D'Backs fire manager A.J. Hinch, GM Josh Byrnes

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11:20 PM:  This just keeps getting better.  According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, bench coach and World Series legend Kirk Gibson will take over as skipper.

11:01 PM:  Nightengale adds that general manager Josh Byrnes has also been let go.  He was hired in 2005 and given an eight-year extension in 2008.  But, uh, so much for that.

10:47 PM: According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Diamondbacks have fired manager A.J. Hinch.

Hinch was named Arizona’s skipper in May of 2009, at the age of 34, after Bob Melvin was fired.   At the time, many questioned whether he was the right man for the job, given his lack of experience in the coaching profession.  Those doubters can crack a small grin tonight.

Managers often have very little to do with the outcome of games, let alone seasons, but it’s most definitely worth noting that Hinch led the D’Backs to an 89-123 record during his short tenure in Arizona.

General manager Josh Byrnes is also believed to be on the hot seat, but has not yet been canned.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.