The Orioles host the Red Sox and the Rays host the Yankees in the 162nd game of the regular season tonight. The Red Sox and Rays are hoping that they will have advanced as the American League Wild Card team within a few hours, but there's a chance they'll have a play-in game tomorrow to determine which team gets the final playoff spot. Here's some off-field news about the AL East as Boston tries to hold off the O's and the Rays try to come back against the Yanks...
- Blue Jays manager John Farrell told MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm that improving the rotation would be his top offseason priority.
- When Joel Sherman of the New York Post asked people in the know about Terry Francona's job security, he expected to hear that the skipper had nothing to worry about, but he heard otherwise. Some say the Red Sox manager hasn't stopped his players from getting out of shape and that he has made certain players feel over-privileged. Sherman also hears that Francona feels "bulletproof" after winning two World Series and has stopped attending to some of his job's minor responsibilities.
- The Cubs have reached out to Andrew Friedman, the Rays executive VP of baseball operations, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). It's hard to imagine Friedman entertaining the idea of joining the Cubs with his club so close to the playoffs.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com that the club hasn't reached a "firm decision" about his role next year (Twitter links). The Orioles figure to reach a decision on their complex front office situation soon.