Joe DiMaggio’s controversial lawyer nixes a DiMaggio bobblehead day at Yankee Stadium

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The Yankees wanted to give away Joe DiMaggio bobbleheads in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Yankee Clipper’s 56-game hitting streak. They won’t be doing that, though, because the lawyer who long handled DiMaggio’s business affairs and continues to handle those of his estate is, apparently, a pain in the butt to work with.

People familiar with DiMaggio’s post-playing life know the name Morris Engelberg. He’s long been a controversial figure, having been accused of isolating DiMaggio from friends and family in life and of being extraordinarily difficult to deal with with respect to the business affairs of DiMaggio’s estate. Now the Daily News says that Engelberg’s demands have nixed the bobblehead deal too:

Engelberg said he only had two requests after the Yankees approached DiMaggio’s grandchildren about a day honoring Joltin’ Joe’s hitting streak: He wanted former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to throw out the first pitch and he wanted the Yankees to make a donation to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

“I asked for $50,000 for the hospital, $25,000 would have been fine,” Engelberg said.

Engelberg also referenced DiMaggio’s alleged love of George Steinbrenner and added “If George was still here, we’d have this event.” Which has long been a vehicle for b.s. artists to give presumed weight to their unfounded claims, but maybe here he’s right. Who knows! For what it’s worth, Engelberg denies that he was being difficult. The Yankees had no comment.

I have no idea whether Engelberg’s demands are unusual — I suspect the Rudy Giuliani part is unusual — but I also sorta doubt that those were all of his demands too, at least based on his track record.

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.