Quote of the Day: Terry Francona is anti-moping


There’s this expectation among sports fans that if a team isn’t playing well, the team shouldn’t be happy about it. They like conspicuous moping and, in the past have, with the help of the media, turned non-sad athletes on losing teams into bad guys who are expected to answer for not deporting themselves in a funereal fashion.

The Indians aren’t playing well. But Terry Francona will not have them mope. Not for a second:

Francona, of course, lost his job in Boston, in part, because he had some players who just wanted to eat a fine meal in a comfortable room and not, I dunno, sit on the bench trying to out-grim one another.

I’m glad Francona didn’t pay any attention to those scolds and that he’s fine with his players relaxing and enjoying themselves, even when they’re losing. Life sucks an awful lot of the time and we all die at the end of it. It makes no sense to create more dreariness than there already is. It’s the emotional equivalent of false hustle.

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.