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Pete: "Yeah, sure I was. Don't you remember all that cocaine you used to snort?"
Ty (laughing): "Yeah."
Pete: "John Dowd [the attorney who conducted baseball's investigation of Rose] is a suspicious man. But he had the odds in his favor."
Ty: "How come people say you got kicked out of baseball because you bet on your team?"
Pete: "They don't know what they're talking about."
As the Schmozz ponders this for a while, Rose rubs his hair some more. If there is one opinion that matters to Rose, it's the Schmozz's. Since it is the summer, they are rarely apart. They have breakfast together, then they usually play golf or baseball or something together, then the Schmozz comes to the restaurant and heads for the huge arcade there. "My kid can whip anybody, big or small, at Sidewinder, backwards!" Rose says, beaming. The Schmozz does seem to possess mystical powers at the game. And he already has 15 home runs in Little League, and it isn't even the Fourth of July.
Mostly they hang together so much because they can't stand goodbyes. Back in Rose's prison days, Carol and the Schmozz fly up from Boca Raton to visit him, and the goodbyes are hell. She remembers how the Schmozz cries all the way to the airport and cries the whole way on the rental-car van and cries all the way to the layover in Nashville before he finally stops. "Nothin' you'll ever do in your life will be harder than that," says Rose.
Everything changes for Rose during his time behind bars. Carol goes from being the ex-cheerleader in high heels that he used to hang jewelry on, to somebody Rose needs more than bread and water. He remembers how she came into the visiting room weighing 180 pounds, which was, in good part, the pounds of salami, pounds of roast beef, and pounds of ham she had sneaked in under her clothes.
While Rose is doing time, he learns what real convicts are like. He rooms in a halfway house with a rapist on one side and a murderer on the other and gets his best clothes stolen one night. He also meets one guy who murdered somebody in a bar, then ordered a beer and waited for the cops to come. He also works in Cincinnati elementary schools handing out jump ropes and soccer balls and can't remember a single day when some teacher isn't assaulted in some way.
And during the eight months he does his time, he gets plenty of time to think. There is only one thing that needles him now. "The worst thing of it all was the way baseball just dropped me," he says. "Just flat out showed me no respect at all. Here I was, a player for 24 years, the best ambassador the game ever had. And before I even got a chance to answer the allegations against me, Giamatti believes a convicted drug dealer [Ron Peters, who served time for tax evasion and cocaine trafficking, gave testimony to Dowd that incriminated Rose]. Giamatti sends a letter to a federal judge asking leniency for him. To the day I die, I'll be disappointed about that. People think I let the game of baseball down. But I think the opposite. I think baseball let me down.