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Wednesday, January 22
Updated: March 13, 4:38 PM ET
 
Report: Rose willing to admit to betting on baseball

ESPN.com news services

More than a month since news broke that commissioner Bud Selig was considering reinstating Pete Rose, Newsday is reporting that the all-time hits king has indicated to Selig that he's willing for the first time to admit he bet on baseball.

Wed., Jan. 22
Will Pete Rose ever be reinstated by baseball?

Still a tough one to answer. But here's what ESPN.com's Jayson Stark knows in his latest edition of Rumblings & Grumblings ...

The newspaper cited a friend of Rose, who spoke on condition of anonymity, for the basis of its report. The report said Rose also would be willing to apologize for his betting denials the past 13 years and even serve a probationary period in order to gain reinstatement and Hall of Fame eligibility for 2004.

Rose's friend told Newsday that Rose is encouraged by progress in talks among Selig, Rose's lawyers and current Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt, Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan -- all former teammates of Rose -- and is confident an agreement can be finalized and announced within a couple months. Such an agreement would allow Rose to be reinstated and be eligible for the Hall of Fame.

What remains to be determined, a source told ESPN on Wednesday, is whether Rose would be permitted to work in baseball or if so how much of a role he would be allowed to have.

One high-ranking baseball source told Newsday that any Rose probationary period of good behavior is expected to last "six to eight months," meaning there would be time for Rose to enter Cooperstown next summer. Rose agreed in 1989 to be banned permanently from the game.

A source told ESPN.com that Rose would be expected to "behave the right way" during the probationary period, in which he will be obligated to demonstrate true contrition.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Friday that two of Rose's acquaintances, whom it did not identify, said he is willing to publicly admit that he bet on baseball, as long as he gets full reinstatement in return.

Another unidentified acquaintance said Rose had admitted privately that he bet on games.

The baseball commissioner's top deputy met with Rose and his business agent in Florida last month.

Bob DuPuy, baseball's president and chief operating officer, traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to speak with Rose and his business agent, Warren Greene on Dec. 16.

Selig had met secretly with Rose in Milwaukee on Nov. 25.

DuPuy declined to comment on the status of negotiations, which became public Dec. 9.

"We've got a pending application. We're continuing to review that petition," DuPuy said Wednesday. "The commissioner has discussed it with Pete. Other than that, I don't have anything to say."

Selig has been adamant in negotiations that Rose fulfill all three obligations: an admission, an apology and probation. Rose has consistently denied that he bet on baseball in the face of a mountain of evidence against him, including betting slips and phone logs between bookies and his ballpark office in Cincinnati in the 1980s.

Selig, reached by Newsday on Tuesday night at the Baseball Assistance Team dinner in New York where he was being honored, declined to comment on his negotiations with Rose's lawyers, except to say he hadn't talked to them in the past few days.

However, a source close to Selig told the newspaper things were "still on track" regarding Rose's reinstatement despite the commissioner insisting on an admission, an apology and probation.

The source also suggested things were pointing toward reinstatement terms being announced as early as spring training after Selig meets with a contingent of current Hall of Famers, but there's no certainty of that. A date for that meeting is still unscheduled but is expected to convene some time in February.

A source told ESPN.com that the meeting could be construed as "a courtesy" to the Hall of Famers, and that it's expected a surprising number will express serious reservations about Rose's reinstatement.

Rose's lawyer, Roger Makley, could not be reached by the newspaper Tuesday night.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.




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