Padres bloggin' since 2007

There are better deals in August

July 31st, 2008 by

The trade deadline has passed and the Padres completed the following deals:

-Tony Clark to Arizona for Evan Scribner
-Randy Wolf to Houston for Chad Reineke

Exciting, huh?

As we detailed earlier, getting Reineke and Scribner are classic Kevin Towers moves. They’re both under appreciated arms that will likely come out of the pen. Think about Heath Bell (acquired, with Royce Ring, for Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson), Cla Meredith (acquired, with Josh Bard, for Doug Mirabelli), and Scott Linebrink (selected off of waivers). Given that the Padres bullpen E.R.A. has gone from 3.01 in 2007, first in the league, to 4.47 in 2008, 28th in the league, it’s no surprise that Towers took this course of action.

What is surprising is that this was the only course of action taken.

Many Padres heard their names being tossed around in trade rumors, from Brian Giles to Greg Maddux. Besides Clark and Wolf, the only player that seemed to come close to leaving the team was Maddux. But with a trade to the Dodgers never coming to fruition, Maddux will likely continue not winning games for the Padres for the rest of the year.

Maddux handcuffed the Padres when he let them know that he would only accept a trade to a team on the West Coast. Through the process of elimination, this left us with just the Dodgers and, as we’ve already detailed, he won’t be returning to L.A. anytime soon.

At 42-67, the Padres are just behind the Mariners and the Nationals for the worst record in baseball. They’ll have to go 39-14, a .736 winning percentage, to get to .500 by game 162. And while we’re filling in a lot of the blanks here, we think it’s safe to say that the moves not made by the team signal that they’re in it to win it/remain competitive next season.

Giles is a big chip. He is a good hitter with a great O.B.P. and he’ll only get better the further away from Petco he gets, and his name was mentioned in trade rumors with the Mets, Cardinals, and Brewers. Clearly, nothing came true and Giles will remain a Padre for the remainder of the season and, likely, next season as well.

There’s two ways to look at the Giles situation. On one hand, he is this team’s three hitter and is one of the best defensive right fielders in the game. On the other, he is 37 years old and has shown a susceptibility to injuries. In 2006, he finished the season with a slugging percentage of .397, and his .415 mark this season isn’t much higher. The Padres, it would seem, are banking on Giles’ O.B.P. to stay strong into next season, which is risky.

The biggest name to mention in all these trade talks, however, is the one player who wasn’t traded but still isn’t in the Padres organization. On May 9th, Jim Edmonds had an O.P.S. of .498 and was cut by the team. He was picked up quickly by the Chicago Cubs and went Kevin Kouzmanoff, raising his O.P.S. to .757 on July 31st. Edmonds OPS+ was 39 With the Padres. With the Cubs, his OPS+ stands at 132. And the Cubs didn’t have to send a single player to San Diego to get him.

Of course, this move wasn’t so black and white. The management has said that they wanted to see what they had in Jody Gerut (OPS+ 118) and Scott Hairston (OPS+ 117) and you can’t fault them for that. You could say that Edmonds was traded for Gerut, but that’d be disingenuous. Gerut was already on the team and with left field being the game of musical chairs it was, it’s not like there wasn’t room for Gerut. Given the lack of return this team saw at the trade deadline, it would’ve been nice to get something back for Edmonds, even if it was just salary relief.

Posted in hot stove, players | 5 Comments »

Introduction to Padres 101

July 31st, 2008 by

Padres101The San Diego Padres Baseball Club, like any large business, is a complex entity. Lots of employees with different skill sets work together to provide us fans with the entertainment experience we come to expect. From groundskeepers to broadcasters, quantitative analysts to medical staff, it takes a lot to operate a baseball team.

As is the nature of the entertainment industry, fans can only follow the workings of the team as often as their leisure time, and entertainment budget, allow. In order to follow a sports team, fans rely on others, most often members of the media, to report on and summarize team related information, and keep fans in the loop with their team. The spectrum of these reports varies wildly, ranging from sports updates on the nightly news to in-depth, frequently updated websites.

Now, thanks to the internet and other new forms of communication, in depth coverage is available to anyone who cares enough about watching grown men run in circles. Web sites provide competition for the analysis fans need to enjoy the game.

The bad news is, San Diego traditional media hasn’t successfully responded to the improvement in sports coverage. Radio commentators and newspaper columnists supply fans with misinformation, poor research, and display a less than thorough understanding of the complexity under which the San Diego Padres conduct business.

Therefore TheSacrificeBunt.com, in conjunction with VoiceOfSanDiego.org present a series titled “Padres 101″. We will break down the business environment that surrounds the team, and all the background info behind decisions the team has made to stay competitive. This is the stuff you don’t hear on the radio. Stay tuned.

Posted in media, Padres 101 | 3 Comments »

Things Steve Quis said on air yesterday

July 25th, 2008 by

San Diego @ Pittsburgh, 7/24/2008, Channel 4 Padres broadcast.

The Good

He brought up OPS.  He called its O-P-S.  Do people do that?  In my head it’s always been “Awps”.  Either way, Ops isn’t perfect but it’s a step in the right direction for Channel 4. And it wasn’t the first time Quis used the decent compared to most metrics they use on TV.  Cheers to him.

The Funny

Grant: See those seven X’s?  That’s the size shirt I wear. XXXXXXL.*

Quis: And the kind of movies you buy.**

This was followed by a long, awkward pause, presumably Quis getting yelled at for saying something so outrageously inappropriate on air.

The Quis

He’s kinda spazzy, and not as flashy as Vasgersian, but he comes across like he actually does research.  I like Steve, though I think I’m the only one.

* Paraphrased

** Definitely not paraphrased, but hiliariousiphrased.

Posted in media, the funny | 4 Comments »

Say what?

July 21st, 2008 by

Astros in serious talks about Padres lefty Wolf

I don’t know what to say. Houston is 12 games out of their division and 10 out of the Wild Card. But when the Brewers get CC Sabathia and the Cubs get Rich Harden, you can’t just sit on your hands.

You have to go get Randy Wolf and his 82 ERA+.

Melvin Update: The Astros don’t have a strong farm system. I doubt Houston GM Ed Wade would part with JR Towles or Michael Bourn, even for someone with the God-like qualities of Randy Wolf. Bud Norris or Samuel Gervacio seem like the type of arms that might be available. They both have out pitches, a curveball and a changeup respectively, plus decent strikeout rates.

Though in reality, when top prospects aren’t available it’s nearly impossible to predict what mid-level prospect could come our way. I would be stoked to nail any mid prospect for a player we don’t need.

R. update: The Astros sent over Chad Reineke. Which makes sense.

Posted in hot stove | 6 Comments »

It begins

July 17th, 2008 by

Tonight, with Chase Headley representing the tying run on second, Bud Black elected to pinch hit for Khalil Greene. Instead of sending Khalil up to swing at balls out of the strike zone, Black sent Brian Myrow up. Myrow proceeded to swing at balls out of the zone and strike out.

While Headley never crossed the plate, that’s hardly the story here.

Khalil Greene, one-time golden boy of this franchise, has fallen so low that he’s pulled from a game changing situation for a career minor leaguer.

Not to say ‘I told you so’ but…

Posted in misc | 3 Comments »

Tony Clark for Diamondback prospect Evan Scribner

July 17th, 2008 by

According to Tom Krasovic of the UT and AZcentral.com.

Scribner is a 28th rounder who turned into a gem for the Diamondbacks’ full season A ball South Bend Silver Hawks.  The reliever struck out 52 batters in just 34 innings this year, walking only 8 without allowing a single home run.  His performance was impressive enough to make the Midwest League all-star team, and earned him a promotion to high A ball.

Though Scribner did not make either the Baseball Prospectus or Baseball America top 10s, it is not uncommon for pitching prospects to seemingly come out of nowhere.  See Garrison, Steve, whom the Padres received as a throw-in from the Scott Linebrink deal.

Scribner is a bit old at 22, so hopefully he’ll continue his fast track up the Padres’ system.  The team doesn’t have much need for a pinch hitter like Tony Clark this year, so I see the deal as something for nothing.  Bryan Myrow gives you everything Clark does, and now the team has a roster spot for Young or Bard and additional depth in low levels of the system.

Though if CY gets hurt again, we might have to walk Chris of the field by stacking people on top of each other.

EDIT 7/18: MB has a couple considerations I didn’t make.  He applies minor league park effects and and Scribner’s career numbers.  They’re definitely worth including.

Posted in awards, hot stove | 2 Comments »

Padres dollar days and opportunity cost

July 14th, 2008 by

Concessions line at Petco Park

Opportunity cost is of course is the value of time doing one thing (say watching a baseball game) that is forgone in order to do something else (say stand in line at concession stands, or point out dudes in jeans shorts [or both!]).

Now suppose the dollar value of a college educated blogger’s time is worth roughly $30 an hour.  I submit for your review an opportunity cost computation of the Padres dollar days promotion from Friday, July 11th, 2008.

  • $0 – They ran out of soda, but provided free Raspberry Iced tea.  Though I wouldn’t bank on that, I’m a sweet talker.
  • $3 – Three hot dogs, limit four items per blogger.
  • $15 – Opportunity cost of waiting in line for 30 minutes.

Total expenses: $18

The final three home games for the promotion are Monday the 28th though Wednesday.  Concessions lines move much slower than usual.  Don’t believe everything you read.

Posted in gripes, petco park, the funny | 4 Comments »

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 »

Busted

July 10th, 2008 by

Looks like we won’t be dealing with the Cubs. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get Matt Murton.

Earlier today, Buster Olney reported the Athletics are looking to move Murton and Huston Street, maybe to the Rays, or maybe even to OUR San Diego Padres.

The Murton news makes perfect sense. When Kevin Towers falls in love, he falls hard. It comes as no surprise that he’s still after his little redhead. And now it seems like Murton has fallen into the best possible scenario for us to grab him. Last year alone, we turned over Jack Cust to Oakland.  They then returned the favor by trading Milton Bradley to us. Maybe that Billy Beane is just a sweetheart and grabbed Murton with us in mind.

The Street news is more confusing. If there’s one skill Towers has shown an aptitude for, it’s finding relievers. Think back to how Towers acquired Bell and Meredith on the cheap. Something tells me it’ll take more than a Ben Johnson to get Street.

21 days left.

Posted in hot stove, media, players | 7 Comments »

Maddux’ winless streak illustrates a bigger issue

July 8th, 2008 by

greg Maddux“Experts”* put too much stock in that stupid win statistic.

Padre pitcher Greg Maddux has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in 8 of his previous 10 starts, without earning a W.

Maddux’s streak of pitching well without earning a “win” to show for it isn’t illustrative of “bad luck” without support from the offense.  The streak is a perfect, right in your face example of why the “win” is a garbage.  It does not adequately measure a pitcher’s ability.  A starting pitcher is, at best, responsible for 50%** of earning a win.

The stat enjoys entirely too much credence with the mainstream media, who continues to recite the same meaningless rhetoric about the win.  The Padres (or whatever team) need to “step it up” on offense to support their pitcher.

Whatever that means.  Somehow it is the offense’s responsibility to earn the pitcher credit for a good performance?  Come on, experts.  Does that make any sense at all?  This is the best you can do?

Just stop with the wins. They force you to make crazy ass-backwards assertions to avoid admitting a mistake.

* I don’t mean to pick on Krasovic here.  I enjoy him more than other columnists / pundits.

** Sorry, I made this number up.  The real answer could easily be 60% or 40%.  The point still stands.

Creative Commons License photo credit: SD Dirk

Posted in media, statistics | 3 Comments »

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