Originally created 09/22/05

Major leage baseball notebook



NEW YORK - Brian Roberts has ligament and tendon damage in his left arm and will need surgery that usually requires a recovery time of about six months.

Baltimore's All-Star second baseman and leadoff hitter remained hospitalized at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center on Wednesday, a day after a collision with the New York Yankees' Bubba Crosby. Roberts was being given painkillers and will return to Baltimore today, Orioles trainer Richie Bancells said.

A tendon in Roberts' arm was torn off the bone when the elbow was dislocated, and he tore his ulnar collateral ligament, according to Bancells.

Roberts' pronator flexor tendon has to be sewn to the bone, Bancells said, and doctors will decide whether the ligament also needs to be repaired. Swelling must subside before Roberts can be operated on, and surgery is likely in about 10 days.

"Whether he just gets the tendon taken care of and not the ligament, or both, the rehab time is exactly the same," Bancells said. "His healing time with all of that is probably somewhere in the three-month period. Before we get him all back to completely rehab and full function, we're probably looking at around a six-month period.

"He'll be behind the rest of the group in spring training," Bancells said. "I don't have right now, after talking to the doctors and all that, any reason in the world to not expect a full recovery and a good outcome for Brian."

Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo expects Roberts back sometime during spring training.

PADRES: San Diego's timing couldn't have been worse.

Trying to whip up playoff fever, Padres officials unveiled a magic number countdown at Petco Park on Wednesday and announced details of the public sale of playoff tickets, should they hold on and win the NL West.

Trouble is, it came less than 24 hours after one of the worst losses in team history.

"There are a lot of people who would say, 'Gee, aren't you superstitious, why would you start a countdown after a loss of 20-1 in Colorado?' " Padres CEO Sandy Alderson said. "I think obviously you have to put that loss in perspective. We won some terrific, very exciting games over the last week. One can always pick out a game to reinforce a particular point of view."

Unfortunately for the Padres, Tuesday night's loss reinforced what a struggle this season has been.

It dropped them to 75-75 and cut their lead to five games over the San Francisco Giants.

It got so bad that manager Bruce Bochy had third baseman Sean Burroughs - a former Little League World Series star - pitch the eighth inning. He allowed four hits and three runs, including Matt Holliday's homer.

It was Burroughs' first pitching appearance since his senior year in high school.