Giant-headed, be-mulleted Randy Johnson wins sausage race ripoff in Arizona

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It’s entirely possible that someone else thought of pitting four giant plush mascots against one another in between-inning footraces before the Brewers did it with their sausage guys, but Milwaukee has always done it the best.  And, inevitably, it has led to copycats.  Giant president heads race in Washington.  Hot dogs race in Cleveland.  Tools race in Atlanta (really, Home Depot sponsors it and everything; one of the guys who dresses up even reads this blog!).  I’m sure there are others.

The latest is in Arizona, where they unleashed a Legends Race over the weekend.  The gimmick: the race takes place between giant caricatures of Randy Johnson, Mark Grace, Luis Gonzalez and Matt Williams.  The fact that all four of those dudes were as slow as molasses makes it all the more delicious. What, no Tony Womack? 

Anyway, Randy Johnson won the first one.  I’m assuming the egos of the players involved will not allow the Dbacks to do with these races what other teams do with theirs in constantly gaming it so that one of the mascots never wins (e.g. Teddy Roosevelt for the Nats).  If they do it with anyone it should be Mark Grace, though, considering he’s a smoker.  Having him hack his way to fourth place every night would probably send a good message out there to the kids, ya know?

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.