Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford told reporters earlier this month that he “wasn’t happy” about Red Sox owner John Henry expressing to the media last season that he was “personally opposed” to the former Ray’s seven-year, $142 million contract.
Rather than continuing to air their frustrations through the press, player and owner had a sit-down meeting recently in Red Sox camp. It lasted around 10 minutes, and it apparently went swimmingly.
“He was apologetic and I accepted his apology and we both agreed to just move and go from there,” Crawford told WEEI in Boston. “When someone is genuinely sorry for something, you can tell. I think he was genuinely sorry for it. I apologized for the season I had. Had I played better, he wouldn’t had to say that so we just both exchanged words that were good. I think we were able to clear the air and now it’s just time to move on.”
Crawford, a .296/.337/.444 hitter during his nine years in Tampa Bay, batted just .255/.289/.405 in 539 plate appearances last season for the Red Sox. He also stole just 18 bases after swiping 47 for the Rays in 2010.
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.