SAN FRANCISCO – There he was, all decked out in green and gold, but something wasn’t quite right for Santiago Casilla.
The longtime San Francisco Giants closer was back in AT&T Park Thursday for the first the three-game Bay Bridge Series, and he wasn’t quite color-coded. His glove, a relic from the last seven years in the west side of the bay, was black and orange in a way that screamed “Giants!”
When that was pointed out, Casilla just laughed. He’ll have the old glove replaced, probably sometime this weekend.
“I love it, too,” Casilla said of the glove.
He loved his time in San Francisco, too, winning three World Series rings. He spent some time before the game talking with old compadres like Buster Posey and Brandon Belt, all of them lobbying to do damage on the field to the other if the moment should arise. The plan is for Casilla to pitch an inning in Friday’s game.
It could be the eighth inning or the ninth. Casilla could be the A’s closer, or he might not. There are circumstances in which he could share the job with Ryan Madson.
Manager Bob Melvin said he hasn’t settled on a closer yet with the Oakland season due to start Monday with the Angels visiting the Coliseum. He hasn’t even settled on if there will be one man who gets the job.
Casilla wants to close. But he said Thursday he’ll happily take whatever role is assigned him.
“I want to close, yeah,” Casilla said. “For me I like to be in the game late. I love pitching in the ninth inning. In the ninth, you pitch different. The thing is, it’s a little more emotional in the ninth, and I like that.”