Manny Ramirez causes Larry Bowa to lose sleep

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Manny Ramirez running.jpgSticking with Manny Ramirez, here’s some fun from Larry Bowa, Dodgers third base coach, who appeared on Sirius/XM’s Ripken Show today to talk about what it’s like to coach Manny Ramirez:

Larry Bowa: Believe me, when Manny’s up I hope for two things.  I hope he hits a home run or he’s on third with less than two outs.  Because that might be the most difficult player to navigate around the bases because you don’t know when he’s running hard, you don’t know what gate he’s gonna be in, you don’t know what his mood is . . . there’s times where I think he’s got a chance of scoring and then he’s rounding third, all of sudden you send him and between third and home something happens and he’s out by five, six feet.

Bowa went on to say that he “lies awake at night” worrying about Manny on the basepaths.

I know people disagree about Manny Ramirez, but there aren’t many things more funny in baseball than an agitated Larry Bowa, so I think this one has to go in the “pro” column on the great Manny ledger.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

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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.