SI Vault
Edited by Craig Neff
July 10, 1989
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July 10, 1989


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We think Pete Rose should step down as Cincinnati Reds manager—with pay—until the baseball-betting allegations against him are fully addressed by Rose himself, by baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti and, to the extent necessary, by the judicial system. The Rose case has become a sorry spectacle that each day inflicts further damage upon both Rose and baseball. He cannot enjoy being pilloried by the press or take pleasure in diminishing the game to which he has contributed so much. By benching himself he could not only do his sport a service but also concentrate his energies on rebutting the serious accusations against him.

Contrary to what Cincinnati judge Norbert Nadel said in barring, at least temporarily, Rose's hearing before Giamatti, the commissioner has bent over backward to be fair to Rose. It has been known for months that Rose consorted with gamblers, bookies and drug dealers, and on those grounds alone Giamatti could have—and perhaps should have—suspended him. Most of these unsavory characters were not passing acquaintances of Rose's; they hung out with him at his house, at Gold's Gym in suburban Cincinnati, at racetracks and even in the Reds clubhouse. Baseball is justifiably resolute in trying to fend off gamblers and drug dealers and their influence, and Rose betrayed the game by bringing such influence into the clubhouse.

As for the baseball-betting allegations, they have not been substantiated in a court of law, but the evidence against Rose is persuasive. His defense is his word; he says he never bet on baseball. But during baseball's four-month investigation of him, Rose has been caught in several lies and contradictions. At times he has seemed almost arrogant in shrugging off the gambling accusations against him.

In putting together its 225-page investigative report on Rose, baseball came up with nine people who linked him to baseball betting, and it found phone records, betting sheets and other documents that appear to support the testimony of Rose's chief accusers. This evidence cannot be dismissed. It is sufficient, at the very least, to taint Rose—for now—with the appearance of impropriety. And that is reason enough for him to step aside temporarily as Cincinnati's manager.

The three-game series in Baltimore last week between the Orioles and the Blue Jays was the first meeting in major league history between two teams with black managers. Baltimore, managed by Frank Robinson, won two of the three games from Cito Gaston-skippered Toronto, and afterward Robinson and Gaston both said they looked forward to the day when black managers will be abundant enough in baseball that their color will no longer be news. By the way, when the series ended, Baltimore led the American League East by 6� games, and Toronto was in third place, just a half game out of second.


For two months before the event, they ride bicycles, lift weights and brace themselves for their most grueling challenge of the year. We're talking about the two ABC television cameramen assigned to cover the 23-day Tour de France. When the 76th Tour began last Saturday in Luxembourg, cameramen Ken Woo and Pascal Charpentier climbed onto the back of a pair of motorcycles driven by Alain Girbal and Patrice Diallo and, seven-pound cameras in hand, set off on what has become an annual adventure. "I've shot other dangerous events—mountain climbs and white-water trips—but nothing that's so fatiguing and risk filled, day after day," says Woo. "Until you're in the middle of it, you can't even imagine it."

Imagine this: 32 motorcycles bearing TV cameramen and still photographers jockeying for position alongside 220 or so bicyclists traveling as fast as 60 mph over narrow, hilly, winding roads with crowds pressing in and crashes a possibility at any moment. "You have to be your own tripod and a human shock absorber," says Woo, who lives in Wheaton, Md., and is covering his fourth Tour. (Charpentier, a Parisian, is on his seventh.) "We ride a BMW 1000—half dirt bike, half road bike. It's narrow, with strong brakes and quick acceleration. You're on there seven or eight hours a day."

The race is equally tough on still photographers, with one exception: They can dart in, take some shots and then ease back, while the TV cameramen have to keep the race in steady focus. At times cameramen and photographers alike can be found leaning off their motorcycles, perched on one leg, inches from calamity, shooting away.

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