Great, great, great nephew of 'Shoeless' Joe drafted

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All sorts of interesting things can happen late in the MLB draft.

The San Francisco Giants, for instance, selected former Notre Dame receiver Golden Tate on Wednesday in the 50th round, eight picks from the end. This despite the fact that Tate has already joined the Seattle Seahawks, and was just nabbed for a late night donut store raid.

Sometimes some pretty cool things happen, too, like the Royals selecting Joe Jackson, also in the 50th round.

No, he’s not the “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, but pretty close. A high school catcher from Greenville, S.C., this Joe Jackson happens to be the great, great, great nephew of the baseball legend.

Even better, he’s completely familiar with his uncle’s history – including the Black Sox scandal that led to “Shoeless” Joe’s banishment from the game – and denies that his namesake played any role in throwing the 1919 World Series. From Samuel Zuba’s story on MLB.com:

Shoeless Joe proclaimed his innocence until the day he died. Though a jury acquitted him, his reputation for throwing the World Series stayed with him.

“He told members of the family that he did not cheat and that he did not throw the World Series,” Jackson said of his uncle. “Most people don’t really know that. He didn’t like to talk about it, from what I’m told, but he did tell the family that, and usually, you tell your family the truth.”

Though a long shot as a 50th-round selection, the young Jackson says his uncle’s history provides him plenty of motivation to succeed. “The whole situation makes me want to clear the family’s name for people who don’t really know the story and think he just threw the World Series. It just makes me want to clear our name with my play.”

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Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.