pete rose

Latest A.I., Pete Rose transgressions spoiling Philly sports fan's escape

Latest A.I., Pete Rose transgressions spoiling Philly sports fan's escape

The Wildwood Boardwalk is a veritable potpourri of indulgence and goofiness. It’s a wonderful, wacky place. You have roller coaster rides and water parks. Haunted houses. Sketchy hucksters trying to lure you to play their fixed games of chance. Feeling hungry? Nothing hits the spot like a slice of boardwalk pizza. And, of course, there is that beloved mode of transportation, the Tramcar.

It also has more T-shirt shops per capita than anywhere in the world (unofficial count). So last week, while on vacation down the shore, I happened upon one such place. There I spotted a throwback Charlie Hustle shirt with the image of baseball’s all-time hit king, sliding headfirst on the front. Being a huge Pete Rose fan as a kid, holding dear that memory of him being the final piece to put the perennially close Phillies clubs of the late 1970s over the top. And being a proponent of his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, it was a no-brainer, I bought it. Little did I know, I would get exactly one wear out the garment.

When word surfaced early this week that Rose, during sworn testimony, admitted to engaging in a relationship with a girl either 16 years old or younger in the '70s, my first reaction after wanting to throw up and take a shower was to toss my new shirt.

No more.

No more can I defend the guy. No more can I separate Rose the epitome of what you would want as a player with Rose the train wreck of a human being. I shouldn’t have been surprised, none of us should. He bet on baseball and, perhaps worse, carried on a lie about for the ensuing 20-plus years. Not to mention that pesky jail sentence for tax evasion. But I was willing to forgive while looking forward to his induction into the Phillies' Wall of Fame next week. However, this latest news and Rose’s testimonial justification that she was of the consensual age of 16 when he was a 34-year-old married, father of two, drove me to the point of check out. 

I’m done.

Couple the Rose revelation with Allen Iverson’s latest Houdini act and subsequent one-game BIG3 League suspension by Ice Cube (you can’t make this stuff up), and it hasn’t been a banner couple of weeks for former Philadelphia sports icons.

One of the tenet’s of sports from a fan’s perspective is this: It should provide an escape from the real world. And when said reality creeps into our fantasy bubble, it’s a bummer. To deny die-hard, unconditional supporters a chance to see you play one more time on the Wells Fargo Center floor, even for a token cameo is wrong. Same with Phillies fans, who have been waiting for nearly 40 years to celebrate Rose. Those folks are the ones who get it in the end.

Iverson supporters, while bummed presently, will be more apt to forgive his transgressions. But in the case of Rose, the long-term, permanent damage for many like me has been done. It does make you appreciate players like Brian Dawkins, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley that much more. But ultimately, we don’t know what is going on with any of these guys. Either way, it’s no fun when reality creeps into our sporting cocoons.

And while we’re at it, watch the Tramcar, please.

Phillies cancel Pete Rose Wall of Fame ceremony amid statutory rape allegations

Phillies cancel Pete Rose Wall of Fame ceremony amid statutory rape allegations

Just a week before the scheduled ceremony, the Phillies are canceling Pete Rose’s induction into the team's Wall of Fame.

The decision comes after a woman claimed to have a sexual relationship with Rose when she was 14 or 15 years old, according to her sworn testimony submitted to a court Monday.

Rose claims the relationship began when the woman was 16 years old, the age of consent in Ohio, where the relationship took place.

In a statement Wednesday, Rose agreed with the Phillies' decision to not include him in the Alumni Weekend's events.

"While I am truly honored that the Phillies fans voted for me to be this year's Wall of Fame inductee, I am concerned that other matters will overshadow the goodwill associated with Alumni Weekend, and I agree with the decision not to participate," Rose said.

To replace Rose's induction, the Phillies will pay tribute to former Wall of Fame inductees Saturday, August 12. 

The testimony comes as part of a lawsuit Rose filed in 2016, claiming a lawyer defamed him during a 2015 radio segment, when he alleged that Rose had raped teen girls during spring training in the 1970s. 

Jim Dowd — who originally investigated Rose for gambling on baseball in 1989 — said on air that Rose's associate, Michael Bertolini, told investigators he "ran young girls" to Rose during spring training, which Dowd called "statutory rape every time," according to Rose's lawsuit. 

As part of the 1989 investigation, Rose accepted a lifetime ban from MLB, barring the league's hits king from the Hall of Fame.

The Phillies will also not distribute Pete Rose bobbleheads, as originally planned on Friday, August 11. Fans with tickets to the Alumni Weekend games can also exchange their tickets for a remaining 2017 game or have their tickets refunded.

Woman says she had teen sexual relationship with Pete Rose

Woman says she had teen sexual relationship with Pete Rose

A woman said she had a sexual relationship with Pete Rose in the 1970s, starting when she was 14 or 15 years old, according to her sworn testimony submitted to a court Monday.

The testimony was presented by the defense as part of a federal lawsuit Rose filed last year in Philadelphia against a lawyer whose investigation got baseball's all-time hits leader kicked out of Major League Baseball for gambling.

Rose contends John Dowd defamed him in 2015 by saying on the radio that the former baseball great had raped young teen girls during spring training. Rose, 76, has acknowledged having a relationship with the woman beginning when she was 16, the age of consent in Ohio.

Rose's lawyer Ray Genco said the woman's claims are unverified.

"At this point it's just a big distraction," Genco said. "It tips me off that (Dowd) really can't defend himself."

The attorney also accused Dowd of dragging "Pete's name through the mud."

Rose alleges in the lawsuit that Dowd damaged his reputation and endorsement deals during a July 2015 interview on WCHE-AM radio in West Chester.

Dowd investigated Rose in 1989 for gambling on the Cincinnati Reds while managing the team, a violation of baseball's rules. Rose accepted a lifetime ban, and the Hall of Fame decided in 1991 that anyone on the permanently ineligible list could not appear on a Hall ballot.

Dowd said during the radio appearance that Rose associate Michael Bertolini told investigators he "ran young girls" to Rose during spring training, which Dowd called "statutory rape every time," according to Rose's lawsuit. Bertolini's lawyers have denied that.

The woman, identified as Jane Doe in Monday's filing, said Rose called her in 1973, when she was 14 or 15, and they began a sexual relationship in Cincinnati that lasted several years. She also alleges Rose met her in locations outside Ohio for sex.

Rose acknowledged in a statement accompanying Monday's filing that he did have a relationship with the woman, but he said it started when she was 16. He also states they never had sex outside Ohio.

At the time, Rose was in his mid-30s and was married with two kids.

Dowd's lawyer David Tobin said he couldn't comment on the latest filing.

Rose, who lives in Las Vegas, had applied for reinstatement to the game in 2015. Not long after, Dowd was asked on WCHE-AM whether he found Rose to be a likable person.

"Michael Bertolini, you know, told us that he not only ran bets but he ran young girls for him down at spring training, ages 12 to 14," Dowd responded. "Isn't that lovely? So that's statutory rape every time you do that."

Genco said Rose knew what he was getting into when he filed the defamation lawsuit.

"He decided to take a stand against these heinous allegations," he said. "We filed a winning case and it's going to remain like that."

Dowd, 76, is an experienced Washington attorney who is currently on President Donald Trump's legal team in the Russia investigation.