|Wednesday, January 7
Updated: January 8, 10:34 AM ET
Rose no sure bet
By Darren Rovell
It was only a matter of time before bookies set odds on it.
Two online sports books posted their Pete Rose odds on Wednesday.
BetWWTS.com is taking action on whether gamblers believe Rose will be elected to the Hall of Fame by the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America within the next two years. BoDog.com is inviting the wagering public to place a bet relating to the possibility of Rose being reinstated.
"If Pete Rose opened an account with us and bet on this, we'd probably take that action," joked Rob Gillespie, president of BoDog.com. "We actually have a client named Pete Rose, but we're absolutely certain it's not that Pete Rose."
Rose was banished from the league and became ineligible for the Hall of Fame in August 1989, but his admission that he bet on baseball in his new autobiography, "My Prison Without Bars," combined with the timing of its release, has renewed interest in the debate.
Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley were named to the Hall of Fame Class of 2004 on Tuesday. A first printing of 500,000 copies of Rose's book hits shelves on Thursday.
After word of Rose's admission to placing bets on baseball games was revealed, BoDog.com bookies made Rose's complete reinstatement with Major League Baseball a long shot.
The odds that commissioner Bud Selig will welcome him back with open arms, allowing him to become eligible for the Hall of Fame and permitting him to work in baseball again, were posted at 8-to-1 on BoDog.com. Odds that Selig will allow Rose to become eligible only for election to the Hall of Fame were at 3-to-2, while the odds for Rose not being reinstated at all were posted at 1-to-2.
Odds increased that Rose's ban would not be lifted, Gillespie said, after recent allegations were made by two of Rose's bet runners who said Rose had in fact placed bets from the clubhouse. In his book Rose maintains, as he told Selig, that he never wagered at the ballpark.
"We're not trying to handicap the actual outcome of these decisions," Gillespie said. "We're just trying to handicap what the public reaction would be and set the odds based on our perception of the public."
BetWWTS.com set the odds of Rose not getting into the Hall of Fame at 1-to-5. Those that wager on "Charlie Hustle" getting a plaque in Cooperstown over the next two years will get $4 for every $1 bet should it happen.
BetWWTS.com spokesman Kyle Fratini said odds for Rose to get elected to the Hall of Fame by voting members of the BBWAA were increased after oddsmakers read recent negative columns from those who have a vote.
BoDog.com posted odds on Rose's reinstatement prior to the 2003 baseball season off news that Rose and Selig had met to discuss the topic just months before.
The bet allowed gamblers to wager on what month Rose would be reinstated. The most popular bet was that baseball's all-time hit king would not be reinstated in 2003. Approximately 400 people wagered, a high number of bets for action that is not determined on the field, Gillespie said.
BetWWTS.com is accepting a maximum bet of $300 on the Rose prop, while BoDog.com won't take anything larger than a $100 bill.
Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org