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Mike Matheny’s late night firing by the St. Louis Cardinals came as a major surprise. Even those who watch the team closely were shocked by the move. Indeed, just 15 minutes before Matheny was fired, St. Louis writer and radio host Bernie Miklasz — an excellent source for what’s going on with the Cards — tweeted that, if the Cardinals did make a move to shake the team up, it’d be by dumping a coach and that Matheny would most likely be dealt with after the season ended. His subsequent shock that Matheny was, indeed, given his walking papers was mirrored by many who know the Cardinals well.

Yet, as soon as the move happened, most Cardinals observers’ reaction was, basically, “OK, that’s understandable.” The act and timing of Matheny being fired was rather startling, but the need for him to go seems, in the immediate aftermath, to make all the sense in the world. For a number of reasons. Continue Reading, by Craig Calcaterra


Joe Girardi told The News earlier this summer he’d love to get back into managing. Now he may get his chance. (Ron Jenkins / Getty Images)

“I would definitely listen,” Girardi, now an analyst with the MLB Network, told The News’ Christian Red in June. “I love just being around the game, because it’s what I’ve grown up doing my whole life. I’m not just married to managing. I would listen to anything, but I would like to manage again.”

The Cardinals, despite being a game over .500 at 47-46, decided on what they deemed in a press release a necessary change in leadership, as headlines began popping up indicating an old-school clubhouse atmosphere filled with controversy. Continue Reading, by 


Yanks, Angels might be Deadline partners

The Yankees have scouted Angels games recently, to be prepared in case the Angels pivot and become sellers, sources told

While Major League games are heavily scouted at this time of year, a possible trade match between the Yankees and Angels is noteworthy for a couple reasons.

The Yankees, looking for starting pitchers in a relatively thin market, would have interest in Angels left-handers Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney if they become available.

— Angels general manager Billy Eppler likely would be comfortable working on a trade with Yankees GM Brian Cashman, given their years working together in the Yankees front office. And Eppler, who left the Yankees for the Angels less than three years ago, has close knowledge of the prospects he’d be acquiring in that scenario.

The Angels, beset by a rash of injuries, have fallen to fourth in the American League West. They were tied for the division lead as late as May 14 but are 23-31 since.

One significant factor in the Angels’ approach to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline: If they fail to reach the postseason this year, they will have only two more chances to pursue a title before Mike Trout is eligible to become a free agent following the 2020 season. The Angels have no interest in starting a rebuild with Trout in his prime. As a result, they likely would need to receive multiple MLB-ready players in order to trade Heaney or Skaggs.

The Charlotte Hornets lost an 87-84 overtime thriller to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday to end their session in the Las Vegas Summer League. The Hornets had the chance this session to evaluate several young players who could potentially get minutes on their main squad. Midseason trade acquisition Willy Hernangomez (personal), 2017 lottery pick Malik Monk (thumb) and 2018 second-round rookie Devonte’ Graham (knee) had all been shut down before Saturday’s game, allowing wings Miles Bridges (12th pick in 2018 draft) and 2017 second-rounder Dwayne Bacon to feature as the primary options.

Bridges popped visually on Saturday, displaying several skills that seem likely to translate to the next level. His shot was off, as he made only 5 of 20 from the field, but he contributed in other ways; even many of the missed shots were “good” for the role that Bridges is likely to play for the Hornets this season. Continue Reading, by Andre Snellings


As the promo count — if not the excitement level — builds for the 89th All-Star Game, do me a favor. Just off the top of your head and without googling, answer this All-Star question for me: Who was the All-Star MVP last year?

Too tough for you? How about this one: Where was the game played last year?

How about the MVP in 2016? Or from ’15? Or ’14?

Or an easy one you would think you could answer based just on who the previous year’s World Series teams were: Who managed the American League team last summer?

I’m guessing that unless it was your guy from your team, you have no memory of how the 2017 All-Star Game played out. Viscerally repetitive as the Home Run Derbies might be, their storylines tend to stick better. If you don’t immediately think of Aaron Judge, just reading the name might flash you back to his exhausting effort last year. You might not remember who beat Josh Hamilton in 2008, but you probably can visualize at least one of Hamilton’s blasts bouncing like a tennis ball off the back wall of the bleachers in Old Yankee Stadium. Continue Reading, by Keith Olbermann


The Philadelphia Phillies are among the teams that are trying to trade for Manny Machado as the July 31 deadline nears, and they will likely try to sign the star shortstop this winter even if they can’t acquire him sooner. Believe it or not, signing Machado to a long-term deal may not even be the biggest move the Phillies hope to make this offseason.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that Phillies owner John Middleton is willing to be extremely aggressive in pushing to get his team back to the playoffs, and that means making a run at Machado and Bryce Harper. That’s right — both. Continue Reading, by  Steve DelVecchio


Larry Brown Sports

Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers and superstar running back Le’Veon Bell going down to the buzzer for the second straight offseason, head coach Mike Tomlin remains confident about a resolution.

In an interview this weekend with Bruce Rader of WAVY-TV in Virginia, Tomlin hinted at Bell possibly being signed by Monday at 4 PM EST, which is the deadline for the Steelers to agree to a long-term deal with the back.

“Obviously we want to get the deal done,” said Tomlin, per Steelers Depot. “He wants to get the deal done. Everybody has said that. Now it’s just about the negotiations, getting in the room, and doing what it is they need to do. I’m excited and hopeful. Hopefully we have some exciting news Monday.”

The 26-year-old Bell is once again in a contract stalemate with the Steelers after being franchise-tagged for the second straight season. Last year, the two sides failed to reach an agreement before the deadline, and Bell held out until September before signing the one-year franchise tender worth $12.1 million. Continue Reading by  Darryn Albert


The Netherlands’ Dylan Groenewegen (left) sprints his way to a stage win Saturday at the Tour de France. (Philippe Lopez/Agence France-Presse. Continue Reading, by  Jacob Bogage



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