Mark Ellis may renegotiate contract to remain in Oakland

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Bob Geren removed Mark Ellis in the seventh inning yesterday so he could get a standing ovation from the Oakland crowd in the A’s final home game of the year, which suggests the manager doesn’t expect him back in 2011.
Oakland has a $6 million option or $500,000 buyout on Ellis, who’s 33 years old and hitting his usual .281/.352/.363 in 117 games this season. That might be slightly more than he’s worth on the open market, but as a good defender with solid on-base skills Ellis would seemingly be an ideal one-year stopgap for teams hoping to contend in 2011.
However, it sounds like Ellis would like to be back in Oakland for a 10th season even if the A’s choose the $500,000 buyout, with Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News reporting that “he expects to have discussions with management next week.”

World Series Games 1 and 2 may be the hottest of all time

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The World Series is often played in near winter-like conditions. The 2008 Series was interrupted by a snowy, wintry mix. The 2012 World Series games in Detroit dipped into the 20s. It’s not uncommon to see players wearing balaclavas and other winter gear during the so-called “Fall Classic.”

Not this year, though. Indeed, this year we’re likely to see record high temperatures for Games 1 and 2 at Dodger Stadium.

As of this moment, WeatherUnderground.com forecasts a high in Los Angeles of 101 degrees for today’s World Series Media Day and highs of 102 and 98 for Games 1 and 2, respectively. First pitch for both games is just after 5PM Pacific time, when the sun will still be blazing. The sun will set about an hour or so in to the game which should cool things off somewhat, but the heat will definitely impact pregame workouts and the early innings. Fans showing up three or more hours before first pitch will do well to prepare themselves for the elements.

The hottest World Series game on record came in Phoenix for Game 1 in 2001 when the mercury stood at 94 degrees at game time. That year Major League Baseball unwisely demanded that the Chase Field roof be left open for the Diamondbacks-Yankees tilt. If there is a Game 6 and/or 7 things will be nicer as the long range forecast shows temperatures in the low 70s by then.

Hydrate well, Dodgers and Astros. Those of us watching from cooler temperatures and/or the comfort of our air conditioned homes will feel really bad for you.