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Rose confessed in '02 interview

He gave betting lowdown to teens

Turns out Pete Rose publicly admitted betting on baseball well before his book was published.

It happened Dec. 9, 2002, when Rose told a high school newspaper class in California that he'd gambled on games.

During an hourlong interview with student journalists at Calabasas High, Rose was asked why he gave up a spot in baseball's Hall of Fame to "do what you did," school journalism adviser Ian Godburn said yesterday.

"You mean, why did I bet on baseball?" Rose replied, according to a videotape of the interview.

"Well, it was because I made mistakes. I made mistakes. You know, when you do something, you think you're not going to get caught. It's not like I'm the only guy in the world to gamble."

He then asked the student a question in turn.

"If you're going to become an alcoholic or drug addict or spousal beater or a gambler, which do you hope to do?"

"Probably gambler," she replied.

"Probably?" Rose said. "Who are you going to hurt by gambling? You don't want to do any of the four. I chose the wrong one in the eyes of baseball. I admitted I bet on football."

The students did not ask Rose to clarify his comments. The editorial board of the Calabasas Courier later decided against using the quote because it couldn't be sure it wasn't a slip of the tongue.

The book, "Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars," is heading toward the top of The New York Times' best-seller list.

Also yesterday, Hank Aaron, the all-time home run leader, harshly criticized Rose for an insincere confession, saying Rose should not be reinstated after admitting he bet on the game.

"During these past few days, I've looked at Pete on television, and he hasn't given any signs of an honest confession," Aaron told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Duquette surfaces

Former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette is back in the game -- as president of a collegiate league team. Duquette purchased the operating rights to the Thread City Tides, formerly of Willimantic, Conn., who play in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The team will be renamed the Berkshire Dukes and will debut this summer at Duquette's sports camp in Hinsdale. Duquette, who was fired by the Red Sox in March 2002, said he'll need to install lights and a scoreboard at the Dan Duquette Sports Academy before the season begins . . . Major league baseball hopes to pick the future home of the Montreal Expos by the All-Star break, vowing to make a decision this season following two years of missed deadlines. Baseball officials have spoken about the Expos with groups from Las Vegas, Monterrey, Mexico, Norfolk, Va., Northern Virginia, Portland, Ore., San Juan, and Washington.

Arbitration time

As expected, four Red Sox players -- outfielder Trot Nixon, designated hitter/first baseman David Ortiz, and pitchers Byung Hyun Kim and Scott Williamson -- were among 65 players who filed for salary arbitration, the baseball players union said. Many of those who filed are expected to settle by Tuesday when players and teams exchange proposed salaries -- just 34 players swapped figures with their teams last year. For those who don't settle, hearings before three-arbitrator panels will be scheduled during the first three weeks of February . . . Closer Joe Borowski agreed to a $4.3 million, two-year contract with the Cubs, avoiding arbitration . . . Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins also avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2.4 million, one-year contract . . . Mariners catcher Ben Davis agreed to a $1.4 million, one-year contract . . . The Mets and free agent Karim Garcia reached a preliminary agreement on a contract, contingent on the outfielder passing a physical. Garcia, former Yankees pitcher Jeff Nelson, and a Fenway Park groundskeeper pleaded innocent to charges they brawled in New York's bullpen during the AL Championship Series. All three have been charged with assault and battery. A Feb. 5 pretrial hearing was set for the players . . . Free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez and his agent, Scott Boras, were in Detroit trying to hammer out a deal with the Tigers.

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