Bryce Harper wants to play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic

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He backed out this year because he wanted his first regular big league camp and he wanted to learn to play left field and get acquainted with Denard Span in center. But Bryce Harper is stoked for the 2017 WBC, reports Ken Rosenthal:

“In four years, absolutely I want to play, 100 percent. They can write my name down right now … I’m all for USA. I’m all for playing in the WBC and the Olympics, whatever. This year was just hard … “It sucks. I love watching it. I love how the guys are playing, the way they play. It’s got to be fun playing with all those guys, David Wright, Adam Jones and (Shane) Victorino. It just seems like a blast.”

I presume Morosi is going to hold him to that.

 

 

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.