Your first blank Hall of Fame protest ballot of the year

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Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for this self-righteous, grandstanding attention whore:

My ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame 2013 election is in the mail. It’s dutifully signed, has my Baseball Writers’ Association of America badge number recorded, all official. What it does not have is a vote for a single player … I am choosing to speak loudly by using silence … …I don’t know what I’ll do next year, but I’m fairly sure I won’t send in a blank ballot. This one-year protest should make my point.

That’s Mark Faller of the Arizona Republic, by the way. The headline on his column is “Nobody deserves my Hall vote this year.”

But at least it’s “dutifully signed.”

Oy.

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.