The Red Sox to meet with Bobby Valentine on Monday

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Today, Jeff Passan reports:

Bobby Valentine expects to meet with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington on Monday. Could emerge as favorite for manager if meeting goes well.

Interesting, because the other day the Boston Herald wrote:

Bobby Valentine has been a candidate for the Red Sox manager job from the early stages of the team’s search process, a club source said yesterday. Valentine was one of the first people interviewed by general manager Ben Cherington

Hmm. Interesting that Valentine’s candidacy depends on a good meeting with Cherington when he already interviewed with Cherington.

Or — and call me crazy — someone in the Sox front office was pulling the Herald’s chain the other day and was trying to make it look as though ownership didn’t totally undercut Cherington by injecting Valentine into the situation when Cherington was interviewing a totally different sort of candidate slate.

Insane. I know.

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

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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.