Chipper Jones could retire before 2012

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Chipper Jones, though happy to in a playoff race, raises the possibility that he won’t play out the entirety of his recent three-year contract extension:

“When the contract’s up, I’ll
probably be done,” he said Wednesday. “It could be earlier. You know
what? My body will tell me. My mind will tell me. It’s been a long
career, and my body tells the story. When I get to the point where I’m
so mentally and physically fatigued, I’ll gladly ride off into the
sunset and not look back.”

Chipper’s body tends to speak pretty loudly. Having followed him as a fan for as long as I have, my sense of him is that if he’s just suffering the normal aches and pains a near-40 year-old suffers, he’ll play out the deal with lots of days off and occasional DL visits.  He probably won’t, however, put himself through surgeries or any real kind of rehab, and would glady walk away from a couple of million bucks if that was the choice.

Unlike Doug Glanville, Jones strikes me as the kind of guy who is probably looking forward to and will enjoy the hell out of retirement.

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

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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.