Padres bloggin' since 2007

“I’m Matt (funkin) Bush”

February 6th, 2009 by

And with that, a dark chapter in Padres history has come to a close.

Yesterday, news of the release of Matt Bush, to make room for free agent Cliff Floyd (whose acquisition I like), came down with a chorus of WTFs. How could Bush and his 95 MPH fastball get cut over the Joe Thatchers of the 40 man roster? Last night, we found out why:

El Cajon police Lt. Steve Shakowski yesterday confirmed an investigation involving Bush and allegations of assaultive behavior and public intoxication. A witness, who requested his name not be used because of the ongoing police investigation, said Bush was drunk, threw a golf club into the dirt, picked up and threw a freshman lacrosse player and hit another one. Bush also yelled “I’m Matt (expletive) Bush,” and “(expletive) East County,” before driving over a curb in his Mercedes when leaving the campus, according to the witness.

Padres cut ties with Matt Bush

As you might remember, Bush’s Padre career began under similar circumstances when, less than two weeks after he was made the number one pick overall, he was arrested outside of a Peoria bar. He followed this up with a short stint as a terrible shortstop, ending his offensive career with an OBP and SLG both below .300. 

Bush finally provided reason for confidence when the team moved him to the mound. A pitcher in high school, Bush was clocked at 95 and struck out 16 in 7.2 innings, before the team shut him down with a torn ligament in his pitching elbow. After sitting out the entire 2008 season, this was to be the year that Bush started making good on his highest of high draft pick. But now, he’ll have to do that on another team.

I literally feel uncomfortable discussing Matt Bush. The team has done so much to distance themselves from his pick, which has to be at the top of the list of low points for the team. Grady Fuson and Sandy Alderson came onboard to solidify the team’s decision making after they passed on Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, and Stephen Drew in the 2004 draft. The team went discount when they chose Matt Bush and they’ve paid for it.

Of course, Alderson’s now gone, but his replacement might be the silver lining to this story.

It was Jeff Moorad’s Diamondbacks who made Justin Upton the number one pick in the 2005 draft, and Moorad has a reputation for being aggressive in the draft, getting praise from Scott Boras, of all people, who said:

“Jeff believes in going after draft picks,” said agent Scott Boras, a former rival of Moorad’s whose yearly stable of future clients includes several players chosen in the first round. “You’ve got to remember: Jeff cut his teeth in the baseball business representing draft players.”

Moorad would boost strength in draft

Since Moorad took over, the Diamondbacks have used their first round picks on Upton, Max Scherzer, Jarrod Parker, and Dan Schlereth. Upton and Scherzer have already become productive members of the major league team, while Parker is a top 20 prospect in baseball, and Schlereth has jumped to the top of Arizona’s system. The Padres have had less luck in the past four years, with none of their four picks scheduled to begin the season in San Diego.

This is especially promising, as the Padres have the third pick in the 2009 draft. With Grant Green or Alex White dropping to the Padres spot, it’s likely that the team will have Matt Bush looking over their shoulder, even if he’s not in the system anymore. But using this pick wisely might help to finally brush him off.

Ray Update: Bush has been traded to the Blue Jays for a PTBNL.

Posted in hot stove | 2 Comments »

Moorad Signs on the Line

February 3rd, 2009 by

Looks like the Padres will have a new owner, Jeff Moorad. The worst news of the day is that Moorad will take over as CEO for Sandy Alderson in the next few months.

We’ve made our confidence in Alderson well known, and I have yet to learn any reason why Moorad is qualified to evaluate talent, or what his team building philosophy may be. Though we have heard about his preference for building through the draft, which is a great start, but it isn’t much of a philosophy in itself. Of course, there’s no guarantee he will be the one evaluating players or setting the philosophy, but it sure looks like a possibility.

Moores said that under terms of the deal, Moorad and his partnership will have as long as three years to buy out the controlling interest. Until then, Moores will remain the Padres’ control person, representing the club at owners’ meetings and sitting on numerous committees.

Moores said the sale value of the club, determined through a series of closings, will ultimately be more than $500 million, including debt. That means Moorad still must come up with about $165 million to close this part of the deal. Last year, Forbes Magazine valued the Padres at $385 million, 19th among the 30 Major League teams.

As far as the Padres are concerned, Moores said he’s invested $100 million in the team over the course of 14 years and has a sizeable debt service tied to the construction of PETCO Park, at a cost of $454 million.

From MLB.com

Posted in sacrificial links | 2 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad (01/23/09)

January 23rd, 2009 by

(This is the second installment of what I hope will be an ongoing discussion between us here at the Sac Bunt and new Padres owner to-be Jeff Moorad. Maybe one day, he’ll talk back to us.)

It’s no secret that you’re acquiring a Padres team that has seen better days. They’re coming off a 99-loss season with a repeat looking likely. Your predecessor, John Moores, is going through a very public divorce that seems to have forced the team down to a $40 million payroll, and that payroll has already made casualties of Trevor Hoffman and Khalil Greene (although anyone crying about Khalil should not be listened to), with Jake Peavy looking like he’s next in line.

And to top it all off, there’s not a whole lot to look forward to, with our minor league system getting lukewarm reviews. Keith Law recently ranked our team 19th in the league, while John Sickles and Baseball Prospectus have both assessed the Padres as having depth but without much impact talent coming up.

The current administration has already started taking steps towards making it up to the fans. Among the perks us fans can look forward to this season at the Pet are seven 2-for-1 days, which is two tickets for the price of one, and 5-for-$5 at every home game, a deal that comes with a dog, a soda, peanuts, popcorn, and a cookie. If I recall correctly, all of the 2-for-1 days last season were day games during the week, so I guess that’s nice, but I’ll definitely be looking into the 5-for-$5 deal. And I do hope that something’s done to ensure that these deals go better than last year’s dollar days.

But there is something even better that you, Mr. Moorad, can do to immediately get us fans behind you: bring back the brown.

Before I get ahead of myself, I pose this question to you: what do the Padres have in common with the Brewers, the Red Sox, and the Rays? Clearly, it’s not a playoff berth in 2008, it’s the use of dark blue as a primary color. The Brewers even use gold as a secondary color, one that looks just a bit like the Padres sand, and they’ve used it since the mid-90s. So the Padres fans not only have to deal with futility on the field and a lack of excitement in the minor leagues, but they don’t even have a look to really call their own.

Bringing back the brown, a color that this team used until the early 90s, gives this team an identity. In all of the big three sports, only the Cleveland football team wears brown. Is it because it’s ugly? No. Probably. But what’s ugly? Personally, I think the current Padres look is embarrassing in its blandness and after five years of it, I’m ready to move on. The Padres have a history of brown, having worn it for their first 20 years, and now is the time to come back to it. I’ll even make a deal with you: the mustard, which was as much a part of those jerseys as the brown, doesn’t have to come with it. Keep the sand. In fact, keep the sand jerseys. I like them, although we need to lose the bowtie script. Just bring back the brown.

The Friar was never meant to wear blue.

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 10 Comments »

Round and round it goes

January 15th, 2009 by

Padres bolster infield with Eckstein

The internet’s least favorite player is officially a San Diego Padre.

It appears that David Eckstein will become the Padres fourth Opening Day second baseman since the departure of Mark Loretta, following in the depressing footsteps of Josh Barfield, Marcus Giles, and Tad Iguchi.

Eckstein’s spent the better part of the past eight seasons as a shortstop, although he moved to second after being acquired by Moorad’s old team in August. Eckstein’s defense at short has been steadily deteriorating and, according to Tangotiger’s fan scouting reports, his arm strength has been getting worse, bottoming out at 0 this year. Luckily for us, second base is closer to first than shortstop.

Offensively, Eckstein hasn’t done much. He posted a career high wOBA of .335 with the Cardinals in 2005. Never in his career has he posted a slugging percentage over .400 but he’s had some good on-base percentages. Over the past three seasons, his OBP has been .350, which is something the team hasn’t gotten from the middle infield since 2004.

For 2009, the projections for Eckstein look like:


  OBP SLG OPS wOBA
Bill James .346 .346 .692 .314
CHONE .341 .359 .700 .316
Marcel .340 .366 .706 .316

Not good, but that OBP might be a silver lining. And he’ll be back making under $1 million, so we’ve got that going for us.

Something else interesting to come out of this is the appearance of solidity Eckstein gives in the 4 hole. Towers has spent the past couple of months collecting second baseman. Eckstein is the latest name on a list that includes Luis Rodriguez, Travis Denker, Chris Burke, Edgar Gonzalez, and Matt Antonelli. With Eckstein taking over at second, Rodriguez would seem to be the team’s shortstop going into the new season, and Antonelli will likely start the year in Portland. From there, Burke and Gonzalez are utility guys who can play all over the infield and in the outfield, with Burke owning 500 innings experience in centerfield. This leaves Denker, who projects to be a monster, left needing a big Spring Training.

Posted in hot stove, players | 7 Comments »

Dear Jeff Moorad

January 3rd, 2009 by

Please retain Alderson and Co. and let them do what they do.

(btw, Moorad is in the process of becoming the new owner of the san diego padres)

Posted in dear jeff moorad | 4 Comments »

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