Notes: Nationals dismiss Paciorek

Notes: Color analyst Paciorek dismissed

WASHINGTON -- Tom Paciorek said Tuesday he was told by Mid-Atlantic Sports Network that his contract will not be renewed as the Nationals' color analyst.

Paciorek, who teamed with play-by-play broadcaster Bob Carpenter, was given the news by MASN's executive producer, Chris Glass.

"Glass told me it was a decision made by the Nationals and it wasn't made by the broadcasting people," Paciorek said. "I understand the nature of this business, but I've never been more proud of what we've accomplished as a team. It was the most enjoyable out of [my] 19 years in broadcasting.

"I don't appeal to the upper-echelon people. That has happened my entire career. I was pushed out of Chicago [White Sox] ... and ... out of Atlanta. My personality did not appeal to them and the same thing happened with [Nationals vice president of business affairs] Mike Shapiro and [club president] Stan Kasten in Washington. That's my opinion and I'll stick with it."

In an e-mail, Kasten said comments about Paciorek should come from MASN. Glass said Kasten and Shapiro were not part of the final decision and that his conversation with Paciorek was different.

"We speak to the Nationals all the time, but it was a joint decision by MASN and the Nationals. It's unfair to put names to this situation," Glass said.

Paciorek, who is a former Major League player, said he will retire and babysit his grandchildren.

"I regret that I won't be able to see Ryan Zimmerman become a superstar, Nick Johnson and his family on the road and having fun with them, and all the really good kids that they have on the team," Paciorek said.

Glass and the Nationals would not comment about Paciorek's replacement, but two sources said the club prefers a former Major League pitcher or catcher.

One source said that Buck Martinez is a candidate. He is currently working for MASN as an Orioles color analyst. Martinez has been in the broadcast booth since 1987, when he started as a color commentator for the Blue Jays. Martinez also did work for the ESPN.

Another source said that Steve Stone, a former pitcher and Cy Young Award winner, would like to go back to the booth on a regular basis. Stone worked for ESPN last year, and is best known as Harry Caray's broadcast partner with the Cubs on WGN for over a decade.

Acta hoping: Mets third-base coach Manny Acta hopes that he hears from the Nationals when he returns from Japan this week. He is considered one of the leading candidates for the team's managerial vacancy.

"Until they tell me, 'No,' I believe I'm in the running, yes," said Acta, who is currently coaching the Major League All-Stars.

Asked if there will be a second interview with Washington, Acta said, "Hard to tell, but I'm sure I'll find out as soon as I get back, because I have to meet with Oakland, too, when I get back."

All cleaned up: Johnson and left-hander Mike O'Connor underwent successful surgery Tuesday.

Johnson had arthroscopic surgery that cleaned out scar tissue in his right knee. Dr. Richard Marder performed the operation in Sacramento, Calif. Johnson is expected to continue his rehabilitation and be ready for Spring Training.

Johnson suffered a broken right femur on Sept. 23 at Shea Stadium. He had surgery that night at Queens Hospital New York, where a metal rod and three screws were placed in his leg to repair the break.

Johnson had the best offensive season of his career in 2006, establishing career highs in games played (147), batting average (.290), doubles (46), home runs (23), RBIs (77), walks (110), on-base percentage (.428) and slugging percentage (.520).

Connor had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow, a procedure performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. A small cartilage defect was found in the elbow. O'Connor will begin rehabilitation immediately, and the expected recovery time is two to three months.

O'Connor, 26, went 3-8 with a 4.80 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) for the Nationals in 2006. He was one of eight National League rookies who made at least 20 starts.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for Reporter Ian Browne contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.