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Phillies' Utley is likely out until May

November 21, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | staff and wire reports

Three-time All-Star Chase Utley, who anchored the middle of the lineup for the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, will have surgery and is not expected to be ready for the start of the 2009 regular season.

Utley will have surgery next week to repair any bone or cartilage damage he might have in his right hip. He will be able to begin baseball activity in three to four months. But depending on the extent of the damage, full recovery could take until May, team officials said Thursday.

Utley was bothered by the injury during the season but still batted .292 and led all second basemen with 33 home runs and 104 runs batted in. Although his season numbers were impressive, Utley started the season well and tailed off in the last four months.

Utley had 18 home runs and 47 RBIs through the end of May but hit only 15 home runs the rest of the season.


George Steinbrenner's 35-year reign as boss of the New York Yankees ended Thursday when he passed control of the team to his youngest son, Hal.

The elder Steinbrenner has gradually withdrawn from the Yankees' day-to-day operations in recent years, and brothers Hal and Hank were appointed co-chairmen in April.

"I realize it's a great responsibility," said Hal Steinbrenner, who turns 40 on Dec. 3. "My dad is, needless to say, a tough act to follow."

George Steinbrenner, now 78, headed a group that bought the club in January 1973 for an $8.7 million net price and became one of the highest-profile owners in all of sports.

Steinbrenner is baseball's longest-serving current owner but has been in declining health following fainting spells that required hospitalization in December 2003 and October 2006.


Commissioner Bud Selig announced that baseball will enact a rules change stating that postseason games cannot be shortened because of bad weather.

Selig said the change also will apply to tiebreaker games that decide division titles and wild-card berths.


As expected, New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina retired after 18 seasons and 270 wins.

"I lied to all of you," Mussina told reporters in a conference call. "I knew that that was going to be my last year since the first day of spring training. I just didn't want it to be part of the season."


The name of the new spring-training complex in Glendale, Ariz., for the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox will be Camelback Ranch, the teams announced.


Donovan lent to Bayern Munich

Landon Donovan has been training with Bayern Munich, and on Thursday the German club and Major League Soccer reached an agreement that would allow the league's top goal scorer in 2008 to join the reigning Bundesliga champions for two to three months, starting Jan. 1, when the international transfer window reopens.

"Landon has a verbal agreement with MLS to play in Europe for 2 1/2 months, like [David] Beckham's," Bayern Coach Juergen Klinsmann said on the club's website.

"It's a fantastic situation for me," Klinsmann said. "It gives me the chance to start the second half of the season with four strikers."

Donovan would join Bayern's winter training camp Jan. 2.

-- Grahame L. Jones


The Columbus Crew's Guillermo Barros Schelotto, a midfield wizard who was a longtime star in his native Argentina, won Major League Soccer's most-valuable-player award. Schelotto, 35, had 19 assists and seven goals for Columbus.


Sorenstam shoots 74, might miss cut

Annika Sorenstam shot a two-over-par 74 in the opening round of the ADT Championship, good for a tie for 23rd in the 32-woman event at West Palm Beach, Fla., her final tournament on the LPGA Tour before she plans to step away from competitive golf. The field gets trimmed to 16 after today's play, meaning Sorenstam has some work remaining just to reach the weekend.

She is six shots behind leader Katherine Hull.


Kenseth, Roush agree on extension

Matt Kenseth, who finished 11th in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series standings this season, signed a contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing. . . . Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, 41, will fight for the first time in three years on the undercard of the IBF title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Hasim Rahman. Bowe's opponent for the Dec. 13 fight is yet to be determined. . . . Coach Bill Laimbeer has been re-signed to a two-year contract by the WNBA champion Detroit Shock. . . . The U.S. Olympic Committee said it has ended the probation it put on USA Boxing, citing progress made in reforming the organization that develops boxers to compete in the Olympics. USA Boxing was put on probation in 2002 and underwent a restructuring in 2006 to bring it more in line with the national governing bodies for other Olympic sports. . . . Argentina's David Nalbandian will face Spain's David Ferrer today in the opening match of the Davis Cup final at Mar Del Plata, Argentina. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina's top-ranked player at No. 9, was drawn to play Feliciano Lopez in the second singles match of the best-of-five series.

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