A Rose By Any
saw his mug
again; an arro-
gant sneer on
lips conveyed that it
was almost our fault
he was forced out of
Pete Rose hit the
airwaves in an ABC-
TV "exclusive inter-
view" on Jan. 8, and
hasn't stopped his
tour of regret since.
Coincidentally, he was promoting his
just-released second autobiography, My
Prison Without Bars, a bit different than
My Story, his first autobiography pub-
lished in 1989. He admit-
ted not only betting on
baseball while managing
the Philadelphia Phillies in
1987 and 1988, but betting
on his own team.
Banned from baseball for
life by then-commissioner
Bart Giamatti, Rose never
admitted his mistake —
until this newest book hit the
The argument will always ring
through ballparks and bar rooms across
the country: Should Rose be admitted
in Cooperstown? Should he be given a
second chance? Should he reimburse the
fans who bought his first book?
I spent an evening this week reading
transcripts from various Web sites of
Rose's recent chats with any network
interviewer who would listen, and tuned
in to another knowing full well that the
subject matter would cause a sleepless
"I bet on baseball in 1987 and 1988,"
he told Charles Gibson of ABC. "That
was my mistake, not coming clean a lot
He told Bill O'Reilly of Fox News last
week, "Maybe somehow we can take
this negative and make it a positive.
Future baseball players, if they even
think about gambling, will see what
happened to Pete Rose because I think
you'll agree I wasn't ... I wasn't slapped
on the wrist."
To Paula Zahn of CNN, he said, "I
told the commissioner I was sorry. I
know there's some people that will never
forgive. It's going to follow me the rest
of my life, but my conscience is clean
"But you have to earn a second
chance. Be honest, be caring and just
being up front."
Zahn's questions were no more or less
harsh than any other. She left the set
after the interview. As Rose removed the
live microphone from his coat, he said
to no one in particular, "If she would
have been a man, I would have knocked
her on her ass. ))
So much for feeling regret. So much
for hollow promises. He was arrogant
and mean-tempered a decade ago, and
he hasn't changed a bit.
I don't care if he gets into the Hall of
Fame, he still holds the record
of 4,256 hits, breaking Ty
Cobb's old record of 4,192.
No irony lost there — Cobb
was far from a role model
But letting Pete Rose back
into baseball is kind of like
letting Michael Jackson open
a day care center. It might
work out, but you just don't
want to take the chance.
After an evening spent in the tran-
scripts and video shadows of Pete Rose,
I woke up on the couch at 1 a.m.
As if directed by some divine pres-
ence, I clicked over to ESPN Classic
before I went to bed.
Game One of the 1988 World Series.
Bottom of the ninth, two outs and a
man on first.
If you're a baseball fan, you already
know the rest of the story because it
always ranks as one of the all-time high-
lights of the game.
Los Angeles Dodger's star player Kirk
Gibson struggles up to the plate to
pinch hit against Oakland As ace reliev-
er Dennis Eckersly.
Gibby, in his only appearance in the
series, has a bad knee on one leg, a bad
ankle on the other. He fights off pitch
after pitch to get a full count. Eckersly,
at the top of his game, hasn't given up a
homer in months. Until then.
Watching the homer, watching the
crowd going wild, watching Gibson
pumping his fists, hobbling around the
bases, helping his team win the series, is
the stuff dreams are made of.
I was wrong. I slept well that night.
Nights fell peacefully but ended prematurely at
the Kaplan family home in West Bloomfield,
when Steve and Lisa Kaplan's teenage daughter's
late-night returns would consistently wake them
in the neighboring bedroom. This coupled with a
dining room table that would no longer support both
dinners for four and Lisa's home office equipment
led the Kaplans to Gittleman, with a cry for more
space and privacy.
After customizing four distinct plans for the Kaplan's
selection, Gittleman allowed the couple to modify
the winning plan to their liking. "They were really
flexible," praised Lisa Kaplan, whose 3-bedroom
ranch would soon include an office converted from
hers and Steve's former bedroom—and a new master
suite added to the rear of the house, strategically
buffered by the office to prevent sound from leaking.
The Kaplans commend both Gittleman's
administrative staff and the crew for an unwavering
show of respect and courtesy while rearranging the walls of their bedroom come office. Even their
family of gerbils went undisturbed.
Today, the Kaplans are thrilled with what is, essentially, a new home for them. Everyone sleeps
soundly, and the neighbors marvel at Gittleman's flawless matching of 30-year old brick. "I don't
know how they did it!" said Lisa.
They may not share their secrets... but they'll shape your dreams.
Just ask the Kaplans.
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