Josh Hamilton’s potential suspension would begin at the start of the regular season

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Josh Hamilton could face a suspension of “at least 25 games” for admitted use of cocaine. That suspension would start at the beginning of the regular season, according to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez.

That’s important for Hamilton and the Angels because the veteran is also recovering from surgery to fix the AC joint in his right shoulder earlier this month. He’s expected to miss 6-8 weeks, which would take him to about the beginning of May. The Angels play their 26th game on May 2 in San Francisco against the Giants. It’s quite possible Hamilton simply spends the duration of his suspension rehabbing and would effectively not miss any time that he wouldn’t have missed anyway.

Hamilton, 33, is entering the third year of a five-year, $125 million contract signed with the Angels in December 2012. He only played in 89 games last season as he was out for most of the first two months after tearing the UCL in his left thumb. Hamilton ended the season batting .263/.331/.414 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 381 plate appearances.

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.