The Yankees put pitching coach candidates to the test

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Like, literally, a test:

Cashman has devised a process by which candidates fly up to New York, are given a specially culled videotape of Yankees pitchers to watch in the video room at Yankee Stadium, given a night to think about what they have seen and formulate solutions, and then present them in a rigorous Q&A session the following day.

“The process is the most important aspect,” Cashman said. “It’s designed to tell us everything. Who they are as people, what their pitching philosophies are, what their pitching program and plans are, how they utilize video, how they utilize information, how do they incorporate advance scouting in formulating how to attack hitters, and if they can see things that are obviously good or bad. There are certain things on the video that are set up that we are looking for them to pick up on.”

This is totally cool, by the way.  It’s like the Kobayashi Maru or something.  I guess the guy they ultimately hire should be whoever cheats on the test.

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.