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Team cans commentator Paciorek
National cans commentator Paciorek

 Tom Paciorek
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Date published: 11/8/2006

By TODD JACOBSON

Nationals television commentator Tom Paciorek has been fired by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, Paciorek said yesterday.

Paciorek, who played 18 big league seasons, was hired as the team's color analyst this year alongside play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter.

"I really did want to come back, and I loved the people of Washington," Paciorek said. "They were gracious to me and I loved the city. I am really going to miss not having the opportunity of seeing Ryan Zimmerman become a superstar and be a 20-year guy in a Nationals uniform."

Paciorek said he was informed he had been fired by MASN executive producer Chris Glass, but the reasons behind Paciorek's dismissal differ. Glass said it was a joint decision between MASN and the Nationals.

"We are moving in other directions and seeing what else is out there," Glass said.

Paciorek said he was told the decision came from team officials.

"I have never appealed to upper management people," Paciorek said. "It's happened my entire life. People in command, I don't associate well with them and they certainly don't associate well with me."

Former Braves commentator Don Sutton and Orioles announcer Buck Martinez could be candidates to replace Paciorek.

Glass said MASN has been interviewing a large list of candidates and he would like to make a decision by December. Carpenter is under contract through next season. Paciorek said he is likely to retire from broadcasting.

Johnson, O'Connor undergo surgery

First baseman Nick Johnson had successful surgery to remove scar tissue in his right knee yesterday in Sacramento and is expected to be ready for spring training.

Johnson broke his right femur in a violent late-season collision with right-fielder Austin Kearns and had surgery Sept. 23 to insert a metal rod and screws to help repair the broken bone.

Left-hander Mike O'Connor will be out two to three months after a small cartilage defect was repaired during arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow yesterday.

To reach TODD JACOBSON: 540/374-5440
Email: tjacobson@freelancestar.com