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National Sports Briefs: Manny a Yankee? Don’t rule it out

Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. ó Manny Ramirez in pinstripes?
Hank Steinbrenner said the Yankees will explore all options during the offseason, including the possibility of making an offer to the free-agent slugger.
“There’s nothing we are not looking at,” Steinbrenner said Friday at the Yankees’ spring training complex. “And personally, I like Manny. He’s one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. He’s a free spirit for sure, but he knows how to win. We like some of the other guys, too. We just don’t know yet.”
Ramirez was traded from Boston to the Dodgers on July 31, and Los Angeles is expected to attempt to re-sign the high-priced outfielder.
“I want to see who is the highest bidder,” Ramirez said when the Dodgers lost the NL championship series. “Gas is up and so am I.”
New York’s priority is pitching, and CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett figure to be the top starters on the market.
“Every team in baseball wants Sabathia,” Steinbrenner said. “That’s the bottom line. It’s not a real secret. Pitching is in the forefront for everybody, not just us. That’s why starting pitching is at a premium.”
The Yankees missed the playoffs this year for the first time since 1993.
– The Milwaukee Brewers have opened up the bidding for free-agent ace Sabathia. The team made a contract proposalover the weekend.
“It’s in their hands,” GM Bob Melvin sai. “He hasn’t really had a chance to talk with other teams.”
Sabathia, who went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA for Milwaukee after he was traded from Cleveland on July 7, filed for free agency over the weekend and is expected to draw interest from big-market teams who could outbid the Brewers. His new deal could top Johan Santana’s $137.5 million, six-year contract with the New York Mets.
– BOSTON ó The Boston Red Sox will keep their spring training home in the Fort Myers area for 30 more years after signing an agreement on Saturday with Lee County, Fla.
– BOSTONó Tim Wakefield’s $4 million option for 2009 was exercised by the Boston Red Sox.
– PHILADELPHIA ó Ruben Amaro Jr. will replace Pat Gillick as general manager of the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.
NASCAR
FORT WORTH, Texas ó A NASCAR fan sitting in her recreational vehicle at Texas Motor Speedway was wounded by a stray bullet after someone apparently fired a gun into the air, police said.
A bullet suddenly pierced through the motor home’s roof Sunday morning before the Dickies 500 race, hitting a woman, whose name was withheld, in the right arm.
“She immediately (screamed), ‘I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot.’ She took off running out the door,” her son-in-law Bobby Cook told Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT.
TENNIS
MADRID, Spain ó Rafael Nadal pulled out of the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai on Monday, citing fatigue after a long season and the need to prepare for the Davis Cup final.
OVECHKIN
ARLINGTON, Va. ó Alex Ovechkin is back with the Washington Capitals.
Ovechkin missed two games while away from the Capitals for a week to be in Russia with his ailing grandfather.
Ovechkin broke the league record for goals by a left wing with 65 last season, helping Washington win the Southeast Division title.
He is off to a slow start this season, with only two goals and five points. He hasn’t scored a goal in his past six games.
NHL
NEWARK, N.J. ó Jason Pominville ended a 20-shot first-period barrage against Kevin Weekes with a power-play goal and the Buffalo Sabres beat New Jersey 2-0 on Monday nigh.
Ryan Miller had 24 saves in registering his second straight shutout.
Islanders 4, Blue Jackets 3, OT
UNIONDALE, N.Y. ó Chris Campoli had his first two goals in nearly a year, the second coming 3:13 into overtime, and the Islanders overcame another blown three-goal lead in the third period to beat the Blue Jackets.
In a bizarre final sequence, the defenseman got to a loose puck after teammate Mike Comrie lost it in the Columbus zone and fired a shot past Fredrik Norrena. Play continued as Campoli waved his arms to signal that he scored, but to no avail. He then took a pass in the slot and drilled another shot into the center of the net.

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