Joe Maddon doesn’t want his players to “pimp” home runs

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Joe Maddon said yesterday that he does not want his Cubs hitters to “pimp” home runs. To stand and admire their shots, gesticulate and emote and all of that:

“It’s act like you’ve done it before and you can do it again,” he said. “The touchdown celebration, all that stuff, pounding your chest after dunking a basketball, all this stuff that’s become part of today’s generation of athletes – whether you agree with it being right or wrong doesn’t matter. I would just prefer that our guys would act like they’ve done it before and that they’re going to do it again.”

I don’t mind a little celebration from time to time as long as it’s not aimed at the other team in a taunting manner. But really, this is a fair stance to have. Especially when you have a young team like Maddon has now.

But it’s probably worth noting that it’s not always the stance that Maddon has had. Remember two years ago when Yunel Escobar was in a little dustup with the Blue Jays after he hit a home run and made a “safe” sign as he crossed home plate. After first voicing his displeasure at Escobar, Maddon reversed himself the next day:

“Some people point to the sky, he shows a safe sign. For me I love the way he is. I want him to remain the way he is. He did nothing wrong. … People that want to say that he did, that’s a fabrication on somebody’s part based on your own personal judgments, period … I’m never going to attempt to subtract from his celebratory manner.”

Also worth noting that Maddon had a closer back in those days who fired invisible arrows into the sky after each save.

My guess: Maddon doesn’t really care for the celebration stuff but, with Tampa Bay, had to be more diplomatic about it because the players who celebrated were veterans and you can’t really win by getting into battles with veterans. Now that he has a younger team, including a lot of young hitters with very little experience, he can be a bit more forward about voicing his displeasure with that stuff.

But really, man: a little flexing never hurt anyone. It can be kind of fun.

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.