COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION: It’s 1:45 AM at this writing, and players and owners are still negotiating in New York to attempt to avoid a baseball work stoppage. I had originally planned to stay up until a deal was either reached or a strike declared, but now that they’re saying talks could go ’til morning, I may give up on that by 2. This has the feeling right now of a presidential election, in which it may take until the wee hours of morning before we know the results. But more ominously, the last time I sat rapt in such suspense over a negotiation between historical enemies, it was 2000’s Camp David summit between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat, and we all know how that one turned out. Let’s hope Bud Selig doesn’t walk away from a sweetheart deal and later encourage the owners to blow themselves up. Though on second thought, perhaps, let’s hope he does.