Athletics

Joe Girardi out as manager of the New York Yankees

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Joe Girardi out as manager of the New York Yankees

Joe Girardi's tenure as New York Yankees manager ended Thursday after a decade that produced just one World Series title for a team that expects to win every year.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made the announcement five days after the Yankees lost to Houston in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

"Everything this organization does is done with careful and thorough consideration, and we've decided to pursue alternatives for the managerial position," Cashman said in a statement.

New York does not have an obvious candidate to replace him. The Yankees are the third of the 10 postseason teams to remove managers, joining Boston and Washington.

A former All-Star catcher for the Yankees, Girardi was at the end of his contract and said last weekend he had to speak with his family before deciding whether he wanted to return. New York made the decision for him.

"He has a tireless work ethic, and put his heart into every game he managed over the last decade," Cashman said. "He should take great pride in our accomplishments during his tenure."

A three-time World Series champion as a player with the Yankees, Girardi succeeded Joe Torre as manager after the 2007 season and led New York to its 27th World Series title in 2009 but has fallen short each year since.

The 53-year-old Girardi led a young squad on a surprising run to an AL wild-card berth this year with a 91-71 record, the team's best since 2012. New York beat Minnesota in the wild-card game, then fell behind Cleveland 2-0 in the Division Series. Girardi admitted he made a mistake not asking for a video replay review in Game 2.

"I screwed up. And it's hard. It's a hard day for me," he said then. "But I got to move forward and we'll be ready to go tomorrow."

New York won the next three games to advance, lost the first two games of the ALCS at Houston, then won three in a row to move within a victory of reaching the World Series for the first time in eight years. But the Astros swept the final two games.

Cashman said he and owner Hal Steinbrenner had spoken directly with Girardi this week.

Girardi's 910-710 regular season record with the Yankees is sixth in victories managing the team behind Joe McCarthy (1,460), Torre (1,173), Casey Stengel (1,149), Miller Huggins (1,067) and Ralph Houk (944).

A's Stephen Piscotty receives standing ovation from Cardinals fans

A's Stephen Piscotty receives standing ovation from Cardinals fans

Stephen Piscotty's whirlwind season continued Tuesday night.

Just over a week after making his return to the A's lineup following surgery to remove a melanoma from his right ear, Piscotty returned to the scene of his MLB debut when Oakland faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the first game of a two-game series at Busch Stadium.

Piscotty, a Pleasanton, Calif. native, broke through with St. Louis in 2015 and remained there for three seasons. However, he requested a trade to the A's following the 2017 season in order to move closer to his mother Gretchen, who had been diagnosed with ALS.

The Cardinals graciously agreed, allowing Piscotty to spend more time with Gretchen until she sadly passed away in 2018.

In Piscotty's first at-bat after his mother's passing, he singled, prompting a standing ovation from the Oakland crowd. Then, after going on the bereavement list, Piscotty homered in his first at-bat back.

On Tuesday in St. Louis, the Busch Stadium crowd greeted Piscotty with a standing ovation ahead of his first at-bat in the second inning.

While Piscotty flied out to right, it was nonetheless a very heartwarming moment for all involved. To this day, Piscotty is extremely grateful to the Cardinals for permitting his trade request, and clearly, the respect is mutual.

A's vs. Cardinals lineups: Stephen Piscotty starts in return to St. Louis

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A's vs. Cardinals lineups: Stephen Piscotty starts in return to St. Louis

Khris Davis will get the night off as the A's open a rare two-game interleague series in St. Louis.

With no designated hitter in the National League ballpark, Davis would have had to play left field. Of course, the last time he played there, he suffered a hip/oblique injury colliding with the left field side wall while making a catch in Pittsburgh.

Davis will be available off the bench to pinch-hit.

Meanwhile, it figures to be an emotional return to St. Louis for A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Pleasanton native played his first three major league seasons with the Cardinals before requesting a trade to Oakland to take care of his mother Gretchen, who had been diagnosed with ALS. Sadly, she passed away last year.

Right-hander Chris Bassitt will get the start for the A's, seeking to improve to 5-3 on the season. The 30-year-old enters with a 3.64 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 11 starts. Bassitt also will get the opportunity to swing the bat for just the fifth time in his career. He is 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in four previous plate appearances.

The Cardinals will counter with right-hander Jack Flaherty. The 23-year-old is 4-4 with a 4.24 ERA in 15 starts this year. Last season as a rookie, he went 8-9 with a 3.34 ERA.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Cardinals game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 5:15.

Oakland A's (41-38)
Marcus Semien, SS
Robbie Grossman, LF
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Ramón Laureano, CF
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Josh Phegley, C
Chris Bassitt, RHP (4-3, 3.64 ERA)

[RELATED: A's OF Piscotty to make emotional return to St. Louis]

St. Louis Cardinals (40-37)
Matt Carpenter, 3B
Paul DeJong, SS
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Marcell Ozuna, LF
José Martínez, RF
Yadier Molina, C
Dexter Fowler, CF
Kolten Wong, 2B
Jack Flaherty, RHP (4-4, 4.24 ERA)