Mookie Betts leads all of baseball in All-Star voting in the early going

Getty Images
7 Comments

Yesterday we had the first returns in the NL All-Star voting, today it’s the American League’s turn.

Mookie Betts is in front of all comers — at all positions, in both leagues — with 748,872 votes. Second in both categories is Jose Altuve at 701,236. For that matter, the third place AL guy — Mike Trout — has 639,822 votes, which is more than the top NL guy, Freddie Freeman had. The star power, she is in the Junior Circuit these days.

The other AL leaders: first baseman Jose Abreu of the White Sox, third baseman José Ramirez of the Indians, shortstop Manny Machado of the Orioles, catcher Gary Sanchez of the Yankees and designated hitter J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox.

Here are the totals thus far:

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
Getty Images
2 Comments

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.