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Lasorda Denies Giving Rose Information

January 07, 2004|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

Former Dodger manager Tom Lasorda heatedly denied an accusation that he'd regularly spoken with Pete Rose during Rose's managerial career with the Cincinnati Reds, unwittingly providing information that Rose used to bet on major league baseball games.

"That's a lie," Lasorda said Tuesday.

In his forthcoming book, "My Prison Without Bars," Rose recants his stance that he never wagered on baseball but insists he never bet against the Reds and never placed bets from the clubhouse. Tommy Gioiosa, a onetime gambling associate of Rose, said he repeatedly witnessed Rose bet from the clubhouse, often doing so after soliciting information from rival managers under the guise of a friendly phone call.

"He'd call [Detroit Tiger Manager] Sparky Anderson, Tommy Lasorda, asking how their pitchers were, who was playing and stuff and then he'd hang up, laughing like a kid, saying, like, 'I got good information,' " Gioiosa told the Boston Herald.

Anderson, who managed the Reds when Rose played for the team, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Lasorda vehemently denied receiving any such calls from Rose.

"He'd never be calling me," said Lasorda, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997. "Never once did he call me and ask about a pitcher or a player."

In the 1989 Dowd report, which formed the basis for the agreement under which Rose accepted a lifetime ban from baseball, Rose "admitted that Gioiosa bet for him on other sports activity, not baseball."

Gioiosa did not cooperate with the investigation, but the report also states, "Gioiosa told other people that he bet on baseball for Pete Rose."

At the time, and over the succeeding 14 years, Rose denied betting on baseball. He now acknowledges having done so, hoping for forgiveness -- and possible induction in the Hall of Fame and renewed employment within the sport -- despite having admitted to a rule violation for which the prescribed punishment is permanent ineligibility.

Gioiosa's credibility is not untarnished. He has been convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, planning to transport cocaine across state lines, conspiracy to defraud the government and filing a false income tax return, according to Associated Press.

Angel Manager Mike Scioscia said any such conversations between managers would be rare. Managers commonly chat during batting practice when their teams play each other, Scioscia said, but telephone calls to managers in other cities to ask about personnel generally would not occur unless the teams were exploring a trade.

"I've never had reason to talk to another manager about his club" on the telephone from the clubhouse, Scioscia said, "unless it's for a specific reason connected with our club."

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