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Tuesday, January 6, 2004
Updated: January 7, 5:44 PM ET
Rose book another gamble

By Scott Ridge
ESPN.com

The epilogue of "Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars" contains the following admission from baseball's Hit King:

Rose book

For a man who's looking to return from a lifetime ban that's approaching 15 years, Rose is not making commissioner Bud Selig's decision on reinstatement any easier.

It's a little like an alcoholic saying light beer is OK.

But reinstatement is not Charlie Hustle's ultimate goal.

ESPN The Magazine's Tim Kurkjian wrote last November that reinstatement for Rose "would be the equivalent of hitting a single."

Rose, who's fifth on the Reds' all-time list for wins as a manager, wants to resume filling out lineup cards, flashing signals and striding to the mound to lift another pitcher.

The question looms: Is Rose's continued gambling a deal-breaker for his return to baseball in any capacity.

A source told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that Rose's wagering is a significant concern to Major League Baseball.

One thing is clear in Rose's "prison." He is a man still conflicted by what he calls his "risk-craving behavior."

Rose reveals he's a lifetime sufferer of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is thought to be caused in part by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Chapter 15 opens with Rose recounting the inspirational struggle of Jim Eisenreich, a 15-year major-league veteran who battled Tourette's syndrome, another neurological disorder caused by a chemical imbalance.

Rose also recalls watching a TV program about celebrities and addictions. He writes about seeing similarities in his own life with other athletes, politicians and entertainers who have suffered from forms of addiction and obsessive-compulsive behavior.

No hope and apparently no real motivation to get help.

"I should have had the opportunity to get help," he writes, "but baseball had no fancy rehab for gamblers like they do for drug addicts."

Which bring us back to whether he should be allowed back in the game.

Before this week, all signs pointed to the Hit King becoming eligible for the Hall of Fame in the next two years.

That may still be the case. As for trying to stretch his reinstatement all the way back to a major-league dugout, Charlie Hustle appears to have stumbled badly rounding first.

Scott Ridge is the baseball editor at ESPN.com.