Bud Selig said he is in no hurry to decide whether to reinstate Pete Rose -- not while the baseball commissioner is enjoying his most relaxing spring in years.
"This is not a popularity contest or anything," Selig said. "In the end, I'll have to do what I think is right."
During a stop at the San Francisco Giants' spring training home in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sunday, Selig touched on a number of topics, including the slim possibility that the season-opening games in Japan between Oakland and Seattle -- which he plans to attend -- could be canceled if the United States goes to war.
When asked about the Rose business, the commissioner was characteristically noncommittal. He didn't say whether baseball will meet with the banned career hits leader or his representatives before spring training ends.
"We're very deliberate, very cautious," Selig said. "I know there's strong feelings on both sides. There's nothing new."
Rose agreed to a permanent ban in August 1989 following an investigation of his gambling. Although baseball investigator John Dowd detailed 412 baseball wagers in 1987, Rose has repeatedly denied he bet on baseball.
Baseball officials have said Rose must admit he bet on baseball if he is to gain reinstatement.
As long as he is banned, he is ineligible for the Hall of Fame ballot.
Cincinnati Red outfielder Austin Kearns will undergo surgery today to remove bone chips from his left elbow and is expected to be sidelined for seven to 10 days. An MRI exam found chips in Kearns' non-throwing elbow.
Reliever Mark Wohlers will leave the Cleveland Indians' training camp in Winter Haven, Fla., to have his sore right elbow examined. James Andrews, a sports orthopedic surgeon, will examine the elbow today.
Dick Whitman, a reserve outfielder who played for the Dodgers in 1949 and the Philadelphia Phillies in 1950, died Feb. 12 in Phoenix of a massive heart attack. He was 82.