Saturday, July 19, 2003

Attorneys: Rose's vocabulary doesn't include the 'S word'

Lawyers say trial a success

By John Erardi
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Johnnie Cochran said Thursday they aren't "big on apologies," but one wonders whether Pete Rose can get into the Baseball Hall of Fame without saying he's sorry.

Dershowitz and Cochran, who argued opposite sides of the Rose case Thursday at Harvard Law School, said afterward it isn't likely Rose will repent publicly by admitting he bet on Reds games.

    Should Pete Rose be in the Hall Of Fame?


Rose has been banished from baseball since 1989, and is currently ineligible for the Hall of Fame. Commissioner Bud Selig is considering reinstating him to baseball, although it isn't yet known whether Rose would be allowed to manage again.

Reinstatement would automatically make Rose eligible for the Hall of Fame. If he were not elected in the next three years by the Baseball Writers Association of American, his candidacy would be turned over to a veterans' committee. Such a committee, it is believed, would be less inclined to vote Rose into the Hall of Fame.

"I know some of the writers want (Rose) to humble himself," Cochran told the Enquirer after the trial. "But this is not exactly a humble guy."

"I would advise him to resolve this, put it behind him and do that (i.e. apologize), but I'm not sure he'd ever do it in a fashion that the writers would be happy with."

Cochran was Rose's defense attorney in Thursday's mock trial, while Dershowitz was the prosecuting attorney.

"I'm not myself a big one on apologies," Dershowitz said. "It's not in (Rose's) psyche. Forget about the gambling. It's just not in his psyche to apologize."

After the trial, in an interview with ESPN host Bob Ley and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, Dershowitz suggested that Rose hire Cochran. Dershowitz said Cochran could get the matter resolved and get Rose into the Hall.

ESPN, which broadcast Thursday's event, said the three-hour trial got a .77 rating. This means 660,000 households tuned into the show. Between 10 and 11 p.m., during the jury deliberations, it earned a rating of 1.01, which equals 872,000 homes.

Rose didn't watch the show, said his business agent, Warren Greene, but appreciated the verdict, and particularly the testimony of Henry Aaron, Bill Lee and Dave Parker.

The 12-person jury, which was comprised of a cross-section of people from the Boston area, voted 8-4 that Rose should be made eligible for the the Hall of Fame - even though they believed 11-1 that he bet on Reds games in which he was involved as Reds manager.

Cochran said the national telecast was a worthy endeavor.

"In American society, we believe that to err is human, to forgive is divine," he said. "We like people who are human, who make mistakes, that get back up. This guy gets back up. He's a tough fighter. And I think that's why a lot of people in America want to see him in the Hall of Fame."

Dershowitz said the telecast was important on two levels.

"First of all, because people care deeply," he said. "And second, it raises fundamental questions about whether you get judged just on the merits."

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