Pete Rose, being investigated by the baseball commissioner’s office for possible gambling activities, is also under close scrutiny from two of the nation’s magazines.
The specifics of major league baseball’s investigation of the Cincinnati Reds’ manager is for possible betting on baseball games, Sports Illustrated reported in this week’s issue.
Jim Ferguson, the Reds’ vice president for publicity, said he spoke with Rose Tuesday night about the Sports Illustrated allegations. “He’s just continuing, as he has all along, not to have anything to say,” Ferguson said.
And Rose was not only a gambler, but a poor father and husband who rarely showed affection, flaunted his affairs and rarely saw his first two children, according to the April issue of Gentlemen’s Quarterly.
Baseball officials announced Monday that Rose was under investigation for unspecified gambling activity. Rose has previously admitted to parimutuel betting on horses and dogs, a legal endeavor, but has denied betting on baseball and college basketball games.
Rose could be suspended for a year, according to baseball rules, if he bet on games not involving his team. If Rose bet on games involving the Reds, he could be banned for life.
Sports Illustrated said that Ron Peters, the owner of a restaurant in Franklin, Ohio, has been linked to possible baseball betting involving Rose.
It said that Alan Statman, Peters’ lawyer, described his client as Rose’s “principal bookmaker” and approached the magazine last week in hopes of selling Peters’ story. The magazine said it declined.
The Dayton Daily News, in a copyright story, said Rose is under investigation by federal agents looking into gambling allegations. The newspaper did not identify its source but said the investigation stemmed from an unrelated investigation of Peters, whom, the paper said, filed for bankruptcy Jan. 19.
Sports Illustrated also said that Statman told two of its reporters that he and his client had been asked by Kevin Hallinan, baseball’s security chief, “if we had information on Pete Rose betting on baseball. We said we can supply that information.”
The magazine added that Paul Janszen, whom it described as a body builder friend of Rose, is “another man said by sources to have been involved with Rose in baseball betting.”
Janszen also recently discussed selling a story about Rose to Sports Illustrated, the magazine said. Janszen is serving a six-month sentence in a Cincinnati halfway house after pleading guilty in January to a charge of evading taxes on income from the sale of steroids.
Sports Illustrated said that another weightlifter, who was not identified, told the magazine that he had placed bets on baseball games that he understood to be from Rose, using a telephone at a gym in suburban Cincinnati.
“Janszen used to come into the gym, pull out the newspaper and go over all the baseball games,” the magazine quoted the unidentified weightlifter as saying. “He’d mark them with a pen, then he’d go into the office and phone in bets for Pete Rose. He never said he was doing it for Pete. But that’s what the talk was around the gym.”
Sports Illustrated said that Michael Fry, a former co-owner of the gym, who is serving eight years in federal prison for cocaine trafficking and income-tax evasion, told its reporter that Rose never bet on baseball games but often talked about which baseball teams would be good to bet on.
Fry also said, according to the magazine, that he had heard that Tommy Gioisa, also a friend of Rose’s, placed bets with bookies on college and pro basketball and football games and that Fry said he understood that those bets were for Rose. Gioisa told the magazine that he was a professional gambler, but said he had never placed a bet for Rose.
In the story in Gentleman’s Quarterly, it was reported that Rose was rumored to have lost $13,000 in one day at a race track.
Karolyn Rose is quoted as saying that her former husband once refused to acknowledge a gambling debt and later received a dead fish in the mail.
“He said he was Pete Rose, and he didn’t have to pay no gambling debts,” Karolyn Rose said in the article.
However, Karolyn Rose told the Associated Press that she had been misquoted and didn’t know anything about a dead fish being delivered to her former husband. She also said that Rose has never bet on baseball.
In the article, written by Pat Jordan, Rose’s daughter, Fawn, calls him “the world’s worst father.”
“I will never understand why he never had any time for us,” Fawn Rose said. “We didn’t expect anything from him, except to just like us. All we ever did was love him and want him to love us back.”
Rose’s son, Pete Jr., also described his father, who has remarried and had another son since divorcing his first wife, as distant.
“We’re not alike,” said Rose Jr., a third baseman in the Baltimore Orioles’ minor league system. “I never hugged or kissed my dad. If I did, he’d think I was a sissy. My relationship with him is more player-manager. Sometimes he gives me a high five.”
Karolyn Rose said she filed for divorce in 1979 because Rose “was flaunting his women and I had to protect the kids, not because I didn’t love him anymore.”
In fact, she said she hasn’t dated since the divorce and still sets an extra plate at the dinner table every Jan. 25 on their wedding anniversary.
“I still believe he’ll come home someday,” she was quoted as saying. “Is that stupid?”
Rose would not talk about either the commissioner’s investigation or the magazine stories and there was extra security in Al Lang Stadium at St. Petersburg, Fla., where the Reds are in spring training.
Rose arrived about an hour before an exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals, walked briskly through two dozen reporters and photographers, and remained in his office, where an armed, uniformed guard stood watch.
Rose gave his usual pregame radio interview to broadcaster Marty Brennaman, but shed no light on the investigation.
“Well, Marty, all I can tell you is we are cooperating with the commissioner’s office, and we hope that it gets taken care of real fast, before opening day, so we can get down to business,” Rose said. “And business is winning the National League West. That’s all I’d like to say about that.”
While reporters waited for Rose, players worked out on the field, sneaking looks at the throng. They had to pick their way through the crowd to get to the bat rack.