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- The Phillies were one of the league’s biggest disappointments in 2019. After committing around half a billion dollars in payroll between free agent signings and trades, the Phillies were expected to be leading contenders for the NL East crown but instead finished in 4th place with a .500 record. That was clearly not good enough as Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was fired yesterday.
- The Astros had unexpectedly found themselves in a really battle in the ALDS as the Rays had stormed back in that series to force a Game 5 despite Houston being heavily favored to win that series handily. Unfortunately for Tampa, that is where their good fortune ended as Houston did overcome the Rays to advance to the ALCS where the New York Yankees await them.
- The National League side of the playoff bracket has been set as the Nationals used a game 5, extra inning grand slam from Howie Kendrick to shock everyone and bounce the heavily favored Dodgers from the playoffs. Earlier in the day, the Cardinals used a 10 run first inning to rout the Braves and advance as well.
- In some more somber news for the Braves, catcher Brian McCann who played for the Braves, Yankees, and Astros in his storied career, announced his retirement from baseball after the Braves’ loss in the playoffs.
- There are several managerial openings and it is doubtful that we have seen all of the movement that we are going to see. Our own Andersen Pickard took a look at the currently available (or at least likely available) managerial candidates as well as gave some potential fits for each one.
- In a concerning development for the city of Oakland and its sports fans, mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed on Tuesday that commissioner Rob Manfred has threatened to move the Athletics out of the region due to a lawsuit that was recently filed by the Oakland city council against Alameda County — one that would effectively prevent the team from pursuing a new privately-financed ballpark in the area. Manfred mentioned Las Vegas as a possible destination for the A’s, though it’s debatable how feasible that move would be.
- On paper, the matchup between the Twins and Yankees should have been a pretty decent one. Unfortunately for the Twins, that is not how it turned out, as the Yankees swept the Twins to move on to the ALCS behind a big night from Gleyber Torres and some really good pitching.
- The Mets found a way to distract people from what should have been a celebration of the best teams in the league when they announced that they were firing manager Mickey Callaway. This was always an option on the table as the Mets did underperform this season and seem like they are going to continue to go for it, but one has to think that MLB would have preferred them to choose to announce that decision on a different day.
- Joe Maddon, previous Cubs manager and current angry man in glasses, will be interviewing for the manager spot Brad Ausmus left open on the Angels, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Los Angeles is currently Maddon’s one seed, which when you consider the competition is a very beat up Pirates team and a young, talented Mets team that’s perpetually cursed due to Citi Field being on a Native American burial ground (probably), Mike Trout on your squad doesn’t look too shabby. This will be a nice homecoming for Maddon with the Angels, considering he was the team’s interim manager in 1996 and 1999, won a World Series in his five years as Mike Scioscia’s bench coach, and acted as a scout in his over thirty years with the organization.
- The Nationals, who already saw Bryce Harper walk away last offseason to the rival Phillies, have reportedly offered star third baseman Anthony Rendon a seven-year contract extension worth around $210 million. This is going to be an important offseason for the Nationals as Rendon will be a free agent and it sounds like Stephen Strasburg will opt out of his contract as well. Whether they figure out an extension for these guys or they hit the free agent market to try and replace them, the Nationals appear poised to be VERY busy this offseason yet again.
- After five years in Chicago, the Cubs have parted ways with outspoken manager Joe Maddon. With a record of 471-338, the 65-year-old leaves his mark as the fifth-winningest manager in Cubs history.
- Up next on the list of managers officially getting their walking papers: the Pirates have fired manager Clint Hurdle. This was particularly surprising considering the week before it was being reported that Hurdle would stay with the team next season, which turned out to be a massive miscommunication that seemed to fit right in with the season Pittsburgh had this year.
- The Padres fired manager Andy Green after almost four seasons with the club. Despite adding Manny Machado to the roster and developing young phenom Fernando Tatis Jr., Green’s all time 274-366 record was enough for both the fans and upper management to lose faith in him. Stay tuned as we watch for the smoke signals to see who the Padres have elected as their new manager.
- Yankees starter Domingo German was placed on administrative leave after allegations surfaced that he struck his girlfriend.
- The Marlins, coming off back-to-back seasons where they have finished dead last in the NL East, decided to give manager Don Mattingly a two-year contract extension. Some may be puzzled by this move given the Marlins’ lack of success, but it worth noting that the Marlins aren’t going to be winning much of anything over the next two years, which puts less onus on getting the right guy in there at the moment.
- In an extremely disturbing development, Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested and denied bond after being charged with possession of child pornography, providing obscene material to minors, and soliciting a child. He’s been placed on administrative leave by MLB.