Life is too damn short to get worked up over your baseball team. Sure, they can disappoint you. They can make you angry. They can cast a pall on the season in such a way that you just give up on it in August and start to think about apple picking and leaf raking and anything in the world that isn’t baseball. But you really shouldn’t get so agitated about it that it profoundly affects your emotions and, dare I say it, even begins to impact your physical and mental health.
No, let Mike Francesa do that for you. Let him uncork ten minutes of bile about your team — say, if it’s the Mets — that is cleansing and liberating and at turns hilarious. And when you get done listening to it, prepare yourself for autumn in New York without a care in the world. Because it really is nice in New York in autumn.
My favorite part: “You’re playing a team that stinks! You’re playing a bunch of minor leaguers! … They don’t have anybody in the lineup!” Because I forgot about the murderer’s row that the heretofore elite New York Mets have been trotting out all year.
I hope his doctor stays nearby when he gets like this.
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.