Tim Brosnan, V.P. of business, is leaving MLB

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Major League Baseball just announced that Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President, Business and CEO of MLB Enterprises, will depart from MLB at the end of January.

Brosnan was a finalist for the commissioner’s job which went to Rob Manfred. He had been with Major League Baseball since 1991, and had spearheaded many of MLB’s sponsorship and business deals. Manfred is basically squeezing him out, however, by naming MLB Advanced Media President Bob Bowman “chief revenue officer” and putting him more squarely in charge of overall business matters, rather than simply limiting him to digital initiatives.

As Maury Brown wrote in November, baseball’s previous structure — Bowman on the digital side, Brosnan doing other things — was frustrating for sponsors and would-be partners who would prefer to deal with MLB in a unified way rather than have to talk to two different shops, as it were. It also created turf wars internally, some say. I have spoken personally to at least one club employee who said it was really, really frustrating to have to clear ideas and initiatives through two offices, practically speaking.

Bowman’s ascension means that Brosnan was, as the British like to say, made redundant.

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.