Padres bloggin' since 2007

Red, white, and bleh

July 6th, 2008 by

Independence Weekend Uniform Crazies

Today is July 6th, meaning that I’ve just started readjusting to meals not of the 12 oz. long-necked variety. So, forgive me if it took a while to adjust to the fact that the past three days worth of baseball wasn’t some strange patchwork of asinine MLB-orchestrated celebrations weaved into a nightmarish weekend of bad fashion decisions…this shit actually happened.

I first noticed the orchestration of this league-wide travesty during the Wednesday highlights for the middle game of the Giants vs. Cubs series. Upon first glance, I noted that my television might be a bit out of focus – “Are those really navy blue hats the Giants are wearing?” I pondered. In retrospect, I might have believed the drinks I consumed to mourn yet another Padres’ loss were the culprit, but make no mistake. While the Cubs hid this secret a bit better, the Giants’ hats were just completely out of whack. I didn’t think much about this, maybe it was just a one-off thing. Therefore, out of sight out of mind and I went to bed none the wiser. Then, without warning, I wake up on Friday morning and this happened…

Varitek's patriotic duty

It’s Captain America’s wet dream. Keep in mind, this isn’t even Varitek’s first venture into bad baseball fashion decisions this season, but it’s definitely the flashiest (although, you could argue that his Memorial Day garb was a bit worse). At first I believed this was merely an attempt for Varitek to draw attention away from his recent 12-for-100 slide at the plate, but at least this went to a good cause. Varitek, like last season, would auction this off with Children’s Hospital Boston. More importantly, however, this signified the beginning of a holiday weekend that would promote my least favorite baseball tradition: league-wide uniform trends.

Granted this didn’t necessarily creep up on people. Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets, announced he was working on this with his “Welcome Back Veterans” program (complete w/Tom Hanks!) a while back and stated his desire to raise $100m from this particular endeavor. Worthy cause, and slapping a few logos on the bases and enduring three days worth of crappy hat designs isn’t the end of the world…but, c’mon. Is it not enough that we, as Padres fans, have to endure the occasional blue-on-sand uniform ensemble? What about the fact that our team’s uniform bears a striking resemblance to nearly a half dozen other teams (namely, this one)?

What’s worse, is we were given a firsthand example of how camouflage uniforms are supposed to look (Green hats? GREEN HATS!?!?!). Granted, the Reds’ attempt was a sad display (and, to spite us all, they wore them Saturday and Sunday), but the frickin’ South Sidin’ Pale Hosers got it right on the first try, guys. It might be a disgusting sight to behold bordering on uniform copyright infringement to the umpteenth degree, but they damned sure got it right. Just look at them:

Brown hat, matching pants…it’s beautiful. And I’ll be damned if Nick Swisher didn’t make it look even better. For being Major League Baseball’s self-proclaimed official Team of the Military, the Padres could at least take a style tip from these Chicagoans and present the camo uni to perfection.

But that’s not even the strangest thing that happened this weekend. While the Reds and White Sox busted out the Army fatigues and the majority of Major League Baseball busted out the Stars & Stripes, Fourth of July cap collection (which you can find and buy here), there were two occurrences this weekend that, I thought, put the icing on the crap cake that was this weekend’s baseball fashion:

1) Northern Shenanigans

The Blue Jays addressed the most pressing question of the week in stride: if the Stars & Stripes caps are specifically released to coincide with America’s independence, what’s a Canuck to do? In response, the Jays donned the best of the bunch, the l’Unifolié cap – a maple leafed sensation:

Roy Halladay

Forget for a second that it completely contrasts the entire aquamarine theme they’ve got going on…that puppy is visible from space. Awesome. And despite the fact that I watched a lifetime’s worth of History Channel programs on American independence this weekend, and my history degree reminds me that the French actually helped during the American Revolution (it did come in handy!), I’d like to believe that the reason I like this so much is because it’s throwing a giant middle finger to the entire spirit of the uniformity of these uniforms. It’s almost as ironic as seeing the Cleveland Indians sporting their logo in a star-spangled red, white, and blue. That should go along perfectly with smallpox blanket night.

2) Compound the Crazies

On Saturday, the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates did their best to throw this whole thing into flux and put on their best retro gear. No, these weren’t the Brewers’ Friday night specials they’ve been sporting (these beauties) – these were the uniforms of the Milwaukee Bears (1923) and the Pittsburgh Crawfords (1931-1938). That’s right, this was a Fourth of July weekend Negro League throwbacks celebration. Now, I’m all for a good cause and I can understand the merits behind wearing these jerseys during a symbolic weekend such as this one, but it was just an overload for me. We already have the ridiculous use of camouflage, standardized caps for every team, and fireworks celebrations around the country that present little history and as much visual stimulation as possible. To me, this cheapens the historical importance of these teams the Brewers and Pirates are honoring. Don’t get me wrong, though – these were some sweet unis.

This seems like poor timing. The perfect solution would have been to bust these puppies out in the weeks around and after the Negro Leagues Player Draft back in June, when most would be aware of the historical relevance. The message is just lost during the hodgepodge of festivities surrounding Fourth of July weekend. Instead, it looks like the players are taking advantage of every excuse to rock the Ronnie Belliard pajama pants look:

Cameron & Fielder

Yet, there is a silver lining to this story. For what it’s worth – and I’m sure Ray would agree – Mike Cameron is missed for more than just his glove and bat. He’s still proven to be a master at rocking the throwback uni.

Posted in postseason, the funny | 7 Comments »

Smithers… are they booing me?

June 25th, 2008 by

Following Trevor Hoffman’s departure from last night’s 3-1 loss to the Twins, boos rained down from the bleachers. Boos, it would seem, intended for the future Hall of Famer after surrendering back-to-back home runs, including the game winner. This didn’t sit well with the Padres clubhouse.

“I didn’t like it,” said manager Bud Black. “This city should be very proud of a player like that for everything he’s done on the field and in the community. I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s fair.”


“It’s disheartening, knowing what Trevor has meant not only to the organization but the city, and his level of accomplishment is unmatched in our game,” (Tony) Clark said.


Jake Peavy, who started the game, said he heard the boos in the clubhouse. “I could not believe that,” he said. “That is as disheartening as it gets. I don’t understand it. When you look at all of his achievements, what he has meant, it’s ridiculous.”


Said teammate Shawn Estes: “How soon they forget.”


(Heath) Bell didn’t hear the boos that came after Hoffman gave up two home runs in an inning for the eighth time in his career. “If the fans were booing him, shame on them,” he said.

Hoffman hears boos in Twin killing

While we here at The Sacrifice Bunt don’t condone booing, we don’t condemn it either. There is a time and place to boo, although we couldn’t say if that time was following Hoffman’s poor performance. While there are shades of grey when discussing the merits of booing, the merit of the Padres post game conversation seems a bit more black and white.

The Padres lost last night 3-1. They again squandered a great performance by Peavy. In the bottom of the eighth, they had runners on first and second with no out and neither runner made it to third. In the seventh, they had runners on first and third with no out and two ground balls ended the inning with only one run scoring. Jody Gerut was caught stealing on what appeared to be a botched hit-and-run attempt when Edgar Gonzalez flailed futilely at what would’ve been ball four. In back-to-back at-bats, Gerut and Craig Stansberry were unable to get down sacrifice bunts. Oh, and the team’s increasingly unreliable closer came in and jumped his ERA up half a run.

It was an ugly game.

The fact that the Padres find it shocking that the fans could boo their performance seems naive or arrogant, or maybe a little bit of both. The team has fallen back into last place, setting themselves up for a potential rematch of the worsts this weekend when the pitiful Mariners come to town. The offense and pitching are below average. They let Milton Bradley slip through their fingers in the off-season and now he’s leading the A.L. They signed Jim Edmonds to man centerfield, then dumped him after a month and now he’s caught fire with the Cubs.

Now, it should be said that this season is an aberration. The current Padres management has put together the best run in the team’s almost 40 years and we haven’t even begun to reap the benefits of the new farm system. But that doesn’t affect the team that is currently taking the field right now. And the responses of the players from last night suggests they are more concerned with something other than their performance.

Again, we want to be fair. We’re sure that the players are as concerned about their performance as we are. But when the topic on the tips of their tongues is the reaction they got from the crowd, red flags go up. Maybe the fans aren’t what the players should be concerned about. The boos from the stands are a reaction to what is taking place on the field.

More disconcerting is the reaction of manger Buddy Black. For starters, he’s called out the entire city, which seems disrespectful given everything this city has done for the team. At what point does protecting become coddling? A good manager should stand behind his players, but at what point do these players take responsibility? If they continually fail to put down a bunt, a skill practiced by children, does he simply give them a pat on the back? And this doesn’t even get into the idea that Black is asking players ill-equipped to handle a task attempt to perform it anyway.

It’s not like this kind of whining is anything new. Be sure that if the Padres decide to trade a player sometime between now and July 31st that the Union-Tribune will be filled with quotes from players, decrying the actions of the management. We’ll leave you with some past highlights.

“Incomprehensible,” was Trevor Hoffman’s reaction. “Four other teams in the National League West are awfully excited. I probably need to take a day before I say something about this because I’m going to say something stupid.”


“You have to trust your front office when you are in the middle of a playoff run,” Jake Peavy said. “But, man, to trade away your setup man . . . what kind of a message are we sending here?”

Padres trade Linebrink

Posted in gripes, media, petco park, players, postseason | 5 Comments »

Patriots? Be Glad They’re Not The Cardinals

January 14th, 2008 by

Hah Hey! How about them Chargers! The Sacrifice Bunt wishes to congratulate the Chargers and fans for this exhilarating season and playoff run.

San Diego Chargers

Wasn’t life rough back in early October? The Chargers were 1-3, and the Padres, well, I’m just beginning to talk about those few games again.

Look at us now! Enjoy this folks. Remember where we came from. Our beloved city has two formidable sports clubs, and we get to not live in New England.

Ray Update: Don’t forget, we ended Indianapolis’ undefeated streak a couple of seasons ago. It’s kind of our thing.

Posted in misc, postseason | Comments Off

“Moneyball” Will Never Win In October

October 31st, 2007 by

Except this guy:

.417 .459 OBP / .725 Slugging

That’s Kevin Youkilis’ career in the post season. Those moneyball detractors (and by that, I mean objectivity detractors) who haven’t read the book (and by that, I mean most of them) should know that Billy Beane was obsessed with Youkilis.

“Youkilis?” says Billy, as if he’s only just heard of the guy and very nearly forgot his name. “Just a fat kid in Double-A. Look at your reports. He’s a ‘no’ for you. He’s a ‘maybe’ for me. From our standpoint, he’s just a guy we like because he gets on base”


Classic. Now trust me, I’m not the kind of guy who touts the merits of a handful of postseason PAs. But by the transitive property or something, that also means I’m not the guy who goes batty anytime a bad series happens in the small sample size shitshow of the post season.

Fun fact: Alex Rodriguez’s postseason line is .279 / .361 / .483.

I think it’s human nature to to look for evidence that agrees with your conclusion instead of creating a conclusion based on evidence. In our case, people don’t want to believe those who think differently can change the face of our past time.

Instead, they pull a tighter grip around a belief set slowly let loose by those around them. It’s difficult to see this in ourselves because it’s who we are, but it’s there.

edit: Thanks to commenter Joe Morgan my editor will be fired. .459 OBP?! Nutso!

Posted in gripes, postseason, statistics | 2 Comments »

I never realized how boring this game is.

October 29th, 2007 by

In case you sneezed, the World Series is over.

Personally, I watched about 9 innings total. I always intended to watch but something always came up. Tonight, I started watching and in between innings, I flipped around to see what else was on when I came upon “Smokin’ Aces” on Cinemax. I ended up watching that instead. I don’t even like that movie but I watched it instead. Luckily, it ended before the game did, so I was able to see Jonathan “wassup baby!?” Papelbon.

This is the fourth World Series in a row to not see a game 6. Aside from that fact, I’m not really sure what these four have in common. Off the top, I thought that it was the difference between a 4 game and a 7 game CS. The Rockies were red hot this year, then sat down for a week and got demolished. Last year, the Tigers were red hot, then sat down for a week and got demolished. In 2005, the Astros went to 6 games with the Cardinals while the White Sox only went to 5. And in 2004, both the Red Sox and the Cardinals both went to 7. For what it’s worth, both the Yankees and Marlins went 7 in 03.

So why is this happening? I don’t know. All I know is that for the past four years, the World Series has meant one thing to me: We’re only 4-7 games away from the Hot Stove Season. And that’s kind of sad.

Posted in postseason | 1 Comment »

100% mountain

October 23rd, 2007 by

The World Series starts in less than 24 hours, with the Colorado Rockies and Jesus Christ taking on the Boston Red Sox, who are on their own. As fate would have it, both of these teams faced off against OUR San Diego Padres this season, which gives us a common denominator to compare these two teams with. Let’s break it down, position-by-position.


Yorvit Torrealba vs. Jason Varitek

Against the Padres this season, Torrealba put up a line of .138/.153/.224 with an OPS of .377. That’s really bad. On the flipside, Varitek put up a line of .500/.625/1.333 with an OPS of 1.958. That’s really good.

Add to the equation that Varitek is a grizzled vet with a C on his uniform and this one is very clear.

Advantage: Boston

First Base

Todd Helton vs. Kevin Youkilis

aka “You look like a goat, Murray

Usually, I judge players based on their facial hair. Varitek’s sexy beard, for example, is way better than what Torreabla’s sporting, but I can’t do that in this case. Both Helton and Youkilis are 100% mountain, so I guess I’ll go to the numbers.

Helton: .819 OPS

Youkilis: .500 OPS

Helton it is. I’d imagine it’s not too late for Youk to turn that glorious goatee into a beard, so I’ll get back to you if/when he does.

Advantage: Colorado

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in postseason | 2 Comments »

Steve Spurrier knows what’s up.

October 16th, 2007 by

The Rockies destroyed Arizona, just like they destroyed Philadelphia. Just like they’ll probably destroy Cleveland (or Boston, I suppose). And, really, the Diamondbacks have no one to blame but themselves.

Before I get to that, Byrnes really shit the bed, didn’t he? It was only appropriate that he would come up as the tying run with two outs in the bottom of ninth in game four, and it’s poetic that he would ground out to short on a check swing. He didn’t even get a full swing in.

But that situation should never have happened because the Colorado Rockies should never have made the playoffs. Arizona had them against the ropes at the end of the season and they let them slide, as Melvin put in the second string and let the Rockies force their way into a one-game playoff with OUR San Diego Padres. The rest, of course, is history. And since those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it, Black and co. need to learn one important lesson:

Always go for the kill.

Compassion is for the weak. If it’s April and Matt Holliday is up with a bum leg, put a fastball right on his kneecap. You’ll feel real stupid if you don’t and he bashes another 25 home runs next September.

Congratulations to the Rockies, though. That was a dismantling.

Posted in postseason | Comments Off

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.


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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