Carlos Beltran’s rehabilitation continues apace. Today, for the first time, he played some center field in an extended spring training game. He also went 3 for 5 with a homer.
I’ve always wondered about “extended spring training.” Who are the other 17 guys the rehabbing star is playing against? Are they any good? Do they make it like simulated games for pitchers and just make up rules to accommodate the player in question or is it a regulation game? I’m assuming the Mets play their extended spring training games in Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. Does anyone come to watch them? Do the players go to that same cheesy sports bar around the corner afterward?
I don’t feel like being in Florida in June, but in the interests of journalism, I’d gladly accept an expenses-paid trip down there to cover extended spring training.
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.