The New York Post, abdicating most of whatever residual claim it had to being a news outlet as opposed to an entertainment outlet, decided to give recently-indicted sad sack Lenny Dykstra a column today. You will not be at all surprised to learn that it contains all of the usual cliches one hears from recently-indicted sad sacks who feel it necessary to go on a P.R. blitz:
- The delusion that his current struggles are part of some divine plan rather than his own greed and mendacity;
- The claim that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI are out to get him; and
- The claim that his indictment is a wonderful thing because now it allows him to tell his story;
Maybe God does have plans for people. Yes, the U.S. Attorney and the FBI do sometimes go after people. Yes, sometimes the innocent truly are set free because they finally are given a voice in a court of law. I just kind of doubt that any of these are the case with Lenny Dykstra.
Less humorously, Dykstra claims that he has been tortured — yes, he actually uses that term — and says that he was “physically and mentally assaulted” in police custody. Which is an insult to the very real victims of very real torture and police brutality here and elsewhere. Torture victims don’t write op-eds in the New York Post joking about their exploits in Shea Stadium and parsing the nature of grand theft auto based on the fact that the car involved “was only a Ford Flex.” If you were truly tortured, Dykstra, get a lawyer, register a complaint with the proper authorities and do your best to endure until your nightmare is over. Don’t pound your chest in the pages of the Post.
All of that said, I actually agree with Dykstra on one point. It’s when he says “I did not get stupid overnight.” No Lenny, you didn’t. Because that implies that there has been some sort of change in this particular metric, and of that I see no evidence whatsoever.
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.