Former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent is taking every opportunity to weigh in on the recent New York Daily News story that said current commissioner Bud Selig was "seriously considering" reinstating Pete Rose to the game.

Vincent, a strong critic of any potential reinstatement of Major League Baseball's all-time hit king, had this to say yesterday on ESPN's Jim Rome Is Burning:

"Selig's not going to be wobbly on gambling at this stage, especially with what happened in the NBA. This issue is not about Pete Rose. It's about the effectiveness of the deterrent."

High & Inside would like to see a panel discussion pitting Vincent and Selig against Rose backers such as Hank Aaron, Mike Schmidt, and Joe Morgan. Also, to add spice, throw in a few Hall of Famers who think Rose greatly tarnished the game with his admitted gambling.

Rough night

The Astros posted an 11-6 win over the Cubs on Tuesday, but two of Houston's hurlers were sidelined, one possibly for a lengthy period, in the process.

First, starter and ace Roy Oswalt suffered a left lower-back strain in the second inning and had to leave the game. His replacement, Wesley Wright, allowed three runs in 21/3 innings before he had to be rushed to Northwestern Hospital because of dehydration.

An Associated Press report said Wright was released from the hospital yesterday.

Dodgers do-gooder

With the Dodgers trailing the host Cardinals by 10-0 on Tuesday, utility infielder Mark Loretta told coach Larry Bowa that he would volunteer to pitch with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Bowa relayed the offer to manager Joe Torre, and Torre took Loretta up on his offer.

Loretta, clocked at 78 m.p.h., threw only three pitches. His first toss hit Matt Holliday on the foot. Two pitches later, he retired Ryan Ludwick on a high fly to leftfielder Manny Ramirez.

It was Loretta's second major-league pitching appearance. In 2001, with the Brewers, he pitched a scoreless inning against the Reds.

Bucs send Sanchez to Giants

The San Francisco Giants acquired three-time all-star infielder Freddy Sanchez from the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor-league pitcher Tim Alderson.

It was the second trade of the day for the last-place Pirates, who also sent shortstop Jack Wilson and pitcher Ian Snell to Seattle for shortstop Ronny Cedeno, triple-A catcher-first baseman Jeff Clement, and three minor-league pitchers.

Noteworthy

The Mets' game last night against Colorado was postponed because of rain and will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader today. The regularly scheduled game will begin as planned at 12:10 p.m., with the makeup at 7:10 p.m. . . . Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson suffered a broken left foot after fouling a ball off himself in the first inning against the Astros and could miss a month or more. . . . Righthander Randy Wells improved to 7-4 yesterday, becoming the first Cubs rookie with seven victories since Kerry Wood won 13 games in 1998. . . . Brewers righthander Jeff Suppan suffered a strained side muscle swinging the bat Monday.