Purgatory Online

Thursday, December 12, 2002

When did this turn into the Pete Rose blog? Anyway, John Dowd, who conducted the official investigation into Rose's gambling 13 years ago, now says that he believes Rose bet against the Reds during the time he was their manager, an allegation that has never before been made. Dowd indicates that he thinks that a more extended investigation would have found evidence to support that claim.

This seems to me to be appallingly irresponsible of Dowd. Look, either he's got evidence or he doesn't. If he does, tell us about it and let us be the judges of what it does or does not tend to prove. If he doesn't, he has absolutely no business speculating in public about what he thinks might have been found - it's ridiculously prejudicial and utterly useless from a decision-making standpoint. Dowd's a lawyer. He should know this.

Furthermore, the article seems to imply that the "evidence" we're talking about is that Rose never bet on the Reds when two particular pitchers started (the only one mentioned by name is Mario Soto). But there's a huge difference between not betting on particular pitchers to win and actually betting against your team. Maybe Rose thought those guys weren't very good, and didn't want to lose money on them. Or, granted, maybe he was betting against his team on those days. But "maybe" ain't nearly good enough, because if it is shown that Rose bet against the Reds, I don't think there's any penance he could do that would suffice to make up for it - betting against your team carries with it the presumption that you've tried to lose the game, and there's no coming back from that.

So if Dowd has real evidence, let's see it. Right now, he just looks like an ass.