Padres bloggin' since 2007

Fun little chat with Paul DePodesta

July 12th, 2008 by

More Recenter Edit: After pulling the article I received confirmation that the contents of the speech were not to be published.  Sorry to all involved.  This sucks.

EDIT: Crap, I’m really nervous.  It sounds like something was said before we arrived about not reporting the contents of Paul’s speech.

On one hand, I don’t particularly understand this since the event was announced to the public and anyone who wanted could buy a ticket.  On the other hand, this isn’t a press conference.  Paul would enjoy way less freedom to speak freely and honestly if he knew the entire interwebtubes were disseminating his every word.

I for one appreciate when a public figure has the desire and opportunity to speak openly.  Because of this, the report may disappear soon.

Of course it has to happen for our one opportunity to pretend to be a real media outlet.

Paul DepodestaBaseball Prospectus hosted a fun little evening at PETCO on Friday, beach towel night.  It featured a talk with San Diego Padres special assistant for baseball operations Paul DePodesta.  Paul is famous as a central character in Michael Lewis’ renowned book “Moneyball”, in my opinion the Most Influencial Sports Book of all Time™.  Paul is also the former GM of the Dodgers, run out of town by the myopic LA media, who (surprise!) aren’t as smart as they think they are.

The Sacrifice Bunt flagged him down after the event (may or may not involving a scared, girlish scream of “ahhh Paul!!” as he walked away) for a quick chat and photo.  During the chat and speech, Paul came across as down to earth, pleasant, and spoke with the care and accuracy one would expect from a Harvard graduate.

Ray commented that Paul’s demeanor seemed opposite of Sandy Alderson’s guarded, defensive, and some might say arrogant attitude during appearances with Billy and Daren on the radio.  I responded that if knuckleheads did no research and attacked me under the guise of balanced “journalism”, I’d probably act the same way Alderson does.

Snip

If we weren’t already doing it this way, is this the way we would start?

Posted in media, petco park, the funny | 5 Comments »

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 »

9 Reasons to Still Be Excited About the Padres

May 13th, 2008 by

Well, the San Diego Padres are off to a disappointing 15-25 start, and the city of San Diego is hurting.  Attendance is down, message boards are calling for changes, and radio talk show hosts are lambasting the club with poorly reasoned analysis and sensationalist negativity.  Well, we should be used to that last one by now, nothing new there.

Fear not!  Keep your cool.  Don’t call in to radio shows.  Melvin Nieves is here to melt away the disappointment with 9 reasons to still be excited about the San Diego Padres:

  1. The Padres have never worn a vest jersey. Good God, who would believe somehow more teams are switching to these mockeries of style.
  2. Tony Clark: black guy
  3. Led by Matt Antonelli and Chase Headley, the farm system improved from 29th in the majors to 12th according to Baseball Prospectus. The new training facility in the Dominican offers additional promise for the farm system.
  4. Jody Gerut is here to provide the unconquerable, unbeatable weapon that is team speed. Bonus black guy.
  5. Fewer TV viewers mean broadcaster Matt Vasgersian has a longer leash for offending as many people as he sees fit, to our amusement.
  6. Since the team balked at hosting the official Padre blogger meetup day, we’re free to be as angry as we please without risking good standing with the club.
  7. We don’t live in Minnesota.
  8. Paul DePodesta’s blog.  The Sacrifice Bunt finally has something in common with someone smart.
  9. To show those nerds at Baseball Prospectus their 1.6% Padres playoff odds are for sissies.

Posted in the funny | 4 Comments »

Matt Holliday Welcome Party (video)

April 16th, 2008 by

Was in attendance for the Padres-Rockies contest on Tuesday the 15th.  The 6 run 6th for the Padres was an absolute blast thanks to doubles from Brian Giles, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Hollywood Jim Edmonds.  Though by far the most exhilarating play of the 6th inning was a walk from Khalil Greene.  You read that right.  No?  Fine, look it up.  It really happened.

edit (4/16): Far be it from me to admit being wrong about anything, but the guys at the ‘Snorts point out Khalil walked not once but twice that inning. I figure that this much discipline from Khalil is so rare it warrants an admission. Enjoy.

Not to mention the little no hitter our boy Randall Christopher Wolf took for 6 and 2/3rds.  It didn’t start until the 7th inning, but nervousness took over and my body was shaking watching the game.  It’s hard to imagine what Randall was going through on the mound.

I have now attended a couple near historic games at Petco.  Besides the Wolf almost no hitter, I also saw Mikey C’s near cycle, only to be denied the opportunity to finish it out due to his own awesomeness.  My dad mentioned witnessing a cycle hit by the Tigers’ Travis Fryman in ’93.

But to the matter at hand.  Matt Holliday was booed loudly by the crowd of ~23,000 before and during each plate appearance.  I doubt the stadium harbored any deep resentment towards the guy, rather I’d like to think it was more of a fun boo than anything else.

We sat in left and witnessed a group growing both in numbers and obnoxiousness as the game progressed.  The chanting seen above went on like that for innings. They got their haggle on too.  It was a wonderful scene.

And I still have that stupid “guess the moving hat hiding the ball” music stuck in my head.

Posted in media, the funny | Comments Off

4 Throwback Uniform Crazies

April 14th, 2008 by

Welp, opening day has come and gone.  Lots of teams are experimenting with the look of yesteryear.  Not just once a year, but as alternates usually worn at home one day a week.

Speaking of throwback days, I think we’re ready as fans to take them up a notch.  There should be beer for a nickel, use of the word “consarnit”, and a traveling freak show in the parking lot that charges two pence a gander.

4. “Classic” Indians look

Indians Jersey

Who doesn’t remember watching Indian teams of old ablazoned in these garbs?  You?  Me?  Well, both, since they’re designed to look old but were never actually donned by the team. I wonder why they didn’t pick something the team actually wore?

3. Phillies bring classic up a notch

It’s official, the Phillies can’t get any classicer.  The Phillies are the epitome of consistency with their look.  They have no need to invent any crazy new schemes. No rainbow gradients, no sweater vests, no glitter. Just history, baby. And they look gorgeous.

2. Royals go powder blue

Royals Powder Blue Jerseys

The Royals originally rocked these beauties from 1973 to 1992.  These are the kind of cult classic jerseys Padres fans are familiar with.  Ugly, but they’re our ugly.  Check out Brian “Jose Mesa” Bannister with the matching blue fisher price glove.  Someone has to explain that one to me.

1. Jays take blue all the way home

This isn’t your mother’s powder blue.  Ok, I take that back.  This IS your mother’s powder blue, since the Jays decided to take powder blue to the max.  The fantastic campy wordmark and number font, plus the sweet pinwheel hat complete the look. Ultra Sacrificial Bonus Points™ for going with pullovers too.

The blue look in baseball dates back as early as 1941, by the Chicago Cubs believe it or not.  The venerable Paul Lucas of the uniwatch blog elaborates on the bluistory for ESPN page 2.

It’s in the air.  I can feel it.  They’re coming. 2009.  In fact, I propose we connect the dots on this one and wear a jersey from a different era every day of the week.

Posted in the funny | Comments Off

So it goes

April 1st, 2008 by

The first full day of Major League Baseball in the year two-thousand and eight has come to a close. What have we learned?

If the Padres only thought about acquiring you, you’re good.

While my guy Hollywood Jim went hitless today (.000/.000/.000) and didn’t even get in the game, some of the names bandied about before he joined the team did okay for themselves:

Kosuke Fukudome went three for three with a walk, a home run, and three RBI. The home run came in the bottom of the ninth with two runners on and the Cubs down by three. If it wasn’t for Tony “Asshole” Gwynn, Jr., he would’ve been the hero in Chicagoland. But T2 came through in the clutch.

Nate McClouth went three for five with a walk, a home run, and four RBI. Although he did make a crucial fielding gaffe that allowed the Braves to come back and tie the game in the ninth. But the Pirates did come back, so it’s all good.

Luke Scott went one for three.

TSB’s guy, Milton Bradley, went oh for two with two walks. A .500 OBP. That guy just finds a way.

Scott Hairston, starting center fielder during tonight’s Astros/Padres competition, went oh for four. But Garfield did go two for three with a walk. He might not have been in the lineup without the Living Legend in center, so that’ll do.

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

Top 5 Spring Training Uniform Crazies

March 17th, 2008 by

We here at the Sacrifice Bunt are fans of looking good. A little swagger never hurt anybody, right? I’ve gone as far as creating a study to define a new standard in hipness and with withitness at looking suave.

I would now like to share my favorite uniform crazies from spring training. What’s a uniform crazy? You know I don’t have an answer to that. What do the points mean? LOTS, obviously.

5. I’m so freaking jealous some teams don’t have to wear the crappy hats

The Florida Marlins

As far as I can tell the Marlins, Angels, and Rockies all got out of it somehow. Maybe no one noticed? Why do I even care as much as I do? Some questions in life cannot be answered, my friends. Some questions can be answered, but failed former Padre prospects like myself simply aren’t privy to this kind of top secret info. Score: 8.0

4. New Padres catchers’ mask

Padres Catchers’ Mask

These goalie style masks are on their way out, bug dagnabbit ours now looks less girly and weird. Lord knows we need all the manly we can get with Mikey C gone and Brian G still on the roster.

Do take my opinion with a grain of salt. I pegged CY a bit, shall we say, not nearly as awesome before the “happenings”. Score: Mas O Menos

3. Dodgers, Red Sox, Tigers wear regular season jerseys inexplicably during spring training

Dodgers and Astros

Not sure what to make of it, but I like it. I can’t help but see spring training jerseys as a marketing tool to sell more crap. The jerseys, the coaches jackets and now special spring training hats change every other year. Just enough to make dumb people buy more shit. Pick what look works and stick with it. Score: ¥

2. 2005-2006 spring training jerseys

Padres 2006 Spring Training Jerseys

Beautiful. Clean, and unique. You never see that, especially with a design used previously by the team in Milwaukee. You can still find these garbs of hotness on eBay for cheap.

Compare to the current scheme. That photo is from 2007. You may notice the toned down hat foreskin for 2008. Anyone with me seeing a 2009 circumcision? Score: Hat Foreskin. Just to say that again.

1. Giles antic: Chargers helmet

Brian Giles wears Chargers helmet

Sometimes I feel spoiled watching our boy B break the standards of normalcy on a baseball team for my amusement. At least I assume it’s for my amusement. Though Brian may enjoy some derivative lulz for himself during attempts to make me and only me laugh. The point is there aren’t a lot of players who show off a goofy, lovable personality the way Brian Giles does. The definition of lovable is left to your own discretion.

Add an article like this to the mix, which shows Giles wearing said helmet like a jackass with nary an explanation and we get comedey gold. I love the this kind of non-sequitor behavior around baseball. Aside from the baseball part about baseball, of course. This is the stuff that makes Matty Vasgersian so special. Score:Melvin Nieves-worthy. That’s right. That high.

Do you have a favorite spring training uniform crazy? Share in the comments! Don’t forget to leave a score.

Also, if you haven’t voted in our top prospect poll on the right there, now’s as good a time as any. So far people are with me liking Kyle Blanks.

Posted in spring training, the funny | 6 Comments »

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 »

I’m Famous / I Know Mose Schrute

February 8th, 2008 by

One of my favorite and Ray’s least favorite blogs Fire Joe Morgan has decided to reveal their authors’ identities.  Aside from my life as a former Padre prospect and failing blogger, I am proud to announce that I’ve exchanged an email or two with writer Ken Tremendous (hereby referred to as Mose Schrute).  Therefore, I now consider myself best friends with Mose and famous through association.

The topic of the emails involved finding wires to get the power back on.

Posted in the funny | Comments Off

Phrases I’d Like Matty V to Use On Air

January 29th, 2008 by

I love Matty V. He’s witty, irreverent, and is loaded with pop culture info that by all rights should be totally useless to anyone, but he pulls it off. He chose to pick up a mutual option for 2008 as opposed to leaving for greener market sized offerings in LA, Chicago, FOX, or ESPN.

I don’t understand it, you wanted to leave in 2004. Now you chose to stay. Matt, you are an enigma wrapped in a conundrum wrapped in the warm pillowy flatbread of another enigma.

But I can’t stay confused with you. Because I love the way you put Grant in his place. You seem genuine. I love the way you seem like yourself on air.

That said, nobody’s perfect. Here are some phrases I think you should use, or continue the use of, during Padres broadcasts:

  • absofruitly posilutely
  • guesstimate
  • get in your el camino and go back to the ozarks
  • Equivalent Average
  • bodacious catch
  • the sample size isn’t large enough to draw any meaningful results
  • folks, you should check out thesacbunt.com
  • is it a slam?
  • the Generals win!
  • watch me host a celebrity pull my finger tournament, next week on FOX
  • shut the fuck up Mark

When it comes to actual analysis Matt, you suck. Leave it to the professionals. And by the professionals I mean us.

Posted in media, the funny | 2 Comments »

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