After saying last week that Pete Rose broke the rules of baseball by participating in a ceremony before a minor-league game in Reading, Pa., commissioner Fay Vincent apparently now wants to downplay the seriousness of the violation.
"The commissioner views it as a minor transgression," Richard Levin, a spokesman for Vincent, said yesterday. "It's not a serious event."
Public sentiment appeared to support Rose's appearance last week at Reading Municipal Memorial Stadium. Baseball's all-time leader in hits was part of the pre-game festivities honoring retired Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt.
Rose was banned from baseball for life in 1989 for illegal gambling and is on baseball's ineligible list; he is prohibited from associating with major-league or minor-league teams.
Levin would not say whether Vincent planned to tell Rose not to appear at any more ballparks.
* OBITUARY: Marvin "Freck" Owen, the third baseman on the 1935 World Series champion Detroit Tigers, has died at 85 in Mountain View, Calif. Owen was part in one of the best-hitting infields ever assembled, with Hank Greenberg at first, Charlie Gehringer at second and Billy Rogell at shortstop.
* ANGELS: Pitcher Fernando Valenzuela's most recent treadmill test was yesterday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange, Calif., under the observation of Dr. Larry Santora, the club announced. However, the Angels would say nothing of the results, only that they would be released next week, along with news regarding "his future status in regard to baseball."
Physicians apparently will need at least several days to evaluate the results. Valenzuela, 30, was placed on the disabled list June 13. An abnormal cardiogram indicated a need for an angiogram, which was performed June 18.