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Mondesi takes leave from Pirates

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Mondesi takes leave from Pirates

Postby WebHamster » Sat May 08, 2004 10:00 pm

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Pittsburgh Pirates rightfielder Raul Mondesi left the team to return to the Dominican Republic for personal reasons.

Mondesi, who was a late scratch from Friday's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be away from the Pirates for an indefinite period of time.

Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield met with Mondesi prior to Friday's 4-0 loss and talked to the media about the situation after the game.

"Raul had some personal problems," said Littlefield. "He's heading back to the Dominican Republic to be with his family. We support that decision."

Mondesi's paychecks had been withheld from him and placed in an interest- bearing account because of a civil suit ruling in the Dominican Republic. Former major leaguer Mario Guerrero brought on the suit, claiming Mondesi was supposed to pay him for baseball training. Mondesi rejects the claim.

However, Littlefield declined to say if the latest situation is related to that legal situation.

There is no timetable for Mondesi's return. "We don't know at this time," said Littlefield on when Mondesi could come back. "We've talked to him and he's going to assess the situation when he gets to the Dominican Republic. We'll talk to him on a daily basis, but we don't have any specific day."

The 33-year-old Mondesi, who signed a one-year contract with Pittsburgh as a free agent in the offseason, is batting .280 with two homers and 14 RBI in 26 games for the Pirates. The former NL Rookie of the Year, All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner is playing with his fifth team since making his major league debut with the Dodgers in 1993.
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