The Atlanta Braves are shaking things up after a September flop cost them a second consecutive trip to the playoffs.
The first change came Friday: hitting coach Larry Parrish was fired after only one season. The timing of the announcement was a surprise, coming one day after manager Fredi Gonzalez said his entire staff would return in 2012.
Several hitters regressed noticeably under his tutelage, and the Braves finished 13th in the NL in batting (.243) and 10th in runs.
Braves general manager Frank Wren also said it's not certain that Derek Lowe will have a spot in the rotation next season, even though the team still owes him $15 million on the final year of his contract.
The 38-year-old right-hander had a miserable season, going 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA.
On a similar note, Wren said right fielder Jason Heyward will have to fight to keep his job in spring training after hitting just .227 with 14 homers and 42 RBI.
RED SOX: The Terry Francona era is over in Boston after his option was not picked up.
In a joint statement released Friday, owners John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino acknowledged a change was needed, and thanked Francona, who led the franchise to two world titles.
“Tito said that after eight years here he was frustrated by his difficulty making an impact with the players, that a different voice was needed, and that it was time for him to move on,” the statement said. “After taking time to reflect on Tito’s sentiments, we agreed that it was best for the Red Sox not to exercise the option years on his contract.”
ANGELS: Tony Reagins has resigned as general manager after the team failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
DODGERS: A Delaware bankruptcy judge is expecting baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to testify at a hearing that could determine the team’s fate.
In a sharply worded order Friday, the judge scheduled four days of hearings starting Oct. 31.
The judge must decide whether the Dodgers’ plan to auction off television rights to future games is in the best interest of the team.
WHITE SOX: Closer Sergio Santos has agreed to an $8.25-million, three-year contract.
COURTS: Florida prosecutors formally charged former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez with domestic violence.
The Broward State Attorney’s office filed the misdemeanor charge Thursday.
The 39-year-old retired slugger was arrested Sept. 12 after his wife told deputies Ramirez slapped her in the face, which caused her to hit her head on the headboard.