Road Trip to Cooperstown: Leaving San Diego

After much preparation, I’m finally ready to go. I’ve got enough supplies to live out of my car for the next 10 or so days. Clothes, books, CDs, food and water.

The plan is to leave San Diego a few ticks before the crack o’ dawn and get to Albuquerque in time for the Isotopes’ game against New Orleans. The latest iteration calls for me to catch a few innings of a Rookie League game in Phoenix along the way. Hey, I have to stop for lunch somewhere.

It’s starting to hit me. Not the bit about Tony Gwynn being inducted into the Hall of Fame — that’s made sense to me pretty much since the day he retired. Just that driving from San Diego to Cooperstown and stopping to watch minor-league games along the way is, well, a profoundly stupid idea.

But actually I’m okay with that. Because, really, what else are you gonna do?

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63 Responses »

  1. 48: The Padres need El Hombre to hit like he did in April and May. If NOG got better, that’ll help too. I sure hope Jose Cruz Jr. will get some life into his bat when he gets the call to play.

    Other than that, the bullpen happened to hit some bad stretch this month. I’m thinking it’s rather nice that it’s happening just as the offense is not going. It’ll be doubly frustrating if the bullpen had been excellent but the July record is the same. As it is, I’m looking forward to both the offense and bullpen getting better and more wins for the Padres.

  2. Re 39:

    MB, I have a question regarding UZR, Dewan’s, the base running thing, etc.

    How much value are sabermetric folks giving to a player’s D these days? From what I understand, very little value is given to these and far more given to the hitting. What about base running?

    Do Win Shares account for D and base running?


  3. Well, in general, offense is more important than defense. So more value should be given to it. Still, though, anyone who makes serious ratings wants to consider everything.

    For instance, MGL has (or used to…I think he still does something similar) linear weights for offense, UZR (plus “arm” and double play ratings) for defense, a baserunning component, etc. He pretty much considers everything.

    Win Shares, I believe, has steals in it because it’s in most of the newer runs created formula’s, which WS uses. It also has a defensive component.

  4. You might be right and you might be wrong but either way Barret’s performance isn’t going to make or break this team.

    KRS1, the difference between winning and losing games can be a really fine line. Mike Piazza is the only catcher in major league history whose hitting can make up for awful defense. Michael Barrett can’t hit like Mike Piazza.

    One person can make a HUGE difference when it’s a starting pitcher, a closer… or yes, a catcher.

    In 2004, if the Cubs had Trevor Hoffman, they’d have been in the playoffs. The sabermetric world has gotten too caught up in VORP and Win Shares and all this. These stats say players can only influence so many games a year. It’s an abstract and inaccurate way of looking at things.

    With you guys for example. If you had Vladimir Guerrero in your lineup, you’d have won more than an extra game or two.

    You’ll see that it’s no fluke… Barrett 4-13, Bard 8-3. Just you wait.

  5. MB, I like what you did at your site… the VORP + UZR thing. That sure makes a lot more sense than VORP by itself.

    At Cubs blogs, people seem to think that VORP alone defines a player’s value. It’s gotten to the point where I want to say, “Why should we even play games? Let’s just add up the team VORP’s in advance and call it a day.”

  6. MGL is a sabermetrician, Mitchel Lichtman. It’s just his initials.

    VORP definitely doesn’t define a players value. You need to consider defense, imo.

  7. I hope Barrett proves me wrong. I just think that Zambrano’s record with Barrett (2-4) and without him (10-2), as well as the Cubs record without him should be noticed. Yes, the sample size is small in San Diego too, but we were cruising along great with Bard as catcher, but the difference between Barrett (4-13) and Bard (8-3) is fairly substancial. I don’t put too much stock in CERA either.. all that really matters to me is winning games. I feel like the catcher is like the quarterback of the team- he’s the leader, he sets the tone, and does most of the brainwork and playcalling.

    Also, who says Piazza was a bad defensive catcher.. Sure, he couldn’t throw anybody out, but I think he’s a great game caller. Pitchers like him, and he wins wherever he plays. Nobody can complain about the job he did here last year defensively or offensively.

  8. 55.

    Look dude it’s obvious that you don’t like Barrett, I get it. I think most of us realize that he has been a productive player in the past and has been here what like a month so we are still willing to give him a chance. All I am trying to say is that although a lot of us like Bard it’s not like the guy is P-Rod behind the plate. If the pitchers don’t like throwing to Barrett you will see his ass on the bench so at this point I really think you are over-estimating his role on this team.

    If the Cubs had Trevor Hoffman in ’04, if we had Vlad G. now… BLAH BLAH BLAH!!! Do you really think anyone here is mistaking Michael Barrett for either of those guys or anyone on their level? Come on dude this is Michael Barrett we are talking about not A-Rod. I am fully aware that one player CAN make or break a team what I am saying is that Barrett isn’t going to make or break THIS team. We have too many vetrans and have had too much sucess without him. The core of this team is pitching, so if the pitching is playing poorly because of the catcher I am pretty sure there will be ZERO hessitation to make a change. With HOF’ers like Maddux and Hoffman and a vet like Wells and a manager that used to pitch I am confidant that if the problems pitchers are having of late are caused by Barrett behind the plate i’m confidant it will be taken care of.

  9. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could blame Barrett for the Padres’ woes lately? Maybe if he stops catching Khalil will stop swinging at balls high and outside…and Mike Cameron will start getting a good jump on fly balls again…and Adrian will start hitting like it was April…and Cla and Linebrink will be back to their best…and Peavy will get that 10th win…and Tony Gwynn’s statue will come to life and bat 3rd…

    Let’s at least give it a shot! What’s the worst that could happen, we lose a complete game shutout to a pitcher with an ERA of 9.00?

  10. Through five, limited the damage to one run. I love Maddux but take him out now!

  11. Geoff,

    Have a blast! I can’t wait to hear the stories and see the pictures.