Brad Ausmus will interview for the Nationals job

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Among recently retired players Brad Ausmus has been a popular manager candidate. In the past year along he interviewed to replace Terry Francona with the Red Sox and balked at the chance to interview for the Marlins and Astros openings.

And now he’s in the mix to replace Davey Johnson with the Nationals.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Ausmus will interview for the job and the Nationals had to reach out to the Padres to get permission first, because he’s currently a front office assistant in San Diego.

During his 18-year playing career Ausmus was always mentioned as a future manager and at age 44 he’s 26 years younger than Johnson. Obviously the Nationals disappointed this season, but given the talent on their roster it would be a helluva opportunity for a first-time manager.

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.