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Mondesi's bank accounts, salary frozen during appeal

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Pittsburgh Pirates
outfielder Raul Mondesi will play without pay until a lawsuit
against him is settled.

A Dominican court ruled in February he owed former major leaguer
Mario Guerrero about $640,000 for helping Mondesi improve his
baseball skills.

Mondesi appealed the ruling but said the court ordered his bank
accounts frozen and the Pirates decided to withhold his pay. His
contract this year is for $1.15 million.

"I froze when they called me in the office to tell me that I
won't be paid for these first two weeks, and possibly not for
future weeks until the problem is resolved," Mondesi told The
Associated Press by telephone from New York, where his team is
playing the Mets.

Pirates VP of communications Patty Paytas said the team is
putting Mondesi's wages into an interest-bearing escrow account
until the case is resolved.

"Obviously, we are not trying to make our player unhappy, but
we believe that we have to comply with the court order," she said.

Mondesi's appeal is scheduled for June 19. A separate appeal on
the freezing of his bank accounts is set for Wednesday.

Guerrero sued Mondesi and a handful of other players in 1998,
saying they promised Guerrero 1 percent of future salaries for
teaching them baseball skills that would prepare them for the major
leagues.

Some players settled with Guerrero, while others have cases
pending. Mondesi, 1994 NL Rookie of the Year with Los Angeles,
denied Guerrero's claim.

"I have no agreement with Guerrero, and he never taught me
anything," Mondesi said. "I'm not going to give him a cent of my
money."

This season, Mondesi is hitting .278 with two homers and nine
RBIs. In his 11-year major league career, he has batted .276 with
264 homers.