Larry Bowa confirms he interviewed for Astros manager job

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Larry Bowa was in Houston last week meeting with the Astros, but the team declined to say what exactly it was about other than general manager Jeff Luhnow saying “baseball-related matters.”

Bowa was more forthcoming yesterday, admitting that he was indeed there to interview for the manager job. That means Bowa is now one of five known candidates for the gig, along with interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, Nationals third base coach Bo Porter, Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar, and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez.

Bowa stands out from that group because he’s 66 years old and has tons of managing experience, going 81-127 (.389) with the Padres from 1987-1988 and 337-308 (.522) with the Phillies from 2001-2004. He also stands out because he’d seemingly be an odd choice for the Astros’ analytical, sabermetrically inclined front office.

Bowa, who’s currently working for MLB Network as a television analyst, called his meeting with the Astros “a good interview” and “a good conversation.”

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.