On this date in 1998, Cal Ripken Jr. took himself out of the Orioles' starting lineup and ended his consecutive games played streak at 2,632. The Orioles haven’t made the playoffs since, but this could be their year; they’re currently in playoff position. Here are today’s AL East links...
- There are indications that the Red Sox won't pursue a long-term extension with Will Middlebrooks this offseason, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports. The team's front office executives aren't in a rush to make a long-term judgment about Middlebrooks. “Obviously it’s a possibility,” Middlebrooks said.
- Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner are too similar to be the Yankees' corner outfielders in 2013, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes. The Yankees hope to have Gardner back at full health next year, so Ichiro might have to sign elsewhere as a free agent. Davidoff won't be surprised if Ichiro's still unsigned in January.
- Blue Jays president Paul Beeston characterized the last few months as the "half season from hell," Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun reports. Beeston said "there is a feeling of emptiness" at not being able to deliver for fans and added that he’s “actually pissed off” that the A’s and Orioles are headed for the playoffs while the Blue Jays are not.