Rose spills his thoughts in a colorful autobiography, "Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars," released Thursday by Rodale Inc. Rose, who is still banned from the game 14 years later, also concedes for the first time that he bet on Cincinnati Reds (search) games while he was manager.
The highly touted 322-page book, in which Rose admits he gambled on the Reds while managing the team in the late 1980s, contains no bombshells. It alternates between apologies for his wrongs and the aggressiveness Rose showed during a 24-season major league career.
Rose writes he has had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Behavior, which he says he got from his mother, and the book contains several quotes from a doctor about the effects. He repeats that he still loves to gamble legally at racetracks, and describes himself as "grumpy, short-tempered and cold-hearted."
He also talks about the emotional moment when he faced his family before going to prison and "humiliating body searches" in prison. He recounts anecdotes of his career such as taking an umpire to dinner after he was ejected from a game and makes a few puerile jokes.
He also blames former Reds manager Jack McKeon and general manager Jim Bowden for not giving Pete Rose Jr. enough of a chance when he played for Cincinnati in 1997.
Rose repeatedly challenges the report on his gambling by John Dowd and the accusations made by his former associates before he accepted a lifetime ban in August 1989.
Rose said at the time of the investigation, he couldn't believe the way baseball treated him, calling baseball's evidence "flimsy."
"I spent 24 years building a baseball career that other players could only dream of," he wrote.
"And I put it all at risk over the thrill of `risk' itself. ... Nobody worked harder or took the game more seriously than Pete Rose -- nobody. Yet after knowing (Paul) Janszen for only seven months, I trusted him to place bets on the game I loved. How could I be so disciplined in one aspect of my life and so reckless in the other?"
Rose says he hopes commissioner Bud Selig will grant his application for reinstatement.
"My actions, which I thought were benign, call the integrity of the game into question," Rose wrote. "And there's no excuse for that, but there's also no reason to punish me forever."
Rose blames former commissioner Fay Vincent for the 1991 rule that bars him from the Hall ballot and wants "to enjoy my Hall of Fame induction ceremony while I was still alive!"