Video: a position player pitched to a pitcher in an American League game

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Ike Davis pitched once earlier this year. It was back in April and he actually looked pretty darn good! His services were needed again yesterday, as the A’s were in the process of losing 18-2 to the Orioles. This time, however, the position player pitching came with a twist: the batter was a pitcher. A relief pitcher, no less. In an AL game:

 

Given the blowout the Orioles had willingly forfeited their DH so Jason Garcia hit for himself. Though, as you can see above, he didn’t really “hit.” Indeed, he was walked on four pitches. He was specifically instructed by manager Buck Showalter to not swing the bat. Not that he didn’t want to at least look like a pro:

“I thought Garcia presented himself well,” Showalter said. “He wasn’t supposed to swing there, but he put his batting gloves on for the photo op. Then I watch him on deck and he was pine tarring his bat. I said, ‘Why are you putting pine tar on?’ He goes, ‘Oh yeah.'”

Garcia:

“Got to look the part,” he said. “I wanted to swing, but …”

For Davis’ part, he got out of the inning with no one scoring. Even struck out a dude.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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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.