Joan Hodges, widow of Hall of Famer Gil, dies at 95

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NEW YORK – Joan Hodges, the widow of Hall of Famer and World Series-winning New York Mets manager Gil Hodges, died following a long illness.

The team said she died Saturday night, 10 days shy of her 96th birthday. The Mets held a tribute and a moment of silence before Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh.

Gil Hodges was induced into baseball’s Hall of Fame in July. He hit 370 home runs in a big league career spent mostly with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, then managed the 1969 Miracle Mets to the franchise’s first title.

Gil Hodges died of a heart attack at age 47 in 1973.

“We are so thankful that Joan was able to see Gil inducted into the Hall of Fame in July,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “That meant so much to hear and the entire Mets and Hodges family.”

Irene Hodges, Gil and Joan’s daughter, spoke on her father’s behalf at the induction in Cooperstown on July 24.

“Today I am especially happy for my mother,” Irene said. “When the call came from the Hall of Fame . I began sobbing probably as much as I did when I lost my father. I was so beyond happy for him and thrilled that my Mom at 95 would be able to hear this news.”

Joan lived in the Brooklyn home in which she and Gil lived and raised their children. In addition to Irene, she is survived by the couple’s son, Gil Jr., and daughter Cindy.

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

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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.