Today is Independence Day, so enjoy the day with friends and family, grilling burgers and dogs, playing outdoor games, watching parades, enjoying shooting pyrotechnics into the sky, and watching the Braves beat the Phillies. Have fun! :)
Steven Matz had himself quite a debut Sunday. He held the Reds to two runs in 7.2 innings, but also had three hits and four RBI at the plate. No one else in team history had four RBI, hitter or pitcher, in his debut. Jason Jennings had three hits in his debut for the Rockies in 2001, and Dwight Gooden had four RBI in a game for the Mets in 1990.
MacPhail will serve as special assistant to the current president Pat Gillick until the end of the season. MacPhail has previously served as GM of the Twins when they won two World Series; he was president and CEO of the Cubs from 1994 to 2006, and was president of baseball operations for the Orioles from 2007 to 2011.
Jerry Dipoto's tenure as GM of the Angels ended Wednesday amidst friction between him and manager Mike Scioscia. Dipoto has been unhappy with Scioscia not implementing statistical analysis he and the front office had compiled, and this rift reached a boiling point where Dipoto gave Arte Moreno an ultimatum: him or Scioscia; this is our answer. Moreno gave Scioscia a 10-year contract that expires in 2018, so it's not hard to see where his loyalties lie. The sour relationship goes back to 2012 when Angels hitting coach, and Scioscia's friend, Mickey Hatcher was fired. Over at Halos Heaven, a lot of them are not happy.
A snippet from the Halos Heaven article:
Arte Moreno, the overlord and supreme commander from the desert; he who tells us what we shall pay to watch his team, and we will thank him for it...he chose Mike Scioscia and his cronies over a guy that traded one year of an OK Howie Kendrick for a handful of years with hot, young lefty Andrew Heaney. He chose Scioscia over the guy that got Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago for Mark Trumbo. Arte Moreno is siding with the guy who refused to disseminate the information from the front office, which is the job Dipoto was hired to do to begin with. Arte Moreno paid Jerry Dipoto for nothing, as he obviously never wanted a general manager. Dipoto wasn't a perfect GM, but he stocked up a farm system full of some decent arms, got us the aforementioned players, as well as new upstarts like Trevor Gott and Johnny Giavotella, and worked out a pretty friendly extension for Mike Trout.
Bill Stoneman, who stepped down as Angels GM in 2007, takes over as interim GM.
Marlins starter Jose Fernandez returned from Tommy John surgery on Thursday to a loud ovation against the Giants; he allowed three run in six innings, and even hit a home run (which he admired, much like his first). Marlins announcers even got in a dig at Brian McCann after the homer.
Wednesday against the Royals, Astros outfielder George Springer took a fastball off his right wrist in the fifth inning, and the diagnosis was not good: a non-displaced fracture that will keep Springer out for at least six weeks. Fortunately, this will not require surgery.
Springer was hitting .264 with 13 homers and 29 RBI for the first-place Astros.