Since 1989, Pete Rose has been banned from Major League Baseball because of allegations that he bet on games in which he was directly involved. Every couple of years, he pops back up in the news, either because he’s willing to publicly admit something new, or because his campaign for reinstatement gets louder, as it did earlier this year when he formally petitioned MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Now, ESPN’s Outside the Lines is teasing that they have a new addition to one of the longest-running controversies in baseball’s history:
The tweet was followed up by a full article from OTL revealing that they had obtained a notebook tracking Rose’s bets on MLB games, including those in which he played for the Cincinnati Reds, in his final season of 1986. They obtained confirmation regarding its legitimacy from the leader of the original investigation, John Dowd.
Rose’s agenda since his initial ban has been reinstatement, and he’s tried several strategies to try to make it happen. For years, Rose publicly denied betting on baseball. Then he admitted to doing so, but only as a manager, and never as a player, a claim he reiterated as recently as in April on Michael Kay’s ESPN NY radio show, according to OTL. His goal must have been to appear newly forthright, by admitting his wrongs but asking for forgiveness, while still maintaining that he respected the game enough not to break the final, unforgivable rule of throwing games for gambling reasons — hence his constant claims of always betting on his team to win.
While OTL‘s new discovery doesn’t find evidence he bet against his own team, it does contradict his repeated claims to only betting on Reds games as a manager. If Manfred believes this report, it dynamites whatever credibility Rose had regained with his previous admissions. He’s still lying about his gambling so he can be reinstated, and every time he gets caught in a lie, he makes that reinstatement less likely. Outside the Lines has proven to be a trustworthy source, and this new revelation looks like the nail in the coffin for Rose’s future in Major League Baseball.