Baseball — and the American Character — is dying, you guys

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There is no truth to the rumor that Dave Bry of The Guardian wrote this at my prodding in order to give me something new and over-the-top to rail against. Though, really, I would totally understand the accusation because this is so far over the top it’s looking down on satellites in geosynchronous orbit:

Long considered the country’s “national pastime”, baseball reflects the very best qualities of the American spirit, the higher values upon which our society was (theoretically, at least) founded: freedom, independence, tolerance. Football is a violent, territorial sport that rewards brute strength over everything else and symbolises, at its base level, imperialism, bloodlust, and corporate capitalism’s tendency to flatten any and all eccentricity into bland, cog-in-the-machine homogeny.

Sadly, it’s more than clear at this point that Americans don’t much like baseball anymore, at least compared to how much we like football.

This is a deep – and worsening – flaw in our collective character, as telling a sign of American decline as our terrible math skills, our tragic and preventable high infant mortality rate or the depreciation of our GDP vis-a-vis China.

I think the most ironic thing about that is that a guy who decries corporatism, imperialism, capitalism, bloodlust and all sorts of other awful things cites television ratings as the sine qua non of the U.S. character. Because TV ratings are obviously where virtue lies.

In other news, someone needs to get Dave Bry up to speed about U.S. culture, because this has been a football country for at least 45 years. Maybe longer. All of which is crazy because I’m pretty sure Bry is an American and he should know such things.

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.