Pete Rose will be released from prison this week, but he may find he won't be eligible to gain admission to the Hall of Fame.

A special committee of the Hall of Fame will meet Thursday to review election rules. The Baseball Writers Association of America believes the panel is trying to keep Rose off the ballot because he was kicked out of baseball for betting.

Rose was placed on the permanently ineligible list by then-commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti on Aug. 23, 1989. Rose is scheduled to be released from prison Monday after serving a five-month sentence for income tax crimes.

Ed Stack, the president of the Hall of Fame, said Thursday's meeting wasn't called because of the Rose situation. Rose would be eligible for the ballot next year under current rules.

"Historically, every five years or so, we in a more formal way have taken a look at our rules of election," Stack said. "This just happened to be a time I thought we needed to do that. I really didn't think of the Rose issue. In retrospect, maybe I should have held off of it for a year." . . .

The Oakland Athletics said the left knee injury suffered by third baseman Carney Lansford in a snowmobile accident is "potentially very serious" and may require surgery.

Lansford, who hurt his knee and right shoulder in a New Year's Eve accident at his ranch near Baker, Ore., will undergo an arthroscopic examination in about 10 days, when severe cuts and scrapes are sufficiently healed, said team spokesman Jay Alves.

"The lacerations are so severe they cannot do {an arthroscopic examination} at this point," Alves said. . . .

Salary arbitration season opens today, with 180 players eligible. They could end up making even more than they would have in previous years because of the collusion settlement.

Three players, however, settled their contracts yesterday and won't have to file. Catcher Bob Melvin and the Baltimore Orioles agreed on $1.55 million for two years, catcher Scott Bradley and the Seattle Mariners agreed on $1.45 million for two years and pitcher Jose Guzman and the Texas Rangers agreed on $365,000 for one year.

For a complete list of the players, see Page D9.