TORONTO – Win or lose, the Toronto Blue Jays were planning to celebrate on Friday night.
The Blue Jays clinched a playoff berth Thursday afternoon when the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Boston Red Sox 5-3. That defeat mathematically eliminated Baltimore from the playoffs and guaranteed Toronto will be in the post-season but the Blue Jays had Thursday off, meaning they couldn’t celebrate together as a team.
Toronto opened a three-game series with the Red Sox on Friday and Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said his team would celebrate its post-season berth regardless of the result.
“I think whenever you have a chance to do that you have to embrace it. You have to not ignore it,” said Schneider in the dugout at Rogers Centre before Friday’s game. “That doesn’t happen all the time and I can’t wait to have a good time with that group.”
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The Blue Jays have six more regular-season games. Toronto is still playing for home-field advantage in the American League wild card series. After the three-game set against Boston, the Blue Jays will travel to Baltimore to close out the regular season.
All-star Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette said he thinks it’s important to celebrate the accomplishment, even though home-field advantage hasn’t been secured.
“All the hard work paid off, we put a lot in and we had high expectations of ourselves and we were able to accomplish it,” said Bichette, who watched the Orioles’ loss with Blue Jays second baseman Santiago Espinal. “There’s still more work to do, obviously, and we expect more but we definitely need to enjoy this.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2022.
© 2022 The Canadian Press
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