Con­tro­versy swirls around Rose again

Phillies scrap plans to hon­our famed hit­ter

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

The Philadel­phia Phillies have can­celled plans to hon­our Pete Rose next week be­cause of a woman’s claim she had a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with base­ball’s hit king when she was a mi­nor.

The woman, iden­ti­fied as Jane Doe this week in a court 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’s lawyer says the woman’s claims are un­ver­i­fied.

The Phillies were go­ing to in­duct Rose into their Wall of Fame in an on-field cer­e­mony on Aug. 12.

Rose bob­ble­heads were go­ing to be dis­trib­uted on Aug. 11.

The Phillies will not give away the col­lectibles and said fans with tick­ets for ei­ther game can ex­change them or get a re­fund.

“While I am truly hon­oured 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.

Rose, who was banned from base­ball in 1989, made four All-Star ap­pear­ances and helped the Phillies to one of their two world cham­pi­onships dur­ing his five sea­sons in Philadel­phia from 197983.

Rose was se­lected through fan vot­ing and was set to be­come the 39th in­ductee into the club’s Wall of Fame.

“My base­ball years in Philadel­phia were amaz­ing, not just be­cause we won it all in 1980 and came close in 1983, but also be­cause the fans wel­comed me from day one,” he said in April.

But pub­lic pres­sure against Rose played a role in the Phillies’ de­ci­sion to scrap the trib­ute.

The woman’s claim be­came pub­lic from tes­ti­mony pre­sented by the de­fence as part of a fed­eral law­suit Rose filed last year in Philadel­phia against a lawyer whose in­ves­ti­ga­tion got the Cincin­nati na­tive kicked out of Ma­jor League Base­ball for gam­bling.

Rose con­tends John Dowd de­famed him by say­ing on the ra­dio that the for­mer base­ball great had raped young teen girls dur­ing spring train­ing.

Rose has ac­knowl­edged hav­ing a re­la­tion­ship with the woman be­gin­ning when she was 16, the age of con­sent in Ohio.

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

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.

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.

Rose’s per­sonal prob­lems never seemed to af­fect his pop­u­lar­ity in base­ball. He’s a reg­u­lar on the au­to­graph cir­cuit and does broad­cast work for Fox.

The Cincin­nati Reds un­veiled a bronze sculp­ture this sea­son out­side Great Amer­i­can Ball Park de­pict­ing Rose’s head­first slide.

He was in­ducted into the Reds’ Hall of Fame last June and had his No. 14 re­tired.

The 76-year-old hits leader is banned from base­ball’s Hall of Fame. Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred has de­nied Rose’s lat­est pe­ti­tion for re­in­state­ment, but hasn’t ruled out mak­ing him el­i­gi­ble for Coop­er­stown some­day.

The fourth an­nual Philly Sports Roast also said it can­celled its Aug. 10 event with Rose as the guest of hon­our.

Tick­ets that started at $150 will be re­funded.

The Phillies will still hon­our more than 40 alumni next week­end.

Rose

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