After skipping All-Star game, Justin Morneau likely bound for disabled list with concussion

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It’s been eight days since Justin Morneau took a knee to the helmet while breaking up a double play, but the All-Star first baseman remains out of the Twins’ lineup tonight because of lingering headaches and dizziness. He’s expected to be placed on the disabled list prior to the game.
Morneau suffered several concussions as a youth hockey player in Canada and missed time in 2005 after taking a Ron Villone fastball to the helmet, so at this point his status is a major concern.
Morneau is hitting .345 with 18 homers and 25 doubles in 81 games to rank second in the league with a 1.055 OPS and not having him for a crucial series against the division-leading White Sox is a big blow, but the Twins are relatively well-equipped to handle his absence in the short term thanks to having Jim Thome and his .929 OPS around to plug into the lineup.

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.