Phillies’ Jose Alvarado suspended three games for dustup with Mets

Kam Nedd-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Philadelphia Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado was suspended three games by Major League Baseball for inciting a bench-clearing dustup with the New York Mets.

Alvarado also was fined an undisclosed amount, as were Mets outfielder Dominic Smith and pitcher Miguel Castro for their roles in two heated exchanges Friday night in Philadelphia.

The announcement was made by Michael Hill, baseball’s chief disciplinarian as Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations.

Alvarado decided to appeal the penalty and will remain eligible to pitch until the process is completed. The NL East rivals were scheduled to wrap up their three-game series Sunday night.

Alvarado struck out Smith to end a threat in the eighth inning Friday, then thumped his glove and pointed and shouted in Smith’s direction. Tempers flared as Smith pulled off his helmet, Alvarado threw his glove to the ground and the two approached each other as the benches and bullpens emptied. Both players were restrained and no punches were thrown.

Castro got lathered up later in the game after a couple of inside pitches on a walk to Rhys Hoskins drew a direct look from the Philadelphia first baseman. Players spilled onto the field, halting the game for a bit, but teammates calmed down Castro and that was about it.

Philadelphia hung on for a 2-1 victory.

Back on April 13 in New York, Smith took exception to Alvarado throwing near the head of Mets slugger Michael Conforto and then hitting him with a subsequent pitch. Smith barked and gestured from the dugout at Alvarado, who waved his hand dismissively.

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.