Friday, July 31, 2009

Winning Streaks, Trade Rumors, Hitting Coaches, and Trevor Time

Why, what's this? A winning streak? Our beloved Padres actually looked like a major league team in Cincinnati this week.

Some corners of the Padre sphere think the 2009 version will set a new club record for futility in a month. That might still happen - they have to win tonight to avoid it - but since most of us thought there was no way they'd win the final 4 games this month, taking 3 from Cincinnati is a nice mid-summer present.

Also since Dusty Baker is one of baseball's biggest asses, the winning streak couldn't come against a better team. Thank you, sir, for continuing to rip the hearts out of fanbases in the NL Central.


Rumors persist Heath Bell and Adrian will find new places to store their cleats today. Here's two thoughts:

- Closers aren't important. They aren't. This whole myth about teams needing a shut-down closer is exactly that: a myth. It has never made sense to me when managers keep their best reliever housed in the bull pen for 9th inning duty, and lose the game because they ran Joe Thornton out there in a tough spot in the 7th. If some other team thinks getting Heath Bell will advance them to the post season, and are willing to give up players at one of the Padres 'need positions' (which is everywhere on the diamond right now except first, short, and center), then trade him.

- Marquee names are important. A recent SI article about Adrian pointed out the marketing difficulties the Padres face; to paraphrase, they are forced to expand south, what with the Pacific, the Mojave, and Angel/Dodger dominance ringing them in. People in TJ (specifically) and Baja (in general) who follow baseball identify with Gonzo, marking him as 'one of their own'. Trade him, and Moorad might as well move the franchise to Montreal. Those few hardy souls going to the ball park do so to watch Gonzo hit. What will they watch when he leaves?

Can't anyone Play this game?

Padres fired their hitting coach Jim Lefebvre today. He's replaced by former Major Leaguer Randy Ready, a career .260 hitter with 5 teams over parts of 13 seasons (1983-1995). As Chris Jenkins pointed out, this is the 5th hitting coach since 2006. Clearly the hitting coaches are the problem:

2006: .263 Batting Average (tied for 8th worst in MLB, with Pittsburgh)
2007: .251 (third worst in MLB)
2008: .250 (thrd worst)
2009: .232 (worst, by A LOT; the Reds are the '27 Yankees in comparison (.244)).

Oh, you don't like batting average as a metric? Here's a little weighted On Base Average, SABR-heads:

2006: .326 wOBA (20th)
2007: .319 (25th)
2008: .311 (26th)

Hey Padre Management: maybe, Just MAYBE, Dave Magadan, Merv Rettemund, Wally Joyner, and Lefebvre weren't the problem? Maybe the free-swinging Friars are. All these guys can do is dispense advise; they can't go to the plate and take the at bats for the Chase Headley's of the world. The 'Think Method' doesn't work when trying to hit at the Major League level.

Trevor Time Returns

Milwaukee comes to town for a weekend set, bringing a host of former Padres, but most notably Trevor Hoffman. There's been some chatter (I'll call Scott and BR talking about it this morning as chatter) on whether or not the Padres should play 'Hell's Bells' if Hoffman enters a game this weekend.

Let me be emphatic: HELL NO.

We don't follow the San Diego Hoffmans, we follow the Padres. Trevor was a great player for us for years. A perfect scenario would be the Brewers get swept and he doesn't get into a game. But if he does, on his first appearance this weekend, as he heads to the mound he should get a lengthy, loud, heartfelt ovation.

And that's it. No soundtrack. No bells.

I'm not rooting for him to beat the Padres.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grading these Padres is Hard

The Padres have won 36 games, so here's a 36 word post grading their performance.

A - Adrian Gonzalez

B - Bell, Cabrera, Correia, Eckstein, Scott Hairston (shipped to Oakland), Peavy

F - All the rest on Gilligan's Island.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The All-Star Game Gods Hate San Diego

It's bad enough the team sits in last in the NL West, behind the moribund Diamondbacks. It's bad enough the team has the third worst record in baseball at the break.

Now, for the third time in 4 years, a Padre loses the All-Star Game for the National League.

Fantastic. And I ran out of beer earlier.

Friday, July 10, 2009

No Hit

No sarcasm tonight.

A hat tip to Jonathan Sanchez on his no-hitter. You wonder why Pablo Sandoval was lifted in the bottom of the seventh, and Juan Uribe shifted to third. One wonders if Sandoval fields the ground ball from Headley cleanly, to turn this into a perfect game. Sandoval has been lifted from the game 10 times this season, but only twice since May 30.

In that case, the Rowland catch of Edgar Gonzalez's drive would have ended the game. And it would have been a hell of a way to end it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yellow Line? What Yellow Line?

I thought the whole reason for the yellow line on the top of a MLB ball park fence was to denote what was a HR and what wasn't. Simple math:

Above or on the Yellow Line = HOME RUN

Below Yellow Line = IN PLAY

If the padding at the top of the fence is just there to protect the outfielder, WHY IS IT YELLOW? Why not some other color, like mauve? Chartreuse?

And how much bad luck do the Padres have for Chase Headley to hit a ball that bounces off the top of the fence at EXACTLY the right angle to return to the field of play? Not bounce forward into the stands, not bounce straight up, but BOUNCE BACKWARDS to the outfielder?

Chase Field Outfield Fence, Mr. Headley and my Fantasy Baseball team will not be sending you a Christmas Card this holiday season. Thanks for nothing.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I was pissed about scott hairston...

...and then I watched Gregerson and Meredith give up a game that the Padres should have won.

Why would Kevin Towers feel the need to stockpile arms in the minor league system? Because he employs a bunch of guys who can't get hitters out, that's why.

Check this out:

After Tony Clark hit into the double play in the eighth, the Padres had a 87% chance of winning this game. Chad Tracy homers, and you know the rest.

Now to be fair, the number of pitchers who could throw scoreless innings was severely depleted after yesterday's 13 inning affair. But if you pitch in the majors, you get paid to GET HITTERS OUT. Not to lay a belt-high fastball over the inner half to a left-handed hitter that feasts on that kind of pitching.

Know that this site name was not selected lightly.

Thursday, July 2, 2009



It's bad enough we dropped 3 of 4 to Houston, but we had to wait almost an hour to lose today because of....Bees?!?

Are locusts far behind?