The Angels have a comeback plan for Josh Hamilton

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Over the weekend it was reported that the Angels and Josh Hamilton were in talks that would, somehow, resolve his situation. Those talks could include trade talks. Or talks about how and when to let him rejoin the team. Money could’ve been on the table. They could’ve been adversarial or not.

But today the Los Angeles Times is reporting that, whatever else may happen to Hamilton — and the team going after him for money is apparently still on the table — the Angels are trying to put in place a path back to the team for him. Bill Shaikin:

Under the tentative plan, Hamilton would report to the Angels’ Arizona training complex for two to three weeks of work with the team’s extended spring program. He would then proceed to a minor league rehabilitation assignment and could rejoin the Angels thereafter.

“Thereafter” being early June.

This would be a lot more encouraging, I think, if Arte Moreno or someone in charge there would drop the silly farce in which they think they can void Hamilton’s deal because of his drug lapse and if they’d make some sort of gesture which suggests that (a) they care about the guy as a person; and (b) might have a scintilla of regret for the way they’ve trashed him publicly in the past month or two. But as it is, this comeback plan seems just as premised on the fact that C.J. Cron and Collin Cowgill aren’t hitting well, so maybe they should hedge their bets.

Which has sort of been the thread all along here for the Angels, actually. Their anger at Hamilton is due to his specific facts — he makes a lot of money and hasn’t played well — rather than any set of principles or scruples they have as club. Now, his potential return to the team is, it seems, premised on the fact that he may be a less-odious option than Cron or Cowgill, not because allowing him to rejoin the team is the right and proper thing to do.

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.