- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Livan Hernandez underwent arthroscopic surgery yesterday to relieve the right knee pain that plagued the starting pitcher through much of the 2005 season.

Washington general manager Jim Bowden said Hernandez’s surgery, performed in Miami, was successful. The right-hander will spend the next six to eight weeks rehabilitating, but he’s expected to be fully healthy well before the start of spring training.

Hernandez, who went 15-10 with a 3.98 ERA and led the majors with 2461/3 innings pitched, pitched in pain since tweaking his knee in May. Unable to push off his back leg with as much authority, he had to alter his delivery and in the process lost some of his velocity and command.

Though he considered shutting himself down in midseason to undergo the operation, Hernandez elected to pitch the entire year and did not miss a start. Even after deciding during the final week of the season to have the surgery, he made his last start.

This is the first time Hernandez has been operated on in his nine-year career.

MASN case dismissed

A judge in Montgomery County Circuit Court yesterday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Comcast SportsNet against the fledgling Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, affirming a July decision allowing the network to broadcast Baltimore Orioles games.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Durke Thompson ruled in July that the Orioles could move the games to MASN after the current agreement with Comcast expires. In September, Comcast filed documents to overturn the ruling, reserving the right to present new information. The judge yesterday dismissed the suit after receiving no new information from Comcast.

MASN was created as part of an agreement between the Orioles and Major League Baseball to create a regional network that carried games from both the Orioles and Washington Nationals.

Comcast’s lawsuit was based on the belief that its contract to carry Orioles games on Comcast SportsNet allowed it to match any offer from “a third party.” Thompson agreed with the Orioles’ argument that MASN was not a third party, but essentially a re-naming of the Orioles television network.

Comcast’s current contract with the Orioles ends after the 2006 season, but MASN officials are pushing for games to be shown on Comcast cable sooner. Comcast is under no obligation to carry MASN as a channel, and its refusal to carry it has prevented most baseball fans in the area from watching Washington Nationals games. MASN is carried by DirecTV and RCN Cable.

“We hope that Comcast will do the right thing for Washington baseball fans and carry the Nationals during the 2006 season,” MASN attorney Arnold Weiner said. “The Nationals’ fans should not be penalized next year.”

D.C. will proceed with eminent domain for ballpark. A1

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