“If the Boss was still alive!” watch

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BSOHL is our favorite beat-like-a-dead-horse meme around these parts. Our third favorite one is the stuff about how Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson would’ve decapitated someone for, well, whatever somebody did in yesterday’s ballgame that an old sportswriter didn’t like.

But our second favorite one is “If the Boss was still alive!” columns. You know how those work: when a New York columnist lacks an angle and decides to channel the glory days of George Steinbrenner. And, of course, it’s almost always writers whose own glory days happen to correspond with those of George Steinbrenner.

Bill Madden of the Daily News is good for a couple of these a year. Here he is this morning, noting that George Steinbrenner often got upset when, as the 2015 Yankees just did, his Yankees dropped spring training games to the Mets. He sets up with an old (but good!) Steinbrenner anecdote, notes that people don’t take spring training games seriously like he did anymore and how, as such, no one with the 2015 Yankees had an outburst about the losses to the Mets like Big Stein would’ve. Then closes with, of course, a question to Joe Girardi about how The Boss would’ve reacted if he were still alive.

Which, hey, it’s New York and they’re gonna do this until every single person with a living memory of Steinbrenner has died or retired. I’d only wish that when they do do this they’d note for the record that, when it came to stuff like this, Steinbrenner was a certified crazy person who completely lacked perspective about certain things. And that, as such, wondering what he might do in the current situation is akin to asking what David Berkowitz might do if the next door neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.

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.