The day job is completely kicking my butt right now, so just a few links for you today without much commentary.
- Over at Padres RunDown, Peter’s posted the first few installments of his Top 25 Padres Minor League Players: 21-25, 16-20, 11-15, and 6-10.
- Eight years later, opportunity knocks for Hoffman (ESPN). Nice piece by Jayson Stark on everybody’s favorite closer.
- Family tragedy impacts Williams (San Diego Union-Tribune). Wow, I had no idea. Woody Williams’ older sister shot and killed her husband in June 2005. Hard to imagine trying to focus on baseball when you’re dealing with something like that. [via Nick G. in the comments]
- Alderson says he doesn’t expect regime change; Padres CEO hints that Towers, Bochy to return (North County Times). Makes sense to me. The front office has been pretty successful over the past three years. They can do better, but they already have improved, so why can’t that continue? (And just because Bruce Bochy has been granted permission to talk with other clubs doesn’t mean he’s not returning.) Article also indicates what we’ve long suspected, that Dave Roberts won’t be re-signed. I love what Roberts has done in his two seasons with the Padres, but that kind of production is so out of line with his career norms and at his age, the only way I could see him returning is as a fourth outfielder. And with the numbers he’s put up here, Roberts probably can find someone to sign him a starter. I’ll be sorry to see him leave — he’s about as wrong (in a good way) as I’ve been about a player — but it’s probably best for both sides. Carlos Lee is mentioned as a potential replacement, which is fine with me as long as the price is right. What would that be? I dunno, haven’t looked at the market real close just yet.
- Shop ’til they bop (San Diego Union-Tribune). There’s a handy chart in this one showing how the Padres’ contracts shake out through 2009. The usual suspects show up here: Adrian Beltre and Barry Zito, as well as Japanese veterans Daisuke Matsuzaka and Akinori Iwamura. Quoth Kevin Towers: “We plan to be very aggressive in the Japanese market.” Okay, I guess we’ll see.
- A brave look at the future? Winning Padres hoping to emulate Atlanta model (North County Times). Brian Hiro sees reason for optimism. He mentions some intriguing names, including Andy Pettitte and Kerry Wood.
- Speaking of Zito, Baseball Crank has good things to say about him and backs it up with data. There’s another guy on the Crank’s list who is a free agent and who isn’t getting as much play: Mark Buehrle. He’s an extreme finesse pitcher coming off a down year, but Buehrle has a pretty solid track record. I wonder how much he’d cost.
- Nothing to do with baseball, but there’s no such thing as a bad Spinal Tap reference. As someone who owns a car and a few guitars, I have to admit, I don’t get the tie-in. That said, this is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while.
Happy Friday, folks. Enjoy!