Phillies fan runs onto field, gets tasered

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Phillies fan taser.jpgThere’s so much going on in this photo that I’m not sure where to begin. For starters you have just the latest example of wonderful Phillies fan behavior. No, this guy didn’t puke on anyone or anything — he was simply tasered and hauled off — but you have to give Phillies’ fans the benefit of the doubt with this sort of thing and presume that he would have puked on someone had he gotten the chance. I mean, there’s a track record there.

You also have, frozen forever, the image of a police officer at the precise moment he decided to lose his job. Oh, sure, they may stretch things out a week or two and make an inquiry into the officer’s use of force, but when you decide to fire your taser at someone who, however big a knucklehead he happens to be, does not appear to represent anything approaching a threat to himself or others, you’re not coming out smelling good on the other end.

Indeed, it strikes me that maybe the security guard fired the taser because he was embarrassed that he couldn’t catch the kid and wanted to end the crowd’s laughter. While that’s funny on some level, it’s not nearly as funny when you realize that hundreds of people have died as a result of being tasered. Bad move, bro.

In any event, this was all great fun because everyone appears to have ended up being OK, but this is certainly not an incident that’s going to make anyone particularly proud.

UPDATE: Video here, at least until it is decided that it is being transmitted without the express authorization of Major League Baseball.

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.