The Red Sox hire Chili Davis as a minor league hitting coach; fundamentally shift the balance of power in the AL East

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The Red Sox hired Chili Davis to be the hitting coach for the AAA Pawsox today. That’s swell. Nice guy. Good hitter. But probably not worth this tweet from Heyman:

red sox announce hiring of chili davis as pawsox hitting coach. 1 of best/smartest guys in game. yankees still hibernating.

You know, there’s a lot to be desired about the Yankees’ offseason, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the identity of a team’s minor league hitting coach has had absolutely no bearing on any major league pennant race in the history of forever nor will it even if they’re still playing baseball in the year 2525. I think it’s OK to give the Yankees a pass here for “hibernating.”

Indeed, the notion that anything the Red Sox do that the Yankees don’t immediately counter represents some sort of victory in a never-ending war is one of the more tiresome memes in all of baseball.

It reminds me of this.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.