On the night that playoff baseball returns to Baltimore for the first time since 1997, we take a break from the action to catch up on the latest news and stories making headlines around the American League…
- Orioles general manager Dan Duquette says there's no need to increase the team's payroll for next season given Baltimore's current success, says Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The Orioles' payroll for the 2012 season saw the team spend $82MM — down $6MM from one season ago.
- History says that the Red Sox will have to pay a steep price to the Blue Jays if they hope to secure John Farrell's services next season at manager, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Most recenly the Marlins sent the White Sox their fourth- and fifth-best prospects in exchange for manager Ozzie Guillen. The trade proved to be an ill-fated one for Miami as the front office may not retain Guillen for the 2013 season.
- O's manager Buck Showalter has done a masterful job taking undesirable pieces and shaping a competitive club under his tutelage, says Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. "I kind of noticed this right when I got here," Nate McLouth said. "He's the kind of guy who even when he's not looking at you, he's watching you. He knows what's going on. All the time. Everywhere."
- Mere days after the death of his newborn child, Athletics reliever Pat Neshek and his wife turned to baseball as a tool to aid in the mourning process, writes Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News. Neshek returned to the team on Saturday after tragedy struck on Wednesday to retire two batters in a row and successfully guide the A's out of a jam. "You could just see the emotion in his eyes," said Derek Norris. "You could see how much it meant to him."