ENQUIRING MINDS:

Prison officials deny anyone interviewed inmate Pete Rose; the National Enquirer says Doug and Sammie Mays did.

The Mayses, of Moss Point, Miss., say they talked their way into the minimum security institution at Marion, Ill., for the photos and story that will appear in the tabloid's Sept. 11 issue.

The musician-photographer, 39, and his wife, 32, a reporter in Pascagoula, Miss., said they caught up with Rose as he watched a ballgame on TV with fellow inmates. The Mayses claim they convinced prison officials they came to do a free concert, and paid an inmate $50 to take them to Rose. They say they got 15 minutes with Rose, then played rock music 90 minutes for inmates.

TAXI:

Jose Canseco didn't have an easy time getting around to his 36th homer. His cab from the A's New York hotel headed for Shea instead of Yankee Stadium. Then traffic turned it into a "two-hour trip," $60 on the meter. The driver asked for only $30; Canseco tipped him, then had to tip the club a fine for missing most of batting practice.

FOND MEMORIES:

"Tony C. Memorial Night" at Fenway Park honored the late Tony Conigliaro, who homered on his first at-bat for the Red Sox in 1964. Commissioner Fay Vincent and Mrs. Jean Yawkey were among spectators.

CAUGHT STEALING:

Chicago police tagged two men trying, at 1 a.m., to steal home plate from Comiskey Park. Game-day fans have been even bolder trying to pilfer "anything that's not nailed down," said Dominic Rizzi, chief of security at the doomed ballpark.

RYAN REDUX:

Nolan Ryan says he'll pitch in 1991, and the Rangers will pick up his option at $3.3 million salary. He'll be 44 and in his 25th big league season, but in his last four starts he has a 1.36 ERA, 39 strikeouts, 13 hits, 4 walks in 33 innings.

PICKUPS:

Reds claimed C Alex Trevino (waived by Mets Aug. 31); sent C Terry McGriff (AAA), RHP Keith Kaiser (AA), LHP Butch Henry (AA) to Astros to complete deal for 2B Bill Doran. . . . Pirates acquired UT Lloyd McClendon (AAA) from Cubs for a player to be named. . . . Mets sent Brewers LHP Kevin Brown, RHP Julio Machado, part of trade (Aug. 31) for C Charlie O'Brien.