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BASEBALL EXTRA | BASEBALL NOTES

Rose Tries to Get Back in the Game

September 27, 1997|From Associated Press

More than eight years after he was banned from major league baseball for life, Pete Rose applied for reinstatement Friday, trying to eliminate the barrier keeping him out of the Hall of Fame.

"Right now, the ball is in their court," Rose said on his nationally syndicated radio show. "I just hope they approach it with an open mind."

Baseball's career hit leader said he signed a letter that was faxed to acting Commissioner Bud Selig, who has shown no inclination to let Rose back in the game.

"He has requested that baseball reinstate him so he can spend the rest of his life in the game he loves," said Rose's lawyer, S. Gary Spicer.

None of the 14 people banned for life by baseball for gambling has been reinstated. Other baseball officials, speaking on the condition they not be identified, have said that Rose, 56, never will be allowed back until he admits he bet on baseball.

"The matter will be handled in due course," Selig said in a brief statement, a signal no decision is likely until next year at the earliest.

Baseball investigator John Dowd concluded Rose bet $2,000 per game on the Reds to win from 1985-87 while he was their manager. Dowd uncovered betting slips for Reds games that he said were in Rose's handwriting and had Rose's fingerprints, and telephone records from the manager's office at Riverfront Stadium showed numerous calls to bookmakers.

Rose, who has steadfastly denied betting on baseball, signed a settlement agreement with Giamatti in which Rose agreed to the ban and Giamatti agreed to make no formal finding on whether Rose bet on his own sport. However, at the news conference in which he announced the agreement, Giamatti said: "Yes, I have concluded that he bet on baseball."

Eight days later, Giamatti died of a heart attack.

"Pete wrote that while he did not want to say anything adverse about Mr. Giamatti, he [Giamatti] did violate the settlement agreement by saying Pete had gambled, and Pete has never recovered from that public statement," Spicer said.

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St. Louis left-hander Rick Honeycutt, who pitched for six teams in a 21-year major league career, announced his retirement.

At 43, Honeycutt was the oldest player in baseball, though he sat out nearly the entire season--pitching only two innings--because of an elbow injury.

Honeycutt broke in with Seattle in 1977. He had a career record of 109-143 with a 3.71 earned-run average. He was an all-star in 1980 and 1983, and appeared in the World Series three times with Oakland, in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

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New York Met catcher Todd Hundley, 28, will sit out at least the first month of next season and possibly all of 1998 after surgery to replace a ligament in his right elbow.

"The worst-case scenario is he will miss all of next year," General Manager Steve Phillips said. "We don't expect that. But it is a possibility."

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Met outfielder Carl Everett was suspended for one game for excessive arguing and using an obscene gesture, National League President Leonard Coleman said.

Everett, who was also fined an undisclosed amount for his outburst in Monday's game against Florida, was to serve his one-game suspension Friday night against the Atlanta Braves. Everett is appealing the fine.

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