Mariners to buy a controlling interest in ROOT Sports

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Plastics, Benjamin. Plastics!

Or TV. Which is all the rage now. With sports programming exploding in value — or cost, depending on your point of view — the Mariners have decided to purchase a controlling interest in ROOT Sports. It’s unclear as of yet whether this is just Root Sports Northwest, which serves Seattle, or the entire network, which is controlled by DirecTV.  I’d have to assume just the northwest affiliate, but there has yet to be an official announcement.

The money going to the Mariners comes from the exploding value of rights fees for live sports. Which, in turn, is paid for by cable subscribers whose bills have spiraled ever higher, mostly due to said sports rights fees.  If we’ve learned anything in the past, oh, course of human history, what goes up in value, especially quickly, must come down.  Whether it comes crashing down or floating down will determine whether the M’s have made a smart play here.

 

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.