Tigers fall to Cleveland hours after firing GM Al Avila – Thursday Morning Sports Update

MLB – Tigers GM Al Avila fired after 7 years, no playoffs
The Detroit Tigers have fired general manager Al Avila, ending a seven-year tenure with no playoff appearances. Owner Chris Ilitch announced the move with his team mired in another disappointing season. Detroit entered Wednesday at 43-68, last in the AL Central. Ilitch invested millions in the offseason in an attempt to return his team to contention. Assistant general manager Sam Menzin takes over the day-to-day leadership role. Avila was promoted to general manager a little more than seven years ago after serving as Dave Dombrowski’s assistant. The Tigers had only one winning season during Avila’s tenure. Avila was the only Latino general manager or equivalent in the majors.

MLB – Major League Baseball
Last Night
Cleveland Guardians 3, Detroit Tigers 2
Kansas City Royals 8, Chicago White Sox 3
Chicago Cubs 4, Washington Nationals 2

Guardians 3, Tigers 2 – Guardians beat Tigers 3-2 after Detroit fires GM Al Avila
Steven Kwan hit a leadoff triple and scored to help Cleveland Guardians get off to a solid start and James Karinchak struck out three to strand three runners in the eighth inning to help them hold on to beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Wednesday night. Aaron Civale started for Cleveland after being on the 15-day injured list with wrist inflammation and retired the first nine batters. Civale gave up two runs and three hits while striking out four over four innings. Karinchak and five other relievers — including Bryan Shaw (5-2) — combined for five innings of scoreless relief. Emmanuel Clase gave up one hit in the ninth, earning his 26th save. Cleveland started the day tied with Minnesota for first place in the AL Central. The Guardians lead the last-place Tigers by 16 games in the division.

Royals 8, White Sox 3 – Royals rookie Melendez delivers in 8-3 win over White Sox
MJ Melendez hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning to send the Kansas City Royals past the Chicago White Sox 8-3. Melendez and Salvador Perez both had three hits and two RBIs for the Royals. Kyle Isbel drove in two runs and scored twice. After leading all minor leaguers with 41 home runs last year, Melendez has 14 in 81 big league games this season. The left-handed-hitting rookie sent a pitch from lefty reliever Jake Diekman into the right-field bullpen to give Kansas City a 4-3 lead. Isbel hit a two-run single in the eighth and scored on Melendez’s single. Perez added an RBI single to make it 8-3. Josh Staumont worked a perfect seventh for the win.

Cubs 4, Nationals 2 – Hoerner, Cubs top power-hitting rookie Meneses, Nationals
Nico Hoerner homered to ignite a four-run rally in the seventh inning that sent the Chicago Cubs over power-hitting rookie Joey Meneses and the Washington Nationals 4-2. Hoerner’s seventh home run ended a shutout bid by Nationals starter Josiah Gray and enabled the Cubs to earn just their second win in 51 games in which they trailed entering the seventh. The Cubs have won four of six and next play Thursday in the Field of Dreams game in Iowa against Cincinnati. Meneses homered in his third straight game for the Nationals, who have lost seven of eight. The 30-year-old Meneses made his major league debut on Aug. 2. He became the first player in Nationals franchise history to homer four times in his first seven games.

Today
Cleveland (Plesac 2-10) at Detroit (Hill 2-3), 1:10 p.m.              WSJM/WCSY 6:50
Chicago White Sox (Cease 12-4) at Kansas City (Greinke 3-7), 2:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs (Smyly 4-6) vs. Cincinnati (Lodolo 3-3), 7:15 p.m.           (Field of Dreams game Dyersville, IA)

WNBA – Women’s National Basketball Association
Tonight
Chicago Sky at Las Vegas Aces, 10:00 p.m.

NFL – National Football League – Preseason week 1
Tonight
New York Giants at New England Patriots, 7:00 p.m.
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m.

NFL – Bears remove Smith from PUP list, another twist in standoff
The Chicago Bears’ standoff with Roquan Smith took another turn when the team removed the star linebacker from the physically unable to perform list a day after he went public with a trade demand. It was unclear if the Bears took him off the list Wednesday because of a potential contract extension or trade, or to fine him for missing practices. Smith has been a “hold-in” since training camp began with negotiations on a new deal apparently at a standstill. Placing him on the physically unable to perform list allowed him to attend meetings and workouts at Halas Hall without being fined for missing practices. Smith, who does not have an agent, accused the Bears of not negotiating in good faith in a statement on Tuesday.

NFL – Backups will continue QB battle in Lions preseason opener
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff is expected to play briefly in the preseason opener before Tim Boyle and David Blough get a chance to compete to be the team’s backup and perhaps seal a spot on the roster. This offseason, the Lions made it a point to bring back Boyle and Blough on one-year deals after both shared reserve backup duties last season. It was Boyle who served as Goff’s primary backup in 2021, but this year the two have been splitting time with the second-team offense in training camp.

NCAA – Big Ten – Notre Dame AD: Big Ten deal with NBC ‘perfect’ for Irish
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick says the coming Big Ten television contract with NBC is a “perfect” way for the network to complement its deal with the Fighting Irish. Swarbrick held a live chat for Notre Dame’s alumni association. He addressed recent developments with the Big Ten and how they could impact the school’s ability to remain a football independent. The Big Ten is moving toward media rights contracts with Fox, NBC and CBS. NBC has had exclusive rights to broadcast Notre Dame home games since 1991. Swarbrick says NBC having more college football will help promote Notre Dame games.

NBA – Lawyer: Photos of Kobe Bryant’s remains shared ‘for a laugh’
A lawyer for the widow of Kobe Bryant told jurors that a “culture of callousness” led Los Angeles County deputies and firefighters to share photos of the remains of Kobe Bryant and other victims of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed the Lakers star, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven others. Vanessa Bryant’s lawyer Luis Li said the photos were “visual gossip” that were shared “for a laugh.” Vanessa Bryant is suing for invasion of privacy. An attorney for LA County said the photos were an essential tool at the crash scene, and that officials successfully kept them from becoming public.

NHL – Ex-Leafs star Salming diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease
Former Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Borje Salming has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the team announced Wednesday. Salming, who played 16 seasons with the Leafs and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996, said he recognizes that there is no cure for the disease but says there are treatments available to slow the progression. Salming, 71, is receiving treatment in his native Sweden, where there are more than 800 patients living with ALS.

MILB – Midwest League Baseball
Last Night
Great Lakes Loons 3, Peoria Chiefs 2 – 10 Innings
Lansing Lugnuts 6, Dayton Dragons 2 – 10 Innings
West Michigan Whitecaps 5, Beloit Sky Carp 4 – 10 Innings
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 6, South Bend Cubs 2

Tonight
Peoria Chiefs at Great Lakes Loons, 7:05 p.m.
Lansing Lugnuts at Dayton Dragons, 7:05 p.m.
West Michigan Whitecaps at Beloit Sky Carp, 7:35 p.m.
South Bend Cubs at Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 7:40 p.m.