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Indians’ Curtis injures thumb in scuffle with Mitchell

May 23, 1997

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Kevin Mitchell, a dispute over clubhouse tunes and a pingpong table have sent Cleveland Indians outfielder Chad Curtis to the disabled list.

Curtis, a reserve outfielder, was placed on the 15-day DL Thursday with a bruised right thumb he sustained in a clubhouse scuffle with Mitchell two days earlier.

Curtis and Mitchell had a brief fight before batting practice Tuesday, with Curtis falling into a pingpong table. Curtis, who is 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, and Mitchell, who is 5-11 and about 255 pounds, apparently argued about the music being played on the clubhouse stereo.

``They scuffled in the locker room, yeah,″ manager Mike Hargrove said after Thursday’s 9-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. ``(Curtis) didn’t know how (the injury) happened, but it happened in the scuffle.″

Curtis and Mitchell were not in the clubhouse immediately following Thursday’s game. Mitchell, who was not injured, came off the bench and was 0-for-2 as a designated hitter, dropping his average to .153.

``It doesn’t make me too happy,″ Hargrove said. ``It’s been dealt with, and it’s over. Those things happen from time to time.″

Mitchell, the 1989 NL MVP with San Francisco, has been frustrated by a lack of playing time and his inability to help Cleveland in a pinch-hitting role. He has been plagued by injuries since 1991, and was suspended by the Cincinnati Reds for the final three weeks of the 1996 season for failing to join the team on a road trip.

Mitchell signed a minor league contract with the Indians on Dec. 13, 1996.

Curtis, who had not played since May 13, was batting .207 in 22 games.

To fill Curtis’ spot on the roster, the Indians recalled infielder Damian Jackson from Triple-A Buffalo.

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