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Union wants to 'discuss' Rockies' decision

DENVER -- Denny Neagle's second run-in with the law in a
little more than a year cost him his job with the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies terminated the oft-injured pitcher's contract
Monday, three days after he was cited for solicitation.

"This decision is about an organization and the fans that
support it," Rockies chairman Charles Monfort said. "Denny's
pattern of behavior has not been consistent with what our
organization represents."

Neagle, who has not pitched in more than a year because of
injuries, was pulled over Friday in suburban Lakewood for allegedly
speeding. Police said a woman in his car told them he had paid her
$40 for oral sex.

Neagle's agent, Barry Meister, declined comment. The players'
association could file a grievance to overturn the team's decision
and get Neagle the remaining money owed under the contract.

"We're going to have some discussions with central baseball,"
said Gene Orza, the union's chief operating officer.

Colorado cited section 7 (b) (1) of the Uniform Player Contract,
which states the team can terminate the contract if a player shall
"fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the
standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep
himself in first-class physical condition."

Neagle was issued a court for summons for Jan. 27. The woman,
Jill Russell of Denver, was issued a citation on a charge of
prostitution and a court summons for Jan. 13.

Last October, Neagle was charged with drunken driving after he
drove his sport utility vehicle into the back of another vehicle.
Later in 2003, he pleaded guilty.

The 36-year-old left-hander, who agreed to a $51 million,
five-year contract in December 2000, is owed $19 million by the
Rockies: $10 million in 2005 and a $9 million buyout of a $12.5
million team option for 2006.

He last pitched on July 20, 2003, and in the past 14 months has
had elbow ligament and shoulder surgery. Neagle has a 124-92 career
record with a 4.24 ERA over 11 seasons. As many pitchers do, Neagle
struggled with the Rockies, going 19-23 with a 5.57 over the
two-plus seasons he was healthy.