Meanwhile, the Mariano Rivera negotiations go smoothly

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In contrast to the Derek Jeter fiasco, Mariano Rivera’s negotiations with the Yankees are reported to be going smoothly.  “Night and day,” a source tells ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand. Rivera is expected to get $16 or $17 million a year. He wants two years, but it could be done with one year and a vesting option.

My guess: if Jeter said he’d take three years or less, his negotiation would be over rather quickly. The killer in all of this, I think, is the time commitment. On a one or two year deal, the Yankees can work around Mariano Rivera if he craters. If Jeter craters while on a four year deal, there will be nowhere to hide him that long and the team will end up having to DFA their most important player in the past 20 years.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.