- The Washington Times - Friday, March 16, 2007

The nose of Pete Rose is growing beyond its previous Pinocchio-like proportions.

Rose now claims on ESPN Radio that he bet on the Reds to win every night, which means he either is the dumbest gambler ever or a pathological liar.

To be honest, the latter is not in doubt.

No baseball team ever has gone through a baseball season undefeated. Yet Rose, the huckster who values a dollar above all else, expects the public to believe he bet on the Reds to win 162 times a season.

This is in conflict with the Dowd Report, the final word on Rose’s gambling activities while he was managing the Reds from 1984 to 1989. The Dowd Report says he never bet against the Reds but did not back them in every possible game, starting with games in which Mario Soto was the starting pitcher.

That finding is considerably more plausible than Rose dumping his money behind a pitcher with a bloated earned run average.

But no matter.

After years of denial, Rose finally admitted he bet on baseball in his autobiography that was released three years ago.

That admission, coming 14 years after the fact and for another cheesy buck, did nothing to rehabilitate his sad-sack image.

But here he is yet again, yapping about his transgressions against baseball, with the hope that one day he can return to baseball as a manager.

That is a faint prospect, as it should be.

Rose lost the prospect of leniency with all his years of denial.

He does not come across as someone who truly recognizes his misdeeds but as someone who is beaten and cornered and figures he has nothing to lose by wallowing in the obvious.

Rose says he no longer worries about being voted into the Hall of Fame, which is the one argument he could make free of obfuscation.

Rose, serial liar though he is, should be in the Hall of Fame as the game’s all-time hits leader.

If inclusion into the Hall of Fame were a character test, the halls of Cooperstown would be less crowded.

As it is, Cooperstown openly welcomes womanizers, drunks and louts.

Cooperstown voters soon will have to determine whether those with a syringe sticking out of their buttocks are worthy of consideration.

Rose undoubtedly compromised the integrity of the game as a manager.

He bet on the Reds and controlled the destiny of the players on the field.

The urge to stick with a pitching ace longer than necessary because of the money riding on the outcome of a game cannot be overstated.

Rose is hard to stomach at this point, which undermines his situation even further with baseball and the public.

Whenever he opens his mouth for attribution these days, a chorus of groans can be heard.

He does not have a contrite bone in his body, only a counterproductive love of self.

His sense of entitlement alienated family and gambling buddies alike.

He remains full of hubris.

“I’m the best ambassador baseball has,” he told ESPN Radio.

You see, he is still living in denial.

He is a sad, sorry spectacle now, an embarrassment to the game, reduced to scribbling his signature at memorabilia shows or coming up with money-making ideas that are shameless, such as the baseball with the inscription: “I’m Sorry I Bet On Baseball.”

Rose has been his worst public relations enemy since his gambling obsession became public.

If he had come clean in the beginning and gone about rectifying his wrongdoing in a forthright fashion, he eventually would have garnered the sympathy vote.

And soon enough, Bud Selig might have felt compelled to grant Rose the pardon he so desperately covets.

But Rose lacks the capacity to be introspective.

He fought the Dowd Report, and now he is fighting with himself in a way.

He blew it, blew it big-time.

That notion must gnaw at him everyday.

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