News item: : The Orioles made their first foray into the Asian player market, agreeing to terms with Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara on a two-year contract worth a reported $10 million. He's scheduled to arrive in Baltimore today and take his physical tomorrow.
My take: : No, Boog isn't going to start serving sushi, but it's good to see the Orioles expand their horizons. Even if they overpaid the guy, it's still a big step in the right direction for a team that waited a long time to get serious about the Pacific Rim.
News item: : The New York Mets reportedly have agreed to a contract with right-handed pitcher Tim Redding and have projected him as their fifth starter.
My take: : I've been getting e-mails and blog posts for the past month hammering Andy MacPhail for bottom feeding with his pursuit of Redding. Now, the guy is going to a contender and soon there will be O's fans ripping the club for letting him slip through its fingers.
News item: : Running back LaDainian Tomlinson is officially listed as doubtful for today's playoff game between the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers because of a groin injury.
My take: : He's really hurt, but I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that he plays and plays pretty well for a guy on one leg. Meanwhile, the Steelers have spent all week preparing for Darren Sproles.
News item: : The final Associated Press football poll affirmed Florida's status as the NCAA national champion. Undefeated Utah was ranked second, and Southern California ended up third.
My take: : I've got absolutely no problem with the final pecking order, even though everyone knows USC would trounce either one of those pretenders.
News item: : Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff said last week that he's considering an antitrust action against the Bowl Championship Series because it unfairly puts teams such as undefeated Utah at a competitive and financial disadvantage in their quest for the national championship.
My take: : I was about to make a snide comment about politicians having better things to do than worry about something as trivial as college football, but seeing as President-elect Barack Obama also is on record opposing the BCS system and favoring a playoff, well, go Trojans!
News item: : Congratulations to Ravens safety Ed Reed, who was the only player to be selected unanimously for the 2008 AP All-Pro team.
My take: : Guess there are times when it's better to make a great last impression because Reed made 10 of his 11 interceptions after Week 11.
News item: : Mark Pieper, the agent for Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, told The Baltimore Sun that no progress has been made in negotiations with the team on a long-term contract extension, but "neither side has closed the door."
My take: : I'll be very surprised if this thing gets done. The trade market for Roberts apparently has disappeared, and he has to suffer through only one more losing season to test the free-agent market. Once again, the team that hesitates is lost.
News item: : The Washington Redskins laid off 20 employees, including director of player development John Jefferson, in response to the global economic downturn.
My take: : Somebody needs to explain this to me. The Redskins are valued at $1.5 billion and have one of the biggest stadiums in the NFL, and it's sold out for every game. Even the Orioles, who don't know where their next season-ticket holder is coming from, have only furloughed some part-time game employees.
News item: : Rickey Henderson appears to be a lock for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame when results of the balloting are announced tomorrow.
My take: : Rickey might have been the best base runner in the history of the game, but on his best day I bet Ed Reed could still pick him off.
Bonus my take: : There will be some serious gnashing of teeth in Boston if Jim Rice fails to make it to Cooperstown in his final year on the ballot, but I think Bert Blyleven getting passed over again would be a bigger injustice.
News item: : The Dallas Cowboys have released troubled cornerback Adam Jones after new allegations surfaced about a 2007 shooting.
My take: : Frankly, I'm surprised. I really thought Jerry Jones had this thing figured out.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Fridays and Saturdays.