Cliff Pennington sits out game with infected sweat gland

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Cliff Pennington missed yesterday’s game against the White Sox “with an infected sweat gland under his left arm,” according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Slusser notes that the infected sweat gland “makes swinging difficult” for Pennington, which explains why he unsuccessfully attempted to bunt for a hit in the 10th inning after coming off the bench in Sunday’s game.

Andy LaRoche played in Pennington’s place last night, drawing his third start of the season at shortstop despite never playing a single inning there in the majors or minors prior to this season.

UPDATE: Pennington is back in the lineup today after having the infected sweat gland drained. Lovely.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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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.