Four of the World Series umpires will be Fall Classic newbies

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The official announcement hasn’t been made, but Ben Walker of the Associated press is reporting the names of the umpires who will work the World Series. Four of them are going to work the Fall Classic for the first time:

Hunter Wendelstedt, Eric Cooper, Jim Reynolds and Jerry Meals are heading to their first World Series . . . Jeff Kellogg will be the crew chief and call his fifth World Series when Kansas City hosts San Francisco in Game 1 on Tuesday night. Ted Barrett and Jeff Nelson will work the Fall Classic for the third time.

None of the favorite umpires we love to hate are on that list. And, generally speaking, those guys weren’t terrible in terms of having calls overturned on replay this year.

Here’s hoping this is the last we hear their names apart from the announcements at the start of each game.

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.