Pete Rose has a unique affinity for hits. The 4,256 he banged out in his 24-year career are, of course, a major league record. On Nov. 30 Rose may have established another mark when he helped launch www.sportcut.com, a Web site featuring sports games, gifts, auctions, chat and an on-line magazine. Sportcut.com's gambit was an on-line poll asking whether Rose, who was banned from baseball in 1989 for allegedly betting on games, should be in the Hall of Fame. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, the site received 12 million hits on its launch date, a record for a sports Web site. "We figure that we got [the equivalent of] $50 million worth of advertising," says Marc Roberts, president and CEO of Worldwide Entertainment & Sports, the athlete management agency that owns Sportcut.com, Inc. "Pete's presence obviously drove the traffic."
To promote Sportcut.com, Rose appeared on TV and radio and at a New York press conference, where he announced that he will meet with Major League Baseball executive vice president Robert Dupuy next month to discuss Rose's possible reinstatement. The poll results won't be disclosed until the end of January. (At week's end Rose supporters were in the ascendant, though Sportcut.com would not reveal the exact tally.)
Conscientious voters may want to log on to another site. It's called www.dowdreport.com. The text of baseball's 225-page report on its investigation of the Rose matter is posted there.