NEW YORK (AP) -- Pete Rose's lawyers finally got a chance to make their pitch to baseball, not that it is likely to change his lifetime ban.
Roger Makley and S. Gary Spicer, met Thursday in Dayton, Ohio, with Bob DuPuy, the top lawyer of commissioner Bud Selig, and attacked the conclusions of the Dowd report, assembled in 1989 by baseball's chief investigator in the Rose case.
''We hope that this meeting will open a dialogue between Pete Rose and commissioner Selig which may ultimately lead to his reinstatement to baseball,'' Spicer said in a statement released by baseball.
Selig, who had let the application for reinstatement languish for nearly 2 1/2 years, was slowly moving toward the conclusion he will have to make a decision on it, two senior baseball officials said Friday on the condition they not be identified.
Selig has said repeatedly he has seen no evidence that would make him alter the lifetime ban, and the officials said Friday there appeared little chance the commissioner's stance would change.
Rose's lawyers have a month to submit additional material.
''This was an information-gathering session,'' said DuPuy, who met with Rose's lawyers for six hours. ''I listened to the presentation, asked questions and will provide the results to the commissioner for his review.''
John Dowd, who spent six months putting together the case against Rose, found experts who concluded Rose's handwriting and fingerprints were on betting slips for games involving the Reds.
Dowd also assembled telephone records showing hundreds of calls to bookmakers from Rose's office in the Reds' clubhouse when he was managing the team.
Rose's lawyers say they have found experts who say the origin of the handwriting can't be determined.
''In my profession,'' Dowd said Friday, ''I would not be able to present to a court evidence or anything purporting to be evidence 11 years after the fact, particularly when I had an opportunity to present it at the time.
''It's silly because in the agreement Pete signed, he agreed he was treated fairly in the investigation. His boy Spicer is out there yakking. He ought to just go talk to his client. That's not what his client said in writing with the advice of three lawyers.''
Makley, who worked for Rose in the original investigation, and Spicer did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
Rose, baseball's career hits leader, agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball on Aug. 23, 1989, a deal announced by commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti the following day. He didn't apply for reinstatement until Sept. 26, 1997.
The only time Rose and Selig have met is a brief exchange before Game 2 of last year's World Series.
Selig allowed Rose to participate in the ceremony honoring the 30 players elected for baseball's All-Century team, a group that included Rose. But Selig said at the time that decision didn't affect the ban.
Thursday's meeting was first reported Friday by The Washington Post.
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