Sean Burnett loses his arbitration with the Nats

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Bill Ladson tweets that Nats reliever Sean Burnett lost his arbitration. He’ll make $775,000 in 2010. He had asked for $925,000. Between this and the Brian Bruney arbitration, the Nats bullpen is gettin’ shelled before the first pitch has even been thrown.

In other news, I’m noticing that every arbitration result has been reported first by MLB.com beat reporters. There are a lot of good ones over there, and in the grand scheme of things this isn’t that important, but I wonder if the teams are shooting the results to them first.  Despite the fact that they’re paid by Major League Baseball, MLB.com reporters aren’t usually given any special access.

Like I said, this is no big deal. It’s just one of those things I’m noticing while waiting around for Tiger Woods to pretend to be sorry for living like a rock star and getting brutally assaulted by his wife.

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

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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.