UPDATE: The Dodgers are going to go closer-by-committee … or are they?

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UPDATE:  Well, this could be awkward.  Broxton said this afternoon that Mattingly told him that he’s still the closer. That’s going to make for an interesting day in the Dodgers’ clubhouse. Might make an even more interesting day for Ned Colletti who said something quite different on the radio today.

3:30 PM: As readers pointed out to me, I was a bit hard on Jonathan Broxton in ATH this morning, failing to grasp that the ninth inning meltdown last night was more a function of the Dodgers’ defensive problems than they were Broxton’s doing. There was that Carroll error, but one of the “singles” Broxton gave up was really a case of Jerry Sands badly misplaying a ball in left.  Five outs is tough to get, but Broxton was forced to do it. Apologies for whiffing on that. Such is the problem with reading box scores after the fact. You assume singles are singles, and such assumptions aren’t always safe.

Not that all is right with Broxton. His velocity is way down over the past couple of years and Don Mattingly’s confidence in him is obviously low.  As such, Ned Colletti said on KABC radio today that the Dodgers are going to shift to a closer-by-committee approach for a while. “Hopefully, we can give Donnie three choices at the end of the game … until Broxton gets his confidence back.” Those three choices are going to be Broxton, Vicente Padilla and Hong Chih-Kuo.

It will be interesting to see who Mattingly uses in practice. Because really, Colletti’s comments seem geared less towards creating some sort of set rotation of game-enders and seems geared more towards giving Mattingly some cover to avoid Broxton without having to answer pointed questions all the time.

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.