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A-Rod ready for next phase

Alex Rodriguez is rehabbing from hip surgery.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Alex Rodriguez is rehabbing from hip surgery. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

Alex Rodriguez is to resume baseball activities Monday, more than a month following hip surgery on March 9.

The third baseman has been working out in Vail, Colo., since the operation. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the three-time A.L. MVP will resume swinging a bat after he reports to the team’s minor league complex.

Girardi doesn’t expect Rodriguez to return to the Yankees before mid-May.

A new Kauffman

First stop was to the mini field with the cartoonish plastic bats and rubbery turf. Then came a few pitches through what looked like living room blinds, followed by a few swings against a video version of Joba Chamberlain.

After a hectic offseason construction schedule and a 30-minute pregame party, Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium debuted on Friday after a $250 million renovation.

Statues of former Royals greats George Brett, Frank White and Dick Howser sit behind the four-story scoreboard along with a Hall of Fame.

Behind the concourse there are several activities for kids, including the Little K, a mini version of the stadium where kids can hit plastic balls. A batting cage has images of opposing pitchers throwing real baseballs to hitters through a hole in the screen. There’s a pitcher’s mound where kids can throw heat through what looks like vertical blinds covered with video images of opposing batters.

Clearing the bases

The Royals placed right fielder Jose Guillen on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn hip flexor and purchased the contract of right-hander Sidney Ponson from Triple-A Omaha. … The two tickets owned by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities for the Mets’ Citi Field opener on Monday were bid up to $2,375 by 11 p.m. EDT Friday on eBay. The tickets, near the Mets’ dugout, are being sold by the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff’s businesses. … San Francisco Giants pitcher Joe Martinez has a concussion and three small fractures in his head after being hit by a line drive in Thursday’s game against Milwaukee.

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