Mark Teixeira destroys Bobby Wilson

20 Comments

BobbyWilsonTeixeira.jpgAngels catcher Bobby Wilson, who was making his first major league start on Friday, was forced to leave the game after being barreled over by Mark Teixeira while trying to block the plate in the third inning.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Wilson was diagnosed with a left ankle sprain and a concussion. He was taken to an area hospital for a CT scan and X-rays.

Following the game, Teixeira expressed regret for the incident:

“I feel terrible. It makes me sick,” Teixeira said. “You never want to
hurt a guy. I was going to slide, but as soon as I saw him learning toward
me, I thought, ‘OK, he’s got the ball, I’ve got to knock it loose.’
Every time I’m in that position I try to protect myself by lowering my
shoulder.”

Upon first glance, it doesn’t appear that the collision was necessary, but with repeated viewings you’ll see that Teixeira didn’t even recognize that the ball had ricocheted away from Wilson. Even Angels manager and former catcher
Mike Scioscia called it “a clean play.” Some Angels’ players disagree, including Torii Hunter, who said Teixeira appeared to be “on a mission,” but I really think you have to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

Getty Images
2 Comments

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.