Longtime Chicago Cubs analyst Steve Stone announced yesterday he was leaving WGN-TV, less than one month after coming under fire for on-air comments he made criticizing the team.

"I regret I won't be calling another Cubs game on WGN-TV for the greatest fans in baseball, the fans of the Chicago Cubs," Stone, a Cubs broadcaster for 20 years, said on WGN-AM radio.

Stone's partner, Chip Caray, also recently left WGN-TV to take a job calling games for the Atlanta Braves, joining his father, Skip, in the booth.

Telephone messages left for Stone and a Cubs spokeswoman were not immediately returned.

Some of Stone's comments this season led to a meeting Oct. 1 with Cubs President Andy MacPhail, General Manager Jim Hendry and Manager Dusty Baker after Stone questioned managerial strategy and criticized the team's approach during a postgame television show Sept. 30. . . .

Former Atlanta Braves third baseman Terry Pendleton was the seventh candidate interviewed for the Philadelphia Phillies' managerial job. Jim Leyland, who managed Pittsburgh and Colorado and led Florida to its first World Series championship in 1997, will interview on Monday. . . .

Carlos Beltran was among 65 players who filed for free agency on the first possible day, just hours after Boston completed its sweep of St. Louis in the World Series. Beltran has said he would consider re-signing with the Astros if they keep the core of the team together.

Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre also filed along with Dodgers outfielder Steve Finley, Toronto first baseman Carlos Delgado, Chicago White Sox outfielder Magglio Ordonez, Minnesota right-hander Brad Radke and Philadelphia right-hander Kevin Millwood. . . .

Craig Biggio's $3 million option was exercised by the Astros, who declined Jeff Kent's $9 million option. . . .

The Cubs declined an $11.5 million mutual option on outfielder Moises Alou. . . .

The Colorado Rockies and Jeromy Burnitz both declined his $3 million mutual option.

-- From News Services