After over 14 years of straight up lying and denial, Pete Rose has finally come clean and admitted to betting on baseball. Remember over four years ago, when Jim Gray attempted to get a confesion out of Pete Rose at the All-Century Team event before Game 2 of the 1999 World Series? Rose refused to budge from his lame “I didn’t do it” stance.

Here’s a full text of the interview with comments for reference:

Gray: Pete, congratulations, it was quite an ovation.

Rose: Heart-stopping.

Gray: Pete, let me ask you now. It seems as though that there is an opening. The American public is very forgiving. Are you willing to show contrition, admit that you bet on baseball and make some sort of apology to that effect?

Rose: No, no, Jim, not at all. I’m not going to admit to something that didn’t happen. I know you get tired of hearing me say that, but I appreciate the ovation. I appreciate the American fans voting me on that All-Century team. I’m just a small part of a big deal tonight.

[Commentary: Rose falls back on the same stock answer he’s stated to every reporter for 10 years. Gray, fearless, asks the tough follow-up to try to get a different response from Rose.]

Gray: With the overwhelming evidence that is in that report, why not make that step with this opening…

Rose (interrupting): It’s too much of a festive a night to worry about that. I don’t know what evidence you’re talking about. I mean, show it to me.”

Gray: Well, the Dowd report says, but we don’t want to debate that, Pete.

Rose: Well, why not? Why do we want to believe everything he says?

[Commentary: Ah, this was Rose’s mistake. He challenged Jim Gray, who will not back down–he’s like a fucking pitbull. Remember the Tyson interview, where even though he knew the man could kill him he asked him why he bit Hollyfield not once, not twice, but three times! Here comes the beatdown…]

Gray: You signed a paper acknowledging the ban. Why did you sign it if you didn’t agree with it?

Rose: It also says I can apply for reinstatement after one year, if you remember correctly. In the press conference, as a matter of fact, my statement was I can’t wait for my little girl to be a year old so I can apply for reinstatement. At my press conference. So you forgot to add that clause that was in there.

Gray: Well, you have reapplied. You’ve applied for reinstatment in 1997. Have you heard back from Commissioner Selig?

Rose: No, and that kind of surprises me. It’s only been two years, though, and he’s got a lot of things on his mind. But I hope to some day.

Gray: Pete, it’s been 10 years since you’ve been allowed on the field. Obviously, the approach that you have taken has not worked. Why not, at this point, take a different approach?

Rose: Well, when you say it hadn’t worked, what do you exactly mean?

Gray: You’re not allowed in baseball. You’re not allowed to earn a living in the game you love. And you’re not allowed to be in the Hall of Fame.

Rose: Well, I took that approach and that was to apply for reinstatement. I hope Bud Selig considers that and gives me an opportunity. I won’t need a third chance. All I need is a second chance.

Gray: Pete, those who will hear this tonight will say that you have been your own worst enemy and continue to be. How do you respond to that?

Rose: In what way are you talking about?

Gray: By not acknowledging what seems to be overwhelming evidence.

Rose: Yeh, I’m surprised you’re bombarding me like this. I mean I’m doing an interview with you on a great night, a great occasion, a great ovation. Everybody seems to be in a good mood, and you’re bringing up something that happened 10 years ago.

Gray: I bring it up because I think people would like to see you get it on. Pete, we got to go, we’ve got a game…

Rose: This is a prosecutor’s brief. It’s not an interview, and I’m very surprised at you. I am, really.

Gray: Well, Some would be surprised that you didn’t take the opportunity. Let’s go…[End]

Jim Gray should feel pretty happy with himself for the interview and Pete Rose should be completely red-faced at his behavior over the last 14 years. Clearly, Jim Gray could have been a little nicer to Pete during the interview, but then fans would have been pissed that he was a little soft on him. Pete Rose commanded respect from everyone who saw him play and does deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, but he should have come clean then not now.

2 Comments »

  1. Good work. I think the lesson here is clear and easy to follow: accept a beatdown with humility at the time it is administered.

    #1 by Mark — January 5, 2004 @ 2:31 am

  2. listen, yeah rose did it but that in no way excuses jim gray’s behavior that night. There’s a time and a place to administer a good beat down but not there. not on one of the happiest moments for the man. and for many other men and fans might I add. Jim gray was being vindictive for some random reason. I hate jim gray I think he’s an uncouth animal and I am highly impressed by the way rose handled that situation so long ago. yeah rose is a liar and a gambler but and least he’s not the filthy, tactless reporter who brings shame to his profession. Shame is bonds today. not rose 14 years ago. Besides the only way taht would have been worth a millisecond of our time is if jim gray A. provided new evidence or B. got Rose to admit it. but in the end, gray and his tactlessness failed. gray is a sad sad man.

    #2 by linda — December 3, 2004 @ 12:04 pm

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