Lansfords survive 'nerve-racking' frame
A's Jared pitches against anxious father Carney's Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Carney Lansford sensed long ago that this day would come. So he warned Giants manager Bruce Bochy about it last year as he became San Francisco's hitting coach."I told Boch last year, if my son gets invited to big league camp and we happen to play them and he's scheduled to pitch, I'm going to be sick that day," Lansford said.
On Thursday, Lansford's loyalties to his employer and his own flesh and blood clashed as his son, Jared, pitched a shutout fifth inning for the Oakland A's in their 4-2 Cactus League victory over the Giants. The resulting tension ate at the elder Lansford worse than anything he experienced in his 15-year Major League career, the last 10 of which were spent with Oakland."I literally would rather face Nolan Ryan any day than watch my kid pitch against my team," Carney Lansford said. "It's a no-win for me. If he does well, he gets my hitters out. But if my hitters do well, he has a poor outing." Actually, Jared Lansford's effort turned out to be about as much of a win-win as possible. The 22-year-old right-hander retired big league veterans Rich Aurilia and Juan Uribe on groundouts before Steve Holm singled to center field and Eugenio Velez beat out an infield single. Then Andres Torres grounded out to first base, ending the drama. "I'm not going to lie to you -- it was a little nerve-racking," said Jared Lansford, a 22-year-old right-hander who's unscored upon in three appearances. Carney Lansford's wife, Debbie, and his other son, Josh (a pitcher in the Cubs' Minor League system), managed to stay put in their Scottsdale Stadium seats. But Carney, who said he woke up from anxiety four times Wednesday night and Thursday morning, resorted to pacing through the parking lot adjacent to the ballpark. "I was waiting for the music to play between innings so I'd know it was over," Carney Lansford said. Asked how he'd handle the Giants' Interleague games against the A's if they were to promote Jared to the Majors, Carney Lansford said, "I'd love to have to worry about that at some point."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.