July 09, 2012

Vicente Padilla: Mark Teixeira Once Threatened Me with a Bat: Red Sox pitcher Vicente Padilla and Yankees hitter Mark Teixeira have bad blood going back to when they were teammates on the Rangers. Since then, Padilla has faced Teixeira 18 times, given up two homers and hit him three times. After Teixeira called Padilla a "guy who throws at people," Padilla responded in a Spanish-language interview, "I think, maybe, he picked the wrong profession. I think he'd be better off playing a women's sport. ... The problem is he talks about all the wrong things that others have done, but the things he's done -- against the Latinos (on the Rangers) -- he doesn't open his mouth about. He once threatened me and said he was going to hit me with a bat, and that's when we were playing on the same team."

posted by rcade to baseball at 10:49 AM - 14 comments

Padilla sounds like a knuckle-dragger with that "women's sport" crack.

I'm glad these two aren't still in Texas harshing the vibe.

posted by rcade at 10:53 AM on July 09

I don't know why Padilla didn't have Valentine weigh in as his spokesperson on this.

posted by beaverboard at 12:41 PM on July 09

There are no winners in this one. Except those of us who love The Dark Side. But not necessarily The Evil Empire.

posted by yerfatma at 12:48 PM on July 09

The best day in Teixeira's Ranger career was when he boarded the plane to Atlanta, which still beats the best day of Padilla's time in Arlington. Never cared for either of them, and I certainly don't recall any of their teammates at the time lamenting their departure.

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:41 PM on July 09

In my head I hear:

Vincente Padilla: "Mark Teixeira Turned Me Into A Newt"

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:43 PM on July 09

I just dropped by to say "I got better" so apparently I had the same thought, fraz.

posted by scully at 09:38 PM on July 09

The best day in Teixeira's Ranger career was when he boarded the plane to Atlanta

I am unhappy that he is a Yankee because:

A. No one will believe I'm happy he's not a Red Sox and
B. No one will hold my judgement impartial when I say he has the most punchable face I've ever seen

Also: Vincente Padilla killed the Predator off-screen.

posted by yerfatma at 11:10 PM on July 09

Thanks to the benefit of hindsight, I can say that it was best because Matt Harrison, Elvis Andrus, and Neftali Feliz were on that plane back from Atlanta (as well as Salty, who was considered the big fish of those prospects). But to address your points:

A. If we're taking former Ranger first basement, I'd still rather have Adrian Gonzalez.

B. Tex also has the personality of a Lego left on the rug in a dark hallway.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:06 AM on July 10

He Rangers just-plain blew it with Gonzalez. He did absolutely nothing in his brief time with Texas, they unloaded him, and he immediately turned into a star. So it's hard for me to really consider Gonzalez much of a former Ranger after his short, unsuccessful cup of coffee with them.

posted by dyams at 07:19 AM on July 10

How did they blow it if he did nothing in his time there?

posted by yerfatma at 09:52 AM on July 10

He was a former first overall pick they dealt with Chris Young (the pitcher) for a near all-star closer (Akinori Otsuka) and the promising Adam Eaton.

The Rangers had some pretty bad luck on that one (Otsuka blew out his arm, Eaton missed half a year with a broken finger and then signed for a ridiculous $24m with the Phillies), but I wouldn't say they blew it. They dealt promise for current, which is the premise of most trades when teams are trying to compete for a playoff spot.

I mean, at the time Vlade for Kobe didn't seem suicidal until Kobe became an absolute star a couple years later. Vlade was a near all-star and Kobe was an unproven rookie, many of whom totally flame out.

posted by dfleming at 11:50 AM on July 10

The Rangers blew it by not recognizing potential, as demonstrated by the great numbers he put up as soon as he was sent elsewhere and has continued to put up. Ufez said he'd rather have Gonzalez for the Rangers if it was a choice between him and Teixeira. Teixeira was kept in the organization and given a chance to develop and put up great numbers.

posted by dyams at 01:45 PM on July 10

The Rangers blew it by not recognizing potential

They recognized it, which is why they traded him for two players of significant value at the time to the organization.

Keep in mind, as well, that the 2005 Rangers had a 25 year old first basement who (the season before Gonzalez was dealt) hit .301/43/144, finished 7th in MVP voting and won a gold glove. They also had David Dellucci who hit 29 homers as their primary DH that year and had 6 guys who hit as many HRs as Gonzalez did the next year. They didn't need power; they needed pitching.

They didn't have a position for him to play and traded him for a high-upside starter and a potential closer. That's what you do when you have needs and too many good players at one position.

posted by dfleming at 05:17 PM on July 10

You can say they recognized Gonzalez's potential if you want. He was batting .227 with 6 homers and 17 RBI when they dealt him. If anything, I think San Diego is the team that recognized potential.

Regardless, since 2006, when Gonzalez was gone from Texas, he's racked up 188 homers, 618 RBI, and a .296 average. Eaton gave the Rangers a 7-4 year with a 5.12 ERA, and Otsuka flamed out after one season. It's the very definition of a trade-gone-bad. And I'm fairly sure Gonzalez could have been groomed to be a decent outfielder, not just a first baseman.

Obviously the only thing we have with trades is hindsight, but that's how they are ultimately judged.

As for Padilla, I fully support him as a Red Sox pitcher. He's not that good, so I hope they keep him around.

posted by dyams at 08:22 PM on July 10

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