Judge sides with Albert Pujols, who was sued by his cousin for defamation

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TMZ reports that a judge sided with Angels DH Albert Pujols and threw out a defamation lawsuit filed by Pujols’ cousin Wilfrido against Albert last year.

Wilfrido and his older brother were involved in a police chase back in 2007 that ended up killing another man. Wilfrido was cleared of wrongdoing, though his brother — the driver — had been using drugs and alcohol. The mother of the victim sent an email to Pujols’ foundation in 2014 which accused him and his wife of financially aiding the brothers. Pujols’ wife, Diedre, responded by writing, “These two young men have ruined many lives.” The mother posted the statement to her Facebook page publicly. Wilfrido says that statement made by Diedre ruined his reputation and helped derail his baseball career. Wilfrido wanted $27 million. He won’t be receiving anything.

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.