Padres bloggin' since 2007

Boycott the Blue

February 1st, 2011 by

As you may have noticed from our recent mention at Big League Stew (and based on the number of visitors it sent us, you did), we’re not too fond of the new road jerseys here at The Sac Bunt. In fact, we’re not too fond of the whole look. Like 11 other teams in the league, the Padres wear a dark blue hat onto the field, only we do it with less history behind us than some others. We’ve tried before to catch the ear of management. We just want to let them know that us true Padre fans, the ones who have followed the team for more than two years, know that we are a team with an identity all our own, even if it has been hidden away for the past two decades.

Recently, a page has been floating around on facebook (not too unlike one we started last year), asking folks to sign a petition to get the team back in brown. It’s a noble cause, but one that I think has a slight problem: management knows we want brown. At last week’s town hall meeting, the topic was presented to Tom Garfinkle, who said:

Brown is out. If the Padres do return to an old look, it would likely be a take on the 1948-1949 PCL Padreslook popularized by the throwback uniforms they wore in 2005-2007. He did reveal, however, that they were more keen of the “red, white, and blue” color scheme if they were to tweak anything at all.

(Thanks to Bryant at Woe, Doctor! for getting that one)

Red, white and blue. The same color scheme used by eleven other teams in the league. I hate to say it but I don’t think management is going to get it. We could tell them switch back to brown till we’re blue in the face (and given their love of blue, they’d probably appreciate the act) but it won’t change anything. Which is why I propose the following:

Boycott the blue.

With the focus groups telling the team how much they like the look of dark blue between scarfs of pizza, it’s clear that management only cares about the opinion of one man: Benjamin Franklin. So let’s get him on our side.

You know those new road jerseys the team just unveiled? Don’t buy them. Or anything else combining “Padres,” “San Diego,” and dark blue together (and that goes for Chargers jerseys as well). When you go the stadium to root them on, leave your dark blue in the closet. Wear brown, or green, or even street clothes if you must (no blue jeans though). Let those whose opinion matter know how you feel. Let them know that this aggression will not stand. Let them know that the Friar was never meant to wear dark blue and as a Padres fan, neither were you.

Posted in dear jeff moorad, gripes | 17 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad (04/28)

April 28th, 2010 by

At the beginning of this calendar year, you said that you want to bring an All-Star Game to San Diego, going so far as to say that “it’s very important.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll have an opening until 2015.

Wait a minute. Strike that.

Now that SB 1070 has been signed into law (and I’ll keep any political commentary out of this), there have been numerous calls for boycotts on the state of Arizona, on everything from tourism to the Diamondbacks, and from The Daily Kos comes a call for Major League Baseball to go one better and pull the 2011 All-Star Game out of Phoenix. They cite a precedent, as the NFL pulled the 1993 Super Bowl out of Phoenix after Arizona rescinded Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

If the league is going to go through with such a motion, it’s going to need somewhere to else to hold the game. Aand that’s where we come in. I don’t actually know what goes into planning an All-Star Game (I assume it’s more than just printing up banners?), but getting one in Petco Park thirteen and a half months from now would be quite the coup for your new regime. Fans would definitely be ecstatic, and it might even show the rest of the league this is an organization that is no joke. As an added bonus, we get to stick it to those whiney Diamondbacks. What’s not to like?

This is your barbecue, Jeff, and it tastes good. The team’s winning, the young players are coming along nicely, and I’m hearing good things about the Petco experience. As always, I trust your leadership, and I just want to make sure that you are aware of this opportunity.

Keep up the good work.

-Ray

P.S. Could you get my boy Melvin a swag bag or something? You know, when you get the chance.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 2 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad: Free the Friar

November 25th, 2009 by

How are you? I hope your Thanksgiving went well. Now that it’s over, let’s start talking about Christmas and the gifts you should get us fans to buy our love.

I know that you’ve already said that you like the uniform colors and that any changes would simply be tweaks, so I won’t waste your time asking for brown. But I do have some requests.

Can we bring the Friar back? I know that he’s been around, with other members of the Friar family, but I feel like he’s been pushed to the side. The first thing you can do for me, Mr. Moorad, for us, is put the Friar on all jerseys. Home, road, and alt. And please leave him in maroon. Not blue, or tan, but maroon. The jersey could use the added splash of color.

My second request is that you simplify the jerseys. The sand really chases the blue around the home jersey, so let’s put some limits on it: save the sand for the shadow. Please take it off the sides and number.

For your benefit, we’ve drawn a picture.

Fancy home jerseys

Looks good, huh? Thank Melvin, he’s the artist. But we didn’t stop there. Since I’m not a big breakfast eater, you’re going to have to really open your wallet to please, and that means you have to change the road jerseys as well.

The bow tie is fun, but not nearly as fun as the jersey it replaced. Not only were they stylish, but they were the jersey worn by Tony Gwynn, Sr. when he knocked his 3,000th hit. That’s a legacy we should honor by bringing into the now. We present you with this.

Fancy road jersey

You’ll notice that we’ve added the Friar and eliminated the letter outlines. We were serious on the Friar, and the simplicity. And it looks fantastic. But maybe you’re not comfortable with the sand jerseys. Baseball has never been a game that rewards individualism, and the sand jerseys are really what set us apart. So, for you, we came up with something a little safer.

Fancy new roads

As you can see, they still look fantastic. But I’ve got a surprise for you, Mr. Moorad. Does this new road jersey look familiar to you? Because it should. We know how much you admire the Red Sox. We admire the Red Sox, too, for the work they did in simplifying their road uniforms. Just a little something from us to you.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Moorad. It’s less than four weeks away.

Melvin Update: Also of note: no alternate hat with the road uniform. I know, I know, fans seem to like the blue and sand hat. I like the idea of it too, but here’s the thing: it’s completely unreadable more than four feet away. That hat makes the Padres “official brand” into a blob to everyone watching on TV and in the stands. Not a good idea. If anything the SD should be straight sand, no white outline. Like the alternate green hats but blue.

Also, also of note: please don’t get rid of the sand away jersey. It’s the one thing keeping the Padres from being the most boring team on the planet of any sport.

Second Melvin Update: Here is the original, dream scenario jersey design that will never happen because it isn’t something another team has already done.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 4 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad (10/02)

October 2nd, 2009 by

With Kevin Towers’ departure looking all but inevitable, we at The Sacrifice Bunt are registering our support for the decision.

It’s not that we don’t like Kevin Towers, because we do. Any Padre fan should. But as the team should be entering into an age of change, now is the time for the team and the general manager to go their separate ways.

Despite how things have gone at the end of the season, the truth is the Padres are not close. Of the youngsters brought in this year, only Kyle Blanks has shown real star potential (though Everth Cabrera has the talent). This team has decisions still to be made, hard decisions that will shape their path over the next couple of seasons. And Towers, in his almost fifteen year career, has never shown himself to be that type. On a team with a strong core, Towers is your guy, as he is the best general manager in baseball at filling in the holes. But the Padres are beyond filling in holes.

For the team to build itself into a legitimate contender, management needs to take some risks. They might even need to go in a different direction, and the best way to do that is to bring in someone going the same way.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 7 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad (08/17)

August 17th, 2009 by

Tate is Grate

Donavan Tate gets it.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 2 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad: Five things I’d change about the PETCO fan experience

August 5th, 2009 by
Petco Park, photo by surfneng.

Petco Park, photo by surfneng.

Recently, Padres Corporate Operations Officer Tom Garfinkel wined and dined the boys of Gaslamp Ball to an evening of wining and dining. I have to say, I’m more than a little impressed with how Garfinkel handled the whole Breakfast Town thing. A big kudos goes out to him reaching out and turning his critics into sycophants (that’s just a joke).

During the evening, Garfinkle asked the boys if there was anything they would change about the fan experience. Completely uninvited, as is our usual manner of behavior, we at The Sacrifice Bunt would like to offer our own suggestions:

5. Bring back the brown

You hear people say this a lot, and God help me if they aren’t right. Another example of the team’s descent into a bland corporate mechanism. Somehow there are actually 35 teams in a 30 team league with either blue or red as their main color, and no I don’t know how that works either. Blue is boring. We used to be unique. Now we’re the low-rent Brewers.

Our saving grace is the sand color. It is distinctive, and matches well with the blue. Of course, this team’s uniforms are traditionally untraditional, meaning the next in the grand tradition of Padres uniform overhauls is due any day now. Here’s my suggestion.

4. PA Announcing Style: The Voice of God.

Frank Anthony, the Padres current PA announcer, is great at what he does. He’s Family friendly, inviting, and comforting. Nothing against him, but it’s also bland and corporate.

Oakland’s Voice of God, aka Roy Steele is more my taste. I want to feel like the mob will come after me if I dare not participate in the Hat Shuffle Extreme™ jumbotron game. I want to feel like it’s a voice from heaven, booming down and proclaiming to all who dare listen the superiority of Luis Rodriguez’s hitting abilities. Deathly. Serious.

3. Cover up the boring, gray, concrete

It makes the stadium look unfinished. Reminds be of the exterior of every monstrosity built in the 50s and 60s, when they thought concrete was modern.

The crew got off to a good start painting the wheelchair ramp near the bleachers in right-center field, from dry gray to Padre blue (You can see the ramp post painting on the far left).

Painting all that exposed concrete blue might be a bit much. I suggest a grand shtickel of sandstone, just like the exterior. It doesn’t have to be the fancy stuff from India. Just make it not disgusting. That’s all.

2. Make the between-inning entertainment entertaining

Ray: It’s not that I don’t find the sailboat races and hat shuffle boring but… well, I find them boring. They’re nice, and completely inoffensive, but I can’t remember the last time I participated in one. If it wasn’t for the occasional left fielder playing along, they’d be completely worthless.

I remember back to the good old days of Guess the Pet, when the fans in attendance would get the opportunity to guess which pet belonged to which Padre. Nothing could entertain like finding out David Eckstein owns a Great Dane. Or the Friar Races. Sure, it’s a total rip-off of Milwaukee and their sausages. And it’s not as clever as Washington and its presidents. But it still clears the way for a pratfall or two, and it actually lends itself to creativity (which Friar will it be this time?). These two should be staples at every game.

And you know what else should be? Press gate Bruce*. Petco Park needs more waving.

Melvin: And another thing: can’t the Friar himself be funny? Seems like all he does during the game is take photos with people in the stands, maybe ring a bell tucked away somewhere that may or may not exist, or wave a flag. He should be dancing on the dugouts, checking poor fielding infielders’ gloves for holes, showing eye charts to and leading a group of kids to poop on the umpires and such. I’m sure a lot of that humor came from Ted Giannoulas, but I bet there is at least one funny person in the organization who can come up with some more schtick.

1. If you weren’t a baseball fan, would you know who plays at Petco?

If you were at the ballpark in Philly you would. Right field. Huge Padres sign. Make it hap’n cap’n. I’ll admit, this one is probably the most expensive suggestion. So while we’re spending oodles of other people’s money, lets put a bigger video screen in right as well.

*Wow your friends with this piece of interesting trivia: Press Gate Bruce was the runner-up in our choice of names for this blog.

Posted in dear jeff moorad, petco park | 20 Comments »

The Anti-Alderson: Moorad at least technically answers fan questions

April 29th, 2009 by

Fans put off by former CEO Sandy Alderson’s frank, earnest, and no holds barred oratory style got what was coming to them today as new Padres CEO Jeff Moorad responded to fans’ questions. Rather vaguely, for the most part.

I’ll admit I can understand the need to be cuddled. Protected. Lovey dovied. Especially someone of the casual fan variety. In fact, even as a guy who would prefer a direct response from management, even if that means a risk of situations and answers changing down the road, but that’s exactly it. Details are unpredictable.That type open of communication is great for those who understand and pay attention to realities, but in the broad scheme of an entire fan base it can hurt the organization as a whole.

In this interview Jeff Moorad brings the boring, the bland. Enjoy it, because you asked for it.

What does Moorad have in store?

That diatribe aside, I’m happy to report Moorad in this q&a session did answer many of my questions about his role. Until this point, I was pretty neutral about him coming on board. Sandy Alderson as President and CEO satisfied me, even in light of the morbid 2008 season. It did become clear to myself and many others that John Moores’ time as owner needed to end. If the new owner has different ideas for the team presidency, thems the breaks. I get it.

Change for the sake of change, however, is stupid. Being excited for something about which you know no details doesn’t make sense. That’s what Moorad was. Unless I missed something, nobody in the media ever bothered to explain, or ask and “report”, as they apparently call it in the businesss, on what kind of philosophy this guy is all about.

We did learn early on, and was confirmed in the q&a, he believes in investing heavily into amateur talent through the draft and internationally. Well, that’s a good start. But it doesn’t cover everything, not by a long shot.

Rumors swirled that Moorad is a hands on type executive, insofar as intervening with his baseball people in the Diamondbacks organization and lobbying for the boneheaded Eric Byrnes extension. You’ll have to forgive me, but that extension represents all that is completely idiotic and irrational about the shortsighted thinking that pervades the old ways of baseball. Moorad rewarded short-term fan popularity and flash in exchange for the realistic production one would expect from a player like Byrnes. Hearing about it sent a chill down my spine.

Visions of my beloved Padres turning into a small budget version of the Seattle Mariners danced in my head, with owners who think they know baseball pulling strings based on outdated thinking from their 1976 mainstream baseball strategies. 61wins and 101 losses on a $118 million dollar payroll. It wasn’t just the Mariners’ results though. Their entire mindset and philosophy, until recently, was garbage. Like the Eric Byrnes extension. Screw that. I don’t want that.

Luckily, Moorad’s response to mine and similar questions about his role and philosophy seem promising.

MelvinNieves: Hey Jeff. Will you be involved in much player personnel decision-making? If so, what is your philosophy on talent evaluation? Do you believe in the more advanced metrics?

j_moorad: Very little — I believe in letting the club’s GM take a leadership role in all personnel decisions — I’ll be available as a resource as needed. I do believe in any and all forms of scouting, old-school or sabermetrics included.

Very good then. Leave the baseball to the baseball guys. Not surprisingly, he skipped my inquiry about the Eric Byrnes situation. That’s ok. Hopefully the rumor wasn’t true. If it was, it seems he’s learned from it.

There’s still no indication Mr. Moorad will leave the right baseball guys in charge, but that’s a question he smartly will look into and put off until the offseason. And we know he understands there’s a place for stats and a place for scouts. Cheers to that.

Other Stuff

  • Right off the bat, reader 23gonzalez wonders about a long term deal for the actual Adrian Gonzalez. “Why wait until 2010?”, is Moorad’s response.
  • miatamx5 is curious, as are we, about the possibility of new uniforms. Preferably brown will make a triumphant return. A major uniform change like that does not appear on the horizon, Moorad replies. “I’m a big fan of the Padres colors — unlike Arizona, where we changed the colors completely, the only thing I’m open to is an occasional tweak to the designs.” We need to get started suggesting some tweaks.
  • I asked how close the team needs to be to contention in order to add payroll. “Within striking range — if the deadline was upon us today, we’d be open to adding an appropriate player or two.” That kind of answers my question, the cool part is that quote was used as the caption for the article.
  • Later in the chat, I was curious to how the PETCO debt affected the sale of the club, and the year to year finances. “…We look at it as a large “rent” payment and accept it as the team’s part of a great stadium project.” A hard question to answer in this dumb little chat no doubt, but not the kind of answer I was looking for.

Lots of other questions and non-answers, including a non-answer about moving the PETCO park fences. Moorad does respond to some personal questions, if you’re in to that kind of thing.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 4 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad (02/27/09)

February 27th, 2009 by

Sign Orlando Cabrera. Or give Towers the funds he needs to sign Cabrera.

Actually, let me start by saying that I have no idea how this works. That is to say, whether or not you have the authority to do what it is I’m asking. Maybe you don’t, but maybe you do. I’m going to operate under the belief that you do.

It’s already the end of February and Cabrera is still available (I fully anticipate Cabrera signing elsewhere within 48 hours of this posting). Much of this might have to do with his ranking as a Type-A free agent. But MLB might have our backs with this one, as it has ok’d a sign-and-trade policy for Type-A’s. And although we have the third pick overall in the draft, meaning that we wouldn’t have to give up our first-round pick, we might want to hang onto our second-round pick, which will likely be in the 30s. As an added bonus, if Cabrera maintains his Type-A status next off-season and the Padres sign him to a one-year deal, he could net us a first round pick in the 2010 draft.

Now, Cabrera is not the hitter that Khalil Greene once was, but neither was Khalil. Cabrera might be the epitome of a field first-hit never shortstop, but he was still a top SS in 2008 worth 3.7 wins. This is due, in large part, to Cabrera being the defender everybody thought Khalil was. Last season, Cabrera had the highest UZR/150 of all qualified shortstops at 16.4. That’s 2.9 runs better than next best Jimmy Rollins and 25.8 runs better than Khalil. Fangraphs rated Cabrera’s 2008 season as being worth $16.6 million, the same as Derek Jeter, and we could probably get him for less than $5 million.

There are, of course, reasons not to sign Cabrera, aside from the money issue. The first reason being Luis Rodriguez.

(Author’s Note: I actually stepped away from this article for a couple of hours to reflect and this is what I came up with.)

I say that Rodriguez is a reason because he is penciled in as the team’s starting shortstop, keeping it from being a literal hole. Unfortunately, that is the only capacity in which he is a reason not to acquire Cabrera (or any other shortstop, for that matter). Rodriguez is Deivi Cruz Jr. And for all you Mel Gibsons out there, the reason we moved into Petco was so the Luis Rodriguezes of the world wouldn’t get 400 at-bats. And while Rodriguez hasn’t yet reached the 400 mark, there is no one else who looks like they could jump in. Save for Grant Green being drafted and coming up mid-July, and we need to get our fingers crossed there.

A second reason to not sign Orlando Cabrera is that shortstop isn’t actually the team’s biggest weak spot, believe it or not. After Peavy and Young, the final three rotation spots are up for grabs with only Cha Seung Baek looking to have locked down a job. After that, we’re looking at some sort of combination of Mark Prior, Kevin Correia, Josh Geer, Wade LeBlanc, and others. With pitchers like Pedro Martinez and Odalis Perez still floating around, maybe any added money would be better off going to them. If not, the team should think about scrapping the idea of starting pitchers entirely and just employ 10 or 11 relievers. But this letter is about Cabrera, so let’s focus.

I’m going to risk my cred as a stat geek right now and say that one final reason to grab Orlando Cabrera is that he’s been there before. Granted, we already have Eckstein and Floyd to teach the kids what it’s like to win, but you can never have too much veteran leadership. Just look what Maddux did for this team last year! But in all seriousness, I’d rather have Cabrera sitting next to Adrian on the bench, whispering sweet nothings into his ear, than Luis Rodriguez.

I’ll leave you, Mr. Moorad, with this: Manny just turned down a $45 million deal from the Dodgers. Cabrera would only cost $5 million. Think about it.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 5 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad (01/23/09)

January 23rd, 2009 by

(This is the second installment of what I hope will be an ongoing discussion between us here at the Sac Bunt and new Padres owner to-be Jeff Moorad. Maybe one day, he’ll talk back to us.)

It’s no secret that you’re acquiring a Padres team that has seen better days. They’re coming off a 99-loss season with a repeat looking likely. Your predecessor, John Moores, is going through a very public divorce that seems to have forced the team down to a $40 million payroll, and that payroll has already made casualties of Trevor Hoffman and Khalil Greene (although anyone crying about Khalil should not be listened to), with Jake Peavy looking like he’s next in line.

And to top it all off, there’s not a whole lot to look forward to, with our minor league system getting lukewarm reviews. Keith Law recently ranked our team 19th in the league, while John Sickles and Baseball Prospectus have both assessed the Padres as having depth but without much impact talent coming up.

The current administration has already started taking steps towards making it up to the fans. Among the perks us fans can look forward to this season at the Pet are seven 2-for-1 days, which is two tickets for the price of one, and 5-for-$5 at every home game, a deal that comes with a dog, a soda, peanuts, popcorn, and a cookie. If I recall correctly, all of the 2-for-1 days last season were day games during the week, so I guess that’s nice, but I’ll definitely be looking into the 5-for-$5 deal. And I do hope that something’s done to ensure that these deals go better than last year’s dollar days.

But there is something even better that you, Mr. Moorad, can do to immediately get us fans behind you: bring back the brown.

Before I get ahead of myself, I pose this question to you: what do the Padres have in common with the Brewers, the Red Sox, and the Rays? Clearly, it’s not a playoff berth in 2008, it’s the use of dark blue as a primary color. The Brewers even use gold as a secondary color, one that looks just a bit like the Padres sand, and they’ve used it since the mid-90s. So the Padres fans not only have to deal with futility on the field and a lack of excitement in the minor leagues, but they don’t even have a look to really call their own.

Bringing back the brown, a color that this team used until the early 90s, gives this team an identity. In all of the big three sports, only the Cleveland football team wears brown. Is it because it’s ugly? No. Probably. But what’s ugly? Personally, I think the current Padres look is embarrassing in its blandness and after five years of it, I’m ready to move on. The Padres have a history of brown, having worn it for their first 20 years, and now is the time to come back to it. I’ll even make a deal with you: the mustard, which was as much a part of those jerseys as the brown, doesn’t have to come with it. Keep the sand. In fact, keep the sand jerseys. I like them, although we need to lose the bowtie script. Just bring back the brown.

The Friar was never meant to wear blue.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 10 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad

January 3rd, 2009 by

Please retain Alderson and Co. and let them do what they do.

(btw, Moorad is in the process of becoming the new owner of the san diego padres)

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 4 Comments »

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