News item: The New York Yankees and team captain Derek Jeter still haven't finalized a new contract, and negotiations appear to be hung up over the length of the deal. The Yankees reportedly want to give Jeter a three-year deal worth about $21 million per year. Jeter is believed to want four or five years at that price.
My take: This thing will get worked out with some kind of fourth-year vesting option. Jeter isn't going anywhere — the magnitude of his legacy depends on him being a lifetime Yankee — and the team can't afford the PR backlash that would result from playing hardball with its most beloved player.
News item: The Ravens face their former practice squad quarterback Brian St. Pierre and the struggling Carolina Panthers on Sunday in a game that would appear to be a potential walkover.
My take: Except that there's no such thing in the NFL anymore. The New York Giants proved that last week.
My take: I'd take Bartlett in a heartbeat — and I'd be willing to part with David Hernandez to get him — but it's too early to speculate how anything will shake out because there are so many moving parts in the Orioles' offseason talent search.
News item: Major League Baseball is moving ahead aggressively on a plan to add another wild-card team in each league and a new wild-card play-in round. It could happen next year, but probably will have to wait until after the players and owners negotiate a new labor agreement in 2011.
News item: New Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson announced Thursday that football coach Ralph Friedgen will return to lead the Terps next year.
My take: That was no sure thing two months ago, but the Friedgen has made good on the Terps' promised comeback in 2010, no matter what happens in the last two games of the season. From 2-10 to a chance to contend for the ACC title in late November? In the world of big-time college football, it doesn't get much better than that.
My take: Turns out, the guy may have just fallen on the kid, but it still might be time for him to take a long look in the mirror … if he can do so without stumbling face-first into it and bleeding to death.
News item: Big Ten officials have officially deactivated one of the end zones for Saturday's game between Illinois and Northwestern at historic Wrigley Field because the east end zone is too close to the right field wall.
My take: Clearly, there is a legitimate safety issue in play, but the Chicago Bears played their games at Wrigley for about 50 years and nobody said anything.
News item: Miami Heat star LeBron James is among the nominees to be Time Magazine's 2010 Person of the Year.
My take: LeBron seemed humbled by the news that he was one of the 25 finalists for the historic distinction, but he shouldn't be. The list includes some major movers and shakers — like President Barack Obama and former VP candidate Sarah Palin — but also includes Lady Gaga, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Bonus take: Somehow, Buck Showalter did not receive a single vote this time either.
News item: Tiger Woods revealed in a Newsweek essay and a radio interview that he is a better man because of the sex scandal that broke up his marriage and seemed to derail his golf career.
My take: I'm happy for him, but after you've been caught in more than a dozen extramarital dalliances, that bar wasn't set particularly high anymore.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Fridays and Saturdays and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays with Brett Hollander. Also, check out his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.