Party like it’s 2011: Watch Jeff Francoeur throw out Alex Rodriguez at home plate

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2011 was Jeff Francoeur’s most recent productive season and the season after Alex Rodriguez’s last 30-homer campaign. Francoeur’s star has fallen steeply since then, compiling a .615 OPS in 887 plate appearances while struggling to stay in the majors. A-Rod, of course, battled injuries and missed all of 2014 due to a drug-related suspension.

It may be 2015 now, but both are still sort of relevant as Francoeur has a decent shot at making the Phillies’ 25-man roster and Rodriguez will attempt to be a productive member of the Yankees’ everyday lineup.

Both were involved in an interesting play on Friday afternoon as the Yankees were in Clearwater to take on the Phillies in a Grapefruit League match-up. With runners on second and third and one out in the second inning of a scoreless game, Chris Young hit a deep fly ball to Francoeur in right field. Rodriguez, on third, tagged up but was easily tagged out following a strong throw from Francoeur to catcher Cameron Rupp. Watch:

[mlbvideo id=”55236183″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Rodriguez, by the way, will make his spring debut at first base on Sunday against the Astros, per ESPN’s Baseball Tonight on Twitter.

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.