Albert Pujols ties Ken Griffey Jr. on all-time home run list

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Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols had three hits in last night’s win over the Mariners. Two of those hits were homers — number 629 and 630 of his career — and they tied him with Ken Griffey Jr. on the all-time home run list.

The current and future Hall of Famer are now at sixth place all time, 30 behind the number 5 man on the list, Willie Mays. Alex Rodriguez is another 36 ahead at 696.

Pujols is hitting .251/.291/.432 and is currently on pace for 28 homers this year. That would put him at 642 by the end of the season. He’s under contract through 2021. If he stays healthy, at least for him, and if the Angels don’t release him, he has at least a chance to hit 700 homers I figure, even if A-Rod is the last guy he has a real chance of passing.

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.