placed bets 'every day'

Updated: January 7, 2004, 3:26 AM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Pete Rose's former gambling cohorts say he's still not telling the whole truth.

Baseball's hits king finally acknowledged that he bet on baseball while he managed the Cincinnati Reds, but insists that he never placed wagers from his office.

Not true, say two of his reputed bet runners.

"Of course Pete bet from the clubhouse," former house mate Tommy Gioiosa said Tuesday in a phone interview. "It would be nice if he came clean with everything, just let it rip."

Paul Janszen, who turned evidence over to baseball and federal investigators, also said that Rose routinely placed bets from the manager's office.

Still, Janszen was surprised that Rose acknowledged after 14 years of steadfast denial that he bet on baseball games, just as Janszen, Gioiosa and others had claimed.

"It's a good day," Janszen said in a phone interview. "I thought I'd go to the grave and never hear him say those words. But I never thought it would involve him selling a book."

One day after excerpts from "My Prison Without Bars" were released, Rose's latest version of his gambling scandal, his sincerity and his timing were questioned.

Rose accepted a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 but insisted he never bet on baseball. He was later diagnosed with a significant gambling disorder, but has denied he has a problem.

Barbara Pinzka, who was his spokeswoman in 1989, was disappointed Rose didn't address his gambling problem in the autobiography due for release later this week.

"Since he's not planning any kind of rehabilitation, I don't think it has any kind of sincerity," Pinzka said. "That's the sad part. He dragged himself this far, to acknowledge he bet on baseball, but he's still not admitting he has a problem."

Rose's confession came with only two years left on his eligibility for the Hall of Fame ballot. Commissioner Bud Selig hasn't indicated whether he plans to reinstate Rose, which would make him eligible for the hall.

Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey said Tuesday that no consideration is being given to changing the rules to extend Rose's eligibility.

"There's been no talk about changing any of the rules," Petroskey said.

Rose received 15 write-in votes this year, three fewer than last year. In the 13 seasons he has been ineligible because of the ban, he has been named on 230 of 6,171 ballots (3.7 percent).

Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley, elected to the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, wished that Rose had released his book at some other time.

"I am a little disappointed in the timing of it," Molitor said. "Does it take away from the current class? ... In my mind, I think it does a little bit."

Eckersley didn't care, saying: "Bad timing, but it doesn't bother me."

In 1989, Rose and Roger Kahn collaborated on an authorized autobiography, "Pete Rose: My Story," which sold 65,000 copies and claimed that he never bet on baseball. In his latest book, Rose confesses that he regularly did so.

"Four or five times a week," Rose said. "But I never bet against my own team, and I never made any bets from the clubhouse."

That assertion was disputed by those who acknowledged placing bets on his behalf.

Janszen said Rose would make his picks in the manager's office, and Janszen would relay them to a bookmaker. John Dowd, who conducted baseball's investigation, found phone records that supported Janszen's testimony.

"I sat there in his office and he'd show me who he wanted," Janszen said. "I'd leave and go to a pay phone if we were on the road. Did he call from the office? No, but he told me who he wanted in the office. Or, he would call my house from the office."

Gioiosa, who once lived in Rose's home in Cincinnati and owns a health-supplement store in Ormond Beach, Fla., said Rose would use information gleaned from telephone conversations with other managers to help him make picks.

Rose routinely made bets by telephone from his clubhouse office, Gioiosa said.

"He'd pick up the phone, press 0 and say, 'Get me an outside line,"' Gioiosa said. "And when he was betting, there were numbers. He'd say, 'Give me No. 1,' and that would be the Reds. 'No. 4' would be the Phillies. 'No. 8' would be someone else."

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Norbert Nadel granted Rose a temporary restraining order in 1989 that prevented baseball from disciplining Rose. Rose's lawyers insisted during the court case that the betting accusations were baseless.

Nadel wasn't taken aback by Rose's reversal.

"Nothing surprised me in any case that I've heard," Nadel said. "I'm not shocked by anything that happens."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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