Why do people make up fake trade rumors anyway?

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One of the weirder parts of the offseason are the fake news reports and rumors. I don’t mean when a journalist saying something that doesn’t come to pass or seems far-fetched. I mean completely phony reports made up from whole cloth. They’re especially weird when they come from someone who has created a fake Twitter account designed to look like an actual reporter’s.

Why would anyone do that? What do they possibly hope to gain? And how do the real reporters feel about that?

Over at The Hardball Times today, Kyla Wall-Polin attempts to answer that question. She tracked down a couple of fakers and a reporter who has been impersonated and asked what the heck gives. I highly recommend reading the whole thing to get the odd flavor of this little corner of baseball media and fandom, but I’ll say that this sort of stuck out to me:

Greg didn’t strike me as a particularly bad person, just a bored dude trying to amuse himself on the Internet.

I think that explains most of the weird and/or bad stuff on the Internet, actually. It certainly applies here.

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.