SAN FRANCISCO – Giants first base coach Antoan Richardson and Padre’s third base coach Mike Shildt met at Oracle Park early Wednesday morning, and spoke brilliantly on the field in an attempt to resolve their dispute from the night before.
Twelve hours earlier, in the Giants’ 13-2 victory over the Padres, the two coaches were involved in an altercation that led to Richardson’s expulsion in the middle of an incident that he would later say had “undertones of racism.”
“I just want to make it very clear that I in no way believe that Shildty is a racist,” Richardson said, addressing reporters along with Shildt Wednesday morning. “What I was trying to do is just to point out how words affect certain communities, even though they may not have bad intentions. This just helped us become more aware of what these things mean.”
The situation arose at the peak of the third round on Tuesday. Shildt, who spent the past three seasons as a Cardinals manager before being hired as a consultant in San Diego, serves as a third-base coach while Matt Williams recovers from hip surgery. He appeared to be shouting into the San Francisco dugout after the Padres got annoyed with the Giants’ decision to steal second base while leading by nine runs.
Richardson responded to Shildt from the dugout and was then ousted by third-base judge Greg Gibson. (Richardson’s dismissal would allow for some history as the Giants’ Alyssa Nakken became the first woman to take the field as coach on the field, replacing Richardson at first base.)
After the match, Richardson called reporters to the Giants’ clubhouse long after it was closed to explain the moments leading up to his expulsion.
“Obviously, a historic night with Alyssa as first base coach,” Richardson said. “I think it was great. I just wanted to clear up the incident that happened tonight and that got Alyssa into the fight.”
Richardson explained that Shildt looked into the grave to find left-handed player Alex Wood, who has a long-standing relationship with Shildt. The two then exchanged heated words that brought Giants manager Gabe Kapler into the fight.
“[Shildt] said, ‘You have to check it m —- f —–‘, and at that point I went to the top of the top step and I said, ‘Excuse me?’ “Richardson said” Because I could not believe what I heard. And at that point, Gibson, the crew chief, decided to throw me out of the game.
“I say this because I think his words were disproportionately unjustified and undertones of racism when he referred to me as ‘the m —– f —-‘, as if I were to be controlled or a piece of property or done to slaves. “
A day later, Shildt and Richardson arrived early at Oracle Park to discuss the situation. Richardson said he did not think Shildt was racist, but he wanted to convey the effects of his words. Shildt wanted to make it clear that “that form or form was in no way related to what was said last night.”
A few hours later, Shildt and Richardson spoke to reporters behind the home record at Oracle Park, ahead of the first pitch in the Giants-Padres series finale.
“I do not know Antoan’s legacy; I can not walk in his shoes,” Shildt said. “I can only have the empathy and love that I have and always have had in my life. I used inappropriate language, which is my biggest problem last night, and I apologize for that.”
Richardson praised Shildt’s receptivity and his willingness to enter into dialogue, hoping to put saliva behind him while shedding light on an important issue.
“This is more something we both want to use as an opportunity to create awareness – that sometimes words that are harmless are very insensitive to others,” Richardson said. “And it’s just really important that we are aware of the things we say. Once again, Shildty has been a big supporter of the black community. I appreciate that he takes ownership and understands the impact of his words. . “
A day later, the Giants remained saddened by Richardson’s expulsion. Padres, meanwhile, were shocked that Steven Duggar had stolen a base and Mauricio Dubón had shot to a hit with a nine-run lead – an apparent breach of the game’s unwritten rules.
But any enmity between Richardson and Shildt had apparently been lifted.
“We’re here to play baseball,” Shildt said. “And the one thing I’ve always loved about our game is that it’s no matter your skin color, no matter your socioeconomics, no matter what language you speak, and now, thankfully, no matter your gender – we had a beautiful moment last night. with Alyssa … I think that comes in handy, because now the reality is that we dealt with this harsh situation in public, as men with solutions and without any enmity.It’s a good example of how people communicate together . “