Aaron Hicks had himself a game

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Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks has had a pretty lousy year at the plate so far, but he sure had a night to remember last night against the White Sox.

He took Sox starter Hector Santiago deep twice last night, both solo shots, one in the fourth and one in the sixth. But the highlight of the night for Hicks came just before that second homer. Adam Dunn came up to bat and the Donkey blasted one to center, on a trajectory that woulda taken it out of the yard and tied the game. Hicks wasn’t having it, however:

That’s about a 410 foot drive, I reckon.

It’s been a rough start for the kid. But even if he was hit by a bus tomorrow, he has had a better night than most guys ever will. Love to see that kind of thing.

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.