Baseball does not suspect Pete Rose of betting on his own team, though it is investigating the possibility he bet on other major league games, the Associated Press learned Thursday.
If the Cincinnati manager is found to have bet on baseball, he would be suspended for one year; betting on the Reds would mean a ban for life.
The commissioner’s office said only that it is investigating “serious allegations” against the all-time hits leader. The investigation is continuing, and it now appears that a decision is unlikely before the weekend.
The gambling allegations have clouded Rose’s managing career and might also cast a shadow over his election to Cooperstown.
Rose’s place on the 1992 Hall of Fame ballot is secure, though it may not be so easy getting elected if he is punished for gambling.
Writers who vote on Hall of Fame candidates have shown a reluctance to vote for some players with off-field problems on the first ballot, according to Jack Lang, executive secretary of the Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America.
“I think there’s a certain backlash,” Lang said.
Rose would be eligible on the ’92 ballot, along with ex-New York Mets and Reds pitcher Tom Seaver.
Rose has declined to discuss the gambling allegations but did respond Wednesday when asked if he was worried that his Hall of Fame chances were being jeopardized.
“4,256 hits. 2,200 runs. That’s all I did,” Rose said. “I’m a Hall of Famer. It’s every player’s dream to go to the Hall of Fame.”
Lang said the screening committee only weeds out those who are obviously unqualified based on their statistics. There are no restrictions that would keep a player off the ballot for sanctions.
“There have been people on the ballot in the past who were suspended,” Lang said, citing former Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher--suspended for the 1947 season for alleged associations with gamblers--and former Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain, suspended in 1970 for connections with gamblers.