The Marlins’ home run sculpture could be on its way out

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The Marlins are soon to be under new management, as current owner Jeffrey Loria reportedly agreed to a $1.2 billion sale on Friday. There are still some kinks to be worked out, like the approval of the remaining 29 MLB teams, the future of the team’s star players and the level of involvement from investor and former MLB infielder Derek Jeter, but at least one rumored change involves the Marlins’ infamous home run sculpture. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the center field eyesore (or Lisa Frank tribute, depending on your perspective) will likely be removed when the Sherman-Jeter group officially takes over.

The $2.5 million sculpture was commissioned from American multimedia artist Red Grooms and has been a staple of Marlins Park during its five-year lifespan. It’s helped commemorate everything from Jose Fernandez‘s explosive first home run

to Giancarlo Stanton‘s walk-off grand slam

to Aaron Judge’s spectacular show at the 2017 Home Run Derby (albeit without the colorful display).

Whether this is an isolated move or the start of a serious rebranding effort remains to be seen, but, like the removal of Tal’s Hill at the start of the 2017 season, it looks like another of baseball’s lovable quirks is destined for the scrap heap.

RIP, home run sculpture. You were gone too soon.

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.