|Yours for the taking!
Vicente Padilla was placed on waivers by the Rangers on Wednesday, but based on what his teammates are saying about him, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for anyone else to go to go out of their way to claim him:
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?"
The Rangers' source also criticizes Padilla's approach to pitching, saying that he just wings out there, has no plan, and more or less ignores pitching coach Mike Maddux.
I think the biggest problem with Padilla could be conditioning. I hadn't seen him pitch for a year or two before seeing the highlights of the Yankees-Rangers game the other night, and the guy just looks fat. Oh, and he also has a history of problems with alcohol. That second link goes to an article in Spanish which -- according to this baseball expert and Spanish speaker -- reports that Padilla was driving drunk in Nicaragua three years ago with a friend in the passenger's seat, got in an accident, and caused his friend's death.
To sum up: Vicente Padilla is (a) a reckless head hunter who; (b) can't be coached; (c) is out of shape; (d) has a history of alcohol issues; and (e) is still owed $8 million or so this season.
I can just hear the teams lining up to claim him off waivers now.
(link via BTF)