NEW YORK – After all those errors in the World Series, a Detroit Tigers pitcher won a Gold Glove.

Kenny Rogers, whose smudged left hand created a lot of suspicion during the World Series, won his fourth straight Gold Glove on Thursday and fifth overall.

Tigers teammate Ivan Rodriguez won his 12th Gold Glove, extending his record for catchers. Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, Minnesota center fielder Torii Hunter and Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez won the awards for the sixth straight season.

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells won for the third time in a row, Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira won for the second consecutive season and Kansas City second baseman Mark Grudzielanek was a first-time winner.

Pitcher Matsuzaka goes on auction block

NEW YORK- Major league teams wishing to sign Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka must submit their offers by 5 p.m. EST next Wednesday – and the Seattle Mariners won’t be bidding.

Matsuzaka was officially put up for auction Thursday by the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Pacific League. After the bidding has closed, the Lions will be told of the highest offer, without being informed of which team made it. The Lions have until Nov. 14 to accept.

The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets are thought to be interested in Matsuzaka.

Matsuzaka was MVP of the World Baseball Classic in March, then went 17-5 with a 2.13 ERA and 200 strikeouts for the Lions. He throws in the high-90s mph, has good offspeed pitches and is known for the “gyroball,” a pitch that breaks to the left.

Ramirez says Cubs still his first choice

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Third baseman Aramis Ramirez hopes to stay with the Cubs.

Ramirez said Thursday that several teams have contacted his agent to discuss his availability since he filed for free agency this week.

“The Cubs are my first choice but I’m a free agent because I had to give myself the opportunity,” Ramirez said during an interview with The Associated Press.

Ramirez had 28 homers and 121 RBIs. He declined to exercise player options worth $11.5 million next year and $11 million in 2008. If he had exercised those options, the Cubs would have gained an $11 million team option for 2009.

“I don’t feel that I’m taking a risk by becoming a free agent,” he said.

“I don’t know for how much I’m going to sign (for) because I don’t like to discuss figures, but it would have to be more than the $11 million.”

He would be willing to changes leagues.

“In either league, they play tough baseball, so it doesn’t matter to me,” he said.

AP-ES-11-02-06 1815EST



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