Padres bloggin' since 2007

Incidentally gang, beer fest is terrible.

April 30th, 2010 by

TerriblefestNormaly this type of ‘as it’s happening’ rant is reserved for Twitter, but my anger can’t be held at the moment by a teeny tiny keyboard.

After waiting in line and paying $14 as it was the cheapest ticket available, I came to learn beer fest mainly consists of the opportunity to wait 30 minutes to pay $6 for 14 oz of beer. Note, this only applies if one is lucky enough to ween one’s way to the front of the line without the keg tapping out.

Now Woe Doctor (is his name woe doctor?) and I are waiting onother 15 minutes to get in the HOF bar and grill. People are abandoning ship for Toronado.

Garfinkel just half-apologized to the crowd, to audible boos. I guess something like “we’ll do it better next year” counts as an apology.

Update: Added photo

Posted in gripes | 11 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad (04/28)

April 28th, 2010 by

At the beginning of this calendar year, you said that you want to bring an All-Star Game to San Diego, going so far as to say that “it’s very important.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll have an opening until 2015.

Wait a minute. Strike that.

Now that SB 1070 has been signed into law (and I’ll keep any political commentary out of this), there have been numerous calls for boycotts on the state of Arizona, on everything from tourism to the Diamondbacks, and from The Daily Kos comes a call for Major League Baseball to go one better and pull the 2011 All-Star Game out of Phoenix. They cite a precedent, as the NFL pulled the 1993 Super Bowl out of Phoenix after Arizona rescinded Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

If the league is going to go through with such a motion, it’s going to need somewhere to else to hold the game. Aand that’s where we come in. I don’t actually know what goes into planning an All-Star Game (I assume it’s more than just printing up banners?), but getting one in Petco Park thirteen and a half months from now would be quite the coup for your new regime. Fans would definitely be ecstatic, and it might even show the rest of the league this is an organization that is no joke. As an added bonus, we get to stick it to those whiney Diamondbacks. What’s not to like?

This is your barbecue, Jeff, and it tastes good. The team’s winning, the young players are coming along nicely, and I’m hearing good things about the Petco experience. As always, I trust your leadership, and I just want to make sure that you are aware of this opportunity.

Keep up the good work.

-Ray

P.S. Could you get my boy Melvin a swag bag or something? You know, when you get the chance.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 2 Comments »

The one post of the year in which we talk about ourselves

April 27th, 2010 by

So hey, big changes going on here at The Sac Bunt offices. Ray is living and reporting on location in Santiago, Chile, also known as “The other breakfast town.”

I was recently hired by a web agency, which has been fantastic. It’s nice going out to lunch with coworkers and complaining about the font on the menu without getting weird looks.

I’m not sure what this means for The Sac Bunt. We generally post sporadically, so it’s best to stay up to date by subscribing via RSS feed. Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more bite sized Bunt morsels.

To change gears, I have to honestly cop to being disappointed we missed the cut for invitations to Padres media night.  Although I admit, we’re not ever going to be the type of Padres blog that wins the competition for most lunches with Garfinkel. If you know what I mean.

I think that’s it. I don’t want to be a wet blanket by publicly re-affirming by 78 win pre-season prediction, but it just happened. Thanks everyone for commenting. Go Padres.

Posted in media | 1 Comment »

Dear Bud Selig

April 27th, 2010 by

(As a Padres blog, it’s usually out of our jurisdiction to discuss the happenings of a Yankees/Angels game, so you’ll excuse me if this seems off-topic.)

During their game on Friday night, this happened:

(NOTE: While this isn’t a graphic video, it’s not entirely pleasing to watch)

I’m less interested in getting into a “Was it clean?” debate then I am with some of the comments after the game:

Joe Girardi, former catcher: “I’ve been run over a lot of times. Hard slides. It’s part of the trade. Your job as a catcher is to block the plate. You’ve got to keep the runner from scoring. Sometimes you get run over. I’ve gotten my nose broken, my shoulder separated. It’s all part of the game.”

Bobby Wilson, current catcher: “He was playing baseball. He was playing hard. There’s no hard feelings towards Tex. I know he wasn’t trying to hurt me. Just playing baseball. People can say whatever they want. Whether they think it was a clean play or they think it was a dirty play – that’s baseball. I know next time around, I’m telling you, I won’t back down. That’s part of the game.”

You get the idea.

If you’ve watched enough MLB Network, or any channel that gives a platform for old time baseball guys to wax nostalgic, you’ve probably heard the story of Pete Rose and Ray Fosse at the 1970 All-Star Game. It goes that in the 12th inning of the exhibition game, Charlie Hustle ran over Fosse as he blocked the plate, as old time catchers tended to do, to score the winning run. The story usually ends with a eulogy for Fosse’s career, which was never the same after the hit.

Luckily, for those involved, the part about Rose ending Fosse’s career with that hit isn’t actually true, but when you win a gunfight with Lee Marvin, facts aren’t necessarily necessary. The legend is enough, and the legend tends to glorify a hard-nosed style of baseball that scrambles brains, as the newly concussed Bobby Wilson can attest to.

My question is: Why is this type of play still legal? A concussion is a traumatic brain injury and while it’s possible for non-catchers to get concussions (just ask Corey Koskie or Edgar Gonzalez), it’s more of an inherent part of the game for them than getting run over like a tackling dummy. At no other bag would it be allowed or accepted or excused for one player to run over another simply because he was in the way, but catchers are an exception because, why? The pads they wear? Are they really built to protect from the impact of being bulldozed by a 220 pound man?

I know baseball is a game that idolizes its past, but that doesn’t mean we have to continue living in it. With everything we know about head injuries, what’s the point of keeping plays like this legal?

Posted in gripes | No Comments »

Required reading for Padres fans

April 20th, 2010 by

Joe Pos: Forbes and Yankees

So as impossible as it seems, according to the Forbes numbers, the Royals and Yankees in 2009 spent almost exactly the same percentage of available money on winning baseball games. Sure, there could be some accounting tricks involved — I’m not clever enough to pick these out — but even so I think this would absolutely shock most people. It shocked the heck out of me.

The truth seems to be that the Yankees are NOT spending some out of control amount of money on payroll. Quite literally the opposite is true. The Yankees payroll is almost exactly in line with their revenue.

Well, hey, you can decide for yourself just how much of the Yankees revenue is due to their location plus their television market and how much of it is due to their good business sense, but either way, when you actually look at the numbers you realize how ridiculous it is for Yankees fans to say that Kansas City and Pittsburgh and Oakland should just “try harder.” There is no trying hard enough to make up anything close to the gap. Yes, a few teams have the resources to at least battle the Yankees advantage — though the Mets’ horror show is living proof that you can screw up with a lot of money.

It’s not impossible for small market teams to compete with the Yankees and Dodgers, there are examples. But when a small market front office says their goal is to play competitive every year, think about what that means, and what it is they’re up against. It’s a rare event for small market teams to compete for the playoffs 5 years in a row.

Posted in Padres 101, sacrificial links | 2 Comments »

The Sacrifice Endorsement: Woe, Doctor!

April 16th, 2010 by

Long time Sac Bunt friend and contributor Randy Ready has dropped the nom de plume and started his own blog: Woe, Doctor!

He’s off to a hot start, putting up as many posts in four days as we did here in two weeks. That probably says more about us than it does him, but it’s still impressive.

Check him/it out.

Posted in misc, sacrificial links | 1 Comment »

Nick Canepa now a parody of himself

April 13th, 2010 by

That’s the only way I can read Canepa’s newest piece without honest to goodness, not a trace of snark, feeling sorry for the guy. Then he called me a geek.

Baseball has lost some of its charm

When we were kids, baseball players played baseball, so that’s what we did…

Regardless of the outrage you’re haplessly manufacturing, baseball is still played. It’s not like a game of quidditch broke out on the field. There is a pitcher and batter, the batter hits a pitched ball with a bat. Fathers watch with daughters. Kids play in the park. I managed to drink a beer yesterday without dropping my calculator. None of the stuff you hate takes away from the things you claim to like. Even this response to your argument is cliche by now.

The Grand New Game — if that’s what you want to call it (I prefer the old one) — is being overanalyzed into embalmment. Baseball history always has been driven by stats, which is why the steroid era has smacked it in the mouth and it’s still bleeding. But we never knew what an OPS or UZR or any of these other geek formulas were. And, if we didn’t know, the real ballplayers didn’t know. They didn’t need to. They just went out and played.

Go into Padres manager Bud Black’s office and you’ll find him sitting at his desk, laptop open. Used to be, when you went to see a skipper after a game, his fly might be open — or he might be naked. How I long to see Dick Williams in there, two legs propped up, stripped down to his sanitaries and a few other things, sipping Chivas Regal out of an 18-ounce beer cup, speaking in a tongue salted by a lengthy stay in baseball’s inn.

Man, how I miss that.

Yikes. You did see the primer printed in your very own newspaper on UZR? I don’t think I need to point out the name calling implications toward your own readers.

Joe Banks, eighty-two years young, has come to this pond every day for the past seventeen years, to feed the ducks. But last month, Joe made a discovery. The ducks…were gone. Some say the ducks went to Canada. Others say, Toronto. And some people think, that Joe used to sit down there, near those ducks. But it could be, that there’s just no room in this modern world, for an old man…and his ducks.

Oops, that quote isn’t from your article.

Sorry Nick. This piece is 10 years late. It is cliche by now. You are cliche. These sappy, emotionally manipulative, empty space where content is supposed to be pieces are what strangled your beloved newspapers. Strangled past tense. You don’t deserve to earn a living writing about baseball. Readers have already voted with their feet.

It’s your own fault. It’s not numbers, players, “society”, or any other imagined entity you think is to blame because people don’t listen to you anymore. Silly words of yours on a computer screen in a pitiful attempt to convince yourself and your readers you are not at fault will not change that.

It has been laundered by too many statistics, too many Ph.Ds, and too much money has nearly washed it clean of characters.

“The players are bigger, stronger, faster than we were,” Coleman says. “You can’t knock today’s players. I don’t think they play the same game we did. They don’t use their brains the way we did, but they’re better players than we were.

Honestly, I don’t even know what this article is supposed to be about. UZR is ruining little league? There are too many “Ph.Ds” in the game, but Jerry Coleman is complaining that “They don’t use their brains the way we did”? Stats were fine and dandy until OPS came around, but that was the breaking point? Did you read this? Do you ever read your stuff?

You don’t like baseball anymore? Then stop writing about the subject and quit embarrassing yourself with this shit. I’m sure you can still find Dick Williams’ open fly around somewhere. Have at it.

Posted in gripes, media | 16 Comments »

Haaaapy Home Opener!

April 12th, 2010 by

For the first time ever I’ll be live and in person at opening day. Thanks to my buddy Nate, he and I will enjoy the game the Elitist Terrace, also a first for me, though the seating level will lose some luster now that the peons are allowed to mix amongst us civilized folk.

I’ll be tweetering live throughout the afternoon, although the quality of the content will probably depend on how well the new $5 beers do their job. So be sure you’re following The Sacrifice Bunt on Twitter for valuable and insightful information that will surely follow. Check the Twitter for updates on my wardrobe so you can say hi and experience me in all my real life glory.

Update: I’m wearing a sand jersey and gray Volcom hat. See you there!

Posted in misc, petco park | 1 Comment »

David Eckstein: Man of the people

April 8th, 2010 by

Sacrificial LinksFrom today’s Padres inbox:

Why did manager Bud Black sit Eckstein on Tuesday in Arizona? Is this going to become a trend?
– Matt M., San Diego

It’s a little early to be dissecting Black’s lineup choices, but I’ll play along. Very good reason for the move: Black wanted to give Jerry Hairston Jr. a start at a position that he will be playing a lot of in 2010. That said, look for Hairston to see time at third base, shortstop and even the outfield. Black wants his players to remain sharp, so that’s why you’ll see guys like Hairston get occasional starts. Honestly, though, Hairston is going to start a lot this season anyway. We know where, just not when.

That didn’t take long.

Your homework question for tonight:

Has there ever been a more divisive figure in Padres history than David Eckstein?

Post your answer in the comments section, and show your work.

For my part, I will say that 20+ years of Padre fandom has created a fair amount of cynicism in me that I find myself taking out on the players. My most recent target was Kevin Kouzmanoff, and I don’t think I was alone in that regard. The difference between Kouz and Eckstein, among myself and the masses, is that there are plusses to Kouz’s game worth acknowledging.

I don’t think Eckstein’s critics will concede that point.

Posted in sacrificial links | 22 Comments »

Tell em Peter Gammons!

April 7th, 2010 by

“Journalists” who write their eyes know more [than] defensive [metrics] are simply telling you they don’t care

-Peter Gammons via Twitter

Posted in statistics | 7 Comments »

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