N ews item: The New York Mets and their fans will bid farewell today to Shea Stadium, no doubt to somewhat less fanfare than accompanied the final game at Yankee Stadium last weekend.
My take: It's hard to get too nostalgic for Shea, which is the last of the cookie-cutter, multi-use major league stadiums built during the 1960s. The new ballpark will still be under the flight path of LaGuardia Airport, so Mets fans will be able to close their eyes and remember how uncomfortable they used to be.
News item: The Orioles close out their 11th consecutive losing season today at Camden Yards and finish in last place for the first time since they posted their worst-ever record in 1988.
My take: If you're looking for a silver lining in that historical comparison, just remember what happened the following year.
Bonus take: I'm pretty sure Bob Milacki and Mike Devereaux would be willing to come back for the right price.
News item: Federal prosecutors have filed court documents arguing they can prove Barry Bonds received steroids from personal trainer Greg Anderson and failed a steroid test before his 73-homer season.
My take: This is, of course, a shocking development that no one could ever have expected. I'm thinking this might be a good time to reopen the Mitchell Investigation.
News item: Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco will face his biggest test yet when the Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football at hostile Heinz Field.
My take: It's going to be a rough-and-tumble night for the former Delaware quarterback who originally intended to spend his college career at Pitt, but he'll come out of it OK if the O-line is up to the challenge of protecting him from the NFL's second-ranked defense.
News item: Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said speculation that LeBron James is planning to leave town in two years is "kind of an insult to the city."
My take: Fortunately, it's Cleveland, so it's used to that kind of thing.
News item: Steelers rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall gave the Ravens a little bulletin-board material when he texted friend Ray Rice with the prediction that he would have a big game against the Ravens' top-ranked defense.
My take: Really, really not smart. If Ray Lewis doesn't hesitate to twist Jamal Lewis's head in the post-tackle pileups - and Jamal is a close friend - what do you think he and Bart Scott are going to do to this kid in his starting debut?
News item: Former Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard got some good news Friday. No serious damage was found when orthopedic specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum performed a cleanup operation on his pitching shoulder.
My take: That's even better news for the Seattle Mariners, who could have him back and healthy by Opening Day. If there had been a labrum tear, he probably would have been lost for most of 2009 and they would have had little choice but to release him and be left with nothing to show for last spring's big deal with the Orioles.
News item: Former Denver Broncos star John Elway reportedly is engaged to 41-year-old former Oakland Raiders cheerleader Paige Green.
My take: It's good to be a former Super Bowl quarterback. I wonder if she's going to dress up like a deranged Viking on their wedding night.
News item: The Chicago Cubs and the Wrigley Field experience are featured on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.
My take: I'm not superstitious. But then, I'm not a lifelong fan of the team that has been waiting a century for its next world title. When the Curse of Billy Goat and the SI jinx have crossed paths in the past, nothing good has come of it.
News item: The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the National League West title, extending manager Joe Torre's streak of playoff appearances to 13.
My take: Meanwhile, new Yankees manager Joe Girardi extended his string of playoff appearances to zero and is hoping not to get invited to Tampa for a meeting next month.
News item: Police said 18 people were arrested last Sunday night for stealing at Yankee Stadium.
My take: Amazingly, Carl Pavano was not one of them.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on most Saturdays and Sundays.