Manager Pete Rose bet heavily and often on his Cincinnati Reds, according to the 225-page report on Rose's gambling activity by baseball's special investigator that was made public Monday.
Rose can be suspended for life if it is established that he bet on his own team. Attorney ohn Dowd's report to Commissioner Bart Giamatti on his four-month investigation seems to offer a strong indictment. A question remains, however, as to who will eventually hear the case.
Attorneys for Giamatti asked an Ohio appellate court Monday to suspend the temporary restraining order granted Rose Sunday, which prevented Giamatti from conducting a scheduled hearing with Rose on Monday that might have determined the manager's fate.
"The testimony and the documentary evidence gathered in the course of the investigation demonstrates that Pete Rose bet on baseball, and in particular, on games of the Cincinnati Reds baseball club during the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons," Dowd summarized in the report that was released under order of the Ohio Supreme Court in response to a suit by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The report also presents testimony that Rose bet as much as $2,000 a game on the Reds and other baseball teams during the period in question, set up an extensive gambling network and bet on every Cincinnati game from mid-May of 1987 through the July 14 All-Star game of that year.
"The evidence revealed that in order to protect his stature as one of the most famous baseball players in history, Pete Rose employed middlemen to place bets for him with bookmakers and at the race track and to pay gambling losses and collect gambling winnings, thereby concealing his gambling activity," Dowd wrote.
Norbert A. Nadel, judge of the Common Pleas Court in Hamilton County, Ohio, had sealed the report during the hearing that resulted Sunday in his granting of Rose's request for the temporary restraining order. Nadel said in his ruling that he supported Rose's claim that Giamatti had prejudged his case and ordered the sides to return to his court July 6, when Rose will seek an injunction against Giamatti.
Nadel said he was reluctant to release the Dowd report because it may violate Rose's privacy rights, but he had no alternative after the ruling by the state Supreme Court. Attorneys for Rose said they were not disturbed by the reports release but refused additional comment.
Rose watched his Reds defeat the Dodgers, 5-3, Monday night and was then asked if he thought the report was balanced.
"I can give you an outline," he said. "There's 225 pages and there's two paragraphs positive about me. It's such a biased report it's unbelievable. But we'll deal with that in court. There's nothing I can do about it now."
Said Lou Hoynes, an attorney for baseball: "The public has a right to read it and make its own conclusion. I've always believed that."
On Monday, Hoynes and his associates asked the 1st Ohio District Court of Appeals to suspend the temporary restraining order because it undermines the long-standing authority of the commissioner.
"For the last several weeks, the charges against Pete Rose have focused enormous public attention on gambling and the possible corruption of the game," baseball's attorneys wrote in their filing Monday. "Now that Pete Rose has aired these charges by bringing suit, it has become critical for the commissioner's office to act promptly to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the game.
"If every action of the commissioner to investigate and determine matters affecting the integrity . . . were to be subject to court intervention and delay, the commissioner's ability to safeguard the integrity . . . would be destroyed. The action of the court below threatens the very reputation of major league baseball and deprives the commissioner of the power to protect the integrity of the game."
Rose's legal staff has until 9 a.m. Wednesday to respond to the appeal. An appellate court seldom overturns a temporary restraining order because of the short duration of the orders--14 days in this case. State judges are elected in Ohio, Rose's home state, and there was speculation Monday that Giamatti's attorneys eventually hope to appeal Nadel's ruling to a federal judge, who is appointed. However, they must first exhaust all state appeals. The state Supreme Court would be the next and last step in that process if the District Court rejects the appeal.
Meanwhile, the Dowd report acknowledges that "Pete Rose has denied under oath ever betting on major league baseball or associating with anyone who bet on major league baseball. However, the investigation has developed evidence to the contrary."
The evidence, according to the report, includes betting slips in what an expert has said is Rose's handwriting, and phone and bank records that support the testimony of nine witnesses who claim Rose bet on baseball and on the Reds.
Much of the report is built around the testimony of Ron Peters and Paul Janszen.