A-Rod was on heavy painkillers, had to go to the ER during the playoffs

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That’s the report from Ken Rosenthal, who tweets that A-Rod was re-injured before the playoffs and that he was “on pain medication throughout the post-season. Pain so severe after one of DS games, he had to be taken to emergency room and spent night there.”

Hurm.

On the one hand, I’m tempted to say that this is certainly sobering for the people who wanted to trash the hell out of Rodriguez during the playoffs.

On the other hand, how in the world could no one have reported that A-Rod spent a night in an ER during the playoffs before now?  That kind of thing has to get out, doesn’t it? Heck, given how much crap people were piling on Rodriguez, you’d think the Yankees would have leaked or reported this themselves in an effort to protect their player from being attacked the way he was being attacked back in October.

Whatver the case, my spidey sense tells me that, yes, A-Rod was in a lot more pain during the playoffs than was generally reported, but that perhaps someone — maybe someone close to A-Rod — is gilding the lily a bit here.

As always, of course, if A-Rod can come back and play, this will be forgotten. If not, he’ll be considered a bum or a slacker or whatever it is people like to consider A-Rod.  He’ll never get credit for trying to play through pain.

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.