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LEADING OFF: Astros Making Noise, Phillies Seeking GM

Miami Marlins' Francisco Cervelli (29) falls to the field on a close pitch thrown by New York Mets relief pitcher Dellin Betances during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Miami Marlins' Francisco Cervelli (29) falls to the field on a close pitch thrown by New York Mets relief pitcher Dellin Betances during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A look at whats happening around the majors today:

A look at whats happening around the majors today:

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SOUNDING OFF

The Astros are making noise on and off the field in the postseason, and thats fine with outfielder Josh Reddick.

Houston continues to draw the ire of fans across the majors for the sign-stealing scandal that came to light after last season. After slugger Carlos Correa homered to help finish a two-game sweep of Minnesota in the first round, the star shortstop said, I know a lot of people are mad. I know a lot of people dont want to see us here. He added: But what are they going to say now?

The Astros next face Oakland in the best-of-five AL Division Series starting Monday at Dodger Stadium. Former Houston pitcher and current As starter Mike Fiers was the one who revealed the Astros scam.

Its all about silencing the haters, Reddick said Saturday. Thats what this year was about.

TAKE YOUR TIME

If it seems baseball is going through an annual playoff slowdown, its true. Between all the pitching changes and commercials and everything else the postseason entails, the 17 nine-inning games in the first round averaged just shy of 3 1/2 hours. For those tracking the stats, its 3:29:18 so far.

HELP WANTED

The Philadelphia Phillies are looking for a new general manager after another late collapse. Matt Klentaks inability to lead the team to the playoffs or even a single winning season cost him his job.

Klentak stepped down as GM on Saturday following a third straight September meltdown, which left the team out of the postseason for the ninth consecutive season. The 40-year-old will be reassigned to another position in the organization and Ned Rice will serve as interim general manager until the Phillies hire someone to run baseball operations.

Weve made progress but we havent made enough progress fast enough, Phillies managing partner John Middleton said.

The Phillies were 326-382 in five seasons under Klentak. His biggest move was signing Bryce Harper to a $330 million, 13-year deal, though Middleton played a major role in that. Klentak also acquired catcher J.T. Realmuto from Miami, trading away top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez to get him. Realmuto is set to become a free agent after the World Series.

WELCOME HOME

In a 2020 season that’s featured all sorts of odd twists, Aaron Boone will be managing the New York Yankees in an AL Division Series in an NL ballpark in the city where the Boone family dynasty has its roots.

While Boone is focused on the best-of-five series beginning Monday against AL East rival Tampa Bay, he said its always good to come back to the area thats special to the first family to have three generations of big leaguers.

Boones grandfather, Ray, and father, Bob, went to San Diego high schools that arent far from Petco Park, which will host the Yankees-Rays ALDS and then the ALCS in one of MLBs bubbles.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, this will be strictly a business swing for Boone, whose parents and brother Bret still live in the San Diego area.

Unfortunately I dont get to see them on the trip because of the bubble and things like that and so they wont be coming to the games or having lunch or anything like that, Aaron Boone said Saturday. But it is always special to come back to Southern California.”

END OF THE ROAD

Veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli announced his retirement Saturday after a 13-year major league career.

The 34-year-old Cervelli played in only 16 games this year for the Miami Marlins before his season was cut short by the latest in a string of concussions. A .268 career hitter, Cervelli spent his first seven seasons with the New York Yankees and also played for Pittsburgh and Atlanta. He finished with 41 home runs.

Early in his career, Cervelli won a World Series title as a backup with the 2009 Yankees.

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