If Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose is worried about his future in baseball, he's not showing it.
Rose cracked jokes, talked baseball and sidestepped questions about gambling allegations during a 45-minute session with reporters Wednesday before an exhibition game."All I worry about is my team," Rose said. "All I worry about is the Cincinnati Reds. You find that hard to believe?"
Rose still refuses to discuss allegations that have linked him with gambling and could jeopardize his future in baseball.
One of the allegations under investigation is that Rose may have bet on baseball, possibly his own team, a baseball source told The Associated Press.
"That's what they're looking into. Nothing has been proven yet," said the source, who asked not to be identified.
If proven true, Rose would be suspended or even banned for life.
Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and Commissioner-elect A. Bartlett Giamatti announced in a statement Monday that Major League Baseball was looking into "serious allegations" about Rose. The statement didn't mention the nature of the allegations, and gave no indication when the commissioner might act.
In a copyright story Thursday, the Dayton Daily News reported that Ueberroth probably would announce his decision Thursday. The newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying, "Pete will get a minimum suspension of a year, if he's lucky."
However, a source with major league baseball told the AP it was "unlikely" any action would be taken Thursday.
Rose has been left to issue "no comment" when asked about the allegations, and to wait for a ruling by the commissioner. Rose said Wednesday he had no information about when it might come.
"No idea. No more idea than you do," Rose said.
His dugout meeting with about 75 reporters before an exhibition game against St. Louis was the first time he'd made any comment about his situation.
To hear Rose, the storm of allegations hasn't affected him much.
"I don't have any problems sleeping," he said. "Not the way my team played yesterday (in beating St. Louis). The only thing that creates problems for me sleeping is the way my team plays."
Rose even had a hand in a little skit by his players making light of the media mob. Pitcher Danny Jackson put on a Rose jersey and strutted around the field during batting practice while about a dozen players with "PRESS" taped on their caps followed him around.
Rose also said he's getting support from his players - even those he cut from the squad Wednesday.
"My players pat me on the back," he said. "I had three pat me on the back today - they got optioned out (to the minors). That's not funny, being optioned back to the minor leagues. I said, `I wish you luck.' They said, `Hey, I wish you luck.' "
Federal officials as well as baseball authorities are investigating allegations about Rose's gambling, according to published reports.
The Dayton newspaper said federal investigators in Cincinnati were scheduled to meet Thursday with investigators from the commissioner's office about the widening probe into Rose's alleged gambling activities.
John M. Dowd, the special counsel hired by Ueberroth, and Kevin Hallinan, baseball's security chief, also are scheduled to meet with the attorney for Ronald Peters, a Franklin, Ohio, bar owner who has emerged as a central figure in the investigation into Rose's alleged betting activities, the newspaper said.
The Dayton Daily News said the investigation had nothing to do with gambling initially, but grew out of drug probe that focused on Peters and a major cocaine dealer in Cincinnati. Rose wasn't a target in the drug investigation, but authorities found betting slips in Peters' bar that led them to Rose, the newspaper said.
The federal investigation of Rose involves tax and gambling issues, including income Rose may have derived from the sale of personal memorabilia, the newspaper said.