Manager Gabe Kapler was fired by the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
Kapler, 44, completed two seasons as Phillies manager and posted a 161-163 record. He had one season remaining on his three-year contract.
The Phillies finished poorly for the second straight year and missed the playoffs for an eighth straight season, a disappointing ending to a year that began with elevated expectations on the momentum of signing free agent Bryce Harper, among other high-profile roster moves.
Philadelphia was still in contention in late September before losing nine of its last 12, including a five-game sweep by the Washington Nationals. Prior to removing Kapler, the team had already made changes at hitting coach and pitching coach.
—Eric Sogard was part of Tampa Bay’s starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 14 as the Rays visit the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.
Sogard, batting fifth and playing second base in the winner-take-all game, homered in the second inning.
Sogard had been dealing with a bruised right foot since fouling a ball off of it on Sept. 6.
—A day after Mike Shildt saw his profane postgame comments posted online, the St. Louis Cardinals manager apologized for his language but not for his passion in his opening remarks at a news conference.
The comments became public Wednesday night when Cardinals rookie outfielder Randy Arozarena posted an online video showing a expletive-laced speech from Shildt in the wake of the team’s 13-1 win over the Atlanta Braves in the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
“You know, the clubhouse is a sanctuary that is very sacred, it’s a private opportunity for us to be able to enjoy and celebrate,” Shildt said. “And yesterday, I got a great opportunity to have a moment with our team that is private, should have been private, and make sure they knew how proud of the accomplishments they have and moving forward, to our staff and our players. You know, I apologize if my language offended anyone.”
—San Diego Padres right-hander Jacob Nix faces criminal trespassing charges after an incident in which he allegedly entered a home in Peoria, Ariz., through a doggy door.
According to a Peoria police report, authorities were called to a home around 3:30 a.m. Sunday due to an incident involving an intruder. Police say the homeowner confronted Nix and kicked him in the face. Padres minor league pitcher Tom Cosgrove was with Nix and reached through the doggy door to help pull him from the resident.
As Nix and Cosgrove fled, the homeowner fired his Taser at Nix and struck him in the back, according to the police report. A short time later, police found the two players and arrested them. Nix reportedly told police he thought he was entering his own home but also admitted to not having a doggy door, multiple media outlets reported.
—Befitting a National League Championship Series featuring a pair of underdogs, the team without home-field advantage is favored to advance to the World Series.
Major bookmakers listed the Washington Nationals as a slight favorite to capture the NLCS over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Nationals rallied past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL wild-card game, then stunned the league’s top regular-season team, the Dodgers, in a five-game NL Division Series. St. Louis, in third place in the NL Central at midseason, rallied to win the division, then knocked off the Braves in a five-game NLDS.
—Field Level Media