Padres bloggin' since 2007

11-28 Sacrificial Link

November 28th, 2007 by

“Mikey, buddy”, said Kevin Towers with an arm across his shoulder and a sly grin creeping across his face. “I’m thinking about ‘offering’ you some arbitration. You get what I’m freshing here? Yeah? You do? Great, I’m buying the PBR next Mike Cameron Sloshball Classic™ this year.”

Padres do their arbitration thang, Mikey C. style. They’ll offer him arbitration, which he’ll likely not accept says Tom Krasovic.

Build through the system baby, take advantage of every opportunity.

Also, Padres interested in Kazuo Fukumori. Thats all I gots.


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11-27 Sacrificial Links

November 27th, 2007 by

I know nonspecific Padres link posts aren’t the kind of hardhittedness you’d normally expect from The Sac Bunt, but I have two great reads I just know you’ll find mildly amusing.

Whirlwind courtship ends with Hunter in Angels’ OF (USA Today via MlbTradeRumors)

Not your everyday ‘X signs for $Y, here’s his batting average and home runs from last year’ kind of free agent signing article. I spent about ten minutes trying to think of a joke to put here, but no dice. Sorry, I guess. Hunter dressed as Spiderman? Maybe?

Conlin’s Losing Numbers (crashburn alley via 322 feet, and FriarForecast)

You can feel the desperation ooozing from bad sportswriters, can’t you? They ignored the internet, then they tried making fun of the internet, now they’ve settled and gone bat shit insane crazy. Quothe one:

I think I’ll let the words I wrote after the death of my dear friend and colleague, the former local Associated Press Bureau Chief Ralph Bernstein and the nearly half century relationship my wife and I have had with Ralph and his family through good times and bad represent me against any contrived and baseless attempt to slime me as an anti-Semite. I was a speaker at Ralph’s Memorial service. Quite obviously, the Hitler line was used in a satiric response to what has turned into a concerted assault on my Jimmy Rollins column and on my career.

What does this even mean? Name dropping the local AP bureau chief? You can’t make this stuff up. This rambling drivel devolved from an email conversation between a polite, good natured Phillies blogger and Philadelphia Daily News writer Bill Conlin.

Soooo, ok. Is A-Rod a Padre yet?

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The Next Mr. Padre

November 27th, 2007 by

Don’t get me wrong. Tony Gwynn is Mr. Padre. I don’t mean to imply anything different.

But who is the current face of the franchise? I think most would agree that honor belongs to either Jacob Peavy or Trevor Hoffman, depending on how you look at it.

I propose the team gear up to answer that question years into the future. Don’t sign Jake now, his value will probably never be higher. But be ready.

That means sacrifices are needed, namely with contracts the team hands out or acquires via trade this offseason. That probably rules out dreams of Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, and any other phonetically spelled free agent center fielder.

Ray would say that re-signing Peavy at free agency isn’t very moneyball. I agree, to a certain extent. His value on the field probably isn’t worth the money he’ll see in a true free market, but every so often you have to make a ‘soft’ type move. The value to the team brand is important as well. Just plan for it, and make sure it doesn’t happen often. (I’m looking at you Khalil!)

Ray edit: Mr. Padre shouldn’t live in another state

Melvin edit: I put some of these thoughts down before Torii Hunter signed.

Posted in hot stove, players | 1 Comment »

NL MVP Post

November 25th, 2007 by

The NL Most Valuable Copy Creator Award

I went to write a post on Jimmy Rollins and the NL MVP, but noticed Joe Sheehan said all I was going to write. Whatever, call me a cut-and-paste blogger, but he nails it:

This vote reflects the storyline, not the performance. All of the measures of performance that we have, from Value Over Replacement Player to Wins Above Replacement Player to…well, pick your favorite stat…yield roughly the same conclusion: that Jimmy Rollins was somewhere between the fifth- and eighth-best player in the NL this year…

There is one point I can’t so easily take credit for, however:

The three best players in the league finished fourth (Wright), seventh (Peavy) and ninth (Pujols) in the MVP balloting, not because their performance was lacking, but because their teammates were.

The teammate performance aspect of MVP voting I can claim, but who knew our homie Jake Peavy tied for the second best WARP in the NL?

This is the reason I get all snarky when people cite MVPs and All-Star births in evaluations. I view this as fun fluff to talk (and post) about, but it tells you something if a debate participant brings it up in actual analytical discussion.

Posted in awards, media, statistics | 2 Comments »

Friar for MVP

November 19th, 2007 by

1. Player X is MVP for leading his team to the playoffs, something Player Y failed to do.

2. Player X is MVP because it stands for Most Valuable, and X’s team would be nowhere without him. Player Y’s team has has other good players, making X less valuable.

See a problem here? How is it that both of these are arguments are used as rationale for MVP voting? They’re complete opposites.

…more than anything, it was Rollins’ grinder persona that kept the team positive and focused…

So on and so forth. It’s so comical to me, we watch sportswriters make it up as they go along to push whichever player they’ve already decided should win.

Just pick the best guy. He isn’t a mascot. He can’t control others’ performance.

Posted in awards, gripes | 1 Comment »

Peavy wins Cy Young

November 15th, 2007 by

Peavy is 12th-ever unanimous NL Cy Young

He’s the first pitcher to be unanimous since Randy Johnson in 2002. He’s also the fourth Padre to win the award, joining Mark Davis, Gaylord Perry and Randy Jones.

In terms of Padres pitching accomplishments, Peavy’s season is up there. His ERA+ of 159 beats Perry’s mark of 121 the year he won and Jones’ 120, although Davis had an ERA+ of 192 his Cy Young season. Hoffman, for that matter, has received votes for Cy Young four times, three in the top 5 and two in the top 2, and had his best season in 98 with an ERA+ of 263. But comparing starters to relievers is comparing apples to oranges.

Not that any of that should take away from what Peavy accomplished. He finished with the pitching triple crown and finished with a comfortable lead in each category.

Now he’s free to turn his attention towards signing an extension.

Posted in awards, players | No Comments »

The kase against Khalil

November 15th, 2007 by

In Friday’s Union-Tribune, Towers said he is hoping to lock up Khalil.

“He’s one of our better players, and we’d like him to be here for some time,” General Manager Kevin Towers said yesterday.

Towers hopes to lock up Greene with multiyear deal

He goes on to say that he hasn’t actually talked to Khalil’s agent, or even if talks are coming up, just that he wants to.

Towers’ desire to sign Khalil is understandable. A season in which he hit 27 home runs and drove in almost 100 RBI is going to look mighty fine to an arbitrator. The $2.25M Khalil made last year will probably be doubled or tripled. Looking at it that way, it makes sense to get Khalil at a price we can all be happy with and that we can all see coming.

But Khalil is a shortstop wrapped up in an enigma. On the one hand, he’s coming off a season in which he was second on the team in home runs and RBI behind Adrian Gonzalez, who already has his contract despite just finishing his second season in San Diego. For shortstops, he’s in the top 6 for HR, SLG and IsoP. Needless to say, he can mash. Coming from a position where power is a premium, and on a team where power isn’t prevalent, only makes it sweeter. Too good to be true, even.

Yeah, too good to be true.

Khalil’s RC27 of 4.69 is good for sixth amongst the seven positions the team consistently fielded. That’s behind Gonzalez at 6.41 (team leader if you don’t include Milton, who finished at 8.86), B. Giles, Kouzmanoff, Cameron, and Bard. Yes, the same Bard and Giles put up a combined SLG of .411.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

RC27 is, simply, the rate stat version of runs created. And runs created is, in essence, a calculation of how many runs a player contributed on the season. But since I’m not a fan of flat stats, we’ll just stick with RC27.

As you can see, Khalil didn’t contribute as many runs as his fellow starters did. That seems strange, considering that Khalil either touched home plate himself or drove someone else to do so 159 times all year. The Bash Brothers, B. Giles and J. Bard, did as much 110 and 88 times, respectively. How can this be?

Because Khalil’s OBP was .291. Period.

So what? Who cares? Khalil isn’t paid to walk. He’s paid to hit home runs and impress the girlies.

Everyone has to walk. The argument about whether OBP or SLG is more important is far too large to be a throw-in here, but I’ll just say that everyone has to walk like everyone has to hit for some power. If your SLG is under .400, sit down, and if your OBP is under .300, sit down.

To put things in perspective, Khalil’s RC27 of 4.69 was good for 130th in the league. The five players in front of him were David DeJesus, Mark Teahen, Jose Bautista, Gary Matthews Jr and Jason Bartlett. The highest SLG in that group was Matthew’s .419. Both DeJesus and Bartlett failed to break .400, putting up marks of .372 and .361, respectively. Khalil’s SLG is almost 100 points higher than two of the three, and yet his inability to get on-base puts him behind them

It’s not that Khalil is a bad player. He hits well on the road (wink wink other general managers) and plays solid, although not great, defense. It’s just that he’s overrated. His 27 home runs blind people to the fact that he’s just not that productive because of his inability to get on base. And this is the reason Towers should look into moving Khalil now.

Posted in hot stove, players | 4 Comments »

Sacrificial Links

November 14th, 2007 by

Mad Phat Propz

I would like to send a big thank you to those folk kind enough to leave us links, in our most humblest of beginnings. Ducksnorts, Gaslamp Ball, and Friar Forecast said nice things, and the encouragement is appreciated.

PITCHf/x tool (Hardball Times)

Josh Kalk at the Hardball Times has developed a very useful tool to query PITCHf/x (pitch type and location data) for pitchers and catchers. It is still under development, but already provides info for 300,000+ pitches wherever the device has been used. Here is Jake vs. Barry. Note the view is from the catcher looking towards the pitcher. NOTE: to be avoided by anyone averse to reading graphs in their free time.

322 Feet (New Blog)

Lots of analysis. Cool name. Updates on Chargers attendance. Can’t go wrong. I can’t complete sentences.

We’ve Got Plenty Of Room (San Diego Union Tribune)

“We’ve got plenty of room,” Alderson said yesterday, when the Padres were free to make offers to other clubs’ free agents. “We just have to find the right players.”

It’s comments like these I love and hate at the same time. Kevin Towers has demonstrated a refreshing openness with the media throughout his time as GM, and I like seeing the same thing from Sandy Alderson.

The downside, however, is when people hear just a smidgen of what they want to believe and their mind creates an entire dollop. If a guy is available for the right price we can spend the money. Just like last off season, which I would say went pretty well. There’s a reason the team went with Maddux over Zito last year, and aren’t we all freaking stoked they did?

Posted in sacrificial links | 1 Comment »

Whateva fans, I Do What I Want!

November 8th, 2007 by

If you purchased MLB game downloads before 2006, your discs are now useless (Joy of Sox)

Update: Just got off the phone with a MLB customer service supervisor.

MLB no longer supports the DDS system” that it once used and so any CDs with downloaded games on them “are no good. They will not work with the current system.”

Why does baseball continue refusing to treat its die-hard (read: highest spending) fans with any sort of respect? There was the video game exclusivity deal to virtually eliminate competition in the market. This released Take-Two of any motivation to produce an entertaining baseball video game.

Then the Extra Innings package fiasco handcuffed fans to a single service provider, which again reduced competition in the market in exchange for makeing a quick buck. This plan was eventually canceled after fans and lawmakers took a collective whiz in baseball’s Cherios.

The newest fan screwing move from those geniuses has apparently deleted the data needed to view downloaded video content from the MLB Advanced Media website. This is comparable to an employee breaking into your home and cracking legally purchased movie discs in half, without warning or a refund.

The software that decides what is viewable is called DRM, short for “digital restrictions management“. It allows the content provider to retain control long after it is paid for, indefinitely. It is precisely this power that detractors of DRM warned is possible if consumers choose to accept and pay for it.

Check here for updates as MLB throws up on itself in response.

Note: Anyone who claims DRM stands for “digital rights management” is just kidding.

Update 11/8: The New York Times picked up the story:

I just got off the phone with MLBAM spokesman Matthew Gould, who said fans who purchased games with the now-broken licenses will be able to get every game replaced free of charge by versions with the right license.

Of course this means any burned CDs are now useless. It also isn’t clear what the process will be to get those replacement files. As the Times story points out, this is a prime example of why consumers need to be extra cautious when purchasing any content that uses Digital Restrictions Management.

Posted in gripes, media | 1 Comment »

Maddux gets mad bucks

November 5th, 2007 by

The Padres re-signed Greg Maddux to a one-year deal worth $10M. The deal includes a no-trade clause.

Maddux had an ERA of 4.14 in his first season with the Padres, his best mark since 2004, when he had an ERA of 4.02 with the Cubs.

“He’s still a very successful pitcher,” Black said. “He wins games. That’s the primary thing that I think all of us look at. But also what he brings as far as stability, leadership, wisdom. Those are the intangibles that we notice inside the clubhouse that we feel is also a great attribute that Greg brings to the club.”

As Black clichéd-ly pointed out, Maddux’s value to the Padres might be unquantifiable, which I’m sure makes Brother Melvin happy. There’s been a lot of chitter-chatter about how his 6-or-7,000 years of wisdom were at least partially responsible for Jake’s to be-Cy Young award winning year. Assuming he’s having a similar effect on Young, we’re easily getting our $10M worth before he ever takes the mound.

It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a second half pitcher (first half: 4.27 ERA, second half: 3.97), given that Chris Young slows down (as all giants do) as the season goes on.

And he’s so good at teaching our young pitchers to use the slide step.

Posted in hot stove | 1 Comment »

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