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Tempers flare in Giants' 9-2 loss to Phillies

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Tempers flare in Giants' 9-2 loss to Phillies

Aug. 5, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Shane Victorino thought reliever Ramon Ramirez hit him on purpose. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel saw it that way, too.Victorino, Ramirez and Giants catcher Eli Whiteside all were ejected after benches cleared in the top of the sixth inning of Philadelphia's 9-2 victory over San Francisco on Friday night.Tempers flared when Ramirez hit Victorino in the lower back with a pitch, moments after Jimmy Rollins stole second with a six-run lead. Victorino began walking toward the mound and Whiteside, the catcher, stepped in front of him. Placido Polanco raced in from second base and was tackled by Whiteside.Giants Insider gallery: Anatomy of a Brawl
"Yeah, absolutely, I think he did," Victorino said of Ramirez plunking him intentionally. "That's why I took a step forward. I had no intentions of going out there and charging the mound. I just wanted to go out there and get an answer. ... Obviously, Eli felt like, from looking at his reaction, I was going to go. He started jumping around. Polanco came in and he tackled Polanco. Everything escalated from there."These teams have become quite the rivals of late after the Giants beat the favored Phillies in six games of the NL championship series last fall on the way to capturing the franchise's first World Series since moving West in 1958.Carlos Beltran didn't agree with Rollins' steal."You can ask Jimmy Rollins about that. I would not have done it," San Francisco's new slugger said.Manuel figures Ramirez just became frustrated."He hit Vic, then he came after Vic. Vic almost has to go unless he wants his teammates to call him chicken," Manuel said. "I think (Ramirez) was getting hit and he got mad and he was going to plunk somebody. He was going to send a message."John Mayberry Jr. hit a two-run homer for his second clout in as many games and Vance Worley (8-1) won his sixth straight decision as the Phillies ran their winning streak to a season-best eight games.Victorino and Hunter Pence also homered for the majors-best Phillies, who haven't lost since the Giants took two of three from them last week. San Francisco has dropped seven of eight during the same span.Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff was in the middle of the scrum and Rollins shoved San Francisco bench coach Ron Wotus as they exchanged words. Victorino pushed plate umpire Mike Muchlinski trying to get back into the fray, then was held back by Wotus and Phillies hitting coach Greg Gross.Manuel got stepped on and somebody pulled on the back of his pants. Polanco, taken to the ground by Whiteside, said he rushed to Victorino's defense.
RELATED: Giants, Phillies clear benches, brawl at AT&T Park
"I was trying to grab somebody," Polanco said. "It's not the first one and it's not going to be the last one. Once you're over there and you're playing for something, the Adrenalin level goes up. You want to win and you compete and things like that happen. ... We're both in first place and we want to win the division."The umpiring crew, which declined to comment after the game before reviewing video, met for several minutes once things settled down and then made the ejections. Crew chief Mike Winters said he could address the brawl Saturday."It's baseball and things happen fast," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Tempers flare. It's part of the game. It's part of the game. It's competition. Things aren't going well for us. It happens and you deal with it. ... I thought it was fairly clean out there. You hope your guys are trying to break up the fight. We'll have to see what happens when MLB looks at the video."Philadelphia led 8-2 at the time, then Pence homered for the second straight night in the seventh.Whiteside hit a solo homer in the fifth for the Giants before being tossed the next inning."I called for a fastball inside and it was a little too far inside. It was a two-seamer," Whiteside said. "I have no comment on the fight. ... I played a little quarterback in high school."Worley allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out six and walked one in seven innings, beating the Giants for the second time in three starts after tossing a three-hitter on July 26.Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez (4-6) lasted 4 2-3 inning in his return from biceps tendinitis that landed him on the disabled list for 36 games. He 0-3 in his last five starts.Sanchez took over in the rotation for struggling lefty Barry Zito, who went back on the disabled list with the same sprained right foot that shelved him earlier this year.Giants manager Bochy went back to his regular lineup - with Beltran batting third and Pablo Sandoval cleanup - a day after Cliff Lee shut out the Giants 3-0. Sandoval hit a sacrifice fly in the first to put the Giants ahead, but the Phillies jumped on Sanchez in the fourth.Victorino had a one-out homer and Mayberry connected four batters later. Raul Ibanez added an RBI groundout. Ramirez relieved after back-to-back singles by Polanco and Victorino in the fifth.NOTES: Rollins stole his 25th base in the fifth and 26th in the sixth. ... Injured Giants C Buster Posey, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year who went down for the season in a home-plate collision with Florida's Scott Cousins on May 25, could be completely off crutches this weekend or early next week. He is on one crutch after tearing three ligaments in his left ankle and fracturing a bone in his lower leg. ... Bochy said Zito will pitch four or five innings in a rehab outing Sunday for Class A San Jose. ... RHP Matt Cain goes Saturday for the Giants, trying to beat Philadelphia for the second time in as many starts. His win at Philly last week was his first ever vs. the Phillies. ... The Phillies will send LHP Cole Hanmels to the mound against the Giants on Saturday. He's 4-3 against the Giants in nine starts, including a loss in Philadelphia. He is 1-2 over his last four starts. Cody Ross has four home runs in 32 at-bats against Hamels, while Beltran has three in 36.

Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice

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Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice

ALAMEDA – Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin were out at Raiders practice Wednesday for the stretching period. Both edge rushers left one-at-a-time during the individual period, which open to the press, headed into the main building and did not return.

There was no reaction, certainly no surprise, from the coaching staff or players on the field. Irvin and new defensive coordinator John Pagano were seen joking around on the field before practice began in earnest. 

Both guys were given a day off, one scheduled earlier in the day. A Raiders official called it a day off/rest-type day that was not injury related. The Silver and Black typically practice in pads or shells on Wednesday, but were in jerseys and sweats in the interest of recovery.

Wednesday marked the first practice Irvin has missed since training camp. Mack hasn’t missed one in months.

Mack and Irvin’s downtime comes a day after beloved defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s firing.

Mack and Irvin especially were among those loyal to Norton. Mack and Norton developed a bond after the coach was named defensive coordinator in 2015. Norton and Irvin go way back to their days together in Seattle. Irvin credits Norton for helping him get on the right path and stay there.

Neither player was happy Norton got the axe. Irvin made his displeasure clear, tweeting “BULLS***” shortly after news of Norton’s demise broke. Mack told ESPN “I like to keep my thoughts private.”

It isn’t immediately clear if the non-injury related day off was related to Norton’s dismissal. Head coach Jack Del Rio won’t speak to the media again until Friday. New defensive coordinator John Pagano is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon.

Del Rio addressed the media before Wednesday’s practice, and was asked how he’ll handle players unhappy with the in-season shake-up.

“I don’t try and 'handle' them,” Del Rio said. “I think the biggest thing is to understand the relationship, respect that, give him a little space and then at the end of the day, we’re going to get on with our work. But, I’m human. It wasn’t easy for me either.”

Del Rio: 'Nobody should feel comfortable,' following Norton firing

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Del Rio: 'Nobody should feel comfortable,' following Norton firing

ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio put out a statement Tuesday explaining why he fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

He went into greater detail Wednesday afternoon, his first time facing the media since a change was made

Specifics will be discussed further down this story. We don’t, however, want to bury the lede.

Del Rio’s main message wasn’t about Norton. It applied to all in Silver and Black. This season has not met lofty expectations. That is unacceptable.

“I know one thing,” Del Rio said. “Nobody should feel comfortable, because what I’ve been watching is not good enough.”

Del Rio didn’t absolve himself from blame. Norton got fired, but everyone has played a part in this disappointing 4-6 record.

“It’s always shared,” Del Rio said. “A change was made, obviously. We all share in it, all of us, starting with me. It’s coaches and players. It’s a team game, and we’re all in it together. And nobody is coming to help us.”

The Raiders must look inward to start a prolonged winning streak they’ve shown little evidence they can create.

The seat will be warm under players and coaches alike, even if only one change was made. Expect further shakeup on the coaching staff after the season, if vast improvements don’t come down the stretch, possibly with several position coaches being shown the door. More than a few higher profile players could be cut or allowed to leave, especially on defense.

While Del Rio has taken more heat the past month than at any other time in his Raiders tenure, expect him to be around a longer term. He was given a contract extension in February, and has significant capitol built after changing the culture in Oakland and re-teaching this team how to win. One bad year, even if this season continues heading downhill, shouldn’t erase that.

Del Rio was looking to shake things up, and Norton was the obvious move. Experienced play caller John Pagano was on staff – he was Chargers defensive coordinator from 2012-2016 – and firing the popular Pagano’s style could create some new waves and looks that any offensive Norton would make an impact in the locker room and prove this story’s opening quote, that no one should feel comfortable.

Del Rio hopes firing Norton will be a shock to the defense’s system.

“I really felt like I needed to shake things up,” Del Rio said. “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. So I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing and make sure…what I’m looking for at the end of the day is for us to play fast on defense. We weren’t playing fast enough. We weren’t playing confident enough.”