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Major League Notebook: Schilling could have been ready for playoffs

Associated Press
The baseball notebook …
BOSTON ó Curt Schilling could have been ready to pitch in the AL championship series, according to his surgeon.
Dr. Craig Morgan said Wednesday that if the Boston Red Sox had followed his advice to operate on Schilling’s shoulder last winter, the right-hander likely would have been ready for the postseason.
“If the (team) would have let me do the surgery in January, he’d probably be pitching in the playoffs now,” Morgan said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
Schilling, who turns 42 next month, missed the entire season after having shoulder surgery in June. The Red Sox won the AL wild card without him and announced their rotation for the best-of-seven ALCS that starts Friday night at Tampa Bay.
Only 3 1/2 months after the operation was performed, Morgan on Wednesday described Schilling’s shoulder as “phenomenal.”
COACHING HIS SON
SAN FRANCISCO ó Dusty Baker is going back to youth baseball.
This weekend, Baker will be the fill-in coach for 9-year-old son Darren’s 10-and-under traveling tournament team, tard 90 Pastime out of Roseville, Calif., near the Bakers’ Northern California home.
The 59-year-old Baker spent his first season as skipper of the Cincinnati Reds this year working with a roster of youngsters, but this of course will be much different. He finally gets to coach his son ó and in the Bay Area, no less. The tournament will be in nearby Sunnyvale.
“The head coach is away for the weekend. I begged my dad to coach the team,” Darren said. “I’m very excited because it was his dream to always coach me.”
Baker’s son became a household name six years ago when, working as a San Francisco Giants bat boy, he ran onto the field near home plate during the World Series and was quickly scooped up by J.T. Snow to avoid being run over.
YANKEE STADIUM
NEW YORK ó Plans for a closing ceremony at Yankee Stadium have been scrapped.
The team had discussed organizing an event on the weekend of Nov. 8-9 that would have included remembrances of many of the non-baseball events at the 85-year-old ballpark, such as football and boxing.
Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen were among the artists the Yankees had reportedly sought for the event.
New York is scheduled to move into a $1.3 billion new Yankee Stadium. The first home game at the new ballpark is April 16 against Cleveland.
CUBS
CHICAGO ó Rich Harden’s $7 million option for next year was exercised Wednesday by the Chicago Cubs, one day after a test showed the hard-throwing right-hander had no structural damage in his pitching shoulder.
The Cubs acquired Harden from Oakland on July 8.
The 26-year-old Harden went a combined 10-2 with a 2.07 ERA in 25 starts for the Athletics and Cubs this season. Harden has battled arm problems.

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