ALDS, Game 1: Royals vs. Angels lineups

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Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the Royals-Angels series in Anaheim:

Royals:
SS Alcides Escobar
RF Norichika Aoki
CF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Billy Butler
LF Alex Gordon
C Salvador Perez
2B Omar Infante
3B Mike Moustakas

SP Jason Vargas

Exact same lineup the Royals used in the Wild Card Game, even though they were facing a left-hander then and are facing a right-hander tonight. It’s the standard batting order they went with down the stretch.

Angels:
RF Kole Calhoun
CF Mike Trout
1B Albert Pujols
2B Howie Kendrick
3B David Freese
SS Erick Aybar
LF Josh Hamilton
DH C.J. Cron
C Chris Iannetta

SP Jered Weaver

Josh Hamilton missed most of September with a shoulder injury, so manager Mike Scioscia is understandably skeptical about what he’ll bring to the table against a left-hander and has him batting seventh. Chris Iannetta gets the nod at catcher over Hank Conger and C.J. Cron’s right-handed bat is in the lineup at designated hitter.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.