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Orioles, MASN sued by Comcast over television rights

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Comcast SportsNet sued the Baltimore Orioles and the new Mid-Atlantic Sports Network on Thursday over television rights to Orioles games.

In a suit filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville, Md., Comcast asks that the Orioles, MASN and Major League Baseball be prevented from negotiating or licensing local pay TV rights to Orioles games because Comcast holds such rights through the 2006 season. The Orioles and MLB agreed last month on a deal that will allow games involving the new Washington Nationals to be televised.

The Orioles and Nationals formed MASN, a joint venture backed by baseball, to allow fans in the Baltimore-Washington market to watch both teams.

The agreement with the Orioles also gives Comcast exclusive rights to negotiate an extension with the team and the right to match any agreement reached with a third party.

Rose’s status remains same

With time running out on Pete Rose to make the Hall of Fame ballot, commissioner Bud Selig said there’s been no change in the status of the banned career hits leader.

Unless Selig reinstates him by late November, Rose will not appear on the 2006 Hall ballot – the last year he can be considered by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

•Chicago Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra will be sidelined at least 2-3 months with a torn left groin.

•Milwaukee pitcher Ben Sheets was hospitalized with an ear infection after a bout of nausea and dizziness.

•The New York Yankees placed designated hitter Ruben Sierra (right biceps) on the 15-day disabled list.

•Boston Red Sox hitting coach Ron Jackson was fined and suspended for arguing a call during an April 14 game against Baltimore.

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