CHICAGO - White Sox manager Jerry Manuel sounded like a guy on his way out of town.
After Wednesday's home finale, Manuel all but said his goodbyes to Chicago.
"I'm somewhat saddened. And also probably empty, to a degree," he said. "But regardless, I'll rise again, somewhere. That's just the way it is."
Though the White Sox are assured of finishing .500 or above for the fourth straight season, most expect Manuel will be fired. Chicago was considered a favorite to win the AL Central after adding Bartolo Colon and Billy Koch.
"Whichever way it goes. I understand the industry. I understand the business," Manuel said.
PLAYOFF ROTATIONS: The Braves picked right-hander Russ Ortiz to start their first-round playoff opener, followed by left-hander Mike Hampton and right-hander Greg Maddux. The Twins went with left-hander Johan Santana for their opener, followed by right-handers Brad Radke and Kyle Lohse. The A's chose right-hander Tim Hudson for the opener, probably followed by left-handers Barry Zito and Ted Lilly.
CARDINALS: Catcher Mike Matheny, manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan were suspended and fined for their conflict with an umpire Saturday. Matheny got a three-game penalty starting Friday for making contact with umpire Jerry Crawford and for remarks to the umpire. La Russa was suspended for two games starting Friday and Duncan for Sunday's game.
D'BACKS: Right-hander Curt Schilling, on the disabled list twice this season, has been shut down for the final week of the season.
DODGERS: Left-hander Odalis Perez expressed concern about the team's handling of his fingernail problem. After skipping a start last week because of a broken nail, Perez developed a blood blister on his first pitch Monday and struggled. He said he knew he should not have pitched, but he felt enormous pressure while continuing to be criticized in the clubhouse and media for last week's decision.
RANGERS: Shortstop Alex Rodriguez didn't play, ending his games streak at 546. A's shortstop Miguel Tejada is the active leader at 591, with the Devil Rays' Aubrey Huff next at 271.