Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter was unconscious and in critical condition in a neuro-intensive care unit after falling and hitting his head, a hospital spokesman said yesterday.

Hunter, 53, who suffers from amyotropic lateral sclerosis -- an irreversible deterioration of the muscles -- fell Sunday while walking up cement steps outside his home in Hertford, N.C.

Hunter was taken to a hospital in Edenton and transferred early Monday to Pitt County Memorial Hospital. He was unconscious and on a ventilator yesterday, hospital spokesman Doug Boyd said. His condition was downgraded to critical from serious on Monday.

Hunter pitched for 15 years, winning 224 games, including a perfect game. He received five World Series rings while playing for the Athletics and Yankees.

SEGUI ON DL: The Blue Jays placed 1B David Segui on the 15-day disabled list to make room for OF Brian McRae, acquired Monday in a trade with the Rockies. Segui fractured a knuckle Saturday at Texas when he was hit on the back of his right hand by a grounder from Mark McLemore. The move was retroactive to Sunday. The injured hand has been put in a splint.

APPEALS: Mariners RHP Frankie Rodriguez and Yankees RHP Jason Grimsley decided to appeal their suspensions stemming from a brawl last week in Seattle. Rodriguez got a seven-game suspension and $1,500 fine, and Grimsley got a three-game suspension and $500 fine. Yankees C Joe Girardi was fined $500 for his role in the brawl, but has not decided whether he will appeal.