Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 13, 2002
BASEBALL: Zumsteg v. James

I took an open and skeptical mind into Derek Zumsteg's lengthy defense of the Dowd Report against Bill James' critique in the New Historical Abstract (Zumsteg doesn't reference the longer attack in The Baseball Book 1990), and while I still haven't plowed through the evidence myself in any detail, I came away persuaded. While Zumsteg overstates his case on a few points, the overall picture is about as damning as it's likely to get as evidence that Pete Rose not only bet on baseball while managing the Reds, but bet on his own team. Zumsteg's analysis suggests that James' thesis - that Paul Janszen skillfully conned others into taking his baseball bets by using Rose's name, while Rose was betting on other sports - is highly tenuous and would require that three or four people be conspiring in a rather elaborate lie. This isn't impossible, but it's unlikely. Of course, there things about the Dowd Report that are worth questioning: it's not clear that any of the witnesses were subject to cross-examination (if not, their stories deserve a little skepticism), and as I've noted, Dowd has gone rather overboard since then in making a public argument against Rose, apparently against the wishes of his former client.

My general argument for why Rose still belongs in Cooperstown still stands. But to me, at least, Zumsteg has connected the dots.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 06:54 AM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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