Athletics fan helps spark an Angels rally

I talked about this in the recaps but it’s worth its own post.

There was a Steve Bartman moment in the Angels-A’s game. Oh, the stakes weren’t so high and, maybe, the out was not a sure one, but it was still a fairly high watermark for fan interference. Except, of course, it was not called fan interference.

Oakland led 4-1 entering the top of the sixth. Two A’s pitchers combined to load the bases and then a third pitcher, Lou Trivino, came in to face Andrelton Simmons. Trivino induced what should’ve — Could’ve? Probably? —  been the second out of the inning in the form of a foul popup, which Stephen Piscotty was in the process of running down. That’s when this woman stuck her glove out and snagged the ball:

The umpires did not call fan interference for . . . some reason. As I noted this morning, Piscotty seemed to be feeling that wall, looking down a bit, and may very well have not have caught that ball, and I suppose that’s what the umps were hanging their hat on. Of course, as a commenter noted this morning, it may be that Piscotty was holding up because that lady’s glove sticking out there distracted him. Either way, she got the ball and, the umps’ ruling notwithstanding, got kicked out of the ballpark.

With new life, Simmons smacked a two-run single to pull the Angels to within one and then, following a plunked batter which loaded the bases back up, Kaleb Cowart hit a grand slam to put the Angels up by three. As Ray Ratto of NBC Sports Bay Area notes this morning, the A’s had their chances to get themselves out of this mess and to get that lady off the hook, but just didn’t do it.

Anyway, folks: leave the balls alone at the park. If you really want an official ball, and one doesn’t come into the stands near you, just buy one.

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

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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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.