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All time Padres hunk-off results

August 28th, 2012 by

Padres Social Media Night

Padres social media day meant meeting tons of passionate and fun Padres fans. I also took the opportunity to talk to folks about hunks. That meant collecting votes and opinions regarding the best looking Padres of all time, as a follow up to a recent discussion about current Padre hunks. After getting past the awkwardness of explaining what I was doing, people submitted their choice for the biggest Padres hunk, which also led to some hot (pun not intended) and passionate (pun also not intended) debate. Some special celebrity voters were included as well.

Padres Social Media

Does this thing get Pinterest?

The rules were simple: any player on the Padres roster at any time in history was eligible. Opinions varied greatly, with a large number of names mentioned and justifications from preferring the brains of pitcher Chring Young to the squatting ability of Fred McGriff. We received a total of 25 votes, and after disqualifying the top vote recipient “Why Are You Doing This?” an ultimate all time Padres hunk was crowned: Ken Caminiti.

Here’s a listing of all the nominees, and their vote total:

  • Ken Caminiti (4)
  • Brad Ausmus (3)
  • Steve Garvey (3)
  • Cory Luebke (2)
  • Trevor Hoffman (2)
  • Ed Whitson with shirt off (2 – votes independent of each other)
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff (1)
  • Ben Davis (1)
  • Fred McGriff (1)
  • Benito Santiago (1)
  • Chris Young (1)
  • Kurt Bevacqua (1)
  • Greg Vaughn (1)
  • Huston Street (1)
  • Carmelo Martinez (1)
Bud Black Batting Practice Social Media

Also we saw batting practice

Vote for your favorite hunk here!

Who is the Padres all time hunk?

  • Ed Whitson with shirt off (25%, 3 Votes)
  • Trevor Hoffman (17%, 2 Votes)
  • Steve Finley (17%, 2 Votes)
  • Fred McGriff (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Steve Garvey (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Ken Caminiti (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Huston Street (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Brad Ausmus (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Cory Luebke (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Carmelo Martinez (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ben Davis (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Benito Santiago (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Chris Young (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kurt Bevacqua (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Greg Vaughn (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Carlos Quentin (1%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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PS – If you’re viewing this on a mobile device, you’ll have to view the desktop version to vote on the poll. Our engineers are working on a fix soon.

Posted in awards | 1 Comment »

2012 Padres Ultimate Hunk Off – Pick Yours!

July 27th, 2012 by

Everyone on Twitter agrees this merits a discussion, so show your support for your favorite Padres hunk! We’ll announce the Ultimate Hunk shortly!

Vote for up to two hunks.

Who is the 2012 Padres Ultimate Hunk?

  • Carlos Quentin (47%, 9 Votes)
  • Anthony Bass (21%, 4 Votes)
  • Cory Luebke (11%, 2 Votes)
  • Clayton Richard (11%, 2 Votes)
  • Huston Street (11%, 2 Votes)
  • Yasmani Grandal (11%, 2 Votes)
  • Other - specify in comments (5%, 1 Votes)
  • Dick Enberg (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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Posted in awards | 4 Comments »

The Willie Mays Award 2012

October 11th, 2011 by

1. Brett Lawrie, Toronto
2. Jesus Guzman, San Diego
3. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta

Sasquatch, Godzilla, King Kong, Loch Ness, goblin, ghoul, zombie with no conscious, Brett Lawrie. Question: what do these things all have in common?

That intro worked so much better in my head. Despite only playing a quarter of the season in the bigs, Lawrie hit 9 home runs and amassed a +2.7 WAR. Extrapolate that out and you’ll see why Lawrie was the easy choice here.

Special mention goes to Jesus Guzman, who would’ve taken the award had Lawrie not happened. This might be the first time Jesus has been mentioned on this blog (like I said, yuck this team) but he hit .300 at PETCO. Park. That’s amazing and even if (even when?) he never does it again, we’ll still have 2011. Unless we’ve forgotten about the entire season, which I pray we all do.

Up next will be the Goose Gossage Award for best reliever, which will include no Padres. And yes, by that, I mean Heath Bell will not be on the list. Why? Because he doesn’t deserve to be on the list. Deal with it.

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The Connie Mack Award 2012

October 7th, 2011 by

Oh hi! Been a while, hasn’t it? There’s nothing like an uninspiring, deflating season to make someone not want to blog. Luckily for you, I have to post this.

As part of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, we get a vote in the BBA Awards but one of the stipulations is that we have to share our picks with the world, so here we are. First up is the Connie Mack Award, which is (obviously) for managers:

1. Kirk Gibson, Arizona
2. Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay
3. Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee

I know, I know. I don’t like giving the award (any award) to a Diamondback, but Towers’ gunslinging ways just brings it out of managers. It’s kind of funny that even though Towers hired the past two Manager of the Years (am I getting ahead of myself?), they have two different managing styles with Gibson being all tough and throwing over buffet tables (that might not be true) and Black being all friendly and taking the team out for pizza after every game (that is absolutely true). Of course, Towers also had  a really good draft this year, so maybe he was replaced by some sort of cyborg. Someone look into that.

Coming up next week will be the Willie Mays Award for top rookie. Spoiler alert: a Padre cracks the list!

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The Top 10 Padres of ’10: No. 09

October 29th, 2010 by

Ray’s note: Sorry about the delay in updating. Technical difficulties.

09. Tony Gwynn, Jr., CF

10. Tim Stauffer, RP/SP

From the acclaimed filmmakers who brought you Stauffer: The Last Honest Man” comes a heartbreaking story of the gifts and the curses that fathers past down to their sons.

In the sleepy town of San Diego, Tony Gwynn was a king. Honest and just, he ruled over his kingdom with a fair hand. He loved his people and in return they loved him. After years of loyal service, King Tony stepped down to devote his time to the youth of his community, leaving his kingdom in a state of flux. His son, Prince Tony, was away at school and his birthright waited. And waited. After school, the Prince took time to see the world, escaping to the great land of Milwaukee before returning to San Diego.

As humble as his father, the Prince refused to be handed the keys, choosing instead to work for them. He excelled in ways his father never had but he failed in the ways his father had built his legend on and the people of the land had trouble embracing the young Prince’s style.

Coming this winter, “In the Shadow of My Father: The Tony Gwynn, Jr. Story”

That really got away from me, but the point stands. AJ will always be his father’s son and his legacy will always be tied directly to his father. I always thought it was strange that the children of legends would even consider following in the parent’s footsteps but I suppose growing up in a life makes you grow a little fond of it. But what happens if your best turns out to be great but not great enough?

If you see your uncles next month round the Thanksgiving table and you tell them how great Tony, Sr. is, they’ll probably tell you that you’re being condescending. But if you tell them how great Tony, Jr. is, you’ll get a better conversation going.

AJ is a career .244 hitter, ninety-four points lower than his father’s .336. The younger’s career .291 is not only eight points lower than his father’s .371, but it’s much lower than the average .333. He’s not a good hitter. It’d probably be charitable to call him a bad hitter. But my goodness, can he play centerfield.

I’m not even going to bother to show you AJ’s offensive statistics from this past year. Trust me when I say that they’re incredibly bad, but trust me when I say that they don’t matter too much. Remember this number: 12.9. That’s how many defensive runs AJ saved above-average in 2010. For all center fielders, 12.9 was the third best mark in the league. And for a pitching staff that was middle of the road, all things considered, it may have been even more valuable.

If you didn’t know, UZR isn’t perfect. AJ’s standing as a great defender isn’t written in stone, not yet at least. But the fact remains that Tony Gwynn, Jr. has saved 18.5 runs above average in 1,842 innings in centerfield, and he brought a reliability to the most important position. Remember Chris Denorfia in center? Remember his diving attempts, few of which actually ended in catches? How’d he make you feel out there? And how did AJ make you feel? As a basement nerd, I’m supposed to ignore the visceral aspects of baseball–but I’m rebelling. Sometimes, how you feel matters. I might call Darren Balsley and get his opinion on that. But I digress.

AJ is not his father. He may have the name and his number may only be one away, but there’s only one Tony Gwynn, Sr. But for me, I want you to tell your uncle that’s all right. Tell him to trust me.

Posted in awards, players, statistics | 2 Comments »

The Top 10 Padres of ’10: No. 10

October 19th, 2010 by

Ray’s note: Over the next 10 (or so) days, I will be counting down the 10 best Padres of the past year. To compile this list, I used a very complex equation that I can’t really get into now but rest assured that this is in no way completely arbitrary.

10. Tim Stauffer, RP/SP

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before:

A down and out athlete, whose sport is of no real consequence, finds that he’s got one more shot at glory. Maybe he used to be someone people believed in — but after years of questionable returns, his goodwill has dried up and now it’s on him to make others believe. So he battles back, puts one foot in front of the other, and begins on the path to redemption. He fights and claws until one day he makes it. Then his manager tells the world, Tim Stauffer is too valuable to start.”

It’s easy to forget now that there are better things to talk about, but Stauffer missed the entire 2008 season. Looking at his numbers, it’s easy to assume it was due to shame. In 2007, he spent the full year in Portland and only managed a 4.34 ERA, which was actually a step up from his 2006 5.53 ERA. He was a 25-year-old former first round pick, fourth overall, and he was floundering in Triple-A. So he sat out 2008, either from embarrassment or his alleged shoulder injury, and came back to take it easy in 2009. That year, he only played in 16 minor league games, starting four, but he did better, amassing a 2.14 ERA between Portland and San Antonio before getting the call. He packed up his 6.37 career ERA (to that point) and came down to San Diego, where he made 14 starts for the same team that gave ample opportunities to Chad Gaudin and Josh Geer. It seemed to be something of an audition and Stauffer delivered, contributing a 3.58 ERA, a 4.67 FIP, and a 4.72 xFIP. Not exactly Cy Young stuff but for a team that gave 36 starts to Gaudin and Geer, it would be enough to earn Stauffer a look-see for 2010.

The writing was on the wall in Arizona this spring, as Stauffer got into six games but only started one. At the beginning of the season, there was no room in the rotation. When Chris Young went down following his first start, it was Wade LeBlanc who took his spot. During the first week of the season, Stauffer came into two games: taking over for a struggling Jon Garland on April 5th and helping the Padres win an extra inning contest on the 10th, his biggest game of year according to WPA. He pitched well, striking out five and surrendering zero runs in five combined innings of work, and this must of stuck with the team.

Contrary to popular belief, it was Corey Brock — not Bud Black who said that “Stauffer might be too valuable to start,” but print the legend, right? Stauffer was too good to start, a compliment so wild that it could only make sense. At first, it kind of worked. LeBlanc had a strong April and on May 11th, Stauffer went down with appendicitis, which kept him out of San Diego for two months. When he came back, he continued to do what he do, giving the Padres good work out of the pen.

Then came the 10-game losing streak.

As the season wore on, LeBlanc’s hot start faded away. He threw a 6.47 ERA in August, a performance that’s not going to cut it in a pennant race. Making matters worse, Kevin Correia was unable to repeat his 2009 success. After suffering a personal tragedy earlier in the year, Correia’s was a story to root for, but in a pennant race, moral victories have to take a backseat. And so, on September 6th, the 136th game of the season, Stauffer started the hill against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nine innings later, the team’s 10-game losing streak had come to an end. While Stauffer didn’t pick up the win, or even reach the fifth inning, these are just facts that any good screenwriter skips over when it comes time to put pen to paper. Stauffer kept going. Other than a rough go in St. Louis, he was lights out. He was the second best pitcher on the team in September. With luck not on Mat Latos’ side, you could make the argument that he was the best.

But then, budding screenwriters, September means nothing if it doesn’t give way to October. Just as all Little Leaguer’s dream, Stauffer was in line for an important October start. Granted, it was still a regular season game, but the Padres were down two to the Giants with two left to play. The Giants. In San Francisco. Stauffer, like the legend he’s become, came through when his team needed him the most, striking out four in six and a third. He allowed only one run before giving the game to the bullpen, who shut the door and put the team one back with one to go. Obviously, that last game didn’t go so well, but it will simply be an epilogue at the end of “Stauffer: The Movie.”

Tim ended the year with a 1.85 ERA (199 ERA+), 3.02 FIP, and 3.74 xFIP. Perhaps the best thing for Stauffer to nail to his wall this winter is this:

(Jed) Hoyer wishes that he and Buddy would have put Tim Stauffer back into the rotation earlier. That’s the one thing that keeps him up at night. It could have brought them 2 or 3 more wins. They waited longer than they should have. They waited until the rosters expanded.

GM Jed Hoyer: “There’s a reason we didn’t make the playoffs. We obviously weren’t quite good enough.”

The man who was once too valuable to start saw his stifling become his general manager’s biggest regret. For a team that finished one game out from a postseason shot, those two or three wins might have been the most valuable of the year. But we’ll never know. Next year, with only Latos and Clayton Richard guaranteed spots in the rotation, there would seem to be a shot for Stauffer to finally live up to his first round potential. For his sake, our sake, and for the sake of a sequel, let’s hope we find out.

Posted in awards, players, statistics | 3 Comments »

Adrian Gonzalez for home run derby: Taking matters into our own hands

June 2nd, 2009 by

Home Run Derby BallotYou might have noticed recently that the Padres’ league home run leader Adrian Gonzalez was not included in an online poll about the forthcoming home run derby.

Darren Smith apparently mentioned the oversight on air, which I have been unable to confirm since I refuse to subjugate myself to listening to XX 1090.

I didn’t see it mentioned in that Gaslamp Ball thread linked above, so I’m not sure if it was reported on air, but it is worth pointing out that the poll itself has no bearing on which players actually participate in the contest.

According to the statement printed directly below the online ballot:

Poll results will in no way determine the actual participants of the 2009 State Farm Home Run Derby, since player participation is solely at the discretion of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball

Gonzalez’s inclusion in the home run derby was hotly contested last year. Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun was selected over Adrian as the final NL participant, despite sitting tied for 4th in home runs and seeing slightly more than half his opportunities for homers in a pitchers’ park.

Patrick Courtney, spokesman for the commissioner’s office, corroborated the selection rules:

Asked who decides which players are selected, Courtney said Tuesday, “We work together with ESPN, (Commissioner) Bud Selig, a committee of people.”

Gonzalez, as with any bid for a spot on the home run or all-star squad from a Padre, has an uphill battle. The Padres play in the most extreme pitcher friendly ballpark, and in one of the smallest media markets in the nation.

Hopefully, ballpark and league adjusted statistics will become the norm when measuring ballplayer contributions, but they aren’t right now. Instead we’re stuck with simplistic, misleading counting statistics like home runs and RBIs. There’s not much we can do much about the market size of San Diego.

Adrian Gonzalez Home Run DerbyStrangely, Padres.com currently displays a photo of Adrian Gonzalez with the caption “Enjoying a career year, Gonzalez needs your vote.” Just below is a link titled “Vote for derby participants,”  which leads to the famed ballot lacking any mention of our boy.

Not selected him last year was unfortunate. Not selecting the front-running league home run champ to for the damn home run derby this year is a joke. I have a hard time expecting such an oversight this year, but I also hope the team will step up its marketing efforts behind Adrian. Hopefully, since the actual selections are made internally, they already are.

It is also my hope Padres fans step up the pressure publicly. With the impending trade of Jake Peavy, Adrian Gonzalez is clearly the face of the franchise. His participation in such a well viewed event brings recognition for him, and our favorite team.

Let’s be those obnoxious big market fans. Lets make a stink about it. Ok, you don’t have to be too obnoxious if you don’t want to. But it’s highly encouraged!

To help, I put together a little something something for your blog sidebar for forum signature. Below it is the HTML code to copy and paste. The photo is licensed under Creative Commons by Dirk Hansen.

Adrian Gonzalez for Home Run Derby
Adrian Gonzalez for Home Run Derby


Large:
<a href=”http://thesacrificebunt.com/1245/adrian-gonzalez-for-home-run-derby-taking-matters-into-our-own-hands/”><img src=”http://thesacrificebunt.com/blog/wp-content/2009/06/gonzalez4derby_large.png” alt=”Adrian Gonzalez for Home Run Derby” width=”300″ height=”224″ /></a>

Small:
<a href=”http://thesacrificebunt.com/1245/adrian-gonzalez-for-home-run-derby-taking-matters-into-our-own-hands/”><img src=”http://thesacrificebunt.com/blog/wp-content/2009/06/gonzalez4derby_small.png” alt=”Adrian Gonzalez for Home Run Derby” width=”200″ height=”150″ /></a>

Posted in awards, players | Comments Off

Your 2008 Most Valuable Padre is

December 27th, 2008 by

Brian Giles. At least, he should be.

We’ve written before on the ridiculousness of this award, and I expect this year to be no different.

That sounds harsh, so let me explain.

If Adrian Gonzalez doesn’t win this year’s M.V.Padre award. I will be greatly surprised. He hit 36 home runs, drove in 119 runs, raised most all of his important numbers, and even won a Gold Glove. He’s a legit player and he hits in one of the most ridiculous stadiums in the league. But he wasn’t the best player on the team this year.

Offensively, it could go either way. Adrian leads the standard categories, jumping above Giles in home runs, RBI, doubles, slugging, and OPS. In the fancier categories, Giles catches back up, leading Adrian in wRAA, wOBA, and EqA, though he’s really not that far up on Adrian in most. Where Giles pulls away is on defense.

When it was announced, I wrote briefly on the ridiculousness of Adrian’s Gold Glove win. Adrian is not the best fielding baseball in the National League. Far from it. Lance Berkman, with a UZR of 11.2, was the best in the National League. Down the list at -7 was Adrian.

Giles, meanwhile, was one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. And when this is taken into consideration with his offensive contributions, the choice becomes very clear.

Fangraphs has recently added a value section, which includes the following:

Batting – wRAA (Runs Above Average) with a park adjustment.

Fielding – The sum of a player’s UZR.

Replacement – The replacement level adjustment set at 20 Runs / 600 PA.

Positional – The positional adjustment set using Tangotiger’s values (see this link)

Value Runs – The sum of Batting, Fielding, Replacement, and Positional.

Value Wins – Value Runs converted to a wins scale.

Dollars – Value Wins converted to the following dollar scale: 2008 – $4.5m / win

This how is Giles and Adrian stack up:

Name Batting Fielding Replacement Positional Value Runs Value Wins Dollars
Brian Giles 32.6 9.1 21.8 -6.7 56.8 5.7 $25.50
Adrian Gonzalez 30.7 -7 23.3 -12.5 34.5 3.4 $15.50
Jody Gerut 14.5 5 11.9 0.9 32.3 3.2 $14.50

I threw in Gerut for some perspective. When all things are considered, Giles was so much the best player on the team that Adrian is closer to Gerut. And this is to take nothing away from Gerut, who had a surprisingly fantastic season.
Adrian is absolutely the face of the franchise. He’s the Padres first transcendent hitter since Petco opened, and he took the Gold Glove away from such players as Berkman and Albert Pujols. That is exceptional company to keep, and I don’t mean to come off as iconoclastic. Giles was simply the Most Valuable Padre in 2008.

(With all due respect to Jake Peavy, the most potent part of the offense.)

Posted in awards, statistics | 3 Comments »

Adrian Gonzalez Wins Gold Glove

November 5th, 2008 by

Cheers to our boy.

My unofficial, probably not very accurate survey of defensive metrics puts Adrian as a good, but not best in the league first baseman. His offensive goodness and his success with the stupid fielding percentage stat probably helped attract attention as well.

Still though, cool news. No Yankees, you can’t have him for in exchange for a bag of baseballs. He’s ours, you spoiled clowns.

Maddux wins one too. No surprise there. How can he just keep being so good? The voters are screwed next with Maddux retired and no shoe in.

R. update: I hate to have to do this, but this was a bad call.

The Gold Gloves have long been a gag gift, highlighted by Palmeiro winning the award for first baseman in 1999 despite playing 28 games at the position.

Adrian was not the best defensive first baseman in the N.L. According to the Fielding Bible, he wasn’t in the top 10. Using their plus/minus system (which tracks the number of plays made more or less than the average fielder), the Fielding Bible ranked Mark Teixeira the best first baseman in baseball at +24. The best N.L. first baseman was Pujols at +20. Other National Leaguers in the top ten are Joey Votto (+19), Lance Berkman (+18), and Todd Helton (+6). Casey Kotchman’s in there too, so I guess he and Teixeira combine to make one National Leaguer. Either way, you’ll notice that a name’s missing from this list.

I love Adrian, but our principles are most important when they’re inconvenient, right?

I’m sorry.

Posted in awards | 6 Comments »

Tony Clark for Diamondback prospect Evan Scribner

July 17th, 2008 by

According to Tom Krasovic of the UT and AZcentral.com.

Scribner is a 28th rounder who turned into a gem for the Diamondbacks’ full season A ball South Bend Silver Hawks.  The reliever struck out 52 batters in just 34 innings this year, walking only 8 without allowing a single home run.  His performance was impressive enough to make the Midwest League all-star team, and earned him a promotion to high A ball.

Though Scribner did not make either the Baseball Prospectus or Baseball America top 10s, it is not uncommon for pitching prospects to seemingly come out of nowhere.  See Garrison, Steve, whom the Padres received as a throw-in from the Scott Linebrink deal.

Scribner is a bit old at 22, so hopefully he’ll continue his fast track up the Padres’ system.  The team doesn’t have much need for a pinch hitter like Tony Clark this year, so I see the deal as something for nothing.  Bryan Myrow gives you everything Clark does, and now the team has a roster spot for Young or Bard and additional depth in low levels of the system.

Though if CY gets hurt again, we might have to walk Chris of the field by stacking people on top of each other.

EDIT 7/18: MB has a couple considerations I didn’t make.  He applies minor league park effects and and Scribner’s career numbers.  They’re definitely worth including.

Posted in awards, hot stove | 2 Comments »

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