Erick Aybar diagnosed with hyper-extended knee after ugly looking takeout slide

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Erick Aybar was in obvious pain and had to be helped off the field last night after suffering what appeared to be a significant leg injury as a result of Casey McGehee sliding into him while trying to break up a double play.
MLB.com has video of the play, which includes the announcers saying they thought McGehee’s slide was on the dirty (or at least unnecessary) side.
My sense is that McGehee’s “slide” wasn’t all that different than what goes on trying to break up double plays every day, but the appearance and result were much worse because Aybar was in such a vulnerable position with his leg fully extended and totally unprotected (he had to reach back to snag an off-line throw and then find the base with his foot).
Fortunately for the Angels it sounds like Aybar somehow avoided a serious injury. He’ll likely undergo further testing today, but the initial diagnosis is merely a hyper-extended left knee and it’s possible that he may not even need a disabled list stint. Maicer Izturis will slide from third base to shortstop for however long Aybar is out, perhaps opening the door for Brandon Wood to get one last chance to play regularly at the hot corner.

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

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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.