LAS VEGAS -- If there is one undeniable thing about Peter Edward Rose, it is this: The man cannot tolerate silence. It is a defining trait. He simply cannot endure quiet. He has to fill it. He leans toward noise and cheers and buzz the way a plant leans to the sun. This, in many ways, is what spurred him to his greatest heights, to the All-Star Games, to the million-dollar contract, to the hit record. This, in many ways, is the root of his downfall, too. The tough kid from the West Side of Cincinnati could not bear the thought of a muted life, so he became a baseball superstar. The baseball superstar could not bear a retired life without enough action, so he gambled on the game. Yes, of course, this is all too simple.
But this is Pete Rose.