Padres bloggin' since 2007

To win or not to win

September 8th, 2008 by

The Padres have found themselves in a win/lose situation. As of the writing of this article, the Padres are a half a game ahead of the Washington Nationals for the worst record in baseball. For a team coming off of an 89 win season that expected to be in the hunt, this is a tragedy. Mathematics has already taken care of the playoffs, so the team is stuck in baseball limbo. They have nothing left to play for but pride.

But they do have something to lose for.

The question has become: should the Padres pack it in and try for the worst record in baseball? It’s all but guaranteed that the Padres will have a top 5 pick, and they’ll likely be in the top 3. But they have a chance to drop to number one and there seems to be a bonafide number one pick.

With a 23 strike out game already in his rear view mirror, Stephen Strasburg was the only college player on the U.S.A. Baseball team at this year’s Olympics. Coming out of San Diego State, Strasburg posted a 1.64 E.R.A. in Beijing and left with a bronze medal. On the Padres, he could give the team a rare 1-2-3 punch with Peavy and Young.

And yet, in the immortal word of another Aztec, Herm Edwards, you play. to win. the game. In order to win the sweepstakes for the number one pick, the team is going to have lose more than any other team. And this would run in stark contrast to the reason most players take the field.

What is more important for the Padres going forward?

(Hamlet once asked whether it is better to continue on, suffering the highs and lows of life, or to just quit. While there is no certainty in living, there is less certainty in death. Of course, Hamlet chooses to continue, only to die anyway after causing the death of everyone he loves, which may be all that needs to be said about the Padres.)

Posted in controversy, players | 3 Comments »

Substance Seen On Jake Peavy’s Hand

April 6th, 2008 by

Deadspin has photos of some brown substance on on Jake’s middle and ring fingers, and possibly his thumb.

I tell myself I’ll never be one of those hometown homers who allows his defense mechanisms to continue telling himself what he wants to hear.

Part of me thinks it’s dirt.  Honestly.  I’m having trouble deciding how much of that is just my desire for it to be true.  My heart wants to see dirt so badly, and the heart can take over the brain when it wants to.

The brain in me thinks we very well could be seeing pine tar.  Why else would only three of his five fingers be covered in dirt?  Positive steroid tests are blamed on a tainted dietary supplement, and pine tar is played off as dirt.  That’s the system.

Which brings me to my biggest disappointment: the response.

“I laughed, to be honest with you. Anybody that wants to check me, feel free. There’s nothing on my hands that’s not supposed to be. I thought it was funny that it was such a big deal. I’ve got no problems with anytime anybody needs to check me.

Dude.  Jake.  Dude.  You’re laughing at this?  I don’t care if it is harmless dirt, or A-Rod swatting a ball out of Arroyo’s glove.  After all this sport has gone through, cheating is not a fucking laughing matter.

Hearing that from Jake has brought me out of my attempt at rational analysis of my own analysis to the point of insane radio call-in ranting.  Ok, I take that back.  Not that far.  Maybe Union Tribune article comment idiocy.  That’s still pretty low.

This is a serious issue.  Attempting to play it off this way rubs me painfully in crazy places.  It makes Jake sound the opposite of innocent.  Even if it was just dirt.

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Bonds Testimony Top Quotes (And Bill Gates?!)

March 3rd, 2008 by

Yeah, I’m tired of hearing about it too. That said, here’s more Barry Bonds crap!

Barry’s testimony transcript has been unsealed and available for perusal, provided by The Smoking Gun (pdf download here). The document is about 150 pages, but reads quick. The following are the quotes I found most informative or hilarious. Plus Bill Gates. What?

Barry Bonds photo by Ben Lei

Here’s Barry’s patented attitude, directed in this case towards the US attorneys. In front of a grand jury. How appropriate:

Q:If you don’t understand a question that I put to you, either because I ask it badly, which does happen … Do you understand I would ask you to ask me to clarify it rather than try to answer or guess at it.

A: Yes, you are confusing. I’m telling you. Is he confusing to you guys? I’m glad it’s not just me. (Page 6)

“Wait what? I can’t be expected to go out of my way and question things, especially regarding my body as a professional athlete. In fact, I make a personal rule of accepting every proposition offered to me, unequivocally.”

The previous paragraph may not be verbatim, but the following two quotes however, are:

And Greg [Anderson] came to the ballpark and he said, you know: ‘This will help you recover,’ and he rubbed some cream on my arm, like, some lotion-type stuff, and , like, gave me some flax seed oil, that’s what he called it, called it some flax seed oil man. It’s like: ‘Whatever dude.’ (Page 25)

Q. So, your basis for telling people: ‘I’m negative’ is Greg telling you you’re negative; correct?

A. Basically Greg. I didn’t see the papers. (Page 95)

Did he really just swear to this under oath? Can he be this sure? Never ever seen anything?:

I’ve never seen anything Greg [Anderson] has ever written down on a piece of paper. (Page 59)

Bill Gates baby. He’s in here. Ole Melvy wouldn’t lie to you.. Your guess is as good as mine what on earth Barry is talking about:

It’s kind of like one hand shakes the other, you know? You got to understand about sports or just anybody successful, Bill Gates, anyone you want to talk about. If I took eight Advils before a game, you know, a player is going to take eight Advils and think that it’s the thing to do. (Page 51)

Padres’ old pals Eric Young and Benito Santiago haven’t impressed Barry:

Q: How many players besides Mr. Sheffield did you refer to Greg Anderson?

A. I don’t refer anyone to Greg Anderson. They want to train with me, and Greg Anderson happens to be one of my trainers.

Q. Ok. How —

A. Eric Young was one. He lasted about two weeks and went home. (Page 62)

Q. What about Benito Santiago?

A. No way. There’s no way. Benito ain’t training that hard. (Page 63)

Defending the use of cash payments, check this bastion of logic. I guess it’s fair enough, but not really:

Q. That’s a lot of cash to have on hand at any given time, $15,000? I mean —

A. I make 17 million.

Q. Understood. But still, having that much on hand, I’m not necessarily trying to — it’s still a lot of cash …, is it not?

A. It’s a lot of cash to have on hand. That’s why I get it out of my hands, get it into somebody else’s hands and let him worry about it.

Q. All right, fair enough. (Page 75)

He actually did a good job responding to the Grand Juror questions, save this one. Earlier in the testimony, Bonds detailed gifts he made of upwards of $20,000 to his entourage of friends and employees. This quote isn’t even about weather or not these payments were appropriate though. That would be a normal topic.  It’s the hilarity that makes this response worth nothing:

Grand Juror: With all the money you make, have you ever thought of maybe building him [Anderson] a mansion or something?

A. One, I’m black. And I’m keeping my money. And there’s not too many rich black people in this world. And I’m keeping my money. There’s more wealthy Asian people and Caucasian and white. There ain’t that many rich black people. And I ain’t giving my money up. That’s why.And if my friends can help me, than I’ll use my friends. (Page 146)

So, my thoughts on steroids. I’m pissed, but not just at him. It was the culture around baseball that allowed steroids to proliferate the game.

73 home runs at age 36? You didn’t need a sprinkling of the dude’s urine to know what was going on there. The media, the fans, the commissioner’s office, the owners, and the players are all responsible for the values we chose to uphold during steroids era.

It’s not just testing that will fix the problem. Honesty with ourselves, a more responsible media (we’ll see about that), and a bit of skepticism can go a long way. The good news is, that cat is out of the bag. I think we’re on the right track. But I’m also tired of talking about it. Does that spell bad news?

Posted in controversy, players, the funny | 1 Comment »

My Girlfriend Had Thoughts

December 13th, 2007 by

…so you know something big happened.

The Mitchell Report is out. Names were named. Insanely long .pdfs were skimmed over. Some “I told you so”s were I told you so’ed.  Everyone has an opinion. The perennial dark cloud saw some light.Perhaps unexpectedly, Ray and I saw more clouds part today than storm up.

If it is to be believed that the big names on the list are it–then baseball appears to have successfully moved on. We now enjoy players like Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez represent the continued success of our major past time. The current crop of superstars are leading the charge past the steroids era.

I have more faith in baseball after this report than I did after the Extra Innings catastrophe. At least then, the league was active rather than passive in screwing the fans. But some how, Major League Baseball has built a bridge to the next generation of the game. I’m ready baby. Ready like a fox.
PS Holy hell what’s with this style, I sound like a newspaper columnist

Posted in controversy | 1 Comment »

Cameron tests positive for stimulants

October 31st, 2007 by

Mike Cameron is suspended for the first 25 games of next season after testing positive for stimulants.

“The one thing I wanted to make sure was explained is, no steroids,” Cameron told AM 1090, the Padres’ flagship radio station. “I never took nothing like that before in my life. That would be 50 games, and that would affect me a whole lot more.”

“After all of the analysis and testing, I can only conclude that a nutritional supplement I was taking was tainted,” he said ‘Unfortunately, the actual supplement is gone, and therefore cannot be tested. Without the actual supplement in hand, the rules are clear, and I must accept the suspension.”

Padres CF Mike Cameron suspended 25 games for positive stimulant test

It’s hard to say what this means so early in the happenings. Maybe I’m just a softy, but I think that I believe Cameron. He’s done nothing in his time here to lose the trust of the fans so I don’t think this necessarily changes that.

I had been on the fence about bringing him back, but now it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. We could probably get him on a short term deal and he sucks in April anyway (.508 OPS this year, .500 OPS last year). Then again, we’re might be missing Giles at the beginning of the year as well. Hopefully SuperBlum can play the outfield.

Posted in controversy | 1 Comment »

I don’t think so but it’s ‘inconclusive’

October 8th, 2007 by

Holiday never touched the plate

It isn’t so much that he never touched the plate and the call was wrong. Umpires are humans. The human element of the game is important. We as fans shouldn’t make excuses. The team had their chances. That’s life.

But according to this website, ESPN is trying to cover up the bad call. How egregious. It doesn’t surprise me though. ESPN has been anything but an unbiased source of ‘news’ for as long as I can remember. They exist to entertain. It is why they waste time “who’s nowing” rather than conducting and explaining research on evaluation methods.

MLB is apparently in cover up mode as well, but the reasoning there is a little more obvious.

It is probably bad for the business of everyone involved if people learn that umpires make mistakes. Especially in favor of the darling team with the great backstory.

R. EDIT:

I’ve always had a problem with the idea of “human error” being part of the game. I’m not going to argue that it’s not, but the humans making errors should be the players. Human error in that game should’ve been reserved for Matt Holliday breaking in on Giles’ double or Peavy failing to show up. It shouldn’t include Tim McClellan blowing a titanic call because he was out of position.

I think it should also be noted that McClellan’s call was only the second time that weekend that the Padres had gotten screwed. That Friday, against Milwaukee, Bruce Froemming missed a very obvious call at first base that luckily didn’t matter thanks to a timely double play. That’s the same Bruce Froemming who defended Mike Winters after he went after Milton Bradley. It’s quite the coincidence, isn’t it?

HOWEVER, I’m saying this the night after the Yankees were on the wrong side of three bad calls in a game they would go on to lose against the Indians. Shit happens. Just ask Josh Paul or Tony Tarasco.

Posted in controversy, postseason | 1 Comment »

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