Roberto Clemente Award Nominees announced

Associated Press
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The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Anthony Rizzo won the award last year. This year’s nominees were just announced, and they are listed below.

Tomorrow will be Roberto Clemente Day, and all the home teams will honor their nominees. Visiting teams will do it for their guys on their next home stand.

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be announced during the World Series. He will be selected by a blue ribbon panel that includes MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, representatives from the national networks which broadcast baseball, MLB.com and Clemente’s widow, Vera Clemente. There is also a fan vote component, the winner of which receives one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.  You can vote here from tomorrow through September 18.

The nominees:

Arizona DiamondbacksPaul Goldschmidt

Atlanta BravesKurt Suzuki

Baltimore OriolesChris Davis

Boston Red SoxBrock Holt

Chicago CubsJon Lester

Chicago White Sox – José Abreu

Cincinnati Reds Tucker Barnhart

Cleveland IndiansCarlos Carrasco

Colorado RockiesIan Desmond

Detroit TigersMichael Fulmer

Houston AstrosCharlie Morton

Kansas City RoyalsDanny Duffy

Los Angeles AngelsAndrew Heaney

Los Angeles DodgersJustin Turner

Miami Marlins – Martín Prado

Milwaukee Brewers – Corey Knebel

Minnesota TwinsJoe Mauer

New York MetsSteven Matz

New York YankeesCC Sabathia

Oakland AthleticsChad Pinder

Philadelphia PhilliesRhys Hoskins

Pittsburgh PiratesJameson Taillon

St. Louis CardinalsYadier Molina

San Diego PadresClayton Richard

San Francisco GiantsBuster Posey

Seattle MarinersNelson Cruz

Tampa Bay RaysMallex Smith

Texas RangersCole Hamels

Toronto Blue JaysKevin Pillar

Washington NationalsRyan Zimmerman

NOTE: Cole Hamels was traded to the Cubs, of course, but he still is the Rangers nominee.

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

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
Getty Images
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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.