Former commissioner Fay Vincent wants Pete Rose to admit he bet on baseball and says the sport's rules against gambling will be damaged if the banished career hits leader is reinstated.

"Though he has admitted he had a problem with gambling generally and said that he sought help, he continues to attack me and others who dealt with his case in 1989," Vincent wrote in an article published yesterday on the op-ed page of the New York Times.

"I hope that today's custodians of our national game will continue to see the issue as what is right for baseball and not as further testing of our innate and often laudable sense of mercy," Vincent said.

"I might forgive Pete Rose and I can understand why he so badly wants to be a part of the game again. But for me mercy is summoned forth by contrition and must always be balanced by justice."

T. GOODWIN TO ROCKIES: In another step in their offseason make over, the Rockies agreed to a $10.75 million, three-year contract with OF Tom Goodwin.

Goodwin, 31, hit .259 with 3 homers, 33 RBI and 39 steals for the Rangers last season. He has a .274 career average and has averaged 49 steals the past five seasons.