Every time Wily Mo Pena comes up I — and a lot of other people — get kind of excited because big long home runs and all-or-nothing kind of players like him are sort of neat on some weird level. It’s irrational, I know. It’s just one of those times when people who think like I do cast aside the “how valuable is this player, truly” thinking and just say “man, he’s fun!”
But Pena isn’t like to ever stick full time in the bigs. Just too many holes in his swing and no defensive value at all. Which is why it makes perfect sense that he told ESPN’s Dominican Republic radio station that he may play in Japan next year. The wording was that he may “accept a contract,” so it’s possible that he already has an offer.
Back to irrationality: I hope he hits 50 homers over there and is given some crazy/wonderful nickname by Japanese fans and never has to pay for a meal in Tokyo again.
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.