Padres bloggin' since 2007

Haaaaaaappy Opening Day!

March 31st, 2008 by

I cannot wait! The 2008 seaons brings so much to look forward to, I’m blown away.

Our opening day starter pitched better than anyone in the world last year.  The core group of Adrian Gonzalez, Khalil Greene, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Chris Young are also household names. They’re healthy, in the prime ages of their lives, and are an absolute thrill to watch. Chase Headley is a stud and will likely be ready to roll by June, while prospect Matt Antonelli is putting the final touches on his game before prime time.

That’s a helluva crew of young people who are really good at being baseball players. Our gorgeous ballpark is a fun place to kick it, with enough to keep everybody entertained both before and after the game.

On top of that, this year I’ll have the opportunity to watch more action at Petco than I’ve ever had the pleasure. The Sacrifice Bunt is in full force and I am stoked.

To celebrate this momentous occasion of awesome, I’d like to share a couple of desktop wallpapers from my portfolio. If you want to share, please do, but I’d prefer you link to this post rather than directly to the image.  I put a lot of work into them. Thanks!

Adrian Gonzalez Wallpaper
[1280 x 1024]   [1024 x 768]

Petco Park Wallpaper
[1280 x 1024]   [1024 x 768]

Posted in media | 3 Comments »

Stick to the B.E.A.T.

March 29th, 2008 by

The beginning of a new baseball season brings a lot of questions. None of them as pertinent as “What music will the players come out to this year?”

A song can define a player. It’s hard to think of Trevor without “Hell’s Bells” announcing his arrival. And I can’t shake the memory of some excited fan screaming out “Let’s go, Superman!” during a Mark Kotsay at-bat, no doubt inspired by Kotsay’s choice of “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down.

(if you’re reading this, excited fan, leave a comment)

With the Padres having played their first game at Petco earlier this evening, we got our first listen to the choices some of the 08 team has made.

Josh Bard, (some country song)

I’m not the biggest country fan in the world so I couldn’t identify this song by ear. Or even be able to speak on it. I probably shouldn’t have said anything.

Brian Giles, “Scar Tissue” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

An interesting call by Giles. Most entrance songs tend to be flavors of the month (as we’ll see in a second) but Giles chose a song that’s nine years old. I like to think it’s a tribute to his fixed up knee. If that’s the case, Giles gets bonus points for being so damned clever.

Giles has previously been announced to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.

Adrian Gonzalez, (some song) – Pitbull

You know, because he’s Mexican. Gonzalez previously came out to Daddy Yankee, much like RRRamon Hernandez before him and every other Latino player to make the major leagues. There are worse songs to go with, but this one seems rather cliché.

Gonzalez has previously come out to “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee.

Scott Hairston, “Flashing Lights” – Kanye West

Like I said, flavor of the month. I’m as big a Kanye fan as anyone but “Flashing Lights” does nothing for me, especially considering that the other three songs from “Graduation” would have worked better. The season hasn’t started yet, so hopefully the Living Legend switches to “Can’t Tell Me Nothin'” for Monday.

Justin Huber, “Superstar” – Lupe Fiasco

Same deal as Hairston’s pick. I suppose Huber could be saying he’s a superstar, but the song uses the word in a pejorative sense. I’m not sure how well that works out. Considering that this song was my first introduction to Huber, who was picked up earlier this week, I can’t say that we got off on the right foot.

We’ll be updating this throughout the year, we encourage you to fill us in on what we’ve missed in the comments section.

Posted in media, misc, petco park, players | 3 Comments »

There’s no earthly way of knowing

March 27th, 2008 by

Three days after optioning future messiah Chase Headley to Portland, the Padres have added another outfielder to the mix.

The Padres were already long on outfielders when they acquired Justin Huber from the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, though they still addressed a need or two in consummating the trade.

The Padres added the 25-year-old Huber for cash considerations or a player to be named later, a small price, Towers said, to land a player that he had long been interested in and one who could fill a need as a right-handed bat off the bench.

Padres acquire Huber from Royals

Huber’s had a little less than 100 big league at-bats and they haven’t been that impressive. His minor league stats, however, show us why the Padres might be interested in him: he’s got a little bit of pop, he walks a lot, and he strikes out even more. Sounds perfect. He’s also a converted first baseman, and was at one point a converted catcher, so he’s probably dynamite with the glove.

The question to wonder about is how he fits in with this team. Along with senior citizens Giles and Edmonds, the Padres have to find room in the outfield for McAnulty, Gerut, and Hairston. Now we’re throwing Huber onto the pile. That’s six outfielders for three spots. Of course, this all depends on how Edmonds is doing. If he starts the season on the disabled list, the problem solves itself but if he’s good to go, someone’s out and it’s probably McAnulty. And if McAnulty’s out, that means he and his 1.012 Spring Training OPS are left exposed.

It should be noted that the last time Towers got one of his guys for a player to be named later, he went on to post an OPS of 1.004 and steal (most of) our hearts. So maybe that old bastard knows what he’s doing.

Melvin Update: Luis Gonzalez and Kevin Cameron were optioned to Portland. The last spot in the pen goes to Enrique Gonzalez.

Posted in hot stove, players, spring training | 1 Comment »

Sports Illustrated Opens The Vault

March 25th, 2008 by

No peach schnapps necessary.

SportsIllustrated.com has granted access to much of the historical magazine’s database, totaling 54 years back to its inception. Cover, photos, articles, even entire magazines in their entirety (with ads!) are available for our perusal, no fee required.

Graig and the Goose

SI is looking for an edge over rivals Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, and others in a competitive sports portal market. The current trend is an ad supported business model, as other magazines turned website businesses such as the New York Times made available their back catalogs.

Browse the magazine with the Graig Nettles and Goose Gossage cover from April 1984, plus added bonus naked Jim Palmer. You won’t be disappointed!

Here’s an excerpt from a 1989 story that detailed the batting title race between Tony Gwynn and Will Clark. By the way I love Tony. Somehow I don’t think I’m the only one.

“This year is going to be the toughest year for me to win because Will knows how to handle pressure,” says Gwynn. “There were four guys in it with me at the end of last season, but I didn’t worry about them because they had never known what it was like to get up every morning and have to choke down some other guy’s three-for-four with your corn flakes. Will’s a great hitter who’s never won the batting title, but I think he really wants it.”

Find any jewels? More naked Jim Palmer? Let us know in the comments!

SI Vault – 54 Years Of Sports History

Posted in media | 1 Comment »

Chase Headley to Start Year in AAA

March 24th, 2008 by

Chase Headley

Headley is optioned to Portland, reports Corey Brock of Padres.com.

Yeah, he tore it up in Spring Training.  Most notable is his successful switch to left field. At the dish? They’re spring training stats. The thing about spring training stats is, the front office, much like myself, doesn’t put too much stock in them as predictors.

Here’s why: The competition in March isn’t equivalent to the majors. Pitchers generally work on delivery, control, or experiment with pitches, techniques, etc.  Top position playing starters don’t always start, which lowers the defense abilities below what you’d face in the majors.

Perhaps most importantly, the 50 or so (at best) plate appearances participants see is hardly enough to draw any significant conclusions about ability.

Spring training is a time to rely on observational analysis in the field, the readiness of a player on a personal level, and other front office considerations

In today’s game, the roll of a scout in personnel decisions is diminishing. This is one of those opportunities (See, I’ll admit they exist) where a decision made from a traditional scouting perspective is most appropriate.

I’ll admit that of all the options in left field, the most exciting option is  starting Chase Headley on March 31st. Without even checking with me however, Padre brass decided the long term interest of the ball club needs Headley starting the season in Portland.  Considering his cup of coffee with the team last June, we know the front office has no qualms with letting him loose when the time is right.

Looks like Wade LeBlanc made a late come back in our prospect poll on the right there.  Agree or disagree on the prospect ranking?  Let us know in the poll.  Agree or disagree with my thoughts?  Let us know in the comments. PS– Sorry about the lack of jokes today.  More foreskin humor to come, I promise.

Posted in players, spring training, statistics | Comments Off

3-19 Sacrificial Links

March 19th, 2008 by

Sacrificial Links

Friar Follies (Baseball Prospectus)

Alliteration aside (will we ever run out of these headlines?) Joe Sheehan tries his hand again at Padres analysis and talks a bit less crazy this time. He says Hollywood Jim is kaput in center, while Baldelli or Crisp make the most sense in trade scenarios. (non-subscribers get partial text)

The Padres aren’t likely to close the gap on the Diamondbacks and Dodgers under any circumstances. They’re not a good offensive team, and they need time to integrate their young position players. The team’s strength the last few years, though, has been the way it fits into the park, with fly-ball pitchers, deep fences and Mike Cameron. Now, in a post-Cameron world, they’re about to find out just how much of what they thought was pitching was actually defense.

Tom Krasovic doesn’t see the Padres trading for Crisp.

For one, Crisp is out of the lineup because of an injury. Two, Epstein hasn’t put him on the trade block. Three, the Padres believe Epstein would ask for advanced prospects such as Matt Antonelli or Chase Headley. “We’re not going to move those guys,” Towers said.

Prior, Giles, and Hensley Recoveries On-Time (Union Tribune)

Tom Krasovic shares updates on our favorite sickly players, and things look good. Don’t they always during spring training? I’d be a bit worried if they were “in the best shape of their lives”.

The surgeon’s work is enabling Prior to throw with proper form, to repeat the same release point that he had before injuries led to compensation issues and degraded his silky delivery.

He said he is able to get the extension and angle needed to hit the low-outside portion of the strike zone, or just wide of it. Last spring training, Prior said, he wasn’t able to smoothly get that done. “I’d come around the ball,” he said, tilting his right hand inward.

Chase Headley’s Approach to Hitting (Baseball America)

“I think the strikeout is one of the most overrated stats in baseball,” Headley said. “It’s an out just like anything else. You can pretty much tell how I’m hitting by the counts. If somebody is on base, I’m trying to do some damage. But if there’s nobody on base, I like to see some pitches.”

Chase you’re preaching to the choir re: strikeouts. Power hitters will strikeout, it comes with the territory. They make up for it by hitting the crap out of the ball when they do connect, and they make fewer outs of other varieties by walking more.

Not sure I’m happy to hear he’s changing his approach with runners on though. Hey Chase, you can still score if you’re on base! Takes what theys gives ya!

Young Guns: The NL West (Baseball Analysts)

It never hurts to soak up another informed opinion on future prospects. Mark Hulet expresses his take on our future stars, plus those we’ll see around the division. One aspect of Chase Headley’s game I haven’t seen mentioned before is his considerable BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play). This can indicate a reliance on luck in a players’ batting average.

One huge caution about Headley’s high average in 2007 is that his BABIP was an astronomical .400. The power increase is probably for real – the high average is not.

Definitely an aspect of Chase’s game to keep in mind.

Statheads in the Front Office (Friar Forecast)

Myron takes a look at franchise executives dedicated to statistical analysis, similar to Chris Long‘s position with the Padres.

That’s it for this issue of Sacrificial Links, fancy graphic edition. 13 short days until the big game. Keep your pants on! Or not, either way really. Just put them back on by March 31st.

Posted in sacrificial links | 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 »

The Hollywood Report

March 9th, 2008 by

So it begins.

Hollywood Jim

New Padres center fielder Jim Edmonds, who presence here I am solely responsible for, is hurt. Already.

San Diego Padres center fielder Jim Edmonds is expected to miss two to three weeks with a strained right calf, a setback for a team that was a bit shaky in the outfield to begin with.

“I’m guarded on this one,” manager Bud Black said Friday afternoon, several hours after the 37-year-old Edmonds had an MRI exam. “I’m hoping for the best that hopefully it’ll be a couple of weeks, that’s it. I think it will become clearer tomorrow.”

Obviously, two to three weeks isn’t a long time. The season is still two weeks away, so he could realsitically make it back in time. But when the team’s best option after Edmonds is Scott Hairston, who’s made a total of 1 out at the position, it creates a reason to worry.

I know it’s a little late now but when I said I wanted Edmonds, I meant in a Mike Piazza kind of way. And Mike Piazza’s no good at defense. Granted, Edmonds isn’t as bad in center as Piazza is behind the plate, not by a long shot, but he’s not the center fielder he was.

Or the center fielder in Milwaukee.

Posted in players | Comments Off

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 »

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