Last month Ian Kinsler made a point of telling people that he planned on being the unofficial spokesman for the Tigers:
Kinsler believes it’s important to have a veteran everyday player who is willing to speak after every Tigers game — win or lose — because that is the best way for players to convey how the team is feeling to fans watching interviews on television or reading stories on the Internet or in the newspaper . . . .”The most important thing is the fans,” Kinsler said of his new role. “The second most important thing is my teammates, that they don’t have to worry about it. They don’t have to have people hovering over their shoulders if they’re not comfortable with talking.”
He spoke to the fans yesterday and seemed to say “if you don’t like us, well, find a different team to root for.” From the Detroit Free Press:
When told that fans can’t figure out the team’s uneven performance, he said: “They’re entitled to their opinion. If they want to root for someone else they think is more consistent, that is fine. You know we need as many as we can get.”
Not exactly the sort of thing one might expect from a self-proclaimed clubhouse spokesman. But definitely conveys the mood of a team that is struggling lately.
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.