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Weekend Digest: Wild Card fight in Pittsburgh; Nats fire Matt Williams; Ichiro stays with Fish

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MLB news from the past week.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tempers flare in Pirates/Cubs Wild Card game

Jake Arrieta dominated the Pirates in a complete-game shutout Wednesday, but the Pirates took issue with him hitting Francisco Cervelli and Josh Harrison in consecutive innings. When Arrieta came to bat in the seventh inning, Tony Watson's first pitch drilled Arrieta, drawing a cheer from the hometown crowd and both dugouts onto the field.

Sean Rodriguez, who started at first base for the Pirates but didn't get an at-bat, was ejected during the scrum and proceeded to dole out some abuse on an unsuspecting cooler. He has since made amends with the beverage container, which now has a Twitter account.

Nationals fire manager Matt Williams

Shock level: zero. This move surprised no one considering how much the Nats fell off the cliff late in the season. Couple that with the Harper/Papelbon fight, and anyone could see that the writing was on the wall for Matt Williams, who was fired along with his coaching staff on Monday.

From the article:

During his two-year tenure as the manager of the Washington Nationals, Matt Williams made his fair share of mistakes. Any manager that the Nats had hired two years ago would have made their fair share of mistakes, whether they'd hired a veteran with a pedigree or an inexperienced manager like Williams. The biggest problem with Williams tactically is that he didn't show much of an ability to learn from those mistakes. In fact, he often seemed so set on doing things his way that it didn't really appear that he wanted to learn from those mistakes. He was inflexible and showed no willingness to adapt to game situations.

Those are traits that can be frustrating to a fanbase, but they're things that a general manager may simply try to work with a manager on provided that the manager has/commands the respect of the players. Over the past two months, there's too much speculation that Williams neither has the respect of the locker room nor commands it. At the end of the day, the Nats didn't really have a choice. He had to go.

Ichiro re-signs with Marlins

Ichiro, who will be 42 when 2016 starts, will remain in Miami for one more year on his quest for 3,000 hits. He had 91 hits in 2015, bringing his MLB total to 2,935. Add that to the 1,278 hits he accumulated in Japan and he has 4,213 for his career, just 43 from Pete Rose. Speaking of Pete...

Pete Rose criticizes injured players in TEX/TOR series

Three players in Game 1 of the Jays/Rangers Division Series Thursday left due to injury: Adrian Beltre left due to back stiffness; Josh Donaldson was removed as a precaution for taking a knee to the head on a slide into second base; Jose Bautista was removed due to hamstring tightness in the eighth inning. Pete Rose, who was doing commentary for Fox Sports 1, spoke his opinion about them being removed.

Donaldson and Bautista were in the Game 2 lineup for the Jays; Beltre was not for Texas.