Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader on Monday asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its refusal to overturn his felony obstruction conviction.

Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds made his long-shot request of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit upheld Bonds’ conviction in September. A jury found him guilty in April 2011. The jury deadlocked on three other counts that Bonds made false statements stemming from his denial that he knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs, and those charges were later dismissed.

Bonds is asking the court to assemble a special panel of 11 judges to rehear the case. The court seldom grants those requests. It would take a majority vote of the 27 active judges on the court to reopen Bonds’ case. If the appeals court turns down his request, Bonds’ next and final step would be to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up his case.

League fights lawsuit

A letter to a New York judge says Major League Baseball wants an early dismissal of a lawsuit Alex Rodriguez filed against the league and Commissioner Bud Selig.

Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan agreed Monday that both sides could file their motions by Nov. 8 in federal court.

A lawyer for Rodriguez said he wrote the letter jointly with MLB lawyers to schedule how the case will proceed. The lawyer — Jordan Siev — said attorneys for the Yankees third baseman will ask the judge to return the case to state court, where Rodriguez originally filed it. He said MLB lawyers who moved the case to federal court will ask that the lawsuit be dismissed.

The lawsuit claims MLB went on a “witch hunt” to remove Rodriguez from baseball.

Interview with Tigers

Former major league catcher Brad Ausmus has interviewed for the Detroit Tigers’ manager’s job.

Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed that Ausmus interviewed on Monday. The Tigers need a new manager after Jim Leyland stepped down following the team’s loss to Boston in the AL Championship Series.

Ausmus works in San Diego’s front office as a special assistant to the GM.

Longer game times

When the Cardinals and Red Sox met in the 1967 World Series, the average length of the seven games was 2 hours, 22 minutes. My, how things have changed.

All four World Series games this season have exceeded three hours: Game 1 was 3 hours, 17 minutes; Game 2, 3:05; Game 3, 3:54 and Game 4, 3:34.

Sure, there are more commercials during the postseason, making the wait between innings longer. But it’s not just TV.

Watch a baseball clip from the 1970s or earlier and hitters generally stay in the batter’s box. Pitcher’s get the ball and toe the rubber. Today, 20- to 30-second breaks between pitches are common as hitters step out to adjust their batting gloves or pitchers stalk around the mound.

Red Sox games tend to be slower than most because their hitters work deep into the count. MLB figures show the average Red Sox game in the regular season was 3 hours, 10 minutes, longest in baseball.