And now, about those 10 men up top. Each was a pitching coach during Righetti's 11-year tenure pitching with the Yankees. Fowler, Williams and Ellis had three assignments each, King had four, and Torborg and Connor had two. The Yankees had a pitching rotation. George Steinbrenner had a pitching-coach rotation. Stability never was part of it.
Righetti smirks when he thinks of the whim and wisdom of Steinbrenner, and what Graig Nettles once called our "pitching-coach stew." Variety wasn't all it was cracked up to be in those days.
"We used to ask every other day, 'Who do we have now?'" Righetti said Friday afternoon when the Giants arrived at Citi Field for a four-game, wrap-around series against the Mets. But in a strange way -- "a backwards way," he called it -- the many coaches helped to mold Righetti into the successful coach he is now.
"I was exposed to a lot of different theories and ideas," Righetti said, seemingly leaving something unsaid. "We had to deal with the differences."
Righetti dealt with the pressure, too. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1981, and a Minor League pitcher for part of 1982. "I didn't pitch well in the  World Series," he said. "So George was on me from the beginning of '82. And I knew if I didn't get going, someone -- I think it was Steamer [Stan Williams] was going to lose his job or get sent to Triple-A with me. George didn't fire guys. He recycled them. But it was going to be because of me. That was pressure."
The pressure is significantly less now. The Giants way -- with pitching at least -- is Righetti's. His job security is as strong as Willie McCovey's bat. The Giants staff has the wherewithal to be rather independent. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito -- the Giants starter Friday night -- are wealthy men. But they listen to the man with security and with the knowledge gleaned from starting and closing in a high-profile environment and working for a baseball dictator. But Righetti acknowledges the security -- read income -- of his pitchers "does change the conversation."
Righetti finds his current job more rewarding than pitching -- a rare sense among coaches with resumés of success as players.
"As a player, I never won," he said. "And I was responsible for a lot. I had to worry about myself, 'cause I was the closer. Now I think about the starters, the closers, everybody. It's more time put in, and maybe there's more stress at times. But there is great satisfaction with the success we've had."