News item: : The Orioles closed out their regular season with four straight victories to avoid 100 losses and allow Dave Trembley to enjoy his contract renewal.
My take: : It's pretty easy to justify his re-hiring now. How many other major league managers are undefeated in October?
News item: : Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco highlighted his midweek conference call with the Baltimore media by challenging Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs to a boxing match.
My take: : They say it's the size of the fight in the man and not the size of the man in the fight, but I'll still take Suggs and his 68-pound weight advantage over a guy who's not smart enough to pick on someone his own size.
News item: : The Ravens somehow managed to avoid any fines or discipline from the NFL for their critical public comments about league rules and the officiating during Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots.
My take: : That's highly unusual, but NFL supervisor Ray Anderson was at the game and apparently saw what everybody else saw - a wall-to-wall sloppy performance by the officiating crew that was hard to defend.
Related news item: : Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was fined for making contact with the helmet of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and New England defender Mike Wright was fined for a similar hit on Joe Flacco.
My take: : Got no problem with the NFL's strict rule protecting quarterbacks from blows to the head, but I don't think it should mandate a 15-yard penalty for truly incidental contact.
News item: : The Detroit Tigers are disenchanted with Miguel Cabrera after general manager Dave Dombrowski had to retrieve his drunken first baseman from a police station during the team's make-or-break weekend series against the Chicago White Sox.
My take: : Not that they can do anything about it. Cabrera's erratic behavior - and poor performance the night after the incident - might have helped cost his team the American League Central title, but there is no getting out of his $152 million guaranteed contract. The Orioles proved that with the Sidney Ponson fiasco.
News item: : St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday muffed a line drive Thursday with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to revive the Los Angeles Dodgers, who rallied to take a 2-0 lead in their National League Divisional Series.
My take: : I'm sure Holliday will carry that error around with him all winter if the Cards don't stage a long-shot comeback in the series, but the Dodgers still had to bunch together two walks and two more hits to win the game. It's never really about just one play.
News item: : Wide receiver Braylon Edwards was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the New York Jets two days after he was accused of assaulting a friend of Cavaliers superstar LeBron James outside a nightclub early Monday morning.
My take: : Probably just a coincidence, since it would be hard to characterize getting traded from one of the worst teams in the NFL to a division contender as some kind of punishment.
News item: : The Yankees, given the choice of when to start their divisional series, decided to play Wednesday instead of Thursday, taking advantage of the scheduling crunch that forced the Minnesota Twins to play into extra innings Tuesday night and rush to New York for Game 1.
My take: : Not very sporting, but if I were Joe Girardi, I would have done the same thing.
News item: : M.C. Hammer sat in on negotiations that finally led to the signing of wide receiver Michael Crabtree by the San Francisco 49ers.
My take: : I'm hearing both sides were about ready to give up on the lengthy contract impasse, but Hammer apparently convinced them they were too legit to quit.
News item: : Thousands of masochists will gather Saturday to take part in the annual Baltimore Marathon.
My take: : Tough decision for me. I could either get up and run 26.2 miles without stopping or sleep in and have a nice breakfast at Bob Evans. I tossed and turned all night over that one.
Listen to Peter Schmuck when he hosts "Sportsline" on WBAL (1090 AM) and check out "The Schmuck Stops Here" at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.