Padres bloggin' since 2007

The Sacrifice Bunt Mobile now available

February 28th, 2010 by

Next time you need to get your Sac Bunt on at the game, on the trolley, or at the bar (highly encouraged–nay–required) your life just got easier. The Sacrifice Bunt Mobile features include:

  • Easy site navigation for both the touchscreen and crappy style browsers
  • Reading and commenting on all posts
  • Fast load times
  • Switch to normal version if need be
  • Ability to check The Sac Bunt in class / meetings

It should work with most phones including the iPhone, Palm Pre (pictured, which I own and love), Android, Blackberry, and a ton more. Just visit TheSacrificeBunt.com (TheSacBunt.com works too) and your mobile browser should be automatically detected. If yours doesn’t work please send a note or let me know in the comments.

Most smart phones have RSS readers, which I recommend as an alternative. Here’s our feed address.

We  also share deep insights on Twitter, so be sure to follow us there as well.

Cheers!

Posted in misc | 1 Comment »

Prospect U+Me

February 26th, 2010 by

Now that all the experts have told us what they think of our farm system, I’ve gone ahead and created a cheat sheet that you can wow your uncles with. I went through Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, and Minor League Ball, took their lists, plugged in the holes with frog DNA, and came up with this:

01. Donavan Tate, OF
02. Simon Castro, RHP
03. James Darnell, 3B
04. Jaff Decker, OF
05. Wynn Pelzer, RHP
06. Logan Forsythe, 3B
07. Cory Luebke, LHP
08. Edinson Rincon, 3B
09. Aaron Poreda, LHP
10. Lance Zawadzki, SS

Your 2010 San Diego Padres Top 10 Prospects! Unfortunately, as there is none of my own opinion in this, I can’t give you any sort of meaningful analysis. But then that goes against the point of lists anyway.

Posted in players | 1 Comment »

Matt Antonelli moving up, at least in one sense

February 24th, 2010 by

Photo by Dirk Hansen

Padre blogger and prospect Matt Antonelli has earned himself a promotion, at least in the blogging world for now. He’ll now be answering questions at Shawn Anderson’s The Hall of Very Good. I wish I had thought of asking Matt before Shawn did.

Antonelli’s interaction with fans and online media has developed into a special relationship. In less than a year, he’s set himself apart from the other names in the organization depth chart and become a player I feel connected to, and root for.

It’s not just simply having accounts on Twitter, Facebook , or writing a blog. It’s about firing that publicist, pulling back the curtain, posting funny videos or photos, and sharing actual stories about who you really are. Don’t hide behind a few cliches in an article from a beat reporter, they’ll only tell their story, not yours. Put your real self out there. Be genuine.

I hope more young players learn from Matt’s example. I doubt it would earn him a call-up on its own, but if David Eckstein still has a starting job then personality has got to count for something.

Posted in media, players, sacrificial links | 9 Comments »

Local Coverage

February 22nd, 2010 by

Photo by Dirk Hansen

Anyone who listens to sports talk radio in this town has experienced first hand the acrimonious relationship that the Padres have with some of its fans. Sometimes it seems like instead of the Padres organization, that my radio dial has slipped to a political talk station and the subject at hand is the Bush Administration. What fuels this is not just the Padres themselves, both on and off the field, but also a local news media who seems more than willing to play into that fan discontent. Instead of actually reporting on the team, some in the local media seem content to step into the role of “Hacksaw caller”.

Take for example John Howard, Channel 8′s weekend sports anchor who offered the following as his introduction to the “Padres coverage” of the day.

“When the Padres won the National League West in 2006, one of the promising performances was that of rookie second baseman Josh Barfield. The Padres rewarded Barfield and the fans for his fine season by sending him to Cleveland in exchange for Kevin Kouzmanoff

If this is how the local media reports on the team its no wonder that it seems that the average San Diegan takes a highly cynical view of the Padres. Aside from the actual content of the quote, which is based on a laughably inaccurate premise as it is, what is more important is to examine the attitude behind it. I don’t disagree that the Padres have given fans cause for frustration, but I take tremendous issue with both this quote itself and the attitude that comes with it.

First, lets examine the actual content. He’s talking about a trade that happened 3 years ago when the Padres traded a “fan favorite”, obviously because they hate the fans. I’m no Kouz fan, but lets be fair here, Kevin Kouzmanoff was ten times better and more valuable than Barfield over those 3 years. Instead of praising the Padres for what turned out to be a great deal; there’s no way you could have traded Barfield for Scott Hairston and prospect Aaron Cunningham this offseason, they use it as another chance to turn the knife in the backs of the Padres simply because it’s the “popular” thing to do in this town. What’s more important though is the attitude behind it, and its not just John Howard, but it permeates much of the local coverage of the Padres.

“The fans are frustrated, they have every right to vent their frustrations”, you might say. But is this level of frustration completely justified? If you look back over the past 10-15 years, among the losing seasons we’ve had winning seasons, playoffs, and not to mention a beautiful new ballpark opened. I realize that some fans will see the ballpark opening as a negative rather than a positive, but that’s a subject for its own column. The fact is that the Padres have had the normal ups and downs that nearly every sports franchise in America has experienced over the same time span. Certainly not perfect, but in no way does it justify the general attitude, the seething anger of the fans in this town.

The main cause for frustration should be the Moores’ divorce, which gut the payroll and caused a sale of the team that could be drawn out over as many as 5 years. This attitude I am talking about however has been in San Diego for years, well before the Moores’ divorce. It was there during back to back division championships, and even while the Padres won more games than those division championship teams.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a new regime in town making major changes. You would never know though as the coverage of the team offered after the Barfield comment consisted of a 20 second clip of Nick Hundley talking about Yorvit Torrealba, and then on to some golf story or dolphins dressing up as people or something.

This doesn’t mean the coverage of the Padres ought to be always lengthy and glowing, constantly extolling the virtues of every move the Padres make or the every utterance from the mouths of Jed Hoyer. Just please be responsible and accurate. You want to talk about problems, about fan frustration? Talk about the team’s failed drafts, and about the lack of organization building that has gone on. Talk about and educate the fans about what it takes for a small to mid market team to be successful, there are plenty of good examples. And then examine and report on whether the front office is doing those things.

We should all as fans welcome negative reporting about the team, as long as it is accurate and comes from a background of knowledge. This kind of reporting would improve the baseball atmosphere in this town and push the Padres as an organization in the right direction. On the other hand, inaccurate hit-pieces, the perpetuation of myths and misdirected fan anger based on false premises merely engenders a poor understanding of everything having to do with the Padres and baseball. In that case it actually becomes destructive and ultimately hurts the fans of the Padres. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this team for the future, but are they being reported on?

If the atmosphere in San Diego for baseball is going to improve its going to take more than winning seasons, we’ve actually had those and they didn’t help. In addition to winning, it would be nice if the local stations that get the most viewership had reporters that actually cared about the game, who displayed the kind of knowledge of a fan who goes to 25 games and not 4 or 5 games a year. And the Padres need more coverage than they devote to the Charger Girls, let alone the Chargers. I know the Chargers won all of those Super Bowls, but there’s no reason for Nick Canepa to act as if the friar ate his prised collie. Did the dancing groundskeeper steal Darren Smith’s girlfriend?

In reality, the Chargers’ struggles over the years have been much like the Padres, not coming through in the big games, and yet its only the Chargers who get a pass. It has everything to do with a knowledge and desire to cover the home team accurately and fairly. We have great coverage of the Chargers, accurate and fair, backed by a knowledge of the team and the NFL. But Padres fans are being done a disservice by the local coverage of the Padres, where a team that draws an average of about 2 million fans a year is an afterthought in the local media who seems more intent on promoting fan anger than actually doing any reporting.

This is a guest post written by Padre Homer. He, Ray, and Melvin are friends and have been talking Padres baseball for a long time.

Posted in media | 3 Comments »

You play to win the game?

February 4th, 2010 by

With talk of the Twins and Joe Mauer close to coming together on an extension, it would seem that Adrian has jumped to the top of the waiting list. Whether he’s waiting to be extended or traded is yet to be seen.

At last week’s Town Hall meeting, the Padres told the crowd that they were committed to the name on the front of the jersey and not the ones on the back, and Jeff Moorad was later quoted in the Union-Tribune saying “I think the fairest description of our point of view is that we continue to be committed to doing what’s best for the long-term interest of the organization. As a result, no player is untouchable. And while we’re mindful of players’ individual popularity, we won’t put one player ahead of the long-term interests of the club.” Jed Hoyer gives a more diplomatic response, saying that it is still early in the process, but it would appear that the writing is on the wall.

The details have yet to come out on the Mauer extension, but let’s assume he’ll exceed $25 million a year (and that’s being generous to the Twins). With their new stadium, the team should see a boost in payroll, but Mauer will still eat up a large portion of their moneys. For their sake, I hope the payroll gets bumped to the $150 million range, just in case Peter Gammons was on to something when he pointed out that no team has won the World Series in 25 years with one player making 16% of the payroll*.

*Hilariously, A-Rod made 15.88% of the 09 Yankees payroll

I quoted Gammons two years ago, just before Peavy signed his extension with our San Diego Padres. At the time, I referred to it as an “Eric Owens extension,” meaning it was more populist than strategic. For you younger readers, replace Owens’ name with David Eckstein and you’ll get the idea. A well-rounded team with dreams of a World Series ring cannot afford to sink so much into one player. But then, who’s to say we want a well-rounded team?

This is not a Twins blog, and I don’t presume to know anything about their team or the way it operates, but a quick glance across the baseball landscape shows me that a Mauer extension will be a tremendous success for everyone: the Twins will have won a victory for small-market teams everywhere, Mauer is a hero for ignoring the bright lights of the big markets, and baseball writers get a new Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn, Sr. (combined!) to gush about. At this point, a World Series win would be the icing on the cake.

As a fellow Padres fan, I don’t have to tell you that we don’t even have a cake. Our enjoyment of our star player has been hijacked by seemingly non-stop trade rumors and our young core doesn’t really add up to much more than a Hostess snack cake. The 2010 PECOTA Projections put us at 74 wins and last place in the NL West. Las Vegas, for its part, gives us 80/1 odds of winning in October, putting us ahead of only the real train wrecks of the league. What we do have, despite everything I just said, is hope. With Blanks and Latos and Cabrera, the future looks brighter, and we still have a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove-winning first baseman, even if just for now.

With all that said, I pose this question to you, the loyal readers:

What would you rather the Padres do?

Would you rather see the team trade Adrian Gonzalez and maximize their resources in hope of building a small market contender like Colorado or Tampa Bay? Or would you rather see the team commit to Adrian and take their chances with one superstar making up to a third of the team’s payroll, crowning a new Mr. Padres in the process, even if it lowers our already low odds? Let us know in the comments.

Posted in hot stove, players | 15 Comments »

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