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ANGEL REPORT

Selig to Investigate Mondesi Deal

June 03, 2004|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday he had ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding outfielder Raul Mondesi's departure from the Pittsburgh Pirates and subsequent acquisition by the Angels.

"Our people are taking a look at the whole situation and how it unfolded," Selig said. "It needs to be looked at, and it is."

Mondesi, embroiled in a legal dispute in the Dominican Republic and expressing concern for the safety of his family there, left the Pittsburgh Pirates May 7 and returned to his homeland. The Pirates put him on the restricted list May 11 and, when he did not rejoin the team one week later, terminated his contract and subsequently released him. The Angels signed him May 29, eight days after his release.

Selig said he initiated the investigation and said neither the Pirates nor Angels had asked for one. Mondesi has denied the suggestion that he skirted baseball rules to flee a last-place team and sign with one in first place.

Pittsburgh General Manager Dave Littlefield, who opted to release Mondesi rather than keep him on indefinite unpaid leave on the restricted list, told the New York Times on Tuesday: "The idea that he manipulated anything, I just don't buy it. As intriguing as it sounds, it didn't happen."

Angel General Manager Bill Stoneman would not discuss whether he had been contacted by Selig's office but said the team had done nothing wrong and was not concerned about losing Mondesi or providing possible compensation to the Pirates. Stoneman said the Angels acted only after receiving official notification from Selig's office that Mondesi had been released and thus was a free agent.

"I don't know the scope of the investigation, but there's nothing we did that there would be a problem with," Stoneman said.

Selig said he has asked executive vice president Sandy Alderson to lead the investigation and said there was no timetable for its conclusion. "He needs to talk to a lot of people and do a lot of work," Selig said.

Jeff Moorad and Greg Genske, the agents for Mondesi, did not return a call for comment Wednesday.

*

ON DECK

Opponent -- Cleveland Indians, four games.

Site -- Angel Stadium.

TV -- Fox Sports Net, all four games.

Radio -- KSPN (710), KTNQ (1020).

Records -- Angels 32-20, Indians 22-28.

Record vs. Indians (2003) -- 6-3.

Tonight, 7 -- Kelvim Escobar (3-2, 4.21) vs. Cliff Lee (5-0, 2.87).

Friday, 7 p.m. -- Aaron Sele (4-0, 2.82) vs. Jason Davis (1-3, 5.20).

Saturday, 7 p.m. -- John Lackey (3-6, 5.95) vs. Joe Dawley (0-0, 6.75).

Sunday, 1 p.m. -- Bartolo Colon (4-3, 5.43) vs. C.C. Sabathia (2-3, 3.29).

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