Baseball Notes | Shoulder surgery sidelines Rogers

Baseball Notable

Kenny Rogers underwent surgery yesterday to remove a blood clot from his left shoulder and repair arteries, and the Detroit Tigers pitcher likely will be sidelined for the first half of the season.

The 42-year-old lefthander had the operation in Dallas. He is expected to start throwing in six to eight weeks, and Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said the earliest Rogers would return to the rotation is July.

Detroit had placed Rogers on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. Chad Durbin, who made the team as a reliever, will move into the Tigers' rotation.

Rogers is on the DL for the first time since 2001.

He went 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA last year during his first season with the Tigers, then gained notoriety during the postseason when he had a patch of dirt on his pitching hand. He won all three of his postseason starts and didn't allow a run in 23 innings.

In other news, the Tigers and shortstop Carlos Guillen agreed on a $48 million, four-year contract extension through the 2011 season.

Guillen is making $5 million this season, the last of a $14 million, three-year deal. He hit .320 last year with 19 home runs, 85 RBIs, 41 doubles and 100 runs scored.

Yankees. Carl Pavano will be New York's opening-day starter - his first time on the mound in the majors since June 2005.

Pavano has been out for almost two years because of a variety of injuries.

Pavano will be followed in the rotation by Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina and Kei Igawa. The fifth starter is expected to be Darrell Rasner.

Prices rise. The average major-league ticket sells for $22.69 this season, the Team Marketing Report said, up 2.5 percent from last year's average of $22.14.

Boston has the highest average for the 10th consecutive season, going up 2.7 percent to $47.71. The Chicago Cubs were next at $34.30, followed by the New York Yankees ($29.01), Chicago White Sox ($28.78), St. Louis Cardinals ($28.43) and New York Mets ($28.26).

The Phillies were seventh in the majors for the second straight season, according to the report, with an average ticket price of $27.75.

Arizona's average of $13.79 was the lowest in the majors and was a 29.9 percent drop from last year.

Civil Rights game inaugurated. The Cleveland Indians will play the St. Louis Cardinals in an exhibition in Memphis today in the league's inaugural "Civil Rights Game."

Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB's senior vice president of baseball operations, said the annual "Civil Rights Game" will be part of efforts "to re-engage with the African American community, in light of declining numbers we are currently seeing, and recommit ourselves to making sure that the American pastime remains just that, the American pastime."

Before the game, the league will hold a luncheon to present its first "Beacon Awards" for efforts to further civil rights. Chosen to receive the awards were filmmaker Spike Lee; Vera Clemente, the widow of Pirates great Roberto Clemente; and the late Buck O'Neil, a former Negro Leagues player and the first black coach in the major leagues.

Noteworthy. The Tigers placed backup catcher Vance Wilson on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right elbow. . . . C.C. Sabathia threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session and pronounced himself fit to keep his starting assignment for the Cleveland Indians on Opening Day. . . . Dan Kolb, a former all-star closer with the Milwaukee Brewers, was reassigned to the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor-league camp. . . . Baltimore Orioles leftfielder Jay Payton probably will start the season on the DL because of a strained left hamstring.

- Inquirer wire services