A really interesting bit of news from Jim Reeves, on the Angels beanball imbroglio:
I took Rangers manager Buck Showalter to task last week for failing to explicitly order rookie reliever Scott Feldman not to throw at Angels hitters in the ninth inning of that ridiculous game with Anaheim on Aug. 16, the one that resulted in so many suspensions. Now team insiders are saying he did exactly that.
Showalter, I'm told, had bullpen coach Dom Chiti relay that message to Feldman before he went into the game in the ninth. Feldman ignored the order by plunking Adam Kennedy with two outs, touching off a melee and capping a wild night that earned Feldman a six-game suspension, Vicente Padilla five games off and Showalter four games sitting in the manager's office in Detroit.
While I admire Showalter for employing a personal policy of not throwing players under the bus, when one of his players -- especially a rookie -- deliberately disobeys a manager's orders in a situation like that, all bets should be off. In the aftermath, Showalter would have been well within his rights to publicly discipline Feldman, who has since been sent back to Oklahoma for obvious reasons. But that's not the way this manager works.
"When someone with 'Texas' written across his chest does something good or bad, you wear it," Showalter has said more than once. Translation: Whatever happens, the Rangers are all in this together -- players, coaching staff, manager, everyone.
In the clubhouse, Feldman was treated like a folk hero, a clue that he very likely felt a great deal of peer pressure to disobey his manager.
The next logical question is whether Showalter has control of his players if a rookie is going to completely ignore an order, but you can't go there without asking the same question of Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
On the same day that Scioscia sanctimoniously declared to reporters that his pitchers don't throw at hitters, two Rangers were drilled and a third was buzzed behind his back.
It's obviously not just Showalter's players who are tuning out when it suits them.