Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Cautious Selig breaks silence


Baseball commissioner says 'there is no next step' in Rose saga

The Associated Press

BOSTON - Baseball commissioner Bud Selig broke his silence Monday on Pete Rose, but only to say that he hasn't read Rose's book and doesn't know when he will decide on the Hit King's bid to lift his lifetime ban.

Rose agreed to the suspension in 1989 after an investigation into his gambling revealed that he bet on games while managing the Cincinnati Reds and applied for reinstatement in 1997.

Publicly, he continued to deny betting on baseball, but publicly reversed his position last week in his new autobiography. Rose also said he made the admission to Selig in November 2002.

Rose's belated confession struck many as falling short of a sincere apology. Selig declined to say whether he believed Rose was sorry, saying that it would be inappropriate for him to prejudge the case.

Asked when that might be, Selig declined comment. Asked what needs to happen for Rose's application to be heard, Selig declined comment.

Asked what the next step in the process is, Selig said: "There is no next step."

Selig was appearing at the annual dinner of the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, where he was to receive the Judge Emil Fuchs Award for long and meritorious service to the game.

Rose not only has to worry about what Selig's final say on reinstatement will be, but he has to be concerned with the success of his book.

Sports publishing is a multimillion-dollar market, ranging from encyclopedias, instructional works and instant commemorative editions about championship teams. But the books that sell best are often those that attract non-sports fans.

Rose's belated confession made instant headlines, but several publishing officials questioned how long interest would last and whether nonbaseball fans would care.




PETE ROSE
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