Pete Rose Jr. says his father has more than earned a place in baseball's Hall of Fame.

"If they don't let him in the Hall of Fame, then there shouldn't be a Hall of Fame," the younger Rose said after an eligibility committee recommended a restriction that could keep his father off the ballot.

The elder Rose, baseball's all-time hit leader and former manager of the Cincinnati Reds, was banned from baseball in August 1989 after an investigation into gambling allegations. He was released from prison Monday after completing a five-month sentence on charges of failure to report income.

A committee recommended Thursday that anyone on baseball's permanently ineligible list be barred from the Hall of Fame ballot. Action on the recommendation will be taken Feb. 4 at a board of directors meeting.

Rose Jr. was in Springfield, Ohio, playing with the Reds' offseason basketball team.

"I mean, he has the most hits of anyone in the history of the game and God knows how many other records," he said of his father. "They're not putting him in there for being a good citizen. They're putting him in there for being a good baseball player.

"He's paid his debt to society, and that's all he can do." . . .

Dave Magadan agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Mets, tripling his salary to $1.25 million.

The first baseman was third in the National League in batting last season with a .328 average, second highest in Mets history. He had 28 doubles, six triples and 72 RBI. . . .

Shortstop Shawon Dunston agreed to a $2.1 million, one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, thus avoiding arbitration. Dunston, 27, batted .262 in 1990, with 17 home runs and 66 RBI. . . .

The leaders of Buffalo's bid for an NL expansion team have asked the city council not to act on funds for stadium improvements until they have had a chance to talk with league officials next month.

Robert E. Rich Jr. and his wife, Mindy, said they plan to question members of the league's expansion committee about the economic effect of recent sharp increases in player salaries.