• 2007_07_arodstay.jpgThe Yankees don't talk about new contracts with their players during the season. That was their policy with Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, and with Alex Rodriguez. At least before the season started. What a difference a half season makes because the Yankees have changed the policy for their All-Star third baseman. The team hopes to meet with A-Rod's agent Scott Boras in the next few weeks to discuss an extension. Rodriguez currently has three years and $81 million left on his current contract, but he can opt-out of the final years after this season.

    Even if Boras and A-Rod decide not to test the waters, it seems like there's a provision in his contract that guarantees Rodriguez's contract will be at least $32 million in 2009 and 2010. Of course, if he does re-sign or leave the Yankees, Rodriguez could command $32 million or more for several more years. While the Yankees may want an extension now, Boras and Rodriguez want to focus on the season.

  • With their offensive production down from last year, the Mets fired hitting coach Rick Down yesterday. The firing came as a surprise to Down, who told The Post, "A month ago after 50 games, we were pretty much leading the league and doing [fine] offensively and I was the best thing since sliced bread and we get some injuries and things happen, and I get fired." MLB.com reports that Rickey Henderson is taking over as hitting coach, but Howard Johnson, currently the first base coach, will handle most or all of Down's responsibilities. Henderson has worked with the Mets during Spring Training the past two seasons and periodically during the season.

  • Henrik Lundqvist is getting quite the raise. The Ranger goalie made $817,000 last season, but signed a one-year contract yesterday for $4.25 million. The one-year contract for a relatively small number allows the Rangers to stay under the NHL salary cap. Lundqvist and the Rangers will look to ink another, longer term contract, in January.