It’s been rumored forever, but the Round Rock Express — currently the Astros’ AAA affiliate — has called a press conference for Thursday during which it will be announced that they’re going to become the Rangers top minor league club.
Well, we presume so, given that they’re (a) partially-owned by Nolan Ryan; (b) Nolan Ryan now partially-owns the Rangers; (c) Ryan will be at the press conference; and (d) everyone on the planet has been saying this would happen.
But boy, it would be the heel-turn to end all heel-turns if the President of the Express ripped open his oxford button down to reveal, I dunno, an Oakland A’s t-shirt and then hit Ryan over the head with a folding chair, wouldn’t it?
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.