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A day after it was first reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates will withhold Raul Mondesi's pay until a judgment in the Dominican Republic is satisfied, the outfielder was still baffled by the circumstance.
A Dominican court ruled in February that Mondesi owed former Major Leaguer Mario Guerrero a sum of about $640,000 for baseball-related instructional services rendered in the Dominican Republic in 1987 and 1988. The ruling was based upon Guerrero's claim that Mondesi agreed to pay Guerrero one percent of any future salary he might earn in the Major Leagues.
Mondesi, who has appealed the court's ruling, claims he didn't even meet Guerrero until 1991 or 1992, when he was already under contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I don't know what he's talking about," Mondesi said before Saturday's game at Shea Stadium. "[Guerrero] said he taught me how to hit in 1987. I was 15 years old, playing in Little League. He said I told him I was going to give [him] one percent in the big leagues. Who knew I was going to be playing in the big leagues?"
Mondesi said that Guerrero was "just trying to make money" and that his tactics were "insulting." The 33-year-old veteran outfielder is known for his generosity in his home country -- he has supplied uniforms and baseball equipment for the Raul Mondesi League in the Dominican Republic -- and said that he would have helped Guerrero financially if he'd only been asked.
"If people come to me and say, "Hey, I need a little money,' I'd give," Mondesi said. "I help a lot of people down in the Dominican. Why would [Guerrero] have to do that to get money from me?"
The Associated Press reported that Mondesi is not the only player from whom Guerrero has sought money from. Mondesi confirmed that Saturday, naming San Francisco Giants infielder Neifi Perez and former Major Leaguer Geronimo Berroa as other examples.
Pirates vice president of communications Patty Paytas released a statement Friday saying that the Pirates have opted to enter Mondesi's pay into an interest-bearing escrow account until the personal judgment is settled. That means, at least for the moment, Mondesi is playing without pay.
"I'm going to get the money sooner or later," he said. "I just want to go back to worrying about playing baseball, playing hard and doing my job."