Here’s your Friday baseball news long toss covering stories on and off the field.
- According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, baseball officials are twisting themselves into knots over the long, languid, Darwinian regular season possibly ending with a three-team demolition derby in the American League wild card race. If the Rays, Red Sox and Angels wind up honors-even at the end of the season, we could see an unprecedented three-team playoff. The Angels lost on Thursday, so this scenario seems unlikely. But the possible match-ups and rules governing said match-ups are so fantastically complex and convoluted, you almost want to see it happen, just for the schadenfreude.
- Manny Ramirez and I have something in common: neither of us are prepared for retirement. That's the reason Ramirez is giving in regards to his willingness to serve his 100-game MLB ban. "I would comply with my pending sanction and I would be available for any major league team — If any team wants to sign me, I would play. If no one does, I would look to play in Japan or any other place. I was not prepared for retirement."
- Another player not ready to go gentle into that good night is Vladimir Guerrero. The Baltimore Orioles designated hitter wants to play two or three more years, saying, "I just need to work a little harder this offseason when I go to the Dominican and see what happens.” Whether or not going to "the Dominican" is a euphemism for something, I don't know.
- Bill Burke made embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt a $1.2 billion offer for his storied franchise, only to be greeted by the soothing sounds of crickets and tumbleweeds.
- Finally, Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips has introduced a new term to the lexicon of contract negotiations. You may have heard of the hometown discount? Get familiar with the "homeboy hookup." Need an example of its usage? When asked whether he would give the Reds a break in contract negotiations, after saying Cincy was "his city," Phillips said, "No bueno. This is my last contract. There is no homeboy hookup. I just want to be paid what I am worth."
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