Rose, who has publicly denied having bet on baseball, repeatedly made the same denial in a sworn deposition he gave Dowd. In his testimony, Rose also denied having been in debt from gambling losses—he said he "owes nobody nothing"—and dismissed allegations that seemed to suggest otherwise by saying that they "don't mean diddly-squat to me." But Dowd's report also quoted Rose as admitting under oath that on one occasion a bookie had threatened, in Rose's words, "to burn my house down and break my kid's legs if I didn't pay him." And Dowd's report concludes with a list of 24 other alleged inconsistencies in Rose's version of events.
The report presents no evidence that Rose ever bet against his team, but that question is irrelevant if it can be proved that he bet on Reds games at all—or indeed on baseball period—because baseball Rule 21(d) states with stark finality:
"Any player, umpire or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform, shall be declared ineligible for one year.
Any player, umpire or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible."
In filing their request for the temporary restraining order against baseball, Rose's lawyers argued that Giamatti and Dowd had prejudged Rose as guilty and had denied him fair treatment. Rose's lawyers contended that the scheduled hearing before Giamatti threatened "irreparable harm" to their client's reputation, and asked that the baseball-betting charges against Rose be resolved by a jury trial instead of at a hearing before Giamatti.
In their suit, Rose's attorneys were particularly harsh on Dowd, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who formerly worked for the U.S. Justice Department. They accused Dowd of slanting his investigative report in an effort to put Rose in the worst possible light. One of the witnesses called to the stand at last week's hearing before Nadel, Sam Dash, who had served as chief counsel to the Senate Watergate committee, assailed Dowd's investigation as flawed and one-sided. He testified that "if [during Watergate] I had been given that report by one of my deputies or investigators, I would have fired him." Rose's attorneys focused on a portion of Peters's April 5 deposition during which he and Dowd discussed a deal that had been made:
Q. Now, on behalf of the Commissioner we have an understanding; do we not?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And you correct me if I'm wrong, but in exchange for your full and truthful cooperation with the Commissioner, the Commissioner has agreed to bring to the attention of the [ U.S.] District Judge in Cincinnati, the fact that you were of assistance to us and that we believe that you have been honest and complete in your cooperation. Is that the understanding?
A. Yes, it is.