What happened this week appears to be more about motivation than money, although in conversations with several team voices Thursday in New York, Padilla’s popularity within the clubhouse is at an all-time low.
Vinny is considered too much of a loner to be considered a team cancer, but as one guy told me, “He just doesn’t care. He could care less. And he’s going to get somebody hurt. Somebody who does care about the team.”
Vinny throws at hitters. Always has. That’s not necessarily bad, but he’s stupid at times with how he does it, such as drilling Mark Teixeira of the Yankees twice on Tuesday night. Padilla claims it wasn’t intentional. Nobody believed him, starting with Tex, but also including those in his own clubhouse.
“What if Nellie (Nelson Cruz) had been hit in the head and we lose him?” asked a member of the Rangers, referring to the retaliatory pitch on Tuesday which was in the vicinity of Cruz’s noggin. “Or when Tex goes that hard into second, trying to kill the kid (prized young shortstop Elvis Andrus)? That was retaliatory for getting drilled (by Padilla). What if Elvis had been hurt over nothing?”
Beyond that, however, Padilla is also the one member of the rotation, or the entire pitching staff, who doesn’t seem to have bought into the Mike Maddux gospel.
“(Padilla) has his own plan when he goes to the mound,” said a team member. “You never know what you are going to get. He can suddenly forget his fastball and start throwing slop. It’s crazy.”
Posted: June 05, 2009 at 03:50 AM | 6 comment(s)
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