ROSE TO BUD: Pete Rose has heard several times through the media that Commissioner Bud Selig doesn't plan to review his lifetime ban from the game. He still wants to hear those words from Selig in person.

Rose, banned in 1989 for misconduct related to gambling, applied for reinstatement more than a year ago. He said he is upset Selig never responded to his letter requesting a meeting to state his case.

"Here's a guy who has my future and the future of my family in his hands," Rose said. "Even if it's bad news, wouldn't you think he'd answer me except through the media? I can honestly tell you I've never met the man."

Selig said at the All-Star Game in Boston two weeks ago that nothing has changed to affect Rose's ban from baseball.

THE BIRTH OF A PROMOTION: The Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox' Class A affiliate, are inviting 20 expectant mothers -- dozens of others had to be turned away -- to attend "Birth Night" on Thursday against the Vermont Expos. The first one to give birth after the first pitch wins a year's supply of diapers. Ambulances and a local obstetrician will be on call.

If no one goes into labor, the contest continues until one of the registered women has her baby.

ABBOTT AT PEACE: Jim Abbott, released by the Brewers on Friday, said his baseball career is over, barring a miracle. "I think I've come to the end, baseball-wise," Abbott, 31, told the Detroit Free Press from his home in California on Monday.

The left-hander said it's time for him to move on "and look in other areas and aspects of life. It's time to admit reality."

Abbott had a 2-8 record and a 6.91 earned run average when he was released by the Brewers. He said he has concluded he can no longer pitch effectively.

"I feel fulfilled. I feel satisfied," he said. "My career wasn't always great, but it was wonderful. . . . I don't feel the emptiness that I felt after I was released by the Angels a few years ago.

"I'll always be looked at as having played with one hand," said Abbott, born without a right hand. "There's an accomplishment to that that I can be proud of."

NEWS & NOTES: OF Shane Spencer, sidelined because of an irregular heartbeat, rejoined the Yankees yesterday. "I've been taking it easy for three weeks. I'm bored," said Spencer, who was placed on the disabled list July 3 and treated for atrial fibrillation.

Spencer, 27, was reevaluated July 12 and declared in stable condition with a normal heart rate. He went 7 for 16 in five games with Class AAA Columbus during a rehab assignment before being activated. . . .

Phillies RHP Curt Schilling will miss his scheduled start today with mild biceps tendinitis. The Phillies ace has felt stiffness in his right biceps while warming up before his last two starts. He is scheduled to skip just one start and pitch Tuesday against the Marlins.