Mike Rizzo is no idiot

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This passage from Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle is a couple of days old, but it’s still a head-scratcher:

Mike Rizzo kept saying Stephen Strasburg wasn’t ready for the majors, even when Strasburg tore through spring training like a hurricane and dazzled in the minor leagues.

Tuesday’s stunning debut should have been Strasburg’s 11th big-league start, not his first, and the Nats should be in the thick of the division race.

Talk about misreading the emotional makeup of the No. 1 draft pick.

Ostler may be the only person on the planet who doesn’t believe that keeping Strasburg down until June 8th was a service time move as opposed to a readiness move.  Which would normally be fine — sometimes ignorance of such things makes it easier to enjoy baseball — but in this case his ignorance is being used to criticize Mike Rizzo unfairly, and that’s not cool.

Rizzo may be fibbing about why Strasburg was on the farm so long, but the silly rules in place all but require that. And all of us, save Scott Ostler, seemed to know it.

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.