Pete Rose bet heavily on baseball games during the 1987 season under a code-name, two Ohio newspapers said Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.
If true, the Cincinnati Reds manager could be banned from baseball - for life if he bet on games involving his own club.A person referred to in an Internal Revenue Service court affidavit as "G-1" - whom the Plain Dealer of Cleveland and the Cincinnati Post quoted sources as saying was Rose - bet $8,000 to $16,000 a day on games during a stretch early in the 1987 season. Rose has denied betting on baseball.
Although Rose is not referred to by name in the IRS affidavit, the newspapers said they were told by federal sources the code name "G-1" means Rose.
Rose declined comment on the newspaper reports.
The Post quoted the document as saying G-1 bet an average of "$2,000 per game on four to eight games per day, approximately four days per week."
The IRS affidavit quoted unidentified government informants as saying the bets were placed through Ronald Peters, 31, a Franklin, Ohio, cafe owner who was described in a Sports Illustrated story as Rose's principal bookmaker. Peters said Monday he would plead guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and cocaine distribution.
The newspapers also reported the document indicates that Paul Janszen, a friend of Rose's, urged Peters to pay a $50,000 gambling debt the bookie owed Rose and Janszen.
The Plain Dealer said U.S. District Court records show Janszen became an FBI informant and began wearing a wireless microphone in April 1988 and that federal agents taped at least four conversations about the debt. Janszen's lawyer, Merlyn Shiverdecker, declined comment on the reports.
While Rose has denied betting on baseball and using bookies, he has admitted he frequently bets at race tracks.
Janszen is serving a six-month sentence in a Cincinnati halfway house for tax evasion involving the sale of steroids.
On April 8, 1988, Janszen made a standing $200 bet with Peters on each Cincinnati Reds game, picking the Reds to win, the Post reported.
According to the newspaper reports, the document says the following happened in May 1987:
During the first or second week of May 1987, G-1 (Rose) and S-1, identified by other court documents as Janszen, together won approximately $25,000 from Peters. S-1 met Peters in Franklin, and in S-1's car, Peters gave him currency in stacks of $5,000 each.
The following week, S-1 took several thousand dollars to Peters, which was for losses of G-1.
Beginning in June 1987, G-1 began winning his bets with Peters. However, in June 1987, when S-1 went to Franklin to collect, Peters told S-1 that his wife "had gone crazy on him, and that she took $150,000 of his money." Peters told S-1 he could not pay at that time, but would pay S-1 soon.