Actually, it’s not just Jeter. Rays pitchers have hit Yankees batters five times in the past week. And even if none — or at least not all — were intentional, Joe Girardi is pretty sick of it:
“I’m all for pitching inside, but you’ve got to know how to pitch inside because it’s extremely dangerous,” Girardi said. “I don’t know what they expect … you hit five of our guys in four games, you don’t think we’ll be (mad)?”
Girardi was even more angry that Yankees pitcher David Phelps was ejected later for throwing one inside to Kevin Kiermaier:
“My guy gets tossed for what?” Girardi said. “He didn’t hit nobody.”
For his part, Joe Maddon claimed that there was no intent to hit any Yankees batter. But he’s not going to apologize for it either:
“It’s nothing to apologize for. It’s just part of the game. I do understand their frustration with it and why they were upset. It ended up being what it was. Hopefully tomorrow there is nothing going on and, again, truthfully, like I said, there was no intent from us . . . I understand the frustration. I get it totally.”
Hard to say if it ends here. I mean, we live in a time, apparently, where Major League Baseball doesn’t give a rip if you throw at someone’s head, so why would they care at the Yankees and Rays getting mad at each other and throwing inside?
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.