Lou Piniella was offered the job as manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays yesterday. It was believed to be a three- or four-year offer with an average salary that is more than the $2.5 million he was to earn as the Seattle Mariners' boss in 2003.

Piniella lives in Tampa in the offseason and wants to work closer to his family. He is also being pursued by the New York Mets.

Piniella and his agent, Alan Nero, were presented with a contract proposal during a meeting with General Manager Chuck LaMar and Devil Rays managing general partner Vince Naimoli.

The Devil Rays received permission to negotiate with Piniella last week, and the manager also would like an opportunity to speak with the Mets, who fired Bobby Valentine this month. The Mets, however, have been unable to agree with Seattle on compensation.

Memorable Moments

Major League Baseball will announce the winner of its season-long "Memorable Moments" contest prior to Wednesday's Game 4, and fans of the Baltimore Orioles, and Cal Ripken in particular, may want to tune in for the festivities.

Two league sources said Ripken's 1995 breaking of Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games-played streak was the top vote-getter in balloting that took place online at MLB.com and at major league ballparks. Voters chose from a list of 30 memorable moments selected by a panel of experts.

Ripken was invited to San Francisco as one of the top three vote-getters. He was leading the balloting the last time voting results were released, with about two weeks left in the contest.

Hank Aaron's 715th home run and Jackie Robinson's debut were second and third at that time, followed by the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa home run duel in 1998 and Gehrig's farewell speech.

Hat's Off

Giants pitcher Jason Christiansen, who is not on the team's World Series roster, nonetheless has been the subject of scrutiny.

Christiansen, a former teammate and close friend of Darryl Kile, the late St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, has been wearing a cap with a handwritten "57" and "D.K." -- Kile's uniform number and initials -- for most of the season after Kile's death.

Officials, however, informed Christiansen he was in violation of the league's standard uniform code, and threatened to bar him from the Giants' dugout if he wore the hat. . . .

Cleveland Indians slugger Jim Thome was named the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award as the player who best represents the game on and off the field.

Guilty Plea

The 15-year-old boy who ran on the field with his father to attack a Kansas City Royals coach pleaded guilty and was released.

The boy and William R. Ligue Jr. were charged in the September beating of Tom Gamboa during a game against the Chicago White Sox.

The boy pleaded guilty Monday to one charge of aggravated battery and two counts of mob action for striking Gamboa and an off-duty state trooper who was working security at the game. At his sentencing Nov. 7 he could face probation or incarceration until he is 21.

Surgery for Castillo

Florida Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo, whose 35-game hitting streak this season was the majors' longest in 15 years, is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right hip today to repair a torn labrum discovered during his routine postseason physical.