A new autobiography of Pete Rose is scheduled to hit bookstores next week amid widespread expectations that Rose will use the book to admit publicly for the first time that he bet on baseball while managing the Cincinnati Reds.
The book, My Prison Without Bars, has a huge first printing, 500,000 copies, and is being handled in top-secret fashion by Rodale Press, which has embargoed it until Jan. 8, when Rose will conduct a series of interviews about its contents.
Rose was barred from baseball in August 1989 for illegally betting on sports events, although not specifically on baseball. Since then, he has denied that he bet on baseball, despite significant evidence to the contrary.
But there have been increasing hints over the past year that Rose, who has the most hits in major league history, understands he will have to make such an admission to win reinstatement to baseball and entry to the Hall of Fame.
In fact, a major league official said yesterday, Rose made such an admission when he meet with commissioner Bud Selig in Milwaukee on Nov. 25, 2002. The official, who said he was aware of what was discussed at the meeting, said Rose was asked by Selig if he had bet on baseball and that he replied that he did.