The fans don't care for the All-Star rosters either

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This time it counts! But nobody cares!

By a margin of 56 percent to 42 percent, fans said the All-Star game
shouldn’t be used to determine which league’s champion gets to open the
World Series at home . . . In other poll results: More than half of
fans said every team shouldn’t have a guaranteed spot on the All-Star
rosters. Eighty-two percent said players penalized under MLB’s drug
policy shouldn’t be allowed into the All-Star game in the year they are
punished.

Can’t say I disagree with any of that. Of course, as the article notes,
there’s no getting around these silly rules until at least 2011, which
is when the new collective bargaining agreement will be negotiated. And
call me crazy, but I think the union and the owners will have higher
priorities than the construction of the All-Star Game.

Personally, I’d settle for no rules changes if a manager would
simply announce ahead of time — like, before the voting even gets
seriously underway — that he has no intention of making sure every
player gets in the game and that, instead, he plans on managing to win
the game. Doing such a thing would eliminate the problems of marginal
All-Stars mucking up the game and making a mockery of the putatively
high stakes.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

toronto blue jays
Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.