Pirates release left-handed reliever Joe Beimel

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As expected, Joe Beimel cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week and the Pirates released him.

Beimel hasn’t pitched well this season, but posted an ERA below 4.00 every year from 2005 to 2010 and could be a potential fit as a second left-hander in a contender’s bullpen.

Pittsburgh ate the remainder of his $1.75 million contract, so now Beimel is available for a prorated share of the minimum salary.

If there is an ALCS Game 7, Ric Flair will call out “Play Ball!”

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I don’t really care who wins the ALCS, but part of me wants to see it go seven games now. Why? Because if the Astros win tonight and force a Game 7, the series will be visited by a Rolex-wearin,’ kiss-stealin,’ wheelin-dealin,’ limousine ridin,’ jet flyin,’ son of a gun, jack! From the Chronicle:

The Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series gets to a Game 7, the Astros will have pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair call out “Play Ball!” before the game in a video message. Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is a huge wrestling fan and uses Flair’s entrance music every time he steps to the plate at Minute Maid Park. Fans also have adopted the wrestler’s “Woo!” yell throughout the season.

That’s pretty cool. It’d be even cooler if it ended with a Dusty Finish.