Johan Santana to begin rehab assignment Saturday

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Five weeks after being shut down because of shoulder discomfort, Johan Santana will begin another rehab assignment Saturday with high-A St. Lucie.

ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin reports that Santana will throw two innings or40 pitches in his first appearance back.  If things proceed well, then the chance exists that he’ll come off the DL and make a couple of brief appearances for the Mets at the end of the year.

Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since surgery a year ago to repair a torn capsule in his shoulder.  Not counting what’s left of this year’s $22.5 million salary, the Mets will owe him an $55 million through 2013 or $74.5 million if they want to pick up his 2014 option.

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.