Peter Moylan: dippin’ down under

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Braves reliever Peter Moylan is from Australia. And we learn from his recently launched blog — which, if the history of these sorts of things holds, will go inactive in two weeks — that it’s not easy transitioning to the offseason when you’re from the land down under.  After he took a 24 hour flight back home, this happened:

I was however, met by a customs officer who took a liking to my chewing tobacco. You see skoal is not something that is readily available in the land down under so as you can imagine a three month supply was sure to catch the attention of the x-ray machine, so what followed was a 30 min negotiation that involved me trying to prove that I am a Major League Baseball player and not a smoke shop owner trying to bring in new products.

I don’t care if ballplayers dip — it’s outrageously dumb, but it’s a free country, even in another country — but I bet Major League Baseball would prefer it if their players didn’t blog about the copious amount of tobacco their players use.

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.