Baseball Notebook

Astros Waive Chacon

Astros General Manager Ed Wade, shown here with outfielder Hunter Pence, says pitcher Shawn Chacon "responded with profane and threatening remarks."
Astros General Manager Ed Wade, shown here with outfielder Hunter Pence, says pitcher Shawn Chacon "responded with profane and threatening remarks." (By Pat Sullivan -- Associated Press)
Friday, June 27, 2008

Shawn Chacon was put on waivers yesterday by Astros, a day after he got into a physical altercation with GM Ed Wade.

If another team doesn't claim Chacon by Monday, the Astros say they will release the pitcher and terminate his contract for cause, which would set off a confrontation with the players' association over the nearly $1 million that would remain on Chacon's deal.

"Based on the information we have to date, we believe the Astros' response violates the basic agreement," union general counsel Michael Weiner said.

If Chacon is released Monday, $983,607 of his $2 million salary would be in dispute. The union also could claim lost bonus opportunities for the pitcher, who has $1 million in available performance bonuses in his agreement, starting with 130 innings and ending with 210 innings.

Wade said the problems began when he asked Manager Cecil Cooper to call Chacon into a meeting to discuss media reports that he was asking for a trade because he was unhappy with being bumped from the rotation.

After Chacon refused Cooper's repeated requests to come to his office for the meeting, Wade went into the team dining room to try to get him to meet.

After he said he wanted to speak in the dining room, things became heated.

"I did not raise my voice to the player, curse the player," Wade said. "I did not make any defamatory remarks toward the player. Chacon responded with profane and threatening remarks and got up from his seat. He moved in front of me until we were chest to chest and then he shoved me to the ground. When I attempted to get to my feet, he shoved me a second time. At this point players and coaches intervened."

· AIMING FOR HOME: Carlos Zambrano wants to pitch in the All-Star Game on July 15 -- to help the Cubs gain home-field advantage in the World Series.

Zambrano, 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA, went on the 15-day disabled list because of a right shoulder strain and likely will be activated to start on July 4 at St. Louis.

"I want to be there," he said. "I want to help the National League, so we can be in the World Series and get home-field advantage. With a little help from me, [Arizona's Brandon] Webb and [Cincinnati's Edinson] Vólquez, and the rest of the hitters and pitchers, we can finally win one."

Meantime, Cubs Manager Lou Piniella was selected to replace the fired Willie Randolph on the NL coaching staff.


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