CINCINNATI — Pete Rose, saying that A. Bartlett Giamatti has prejudged his case, went to court today to block the baseball commissioner's hearing next week on gambling allegations against the Cincinnati Reds manager.
Rose has been accused by former associate Ronald Peters of betting on baseball and the Reds, according to the suit filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.
On April 18, Giamatti wrote a letter to federal District Judge Carl B. Rubin, saying he believes Peters has been "candid, forthright and truthful" with baseball's investigators. If Giammati finds Rose bet on Reds games, he would be banned for life.
Rose requested a temporary restraining order and an injunction against Giamatti's hearing. According to Reuven J. Katz, one of Rose's lawyers, a court hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning. However, Norbert N. Nadel, the judge assigned the case, said he was not aware of a hearing.
Giamatti originally had scheduled baseball's hearing for May 25 but postponed it until June 26 at the request of Rose's lawyers. On May 9, Giamatti received a 225-page report from investigator John M. Dowd regarding the allegations.
The court papers said that unless the court intervenes, "Rose will be forced to rebut false accusations that he bet on baseball that are contained in an error-ridden report prepared by agents of the commissioner of baseball in proceedings before a biased and prejudiced commissioner."
In a two-page statement, Katz said Rose "has consistently denied that he has ever bet on the Cincinnati Reds or on baseball games. The purpose of the lawsuit . . . is to ensure that Pete gets a fair hearing and a fair determination in the proceeding instituted by the commissioner of baseball against him."
The 36-page complaint, filed this morning, asks the court to determine whether Rose bet on baseball or the Reds and asks for unspecified monetary damages "which will fairly compensate him for the destruction of his reputation as one of baseball's foremost living participants."
Katz said the commissioner "already decided that the accusations against Pete were true before he or his investigators even heard evidence from Pete Rose."
The lawyer said Rose asked the court to impose "an impartial decision-maker and fair procedures for judging the accusations" of betting on baseball that have been leveled against him.