Baltimore files motion in suit vs. cable company

Baltimore Orioles: The team is firing back in its legal dispute with Comcast Corporation.

In a court filing yesterday in Rockville, the Orioles accused Philadelphia-based Comcast of using language in recent letters to try to intimidate cable and satellite companies into not televising programs produced by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network -- including Nationals baseball games.

The network is co-owned by the Orioles and Major League Baseball.

A plan to air Orioles games on Mid-Atlantic in 2007 resulted in the lawsuit last month by Comcast, which says the plan would violate its contract with the team. Yesterday's filing was included in a motion by the Orioles seeking to prevent Comcast from getting
confidential financial information about the new network.

Atlanta Braves: Third baseman Chipper Jones, recovering from a strained left oblique muscle, was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game against the Mets.

He participated in batting practice Tuesday, but only as a left-handed hitter. Wilson Betemit again filled in for Jones at third base.

Jones aggravated the injury on a swing Saturday night at Boston. He missed two games last week in San Diego when he first sustained the strain.

He was held out Monday and Tuesday against left-handed pitchers. Jones, a switch-hitter, is not yet comfortable swinging from the right side of the plate but might return Wednesday against right-hander Victor Zambrano.

St. Louis Cardinals: First baseman Albert Pujols was ejected for arguing a called third strike from the Pirates' Kip Wells in the sixth inning.

Pujols, who entered batting .328 and tied for the NL lead with 39 RBI, was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He immediately questioned home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor's call on a full-count breaking ball, drawing the ejection.

Mark Grudzielanek replaced Pujols in the No. 3 spot in the batting order and John Mabry moved from third base to first base to replace Pujols in the field.

Chicago White Sox- Cleveland Indians: Cleveland's Juan Gonzalez and Chicago's Frank Thomas were both hitless in the first minor-league game featuring two major-league MVPs in nine seasons.

Gonzalez went 0-for-4 for Buffalo in his first Triple-A game in 15 years, and Thomas went 0-for-2 in the Charlotte Knights' 5-4 victory.

The Indians' outfielder, recovering from an injured right hamstring, batted third and played right field. In the first inning, he caught a flyball from Thomas, who played his seventh game for Charlotte while rehabbing his left ankle. Gonzalez reached on an error in the eighth and got as far as second base.

Gonzalez was the American League MVP in 1996 and 1998, while Thomas took the honor in 1993 and 1994. The last time a minor-league game featured two major-league MVPs was 1996, when Kevin Mitchell and Jose Canseco were teammates on the Pawtucket Red Sox for two games.

"You have to start somewhere," Thomas said. "You can't just go back to the show without honing your skills. Once you get up there, people expect a lot. It's about getting our skills together, and if it takes time, it takes time."

The 35-year-old Gonzalez hurt his hamstring during the final week of the spring. After a stay in extended spring training, he doesn't expect to be with the Bisons for long.

"It's different than playing extended spring training with the rookies," he said. "A couple more games and I'll swing the bat very well."

Toronto Blue Jays: The team placed outfielder Frank Catalanotto on the bereavement list and recalled outfielder Gabe Gross from Triple-A Syracuse.

The Blue Jays also activated catcher Gregg Zaun from the 15-day disabled list and sent catcher Andy Dominique outright to Syracuse.

The Blue Jays didn't immediately provide details on Catalanotto, but the bereavement list requires him to remain inactive for a minimum of three games and a maximum of seven.

Catalanotto is hitting .281 with one home run and 12 RBI.

Gross hit .236 with one home run and 12 RBI at Syracuse. He began the season on Toronto's roster but went hitless in six at-bats after a strong spring.

Zaun was hospitalized with a concussion after breaking up a double play on May 8. He started Tuesday night's game against Boston after making two rehab starts in Double-A New Hampshire this past weekend.

"I'm ready to go," Zaun said before Tuesday's game.

Dominique went hitless in two at-bats with Toronto.

Chicago Cubs: The team recalled right-hander Sergio Mitre from Triple-A Iowa and made him the starter Tuesday night against Roger Clemens and the Astros.

To make room for Mitre, the Cubs sent outfielder Ben Grieve to Iowa.

Mitre is in his second stint with the Cubs this season but did not make an appearance the first time. He has seen action with the Cubs in each of the past two seasons and has a 2-5 career record in 15 games, including 11 starts.

He was 3-4 with a 4.60 ERA in eight starts at Iowa. In 93 minor-league games since being drafted by the Cubs in 2001, he is 32-30 with a 3.87 ERA.

Grieve, 28, has been in 15 games with the Cubs since his contract was purchased from Iowa on April 23. The 1998 AL rookie of the Yyear with Oakland, Grieve batted .250 with one RBI and was 3-for-10 as pinch-hitter. He also played with the Cubs last season.

Philadelphia Phillies: The team designated reliever Terry Adams for assignment and purchased the contract of right-hander Amaury Telemaco from Triple-A Scranton.

The Phillies, who were in Florida to play the Marlins, asked Adams to accept an optional assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Adams has until Friday to notify the Phillies of his decision.

"We still think Terry can help us, but he needs to go out and pitch," general manager Ed Wade said.

Adams was 0-2 with a 12.83 ERA in 16 relief appearances for the Phillies this season. The right-hander also spent 2002 and '03 with the Phillies and compiled a career-best 2.65 ERA in 66 games in 2003.

Telemaco has been with the Phillies organization since 1999 and was 0-1 at Scranton with a 4.09 ERA in nine games (three starts).

Pittsburgh Pirates: Left-hander Sean Burnett underwent arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder that will sideline him until spring training.

Burnett was already on the 60-day disabled list following reconstructive elbow surgery last September.

The operation performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., repaired an early-stage labrum tear. Andrews said Burnett will need three to four months of rehab before he can resume throwing.

Burnett, 22, was the Pirates' first-round pick in the 2000 draft and was 5-5 with a 5.02 ERA last year. He injured the elbow Aug. 21 in St. Louis, when he gave up a season-high eight runs on nine hits in four-plus innings.

Cleveland Indians: Coco Crisp grabbed his right thumb, twisted it slightly and smiled like a man who had just avoided surgery. Luckily, he had.

"I went from one extreme to the next, and the next was a good one," the Indians outfielder said. "I went from being out from three months to a few weeks."

Crisp, who severely sprained his thumb while sliding into third base last week, does not need an operation. Instead, could return to Cleveland's lineup in two weeks.

While sliding into third base in a May 17 game against the Angels, Crisp jammed his thumb into the infield dirt as he overslid the bag while trying to stretch a double. He played for six innings after getting hurt despite being in extreme pain. An MRI exam the next day revealed that Crisp had a high-grade sprain and was expected to be out for at least three months.

However, on Monday, Crisp visited Dr. Thomas Graham, a Baltimore hand specialist, who determined Crisp does not need surgery. Crisp will wear a splint on his thumb for the next three to five days and will begin a light program of baseball activities on Friday.

Crisp is batting .283 with three homers and 11 RBI and has scored a team-high 24 runs.

Indians manager Eric Wedge said Crisp could start an injury rehabilitation assignment in the minor leagues in a couple weeks.

"We'll know more in a couple of days, but by the middle of June he could possibly be sent out and start playing," the manager said. "He's been a very solid player for us and hopefully he'll get back and pick up where he left off."