Another City, Another Series Win

Good to see the boys wrap up the road trip with a couple of wins in Chicago. Even better to see Mike Cameron playing well again. Since May 1, he’s batting .288/.341/.532. That’s more like it.

The fight on Saturday? I’ll be honest; I hate that aspect of professional sports — nobody walks away from a brawl looking cool. At the same time, you can’t just sit there and take it.

I’m grateful that nobody got hurt. And I give huge kudos to Marcus Giles for taking down Chris Young, his own pitcher, before CY had a chance to land a punch and break his hand or some such. That potentially was a season-saving tackle.

Many factors come into play in any conflict. Placing all of the blame on a single person or event usually results in an oversimplification of reality. Plenty of folks played a significant role in this one:

  • Alfonso Soriano. I may be old-fashioned, but I don’t understand the need to backpedal toward first base after hitting a home run. If I wanted to watch players taunt their opponents, I’d choose a different sport. I follow baseball for many reasons — a relative display of class is one of them. Soriano is going to get himself and/or his teammates hurt if he keeps up his act (which apparently he will). The Cubs may or may not want to hear this, but it’s the truth. If it were me, I’d want to focus more on helping my team win than on pissing off the guys in the other dugout, but what do I know?
  • Jake Peavy. I love Jake’s fire and competitiveness. And I can’t disagree with his comments about Soriano. That said, maybe this is the sort of information you want to keep among teammates. Those could be (and evidently were) interpreted as fighting words.
  • Chris Young. Wrong place, wrong time. That’s pretty much it. I like that Young, one of the most mild-mannered players I’ve ever seen, didn’t back down from a crazed Derrek Lee. People sometimes mistake easygoing for weak, and it’s nice to know that Young has it in him if needed. Now let’s go back to the part where he doesn’t need it.
  • Derrek Lee. The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that Lee just got caught up in the heat of the moment and lost his cool. By all accounts, he’s a smart and respectable guy. He should be able to tell the difference between Peavy’s words and Young’s actions. He should understand that a guy showing no-hit stuff isn’t going to plunk someone in a tight game. Lee should know these things, and he probably does, but sometimes rational thought gives way to ancestral instincts. We forget that we are not cavemen.

The Cubs are a mess. Their manager is a known hothead; teammates can’t seem to get along with one another; and despite breaking the bank on free agents this past winter, the club is scuffling in MLB’s weakest division.

If you’ve ever worked in a bar, you know that people looking for trouble generally will find it. The Cubs were looking for trouble on Saturday, and, lo and behold, they found it. I’ll give them credit for not escalating the situation further on Sunday, especially when they ended up losing by eight runs. That would have been an excellent opportunity to take a cheap shot or two, and the Cubs didn’t do it.

The Padres, meanwhile, won another series. Now they get to come home.

Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see reports from the Eugene Emeralds or Arizona Padres, but that changes this week…

Friday, June 15, 2007

AAA

Clay Hensley: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR – G2
Andrew Brown: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR – G2

AA

Will Venable: 5 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 1 RBI; 2 2B, SO
Sean Thompson: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR – weird

High-A

Matt Antonelli: 4 AB, 3 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; 2B, BB
Kyle Blanks: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 4 RBI; HR, 2 BB

Low-A

Kyler Burke: 2 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; BB – G1
Cedric Hunter: 3 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; 2B – G1
Kyler Burke: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2B – G2

Commentary:

Hypothetically speaking, I do not think they would have called up David Freese to Double-A unless they were planning on keeping Chase Headley in the majors or, at worst, sending him back to Triple-A. David’s name was notably absent from both the Lake Elsinore and San Antonio box scores. (I still think two of Kevin Kouzmanoff, Headley, and/or Freese need to start taking fly balls in the outfield.)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

AAA

Paul McAnulty: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; 2B, SO
Vince Sinisi: 5 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 1 RBI

AA

No notable performances

High-A

David Freese: 4 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 1 RBI; 2B, BB, SO – still in Hi-A
Kyle Blanks: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; BB, SO
Chad Huffman: 3 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; 2B, BB, SO
Wade LeBlanc: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR

Low-A

Cedric Hunter: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI – G2
Drew Miller: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR – he’s back!
Ernesto Frieri: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO

Commentary:

It’s good to see Paul McAnulty doing well. If we need him later, we’re better off having him doing well if we need to call him up again later.

San Antonio is a lot less interesting without Chase.

Geoff and I have a lot of discussions about Chad Huffman. Geoff has noted that whenever he watches Lake Elsinore play, Huffman doesn’t do anything. So Geoff, how was Huffman Saturday night?

[Ed note: Huffman remains quietly effective. He still didn't stand out much on Saturday despite the two hits. The guy who continues to impress is Freese. His double was a blast to right-center; seems like he's driving balls out that way every time I see him. Freese also made a very nice play at third, diving to his left and scrambling to make a strong throw. I liked what I saw from LeBlanc as well. He has some filthy off-speed/breaking stuff and made just two bad pitches all night.]

We’ll have a short Q&A with Denis Savage of MadFriars.com up shortly. One question I asked him was what happened with Drew Miller. It’s good to see him back and doing well.

Before the draft I predicted that the 2011 starting rotation would like this:

SP1: Jake Peavy
SP2: Chris Young
SP3: Cesar Carrillo
SP4: Matt Latos
SP5: Wade LeBlanc

Now I would say that the following are candidates for the 2011 rotation: Peavy, Young, Clay Hensley, Justin Germano, Carrillo, Latos, LeBlanc, Manny Ayala, Drew Miller, and Nick Schmidt (there are actually a few others who might show themselves to be candidates this summer).

Sunday, June 17, 2007

AAA

Jared Wells: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR

AA

Cesar Ramos: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 2 HR

High-A

Kyle Blanks: 2 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B, BB
Nic Crosta: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; 2 2B
Manny Ayala: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR

Low-A

Daryl Jones: 5 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; 2B, HR
Aaron Breit: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR

Commentary:

Other than Ayala, it was not good day for pitching prospects.

Thanks, Peter. The Padres are off on Monday, then start a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles at Petco Park on Tuesday. Peavy pitches in the opener. Should be fun…

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100 Responses »

  1. 48: Right, because bear-hugging him wouldn’t have netted a suspension or escalated the issue either.

    As many people have pointed out, CY had few pragmatic options in this matter. None of us are professional baseball players and none of us recognize the honor and pride that goes along with that mantle. As somone said above, no way could CY have just walked away or avoided contact. Lee started chirping at CY first. CY gave the most un-agressive response possible by telling him to go to first.

    You and LM are acting like CY stared down Lee and said, “Want some more, bitch?” He came off the mound to receive the ball. Lee started trotting up the line, stopped, came back down the line, and started chirping. You really want our starter to just turn around here? What’s to say Lee doesn’t rush him from behind? I suppose that’s fine and good since CY wouldn’t have “insitgated” then. But he probably would gotten injured instead.

    I think it’s great to preach peace and understanding, but it’s completely off-base to condemn CY for his actions. He never called out Lee, he never stared him down. He went to retrieve the ball and offered very unoffensive responses to an enraged athelete. Put yourself in the situation before you start assigning blame.

    Do you possibly think that your Cubs affiliation might be tainting your perspective a bit? I know that my being a Padres fan could affect me, but given that I’ve watched the situation several times and can see CY clearly say “go to first” and “I’m not throwing at you” before being swung at, I think it’s pretty clear where the fault for this situation lies. Also, it was 1-2 pitch in the 4th inning. There’s no way he’s trying to hit him there.

  2. 52: ha that make me laugh just thinking about CY yelling “Want Some More Bitch!”

  3. 49 … wow :-(

    If CY didn’t HBP DLee, no fight.
    If CY didn’t walk towards and talk to DLee, no fight.

    Is that which it is? That’s what I saw … and this … “to a very large extent, DLee actions instigated the fight” … they key word there being *AND* …

    AND … if CY doesn’t throw a return punch, then perhaps he doesn’t get suspended … but, at this point, that’s a hypothetical … (ie. he’s not getting suspended for his part in instigating, and I’m sorry I got sucked into that discussion … it seems tangential at this point … he got suspended for the return punch, imo, and/or perhaps for what he said, which is probably when we went down the slippery-slope-of-no-return)

  4. 53 … typo in last sentence … should say “when *he* went down the slippery-slope-of-no-return” …

  5. 51: Now you are just putting words in my mouth. I never said CY threw at D-Lee. I never said if I was in that situation I wouldnt had thrown a punch back either, but if i did I would had known that i would be resposible for doing so and my actions would probably result in a suspension. I am not condemming him, I am just saying be responsible for your actions. I watched it serval times as well and just because you caught 2 things CY said doesnt mean you caught all of it. He should had ignored D-Lee’s chirping to begin with. He did walk towards him and say take your base, yes he could had had much worse things, but he had to know that saying ANYTHING would just escalate the situation.

  6. CY instigated it… Are you serious?

    1. LM, Pitchers walk all around the mound after every pitch and what CY did was nothing abnormal. Lee came to CY and swung at him plain and simple.

    2. The count was 2-2. Why would CY get 2 strikes on Lee and then decide to peg him on Lee’s 2nd AB of the game?

    3. The umpire did not do his job and get between Lee and CY. If he does we are not talking about this today.

    To be fair I think the real instigators are Jake Peavy and on a smaller scale Alfonso Soriano. Peavy should probably not have given them any bulletin board material and it’s pretty obvious that the Cubs hitters were on edge and looking for anything that could be thought of as retaliation. If Wells thought he got shown up by Soriano he could have done something about it friday. In my mind CY did nothing but defend himself. Peavy’s comments took away CY’s ability to throw a bad pitch. Does CY deserve to get suspended? Not in my mind he was defending himself. Should CY get suspended? Yes! If it’s in the rules that when you throw a punch you get suspended then he should be suspended and I agree with it even if I don’t really agree with the rule.

  7. 56: “Should CY get suspended? Yes! If it’s in the rules that when you throw a punch you get suspended then he should be suspended and I agree with it even if I don’t really agree with the rule.”

    Exactly, and I am sure CY knows this and if he is suspended he probably wont complain, he’s a smart kid he knows what he did gets him suspended, even if it is self defense, a punch is a punch.

  8. 57: What I took issue with, in both your and LM’s posts, is that CY played a signifcant role in the events that occurred. Aside from throwing a fastball that got away from him, I really don’t see what legitimate options CY had. He certainly could have been more agressive, but I honestly can’t imagine a scenario where he was even more conciliatory and unagressive than he already was.

    If it’s the rules that you get suspended for throwing a punch, then it’s the rules. Should there just be a blanket suspension for throwing punches? Of course not. The problem with ejections and suspensions is that they seem to be too objective. Unfortunately, not all punches are thrown the same and with the same intent.

    Derek Lee clearly threw a punch to get his perceived revenge. CY threw his punch in self-defense.

    If the rules stipulate that a punch is a suspension, then fine. But CY should not be suspended as many games as Derek Lee (whether or not he’s a pitcher, if this had been Adrian or Marcus we’d be furious with five days). Equal suspensions give the perception of equal fault, which is what is upsetting so much of us.

  9. Glass half dude says: I hope that when CY is forced to miss his start, Hensley gets the call and re-asserts himself as a bona fide option down the stretch.

  10. 58: Well maybe not with Marcus haha
    I really only think its equal suspensions to ensure the CY misses a start. If that happens just work it out so CY starts instead of Wells after the 5 games and work with the rotation. Our rotation hasnt been exactly the same all year anyway. Most likely CY will appeal and maybe they will bring it down to 3 games. I think your wrong, i think he could have been less agressive like not walking towards Lee or saying a word, but he could have been alot more aggressive as well. Saying CY played no role in the events makes no sense, D. Lee made the decision to punch someone so he is definitely more at fault, but CY did hit him, intentional or not, walked towards him and said take your base and threw punches. That says suspension, though be may not be at fault.