Giants fire their first and third base coaches

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Pop quiz, hotshot:

Your team cratered in the second half, going from the game’s best record at the All-Star break to just barely making the playoffs. Along the way the bullpen was revealed to be a HUGE problem and, in fact, ended up being the reason you got bounced from the NLDS. The offseason has now begun. What to do you? WHAT DO YOU DO?!

Well, you fire the first and third base coaches, that’s what:

That refers to coaches Roberto Kelly and Bill Hayes. Giants GM Bobby Evans says the rest of the staff will remain intact for 2017.

OK, in all seriousness, there are likely totally valid reasons for Kelly and Hayes to go. There are a lot of reasons why coaches get canned that most of us know nothing about. And, obviously, the Giants will be spending the offseason dealing with what went wrong for them down the stretch.

Still, any chance I get to use that Dennis Hopper-from-“Speed” meme, I’m gonna take it.

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.