Truth is, we hold these guys to naively high standards, then expect not to be let down. The same guys ripping Ortiz, A-Rod, Clemens etc, etc. are the ones gulping the Cialis and getting Lasik. Personally, I don’t care anymore if David Ortiz has Dianabol in his Pez dispenser. I just want him to Man Up.
By now, the Five Stages of Denial are familiar: (1) Shock; (2) Denial (3) Indignance; (4) Slandering The Accuser and (5) Silence: “You must be joking. I didn’t do it. I can’t believe anyone would accuse me, after all I’ve done for the game. My accuser beats his wife and puts ketchup on his eggs. Under the advice of my attorney, I will have no further comment.”
Chronic sports liars, if they stay focused and follow the game plan, can find themselves in a weird parallel universe, in which the truth is whatever they’ve claimed it to be.
— Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty, not buying what Papi was selling.
Like I said on Friday, I’m not sure why Papi even bothered with the statement he gave. Part of that is because, like Daugherty notes, we can’t really expect anything genuine from such an exercise. Another part of that, however, is that no matter what these guys say, they’re never going to satisfy the Paul Daughertys of the world.
Daugherty said that he would have been satisfied if Ortiz had said “Damn right I did it” or words to that effect. I have no doubt that he would have been happy to hear such a thing — having a truly unapologetic steroid user would be great for columnists’ “juicers are evil” pieces — but I am quite dubious that he would be satisfied.
After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.
According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.
Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.
Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.