In a report set to air on Monday, ESPN says they have obtained evidence that Pete Rose bet on Major League Baseball games while he was still a player, something Rose has steadfastly denied.
It could have a huge impact on Rose’s hopes for reinstatement.
“Outside the Lines” has obtained copies of a notebook from a Rose associate that strongly suggest Rose did wager on games as a player. The documents were originally seized by the U.S. Postal Investigators working on a separate case.
According to ESPN, the documents appear to show that Rose bet “thousands of dollars during the 1986 season including in games in which he played.”
Here is a screengrab from ESPN of those pages.
The notebooks were seized from the home of Michael Bertolini, a known associate of Rose, who allegedly placed the bets with “mob-connected bookmakers,” according to ESPN.
Rose, who was banned for life from Major League Baseball, admitted in his 2004 book “My Prison Without Bars” that he wagered on games while manager of the Cincinnati Reds starting in 1987. However, Rose has always denied betting on games prior to 1987 while he was still a player or a player-manager.
The 1989 Dowd Report, which led to Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball, included testimony that Rose bet on games while the Reds’ player-manager from 1984 through 1986. However, that investigation was never able to produce evidence that Rose bet on baseball games during that period.
As recently as April, during an interview on ESPN Radio, Rose was asked if he gambled as a player.
“No,” Rose told Michael Kay. “[I] never gambled when I was a player. That’s a fact.”
In an interview for “Outside the Lines,” John Dowd called the documents, “the final piece of the puzzle, this is it, this does it, this closes the door [on Rose].”
According to Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, Major League Baseball was not aware of the documents’ existence until shown by ESPN on Monday. MLB declined to comment.
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