Janszen's closeness to Rose in 1987 is troubling. Even if—to give Rose every benefit of the doubt—Janszen's baseball wagering during this time was strictly for himself, it was taking place right under Rose's nose. In view of baseball's disapproval of fraternizing with gamblers, especially those who bet on baseball, why did Rose maintain the friendship?
Which leads to questions about Rose's associations generally. "I had a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I heard about the investigation," Johnny Bench, a former Cincinnati teammate of Rose's and now a Reds broadcaster, told The New York Times two weeks ago. "I remember some of the people he had in his office over the last few years. I'd want to stop by and talk baseball, but I decided that it wasn't for their ears."
Besides Janszen, Peters and Gioiosa, two of Rose's other associates, Michael Fry and Donald Stenger, former co-owners of Gold's, have both pleaded guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and cocaine trafficking. Fry is serving an eight-year sentence at a federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind., and Stenger was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison. Rose says he seldom socialized with Fry and Stenger away from Gold's, where he regularly worked out, but Fry frequented the Reds' clubhouse and attended horse races with Rose. Stenger says he bought a BMW from Rose, who helped promote Gold's for the two owners.
Rose has taken particular pains to distance himself from Gioiosa, who lived with Rose in the late 1970s and early '80s. As an infielder on the University of Cincinnati baseball team, Gioiosa wore Rose's number 14 and a Rose-like Prince Valiant haircut, and he and Rose remained close after Gioiosa left school. Following last week's indictment of Gioiosa, Rose at one point professed not to know where Gioiosa was living or what he was doing. But Gioiosa, who has been living in his hometown of New Bedford, Mass., and who describes himself as a professional gambler, visited Rose at a baseball-card show near Boston in late January. When an SI photographer asked to take his picture in New Bedford on March 16, Gioiosa said he would have to check with Rose by phone and left the room. He returned a few minutes later and said that Rose had told him to "do whatever I want to do."
Rose's veracity is called into further doubt by his insistence that he has never bet through bookies on any sport or suffered large gambling losses. Twelve sources have now told SI that Rose has bet through bookies on one sport or another. One of the sources is R�n� Longpr�, a Montreal hotel manager who befriended Rose when Rose was playing for the Expos in 1984 and who had dinner last month in Florida with Rose and Joseph Cambra, a Somerset, Mass., real estate man. Longpr� told SI's Dardis last week that he has placed bets with bookies for Rose on hockey and basketball games. Longpr� said he placed telephone bets for Rose from Montreal's Olympic Stadium, but would not provide specific dates. As for Cambra, he pleaded guilty in 1986 in New Bedford to three bookmaking charges and paid a $6,000 fine; he told SI that he never handled bets for Rose and that he's no longer involved in bookmaking. Asked about Longpr� and Cambra, Rose declined comment.
As recounted in the IRS affidavit, Janszen claims that starting in the fall of 1986 he and Gioiosa would take cash to Peters in Franklin to pay off large gambling debts owed, by Rose. Two other sources told SI that Gioiosa made similar payoff runs for Rose while accompanied by Fry. One of the sources, a passenger in the car on some of the trips to Franklin, told SI that on 10 to 15 occasions in '85 and '86 Fry and Gioiosa picked up $10,000 to $15,000 in cash—one time the amount was $30,000—directly from Rose and then drove the money to Peters. The source said the money was for football and basketball betting debts and that Fry and Gioiosa would tuck it under their clothing; Gioiosa, the source said, sometimes had "$10,000 to $15,000 stuffed in his sock."
Rose admits being an ardent gambler at the racetrack, where betting is legal. Yet even here he's under suspicion, some of it raised by last week's indictment of Gioiosa. The indictment alleges that Gioiosa falsely claimed $47,646 in income from a winning Pik Six ticket from Jan. 16, 1987, horse races at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., and used the income to offset gambling losses that would otherwise not be tax deductible. The indictment says that part of the winnings were "taxable to other persons known to the grand jury." The Cincinnati Post and Dayton Daily News reported that Rose is under investigation for tax evasion and gambling, and the News said federal officials believe Rose may have owned part of the winning ticket.
"They've got my tax records," said Rose on Saturday. "I pay a lot of taxes. I'm not trying to hide anything from the government." However, in a March 19 interview with SI, Rose revealed an apparent ignorance of IRS requirements. He said he understood that a taxpayer only had to declare gambling winnings "if you're a professional gambler." In fact, all gambling winnings must be declared.
Even while Giamatti's investigation continued last week, the many allegations and suspicions swirling around Rose were driving some of Rose's closest friends to an unhappy conclusion. "Too many things are pointing toward Pete Rose, and as a result, baseball is starting to suffer," said Bench. "The evidence is so large right now and aiming toward Pete in so many ways. All of a sudden, we're trying to find ways for Pete to step down gracefully. And that's really sad."