They’re doing a third Players Weekend

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For the third year running, there will be a “Players Weekend,” in which players are allowed to personalize the name on the back of their jerseys, wear colored spikes and gloves, add personalized patches on their uniform and stuff like that. Think of it as extra free time for kids near the end of the school year. Or a means of helping the players forget that they’ve bargained away substantial rights in the past few CBA negotiating sessions. Free agency was nice, but hey, colorful wristbands!

The biggest change this year: the jerseys are monochromatic:

You can get a better look at all of the teams’ uniforms here.

Which seems a bit odd for a weekend in which the players are supposed to stand out. The stated rationale is so that the 15 pieces of flair (or whatever) the players will be wearing stand out. Not that you can really see the details on the customized cleats and wristbands and what have you, but I suppose it’s “Players Weekend” and not “Fan Weekend.”

As Fisher’s tweet above notes, this year there will also be more latitude given players to use mobile devices up until the national anthem, so figure there will be more social media stuff associated with it.

Players Weekend is scheduled for all games over the August 23-25 weekend.

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.