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Rotator cuff surgery to keep Pedro out well into next season for Mets

The Mets will be missing ace Pedro Martinez for more than just the postseason.

The right-hander will have rotator cuff surgery next week and be out eight months. The injury is expected to sideline him from any baseball activities until at least June.

Martinez, who turns 35 this month, was already out for the playoffs because of a torn tendon in his left calf. New York won the NL East and starts the playoffs this week at home.

The Mets said it was not known when or how Martinez hurt himself. He had a 4.48 ERA, the worst of his career, this season and was slowed by ailments to his hip, right calf and toe.

Also, Mets right-hander Steve Trachsel flew home to California because of family issues and was scratched from his scheduled start in today's regular season finale.

Robinson out in D.C.

WASHINGTON - Frank Robinson will not return as Nationals manager in 2007, the team announced a day before its season will end with a third consecutive last-place finish.

The Hall of Famer was told last week he wouldn't be back and made that clear to reporters, but the Nationals didn't make the news official until a few hours before their game against the Mets.

"Anytime that you're looking at the end will be emotional," he said.

Robinson, 71, has managed the Expos-Nationals franchise for the past five seasons.

Alou moving on

SAN FRANCISCO - Felipe Alou all but confirmed he will not manage the Giants for a fifth season in 2007.

Alou's contract expires after the season, and he is clearly disappointed the Giants have waited this long to address his future. He is now ready to return home to Florida and the Dominican Republic.

Alou, 71, has the most wins of any Latin American manager, but San Francisco will miss the playoffs for a third straight year.

JOHNSON TESTS BACK: Randy Johnson threw across the outfield grass in a nearly empty Yankee Stadium to bullpen coach Joe Kerrigan as two other coaches looked on. Having passed the first test, the left-hander said he'll throw a bullpen session today to prepare his balky back for the playoffs. Johnson is scheduled to pitch Game 3 of this week's first-round playoff series.

Also, manager Joe Torre said before the game that Gary Sheffield will be his postseason first baseman and Jason Giambi will be a designated hitter. That means one player won't start from among Giambi, Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera.

BAKER WAITS: Cubs manager Dusty Baker will find out Monday morning whether the organization wants him back, general manager Jim Hendry said. Baker's four-year contract is expiring, and the Cubs have been among the NL's worst teams this season.

ATTENDANCE MARKs: Major League Baseball broke its season attendance record and was on track to finish with the second-highest game average in its history. Through Friday night, the 30 teams had drawn 74,922,200, just shy of the 74,926,174 who attended games in 2005, and the record was broken when Minnesota drew 46,219 against the White Sox. The average of 31,348 through Friday was ahead of 1993's record 31,337.

HAMPTON COMEBACK: One year and four days after Tommy John surgery, Crystal River's Mike Hampton was back on the mound, throwing to batters for the first time. The test was graded "excellent" by Braves manager Bobby Cox, who has the left-hander, 34, penciled into his 2007 rotation.