News item: Enigmatic Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez made headlines recently when he said that if Boston failed to come back and defeat the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series, "It's not the end of the world."
My take: That was just flat-out wrong. Everybody knows that after the Red Sox lose a postseason series, there is always a remote mathematical possibility that the sun will expand into a red giant and engulf the solar system. Manny obviously wasn't paying attention during astronomy class.
News item: The New York Yankees made Joe Torre an offer he could refuse - an insulting one-year deal that reduced his salary and replaced much of it with an incentive bonus for winning the World Series next year.
My take: Hank Steinbrenner insists the Yankees really wanted Torre back and denied speculation the offer was carefully formulated to ensure that he would turn it down, which leaves me to draw one of two conclusions. Hank is either a liar or an imbecile.
News item: The Buffalo Bills are seeking approval from the NFL to play an exhibition game in Toronto next year and a regular-season game there as soon as 2009.
My take: Guess the Bills weren't really all that offended when Willis McGahee suggested it might be more successful in Canada.
News item: The Board of Public Works has approved the new video board for Oriole Park after a long dispute. The Maryland Stadium Authority will pay $3.75 million toward the $9 million price tag and forgive $1.5 million in disputed unpaid rent. The rest of the money will come from a fund for stadium improvements that was created in a previous dispute between the MSA and the team.
My take: In short, the taxpayers are footing every cent of this bill and allowing the Orioles to skip out on some rent. Sounds like a great deal to me.
News item: The Yankees officially confirmed that they will not negotiate with Alex Rodriguez if he exercises an opt-out clause in his contract and becomes a free agent in November.
My take: Nice move by general manager Brian Cashman. If the Yankees won't bid, A-Rod's chances of getting the ridiculous contract he wants will be greatly diminished - perhaps enough to discourage him from going back on the open market.
My take: Now they face their toughest opponent since the start of their amazing 21-1 run ... inactivity.
News item: The Rockies have sought trademark protection for the term "Rocktober," which has become the media buzzword for the team's amazing late-season surge into the World Series.
My take: It can take up to 18 months to complete a trademark application. I'm pretty sure the Rocks will have lost a game by then.
News item: Trade rumors continue to swirl around Kobe Bryant, and Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss has said he will not rule out dealing his disenchanted superstar.
My take: Buss' decision to keep Kobe and let Shaquille O'Neal get away is looking better and better all the time.
News item: Last week's Monday Night Football game garnered the lowest rating in MNF history, despite Jimmy Kimmel's attempts to liven it up with some bush-league jokes about the removal of former commentator Joe Theismann.
My take: In reality, MNF did Theismann a favor, getting him out of the booth before everybody stopped email@example.com
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Saturdays and Sundays.