So, Vicente Padilla was designated for assignment. I think most everyone assumed he’d be here through the end of the season, and there’d be zero chance they’d pick up his option for 2010. He was out of here at the end of the season. However, his actions in the Oakland series probably sealed his fate.
With his favorite beanball target of a team coming up (Anaheim), I suspect the move was made to get rid of him before anything worse happened. During his time here, he developed a reputation of being a headhunter. It’s known I follow the Phillies too, and I don’t recall him being a beanball pitcher there. No idea what he was like in Arizona. I went back and found this article (and this one) from Beerleaguer (one of my fav Phillies sites) about Padilla being moved here, and while the gist of it was “good riddance”, I can’t find any specifics about why he had worn out his welcome in Philadelphia. I remember hearing at the time it was a “we don’t care if we get a bag of beans for him, move him out”.
So he comes here, is decent, if not stellar, and as time moves on, seems to have developed a reputation of throwing at guys. I know there’s a lot made out of players who will “defend their players” and all that, but Pidente down here seems to be the guy who starts it, not the guy who retaliates.
Read this morning a lot of quotes from players saying it was a good move. Marlon Byrd came out and said “It’s about time”, and the DMN’s article talks about how several players were thanking GM Jon Daniels in the clubhouse after it had happened. I didn’t realize he was quite THAT unliked in the clubhouse.
From a baseball side, he had one good month this year – May. Since his waiver move awhile back, he hasn’t been lights out, except for maybe the first start after that. Since the All-Star break, I read where his ERA is over 6. We’re putting Dustin Nippert in the rotation in his place, but Nippert or anyone else we might throw in there won’t do any worse, and the headgames Padilla can bring is probably something we could do without. Again, Daniels portrayed him as a bad teammate, so conjuring up memories of Sidney Ponson, a pitcher that was not pitching THAT poorly was moved out for the good of the team’s “chemistry”. But with us having a decent shot at making the playoffs, we figured we were better off without him. Ouch.
Heck, even his name doesn’t get respect. The DMN article this morning printed his name as Vincent Padilla, and last night, Fox Sports Southwest in their news crawl had his name spelled as Vincente Padilla. Of course, that doesn’t compare to the old Harry Kalas story. One time the late great Philly broadcaster referred to him as Vicente Pidente, which is the reason I called Padilla that. This is probably one of the last times I’ll ever get to use the word Pidente on this site, and that alone is a reason I’ll miss him. But probably the only one. hahaha.
One last thing. I know still pictures taken of a very moving event can lie. I am well aware of that fact. However, in looking for pictures of Padilla, I ran across the brawl pictures from Sep 16, 2007 with Oakland. I ran into this one. It looks like that even during a brawl that Pidente seemed on the outside not with his teammates (yeah, I know that’s not really what is going on, it just looks that way).
UPDATE: After I wrote all this, I saw an article with remarks from Padilla saying he was “disappointed” in the move. What pitcher would say “Yeah, it’s probably good they got rid of me”?