David Ortiz is batting .487 and has a 22-game hitting streak dating back to 2012

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David Ortiz has been on fire since returning from the disabled list to make his 2013 debut, hitting .487 with three homers and seven doubles in 10 games for an incredible 1.409 OPS.

Ortiz missed nearly the entire second half of last season, but he ended the year with a hitting streak that has now stretched to 22 games dating back to July 2. That’s a career-long streak for Ortiz at age 37 and Chris Toman of MLB.com notes that it’s the longest streak by a designated hitter since Paul Molitor had a hit in 39 straight games in 1987.

Hitting streaks can often be kind of silly and obviously Ortiz isn’t making a run at Joe DiMaggio, but what he’s done since coming off the DL is ridiculous and the fact that his streak picked up from last July just makes it even more impressive following such a long layoff.

Since the beginning of 2012 he’s now hitting .336 with 26 homers, 33 doubles, and a 1.067 OPS in 100 games.

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.