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Schilling attacks QuesTec, literally

By Compiled from Times wires
Published May 26, 2003

PHOENIX - Umpires who don't like the new electronic system that evaluates their balls and strikes calls have gained an outspoken ally in Curt Schilling.

The Arizona ace got so fed up with the system Saturday night during his loss to the Padres that he smashed one of its cameras near the Diamondbacks dugout.

"I said something to one of the umpires about it," Schilling said, "and he said, "Do us a favor and break the other one.' "

The QuesTec Umpire Evaluation System is installed at 13 ballparks, including Bank One Ballpark in Arizona. The umpire's union has filed a grievance against major-league teams contending the system is inaccurate and varies greatly depending on the person operating it.

An arbitrator is to hear the grievance in early July.

"The QuesTec system in this ballpark is a joke," Schilling said. "The umpires have admitted it. They hate it. In the last three starts I've made here, multiple times umpires have said to the catcher, "It's a pitch I want to call a strike but the machine won't let me.' "

Rob Manfred, executive vice president of labor relations in the commissioner's office, did not return a call seeking comment.

PEDRO BACK ON DL: Pedro Martinez was placed on the disabled list for the fourth time in five seasons, but he's expected to pitch this weekend in Toronto.

Martinez, who has an inflamed tendon and strained muscle high on his right side, went on the 15-day list retroactive to May 16, the day after his last appearance for the Red Sox. He can be activated Saturday.

ASTROS: Outfielder Richard Hidalgo remained hospitalized with severe tonsillitis and a high fever. He went in Friday. Club officials said they didn't know when Hidalgo would get out but did not expect him to make the trip to St. Louis today.

ATHLETICS: Rightfielder Jermaine Dye, out since April 24 with torn knee cartilage, homered in his first at-bat to begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sacramento. Dye probably will rejoin Oakland this weekend.

BLUE JAYS: Leftfielder Shannon Stewart sat because of tightness in both hamstrings and is day to day.

CARDINALS: Second baseman Fernando Vina left in the fifth after straining his right hamstring trying to beat out a grounder.

GIANTS: Leftfielder Barry Bonds tested his sore right knee by riding a stationary bike, but the team still plans to keep him out of the lineup until it returns to San Francisco on Tuesday. Manager Felipe Alou said he would not consider using Bonds as a pinch-hitter for the rest of the series against the Rockies because he's not well enough to run the bases.

PADRES: Rookie outfielder Jason Bay broke his right wrist when Diamondbacks right-hander Elmer Dessens hit him with a pitch in the second. Bay had an X-ray, and San Diego said he would remain with the team through tonight, when the four-game series concludes. He's due to return to San Diego for further evaluation.

[Last modified May 26, 2003, 01:45:31]

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