Dwight Gooden says he will be back in top form next season, even though rotator-cuff injuries like his have ended pitching careers. "I'm just happy and satisfied no further surgery will take place," Gooden said in a press conference Monday, two days after Dr. James Parkes repaired torn cartilage and a partially torn rotator cuff in the right-hander's shoulder. "I just have to start exercising, keep the faith, and work hard."
Parkes said Saturday that Gooden can begin throwing softly in eight to 12 weeks and should be ready by late February, when Mets pitchers will report for training in Port St. Lucie.
"I don't have any fears. I don't doubt myself," said Gooden, who has a 132-53 lifetime record. "I'll be ready for regular workouts by spring training. Every individual is different, everybody's work habit is different. I just have to worry about Dwight Gooden."
No one can be sure how the injury will change Gooden's 94 mph fastball and his curve, and not everyone is convinced he can come back so soon.
"Doc's going to be out a while next year _ I mean a long time," said Mets shortstop Kevin Elster, who had a torn labrum in his right shoulder repaired after last season. "Don't expect any miracles from Doc next year."
Gooden told the media he will travel with the Mets the rest of this season, then return to his home in St. Petersburg.
Magadan, Brooks set for surgery
NEW YORK _ Two other Mets, first baseman Dave Magadan and outfielder Hubie Brooks, are scheduled for operations this week.
Dr. Parkes plans to conduct an arthroscopy on Magadan's torn right shoulder Friday. Parkes plans to explore Magadan's inflamed left shoulder at the same time.
Brooks travels to Los Angeles on Wednesday. Dr. Robert Watkins, an associate physician for the Dodgers, is to repair Brooks' herniated disk Thursday.
Mets pitcher Sid Fernandez had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Saturday.
Royals pitching coach leaves job
KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ Royals pitching coach Pat Dobson resigned after seeking a job guarantee that manager Hal McRae declined to give, McRae said.
"He's a good pitching coach," said McRae, who inherited the coaching staff when John Wathan was fired in May. "I know he'll get another job."
Dobson, who had been pitching coach for less than a year, was replaced by Guy Hansen, coach of Kansas City's Triple-A Omaha team.
Royals spokesman Dean Vogelaar said Dobson did not disclose his reasons before leaving Kansas City on Monday for his home in Cape Coral.
Dobson was in his first season with the Royals after coming from the Padres, where he was pitching coach from 1987 to 1990. He tutored Mark Davis in his Cy Young season of 1989. The Royals sought Dobson's services after Davis, who arrived in Kansas City as a $3-million free agent, failed in the closer role.
Smulyan group may sell station
SEATTLE _ Mariners and Emmis Broadcasting Corp. chairman Jeff Smulyan might sell one of the Emmis radio stations to help pay off that corporation's $150-million in debt, the New York Times reported.
Smulyan said the station, a Boston jazz station, likely would sell for about $10-million but no other deals were pending. He also owns New York's all-sports station, WFAN. Smulyan acknowledged that Emmis is under pressure from banks to trim its debt, which requires $16-million a year in interest.
Around the bases
Phillies catcher Darren Daulton is finished for the season and scheduled to have an operation on his left knee this afternoon, the team announced Monday. Doctors have found two bone fragments in the knee. Daulton missed more than a month this season after he was injured in a car driven by teammate Lenny Dykstra.
Dodgers pitcher Tim Belcher pulled a groin muscle in his start against the Reds on Monday night and left the game in the second inning.
Donald A. Smiley, vice president of Florida Marlins Baseball Ltd., the group that led South Florida's expansion effort, has been named vice president and expansion coordinator for the new National League team. Smiley worked for Blockbuster Entertainment as assistant to H. Wayne Huizenga, owner of the Marlins.
Doug Jones, the Indians' all-time save leader, returned to the team for the first time since his demotion to the minors in July. Cleveland also put outfielder Glenallen Hill on the 60-day disabled list because of a back problem and transferred catcher Sandy Alomar from the 15-day list to the 60-day list because of a strained hip flexor.
Around the bases
The Angels released Fernando Valenzuela from his minor-league contract Monday night.
Ruben Sierra of the Rangers and Andujar Cedeno of the Astros have been named players of the week in their leagues. Sierra hit .480 with a 1.000 slugging average last week, with three homers and five RBI. Cedeno had a .476 batting average, a homer, four RBI and four runs scored.
_ Compiled from Associated Press reports.