Former Expos Clubhouse Manager Bryan Greenberg Says He Corked Pete Rose's Bats

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 6, 2020

CHICAGO - UNDATED 1984: Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds bats during an MLB game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Rose played for the Cincinnati Reds from 1963-1978 and from 1984-1986.  (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images

MLB all-time hits leader Pete Rose allegedly used corked bats while with the Montreal Expos in 1984, per Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.

More specifically, former Expos clubhouse manager Bryan Greenberg, then working as a private carpenter, said he did the work on Rose's bats after clubhouse manager John Silverman asked him to do so:

"According to Greenberg, Rose shipped two cases of his Mizuno bats — 12 per case — to Greenberg's house in the Dorval suburb next to the Montreal airport, a 15-minute drive to Olympic Stadium.

"Working in his basement, which he said didn't look much different than his tool-cluttered garage in Jupiter, he used a vice to fasten the bat to a work table. Then he pressed the trigger on that Black & Decker power drill and forced the tip of a 16-inch auger into the end of the bat's barrel.

"'Pete's bats were exceptionally hard. It was a green wood that was as hard as steel,' he said. 'I'd be cutting it and the drill bit would be smoking.'"

Greenberg also said he corked bats for other Expos players but would not name names.

As Capozzi noted, corked-bat allegations have appeared on more than one occasion against Rose.

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An Olympic Stadium groundskeeper, Joe Jammer, also told Danny Gallagher of the Montreal Gazette that Rose corked bats in 1984. He mentioned Greenberg, who confirmed the findings in the story.

The allegations run further than Rose's Expos tenure, however.

Tommy Gioiosa, a friend of Rose's, said in a 2001 interview with Vanity Fair that Rose corked his bats in 1985, when he played for the Cincinnati Reds and broke Ty Cobb's all-time hit mark.

Rose did not provide comment, but spokesman Ryan Fiterman told the Montreal Gazette that, "We are not doing any interviews at this time."

Rose is No. 1 on the hits list with 4,256. He has been banned from baseball since 1989 for betting on MLB games (including his own) while playing for and managing the Reds in the 1980s.

"I bet on my own team to win," Rose told Randy Miller of NJ.com.

"That's what I did in a nutshell. I was wrong, but I didn't taint the game. I didn't try to steal any games. I never voted against my team. I bet on my team every night because that's the confidence that I had in my players. And I was wrong."

Rose, who had denied the allegations for years, has been banned from the Hall of Fame. Attempts for reinstatement have been met with resistance by MLB.

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