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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins epic second round Home Run Derby battle with Joc Pederson

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Just over an hour after Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. set the single-round Home Run Derby record with 29 home runs — and tied his own record in the second round — Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson tied him with 29 home runs in the second round. That forced the two players into a one-minute playoff where each player hit eight home runs and forced a “swing-off” in which each player gets three swings. Each hit one home run, forcing another “swing-off.” Guerrero hit two and Pederson hit only one.

At the end of it, Guerrero was credited with 40 second-round homers — the new single-round record — and Pederson 39. Guerrero already has the record for most home runs in an entire Home Run Derby with 66 (excluding swing-offs), surpassing the 61 Giancarlo Stanton hit in 2016. Pederson is in third place with 58.

Guerrero is now in the 2019 Home Run Derby finals, awaiting the winner between Pete Alonso and Ronald Acuña Jr.

This has been perhaps the best Home Run Derby ever. The single-round record was broken by Guerrero, who then tied his own record, and Pederson then tied that record before the series of tiebreakers. The single-derby record was broken. Unbelievable, really. (More believable if you’ve been following the controversy over the “juiced” baseball, but still.)

Ned Yost to retire as Royals manager

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The Kansas City Royals just announced that Ned Yost will retire following the final game of the season. Mike Matheny will take over as the Royals manager for the 2020 season.

Yost, 65, led the Royals to victory in the 2015 World Series and to back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015. He will retire as the winningest manager in Royals history. In ten years at the helm in Kansas City he is 744-836 with five games remaining. Before he managed the Royals he managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons, compiling a 457-502 record. In all, he is 1,201-1,338. When he’s done on Sunday he will finish 32nd all-time in games managed with 2,544.

The Royals now will look for the man who will, hopefully, see the current rebuild through. Multiple reporters have cited former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as Yost’s likely replacement. He currently serves as a special advisor in the club’s player development department. He managed the Cards from 2012-18, winning the NL pennant in 2013 and finishing with a record of 591-474 in St. Louis.

Here is the Royals official statement on Yost’s retirement: