Royals Fire Matheny & Eldred After End of 97 Loss Season
The Kansas City Royals 2022 season ended yesterday with a 9-to-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. The season mercifully came to an end at 5:49 PM CDT. The organization wasted no time in making moves to move beyond their 65-97 record this season by sending Manager Mike Matheny and Pitching Coach Cal Eldred to the showers four hours later.
Royals Executive Vice President / General Manager JJ Picollo is quoted in the release as saying, "We are grateful to Mike for leading us through some unusual times these last three seasons. He met those challenges head-on and helped us move forward in a positive manner. We thank him for his leadership and know his influence will have a positive impact moving forward."
In the release Matheny says:
“I’m thankful to so many, primarily Dayton Moore, and the coaches and players I’ve worked with. I would like to thank Mr. John Sherman and the ownership group for the opportunity to manage their team, and everyone involved in this great organization. I came to the Royals knowing it was an organization of excellence and care, and was shown that care every single day. Royals fans should be excited about this group of players, and I look forward to watching them continue to grow.”
Matheny compiled a 165-219 record as the Royals manager over the course of three seasons.
Eldred became the Royals pitching coach in 2018, after joining the organization in 2016 as an Assistant to the General Manager.
The latest changes come two weeks after the team dismissed longtime President of Baseball Operations Dayton Moore and elevated Piccolo to EVP/GM.
Throughout this season the franchise found itself making the news more for things happening off the field, rather than their on-field performance.
That included several news cycles about the team's desire to leave the Truman Sports Complex and move downtown. As well as a controversy involving former Royal Whit Merrifield's comments about his vaccination status before he and nine other players had to sit out the team's series in Toronto because they were unvaccinated. Capping the bad press was an expose in the Athletic exploring the team's disastrous rebuild that was supposed to be built on pitching.
The timing of the team firing Matheny now puts them in the interesting position of being able to make a splash in the baseball world by announcing a new manager between rounds of the playoffs if they desire. I think this only makes sense if they go outside the organization and hire a manager that makes a statement, think a Joe Madden or Joe Girardi-type candidate.
Regardless, fans didn't have to wait very long to find something to get excited about this off-season.