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Measuring the Minority: Padre Palette Preferences

July 12th, 2012 by

Brown or Blue Padres jerseysHi from Twitter!

I’m back, and discussing once again a favorite  subject matter when we Padres fans and bloggers get together, drink beer, and watch baseball: fashion.

Uniforms! We’re still talking about them, and I don’t know when or if we’ll ever stop. Perhaps if the Padres do ever bring back the brown. Or perhaps if the team manages to come up with a set of truly inspired, beautiful, and unique blue uniforms. Neither of those have happened yet, and so here we are on the subject once again.

Padres interim CEO and former non-interim COO Tom Garfinkel once famously referred to fans of brown jerseys as a “vocal minority.” He never explained how that determination was made, though presumably the color scheme fanbase was estimated through a combination of focus groups and anecdotal evidence.

I’m here to announce that thanks to a job in downtown San Diego, I’ll be attempting another method of scientifically studying Padre fan palette preferences: counting. Through the next several months I’ll analyze the fashion choices of every Padres fan I see, returning to the Sac Bunt Lab for some quick calculations, and finally determining if said fan prefers the Brown or the Blue.

Due to my squeamish tolerance for pain and the safety hazards involved with carrying needles everywhere to tattoo the results on my body, I’ll keep track on my cellular phone (pictured, right).

Some readers may be suspicious about any bias interfering with these scientific findings. Therefore, here are my proposed ground rules:

  • Once I see someone wearing Padre gear, it must be recorded. Obvs.
  • If I’m unwilling / able to keep track at any point I will make that decision before seeing a jersey. If I don’t consciously decide I’m not keeping track before seeing the jersey, I must record the result.
  • Any item of clothing bearing an official mark of the San Diego Padres will count. If the primary color of either the item itself (a blue shirt), or the print on that item (a white shirt with brown writing) is blue or brown, it will count toward that color. If the item does not have a dominant blue or brown color scheme, it will not count.
  • Someone wearing two color schemes in one outfit will not count.
  • I will not attempt to keep up at games I attend. Instead I will drink microbrew and Tweet while I should be watching the game. Padres bloggers meetups are also off the record.

Feel free to suggest additional rules, I want to keep this fair.

In all honesty, I do expect the Blue crew to win. The most common Padre garment I’ve seen worn downtown this season, and it’s not even close, is the “San Diego” visitors jersey wordmark shirt given away on opening day. And as far as I know, the Padres have not given away any brown gear this season.

Either way, I’m excited to see some cold hard data on this hotly debated subject. Funny how calling it a “hotly debated subject” isn’t as sarcastic as one might expect.

Sharp eyed readers will no doubt notice the Brown counter on the screenshot of my phone currently reads “2″, while the Blue indicator “0″. This is due in no small part to the Awesome Mohawk With Brown Padres Flags On His Wheelchair Guy I’ve seen around after starting this project. Be sure to say hi if you see him. I’ve never spoken with him, so I don’t know if he’s friendly, but this way you can find out and let me know. Thanks.

Let the great experiment begin!

Posted in controversy | 3 Comments »

The Tao of Boo

April 29th, 2011 by

Booing is an act of frustration from fans who have a great deal of interest and emotion invested in a situation yet are powerless to do anything else.

Lets talk about the given reasons given for the boo?

“The player is paid handsomely and isn’t performing.”

Sure. Does the player need to be informed of his poor performance? Probably not. Will booing encourage better performance? The boo will most likely create resentment between a player and his supposed supporters. All of a sudden, playing on the road becomes more friendly than playing at home. This won’t help the situation.

“It’s the effort being booed. Play harder to earn my respect.”

I see. Poor on field performance means there’s poor effort. What if the player were to throw his helmet around? Punch a locker? Can I assume the boos will stop?

Suppose we give the booer a bat and helmet and put him on the field. Surely his performance will be poor. Easily mitigated by returning the boo favor. Problem solved!

“We must send a message! We fans will not tolerate poor play!”

By booing the player? But why is the player on the field in the first place? What player would you prefer given the relative price of players and money available to retain their services? Who decides how much money is available for those services? If you feel the money available to retain players’ services is unsatisfactory, does buying a ticket and booing a player send the right message?

The discussion about the Tao of Boo, unfortunately, doesn’t go anywhere. People boo so they feel better. They boo to demonstrate to others that their team’s poor play doesn’t reflect on their own self worth. They boo to create a sense of control. They boo out of frustration. It’s understandable, but doesn’t accomplish much.

Or, by all means, wear brown to the ballpark. That will totally motivate Brad Hawpe.

Posted in controversy, players | 5 Comments »

Your 2011 San Diego Brewers!

January 26th, 2011 by

It finally happened. The long rumored gray away jerseys have replaced the sand. I’ve been writing this post in my head like a breakup speech all winter long. This is enough to wake me up from my writer’s coma. Suffice it to say I’m pretty pissed off, the new jerseys are not unique and they’re not San Diego.

This isn’t about uniform aesthetics, that is, what I think looks good or what someone else thinks looks good. There is no right or wrong with design. Someone isn’t going to like every design out there.

No, this about the boringification of the team. It’s about the lowest common denominator. It’s about removing every ounce of risk and fun from the jersey until the focus group just says “meh” and moves on. Or goes to breakfast. Motel art.

They just look so run of the mill. Don’t believe me?

Padres jerseys Brewers Jerseys - Spot the difference

While we’re at it, look here and here for differences too.

It is interesting that when the Moorad group took over, one obvious goal was improving the Padres brand. They hired Laura Broderick, a Senior Vice President for Brand Development to do so full time. She’s done a good job too, the brand is more consistent today than I ever remember. One of the most important aspects of any brand is being unique and distinguishable. Yet the Padres are one of 16* teams in the league that use blue as their primary color, and one of 6 teams to use shades of navy blue and white exclusively. Hardly distinguishing. This isn’t the first time an organization with Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel in powerful positions pulled this same shit, exhibit a and b here and here.

People have been yelling for a return to brown for years. It will never happen, at least as a complete brand overhaul to what the team wore in the 70s and early 80s, or something similar. But I did hold out hope we would see at least some homage to it, which one might interpret the new brown camo jersey and hat as such.

The idea behind Bringing Back the Brown is to have something of our own as fans of the San Diego Padres. We don’t want to be the Dodgers or the Brewers. We need something that’s us. Sand away jerseys were something us. Powder blue and navy blue could have been us, but the Rays beat us to it. We don’t want to be them, either.

I hold out hope, but it’s fading fast. What’s funny is I’m more upset about this than I was about trading Adrian Gonzalez, Jake Peavy, or any single on the field decision the team has made the last few years.

This is my Matt Bush. Come 2015, if there is still nothing about the look that screams “PADRES!”, I’ll be complaining.

Posted in controversy, gripes | 20 Comments »

The Padres All-Time 25-Man Roster

December 17th, 2010 by

Any Fangraphs junkies out there may have noticed the site recently added a Multiple Season filter to their stats section. With this, I thought I’d go through the years and fill out the titular Padres roster using WAR.

Of course, this isn’t a perfect measure. Since UZR only dates back to 2002, all WAR are not created equal back to 1969. Luckily, Baseball Reference uses Total Zone for their defensive stats, which is more even, if less comprehensive, through the decades. Even with these two stats, things weren’t perfect, so with a combination of frog DNA and my own Padres knowledge, I filled in the gaps as best I could. This is the result.

Starters

C: Gene Tenace (1977-80)
1B: Adrian Gonzalez (2006-10)
2B: Mark Loretta (2003-05)
3B: Ken Caminiti (1995-98)
SS: Ozzie Smith (1978-81)
LF: Dave Winfield (1973-80)
CF: Mark Kotsay (2001-03)
RF: Tony Gwynn (1982-2001)

Bench

C: Terry Kennedy (1981-86)
1B: Phil Nevin (1999-2005)
2B: Bip Roberts (1986, 1988-91, 1994-95)
SS: Khalil Greene (2003-08)
LF: Gene Richards (1977-83)
RF: Brian Giles (2003-09)

Rotation

SP: Jake Peavy (2002-09)
SP: Andy Benes (1989-95)
SP: Kevin Brown (1998)
SP: Randy Jones (1973-80)
SP: Andy Ashby (1993-99)

Bullpen

CL: Trevor Hoffman (1993-2008)
SU: Heath Bell (2007-Present)
RP: Goose Gossage (1984-87)
RP: Mark Davis (1987-89, 1993-94)
RP: Scott Linebrink (2003-07)
LR: Eric Show (1981-90)

Now tell me where I’m wrong.

Posted in controversy, statistics | 16 Comments »

Too many goodbyes

August 20th, 2010 by

At 12:37pm today, Bill Center broke the worst news:

12:36 [Comment From George]
I might be mistaken, but didn’t Moorad mention a possible uniform color/scheme change soon in the future when he first took over. Thoughts?

12:37 Bill Center: There will be some changes next year, but no major variations. Sand will be eliminated from the road uniforms

Padres chat with U-T beat writer Bill Center

Sand will be eliminated from the road uniforms

There are no words.

Posted in controversy | 6 Comments »

Did Bill Center Start The Fake Peavy to Milwaukee Rumor?

March 26th, 2009 by

Not sure how anyone would possibly be aware of this rumor, since The Sacrifice Bunt hasn’t yet reported on it. But Brewers and Padres fans’ respective imaginations have been a buzz the past few days from news of Milwaukee’s supposed interest in trading for Jake Peavy.

The rumor seemingly stemmed from Tuesday’s report from the Union Tribune’s Bill Center:

The Milwaukee Brewers, who have plenty of offense and prospects but are short on pitching, are now said to be interested in Peavy.

Note Center’s use of the vague, unhelpful passive voice in his language. “The Brewers … are now said to be interested.” Said? Who is doing the saying here Bill? Your imagination? Your poor reporting skills?

The only other published source I can find relating to such a “rumor” comes from a Peter Gammons article published last Sunday. Gammons writes:

One reason for Billy Hall’s expected resurgence is the laser surgery he had in the offseason. “It makes all the difference,” Hall says. “I can see again.” Hall believes the Brewers will be in on Jake Peavy, when and if he goes on the market.

According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, this short piece of non-news was Center’s only source for the report he published quoted above. McCalvy goes on to explain that Brewers GM Doug Melvin expressly denies any conversation with the Padres regarding Peavy, and calls the rumors “disruptive”.

It’s easy to see why Center might want to be so vague in his wording, if in fact he is reporting a someone else’s published speculation as something more substantive.

It appears Center’s only source is his quest for relevance. Don’t forget: this man has a Hall of Fame vote.

Posted in controversy, hot stove | 18 Comments »

2 Stupid SB Related Announcements, Probably Not Worth Your Time

March 17th, 2009 by
  1. The Sacrifice Bunt was recently referred to as an “elitist Padres blog.”  I’ve never been more proud.
  2. Thanks to an unfunny joke I made in this post featuring a Mark Worrell animation, The Sacrifice Bunt is now seeing traffic from Google searches for things like “animated large boobs gif.”

That’s all I’ve got. If you’re looking for substance, you’re in the wrong place.

Posted in controversy, misc | No Comments »

Hoffman Negotiations: Ready, Set, Judge

November 13th, 2008 by
Trevor Hoffman by SD Dirk

Trevor Hoffman by SD Dirk

I know it isn’t going to sell newspapers or generate controversy, but I don’t think we’ll ever know exactly who is responsible if Trevor Hoffman is no longer a Padre. We have a lot of opinions thrown around as to why that may be, coupled with a heaping truckload of confirmation bias ready to jump at the chance to condemn whichever side of the argument we happen to usually approve of.

For the most vocal of fans and columnists, this generally means blaming the arrogant, ivy league nerds who run the team front office. As a matter of full disclosure, more often than not I give those arrogant, ivy league nerds the benefit of the doubt in their decisions.

Where I do find fault with the front office, and I think many will agree, is in their PR abilities. The dysfunctional relationship between Padres President Sandy Alderson and Billy Werndl plus Darren Smith, hosts of the radio show Alderson frequents creates a public relations nightmare. The result is less of an interview and more of a grilling designed to trap Alderson into saying what meets the obvious negative bias the hosts hold toward the team. Alderson often responds in kind with an insulting, arrogant tone which is seems directed towards the broadcasters, but gives a poor impression towards the fans. It does make for controversial, attention grabbing radio, so I guess the hosts win the battle. But I digress.

Only thinly veiled in the media coverage of an emotional event like the possible departure of Trevor Hoffman is a search for truth. Each side gives their version of events, and just as in other aspects of life, the reality often lies somewhere in between. My interpretation of the events goes like this:

Trevor’s Side

  • Hoffman received a 1 year offer of $4 million and team option for 2010 with no buyout, about $3.5 million less than his salary last year, which he saw as an insincere PR move.
  • The club refused to allow Hoffman and agent Rick Thurman to negotiate with Padres owner John Moores.
  • Sandy Alderson may have animosity towards Thurman, perhaps because of Thurman’s agenting style, or perhaps for another reason.
  • Hoffman deserves special treatment from Moores due to Trevor’s icon status.

Front Office Side

  • The team received neither approval or disapproval of the contract offer one month after the offer was made. They also were willing to negotiate the price of the deal.
  • Moores hired Alderson for the exact purpose of distancing himself from baseball decisions, the team found a meeting with the owner inappropriate.
  • It is possible that Moores was willing to meet with Hoffman to discuss the direction of the team, but not for contract negotiations or with Hoffman’s agent present.
  • Thurman went public with negotiation details after the club asked to keep them private.
  • After about a month with the offer on the table, the team took it off.

To me, the fault for booting the situation could go either way. My question is, who are we to judge the culpability for Hoffman’s departure? We’re outsiders! Even the people with fancy press passes and radio shows, the sources of our information, are outsiders. All they do is talk to those actually involved, then usually form an opinion based on who slanted the story the best, or go with the side they intended to believe from the beginning.

For whatever reason, even if it’s his own fault, I will be deeply saddened if Trevor Hoffman isn’t a Padre for the rest of his career. Like many people reading this, I grew up with Trevor as part of my life.

And you know what? Writing with the caps lock key stuck with lots of exclamation points doesn’t make anyone more of a fan than me. Neither does asking ill informed questions or giving ill informed rants on radio shows. That stuff doesn’t demonstrate intensity. It characterizes an emotionally fragile person with messed up priorities.

I’ll miss Trevor. But lets not kid ourselves about who we are and what we know.

Photo

Posted in controversy | 4 Comments »

Peavy’s Priorities

October 31st, 2008 by
Jake Peavy Delivers

Photo by Jim Epler

I don’t think Jake Peavy knows what he wants.

Here are his comments that kicked off this whole song and dance, as reported by the North County Times more than a month ago:

“I want to be here, but I want to be here with a chance to win a World Series,” Peavy said. “If someone says, ‘Hey, we’re going to rebuild, that’s not going to be our top priority’ you certainly would wonder what your other options are.”

There’s no way of knowing if the front office considered trading Jake before this, though my guess is they had. But once Jake made that statement the team called his bluff and announced the Padre ace may be available in a trade. Since Peavy controls his own destiny with a no-trade clause, he and his agent Barry Axelrod have been vocal about his desire of various things since then:

  • Stay in San Diego
  • Play for a team that isn’t rebuilding
  • Pitch in the National League
  • Play for the Dodgers, Astros, Braves, Cubs, Cardinals
  • Gain complete no trade powers (His no trade powers decrease in 2011 and 2012)
  • Make more money than his current contract provides

Some of these priorities are mutually exclusive, which makes me wonder about their order of importance. For instance, Jake says he wants to stay in San Diego but not necessarily if the team rebuilding. Jake must not be familiar with Pythagorean record, which uses runs scored and runs allowed to come up with a better model for wins and losses.

Because Houston’s expected record puts them at 77 wins and 84 losses this year. In other words, we would be more likely to see 77 wins from Houston than 86 wins if they play the season over. Yet Jake may prefer pitching for the Astros if the Padres dare play Venable and Headley next year.

Does he really expect the team to make a deal with so many restrictions? What the a;ldjfoisdf is going on here? It’s so hard to tell. I think Jake’s comments quoted above were just an emotional outburst to a losing season. Considering Peavy’s propensity to wear his heart on his sleeve, that scenario makes sense.

So if Jake really does want to stay, that makes it even harder on my emotions to admit the right deal* for him would be good for the team.

*Nothing less than one of Tommy Hanson or Jason Heyward in package form from Atlanta, for instance.

Posted in controversy, hot stove, players | 4 Comments »

Wally Joyner Steps Down as Padres Hitting Coach

September 22nd, 2008 by

Here’s what the Wallster had to say:

“It bothers me a lot that I have come to the point where it is clear that I need to move on,” Joyner said Monday afternoon. “I came to the job hoping to put my experience and ideas to good use in teaching and coaching the Padres’ hitters, but it has become obvious to me in the past few months that the organization’s approach is different from mine.”

Normally it’s hard for me to have an opinion of coaching changes, I look at these issues as internal matters. The importance of coaches tends to be overhyped by the media. This makes sense since coaches are central to the narratives writers love to make up tell.

What I do find interesting is the coaching ideas Wally refers to. Specifically: What is it the approach the team uses and how is it different from his?

We’ve heard of the Padres’ “patiently aggressive” hitting philosophy, where a player carefully waits for his pitch then unloads on it. How could that not align with Joyner’s philosophy? That approach could easily describe Wally, he rocks a .362 career OBP.

If only there were professionals paid full time to ask important questions like these. Then they could report their answers and we could read them. Oh the crazy ideas I have.

PS The sad looking file photo the UT uses to compliment Joyner’s announcement is great.

PadreHomer contributed to this post.

Melvin Update (9/23): Krasovic pulls a switchy changy and updates his story with slightly clarifying words from Wally:

“My experience in playing baseball at the major league level is that you cannot afford to not be ready for any pitch that you see. It might be the best pitch you see that night. I know how valuable that preparation was for me in my career. I wanted our hitters to be ready from pitch No. 1, and I think that was the difference.”

I can only assume this update was done due to the immense weight I carry down at the UT.

In any case, reading between the lines it sounds to me Joyner advocated more aggressiveness than the front office was looking for. Or was it Bud Black? We all kind of assume it’s Sandy and Co. pulling strings on the field. We’ll find out this offseason where Black stands as well.

Another Melvin Update (9/23): More from Corey Brock:

“It was just apparent to me I wasn’t being included in everything I think I should have been included in, and there was no way I could help without knowing it. And so I was frustrated and decided that I didn’t care for it,” Joyner said.

I tell you I’m not at all less confused. More like the opposite. Perhaps the front office didn’t like what he taught, so they skipped Wally and took instructions straight to the players. Who can tell, these quotable tidbits are so vague anyway they could mean anything.

Posted in controversy | 2 Comments »

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