Pete Rose's reputation is in tatters, his place in the game he loves in doubt.
In two days since major league baseball announced he's under investigation, the Cincinnati Reds' manager has become the eye of a storm of allegations about his gambling, his finances and his parenting.Rose took refuge behind an armed guard in the team's clubhouse on Tuesday before a spring training game in Florida, declining comment on an array of reports.
The most serious allegations, contained in this week's Sports Illustrated, could drive Rose from the game if proven accurate. The magazine reported in this week's issue that Rose is accused of betting on baseball and could be banned from the game if the charge is proven during an investigation being conducted by the office of the baseball commissioner.
The Dayton Daily News reported Wednesday day that Rose is selling off his baseball memorabilia, and is under investigation by federal authorities in Cincinnati looking into his gambling and taxes.
And Gentlemen's Quarterly printed an article in which Rose's children say he was a poor parent, and his former wife is quoted as saying Rose didn't pay his gambling debts - a statement she later denied.
How serious is something being weighed by Ueberroth and Commissioner-elect A. Bartlett Giamatti, who issued the statement Monday saying Rose was the subject of "serious allegations." The nature of the allegations hasn't been confirmed.
While the storm swirled around him, Rose went to the Reds' exhibition game Tuesday afternoon against St. Louis in St. Petersburg, Fla. He walked past reporters and into the clubhouse, which was blocked by a uniformed, armed guard. The clubhouse usually is open to reporters.
The allegations dogging Rose revolve around gambling. Rose's affinity for horse and dog tracks is no secret; he has denied a report that he places bets on college basketball.
Sports Illustrated quoted an unidentified source as saying that Rose allegedly "exchanged signals somehow relating to baseball betting" from the dugout at Riverfront Stadium. SI also reported allegations that baseball's all-time hits leader placed bets on baseball through friends.
Under Major League Rule 21-d, if Rose bet on games in which his team was not involved, he would be suspended for one year. If Rose bet on games involving the Reds, he would be banned for life.
Gambling also was mentioned in the GQ story contained in the magazine's April edition. The magazine said Rose once received a dead fish in the mail as a warning to pay a gambling debt. The magazine also quoted Rose's former wife, Karolyn, as saying, "He said he was Pete Rose, and he didn't have to pay no gambling debts."
Karolyn Rose, in a telephone interview Tuesday night, denied making that statement. She told The Associated Press that she never had an indication during her 16-year marriage that Rose was placing bets with bookies.
In the GQ story, Rose's daughter, Fawn, 24, is quoted as saying of her father, "He's unique. My father is the world's worst father."
Rose's son, Pete Jr., now a minor-leaguer in the Baltimore Orioles organization, said he never hugged or kissed his dad, and that their relationship is "more player-manager." Pete Jr. said he didn't expect his father to watch him play minor-league games in Florida.
"Even if I wanted to call him, I don't have his telephone number," Pete Jr. was quoted as saying.