Brian Dozier doubles down on unwritten rule enforcement

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On Sunday, the Twins took offense when Orioles catcher Chance Sisco laid down a bunt while the O’s trailed 7-0. Twins starter Jose Berrios was working on a one-hit shutout and wound up finishing with a three-hit shutout. Still a pretty good day if you’re involved with the Twins in any capacity.

After the game, several Twins expressed their displeasure with Sisco’s choice to bunt. Second baseman Brian Dozier was among them, saying, “Obviously, we’re not a fan of it. He’s a young kid. I could’ve said something at second base but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there. I’m sure they’ll address that. It’s all about learning. You learn up here.”

It’s an interesting argument since the Twins were heavily shifting Sisco to the right side. According to the Twins, it’s totally fine to play non-standard defense, but it’s not fine to have non-standard offensive strategy that’s in direct response to that defense.

Dozier doubled down, sticking to enforcement of questionable unwritten rules. Via Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Dozier said, “When they didn’t hold our runner on [in the top of the ninth inning], they conceded to the fact they didn’t want us to steal, so we didn’t steal. We could have very easily stolen and put up more runs, so therefore in return you don’t bunt. That’s what everybody is missing in this whole thing.”

He added, “Everyone just thinks, ‘He’s whining because they bunted against the shift.’ That’s how baseball is played. That’s just how the game is played. That’s just how it is.”

Dozier made assumptions about the Orioles’ behavior, then got upset when his expectations weren’t met. Which is totally his problem and not the Orioles’. A seven-run lead isn’t insurmountable. Sisco was simply doing his job, trying to get his team back in the game. It worked, as the Orioles loaded the bases with one out, but were unable to push any runs across before Berrios escaped.

As Craig wrote earlier, Dozier is just being a fuddy duddy. Carry on.

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.