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Paniagua's first White Sox outing is his last

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox released Jose Paniagua on
Wednesday, a day after he made an obscene gesture at the plate
umpire as he left the field.

"It was a decision we felt we had to make," White Sox general
manager Kenny Williams said before Chicago's game against
Minnesota.

"You have to excuse a certain amount of failures out there when you haven't pitched in a year,'' Williams added. "What's inexcusable are the actions that happened afterward. That's not
what we stand for."

With the White Sox leading the Twins 8-2 on Tuesday night,
Paniagua came in to relieve in the ninth, his first appearance in
the major leagues in a year. He gave up four runs, three hits and a
walk in just one-third of an inning, and was apparently upset with
some of the calls made by plate umpire Mark Carlson.

Paniagua was still arguing as he walked back to the dugout, and
was seen making an obscene gesture in Carlson's direction. The
White Sox went on to win 8-6, extending their lead over Minnesota
in the AL Central.

"We obviously don't need things like that portraying an image
that's really not the Chicago White Sox," manager Jerry Manuel
said. "We're just trying to do the right thing."

Though the White Sox didn't announce Paniagua's release until
Wednesday, his fate was sealed Tuesday night. Shortly after the
game ended, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf removed Paniagua's
picture from the wall of team photos.

"The loss of composure at a crucial time," Williams said. "We
just can't tolerate that."

After making his debut with the Montreal Expos in 1996, Paniagua
spent seven seasons with the Expos, Seattle and Detroit. Before
signing with the White Sox as a free agent Aug. 27, he'd last
pitched in the majors with the Tigers in the 2002 season.

He tried out with the Boston Red Sox this spring, then signed a
minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but didn't make
their organization.