Friday Links (21 Sep 07)

I love a pennant race. We made it out to all four games against the Pirates this week — even got to sit in Toyota Terrace on Thursday. I try to do that once a year because they keep all the riff-raff out of that level. Hey, wait, I’m the riff-raff.

Anyway, the Padres are a half game back with 10 to go. They need to win half of those to finish with 90 wins for the fourth time in franchise history. But you know what? I’m a greedy SOB, and I want ‘em all. Finish the season on a 17-game winning streak. Actually, make that a 28-game streak.

While we’re all waiting for Hades to cool off just a tad, here is an extra large helping of links:

Happy Friday!

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81 Responses »

  1. This weekend series is huge. I’m not gonna be greedy and call for a sweep, but we definitely need to win this series. If we do, the Rox are likely dead.

    Also, even though the Dodgers are done, could somebody please fire that team up for their series in Phoenix? The last thing the D’backs need right now with the Pads hot on their heels is to get some confidence.

    And on a Mae-related note: I have more respect and love for that band now than ever before. My fiance and I delivered a wedding invite to them at their last show (we sort of know the keyboardist, Rob) and we actually got a reply card back in the mail. They’re not coming, but they took the time to write a really nice note. Gotta love that about unknown bands, that they truly love and appreciate their fans.

  2. Would it do any good at all to rant against ESPN for utterly ignoring west coast baseball last night? Guess not. 7-game win streak, super tight race with AZ and Phil (East Coast team guys), dramatic HRs and see still fall behind yanks and RS (big story that they didn’t play) Mets, Phils, Notre Dame football, Blue jay game, etc, etc. No love what so ever. Ok, who cares, just win baby.

  3. Re: 2 Really I saw them covering the Padres game and talking about Trevors 40th Save ect.. I was shocked!

  4. RE: The SF Chron link. Speed? Has he seen our team? Perhaps he is speaking in relative terms only. The rest of the team is fast when compared to Josh Bard.

  5. Phantom,

    I have a brochure for you: “So, you’ve become a stalker.”

  6. Here’s a link GY, it looks as though the Dodgers, Padres and Mariners are being approached about playing a game or two (read: spring training games) in China next year.

  7. Heard on Chronicle podcast: “Sabean and Bochy are kind of, uh, quantifiable veteran lovers.”

    I knew it!

    It’s funny hearing these guys – beat writer and sports ed – talk about the Padres built for the park with pitching and defense. OK, kinda true, but where’s the speed? As far as offense, we’ve heard Sandy basically say, “No, we aren’t going to tailor our offense to Petco’s perceived strengths.”

  8. Problem with finding players to hit specifically in Petco is that it isn’t as crazy hard to get stuff out down either line or to dead center……to either “power” alley though good luck….unless you’re Andruw Jones in which case you’re hitting stuff half way up Cortez Hill

  9. I think I did advocate going from the windup with runners on. It couldn’t get any worse, right? Although it was refreshing to see Tomko put some effort into holding the runner on. Just paying more attention to the runner, holding the ball longer or shorter and throwing over can make a difference.

    I’m fine with Kouz at 3rd. His defense is bad but not atrocious and it’s something that can be improved upon with practice. I think .270 is a lot closer to his true ability that .106 was. If you watch those early ABs you can see he was struggling with breaking balls. He didn’t see many major league breaking balls in AA so it’s understandable that he had to adjust. And he did adjust, he’s learned to recognize the breaking balls he can’t hit and lays off them. I’m very optimistic about Kouz because Adrian went through the same process last year and turned out alright.

    What were our pre-season expectations for Kouz? I think we all would have been very happy to see him hit .270 with 20 HRs and it looks like that’s where he’s going to end up. I love his power to right center, he knows he can hit it out there and doesn’t have to get pull happy.

  10. I don’t think Kouz has left much doubt that the Bill James predictions of a few .320/.390/.550 seasons may happen despite playing in Petco

  11. If Headley and KK are both in the lineup, you have to move Kouz. Neither is graceful or fast, but Headley has the better glove at 3b. From LF a throw that’s five feet off-line is still caught without problem by the cutoff man.

    It’s an open question whether either of them is athletic enough to play in the garden, at least at home. If the answer is no, then send Headley to Portland to retain or improve his trade value and make a decision at the end of the year. Or trade Headley this winter when his value is high.

  12. 2: There was alot of Padre/NL West Coverage on ESPN last night. Alot compared to the usual nothing at least.

  13. This is going to be one of the most interesting off seasons in the franchises history, peculiarly if they continue to play well win at least 1 post season series.

    -There would be a ton of pressure from fans and the 5 media types in San Diego to bring everyone back, although this same team most likely regresses a ton next season.

  14. On top of the list right now is this link to BA’s AZL Top 20 …

    … which features Cumberland @ #7 and Yefri @ #14.

  15. 13 … I honestly think the current FO is in good shape to deal with that pressure and “do the right thing” that maximizes both the short-term goals for 2008 and the long-term goals for 2009 and beyond. In other words, I agree with you that “This is going to be one of the most interesting off seasons in the franchises history” … and I’m going to enjoy getting there too (ie. my expectations for the post-season are pretty *high* right now) :-)

  16. 13: I agree that this will be a particularly interesting off-season.

    Going through position by position, we have a lot of question marks/options:

    C: Bard/??? – No way you bring Barrett back, but I’m still not convinced Bard is our best option to catch. However, we don’t seem to have much else in the system and it’s not like there’s a deluge of catching available.

    1B: Adrian – Doesn’t need a back-up since apparently he never gets days off.

    2B: This is one of the more interesting spots. I’d be surprised if they exercised Marcus’ option, but I’m not sure Antonelli should be starting the season in the bigs. Do they sign a stop-gap guy to play 2nd/stick with Blum?

    SS: Khalil – Another lock. The only question is whether they extend him this off-season. I’d love to see the club sign Khalil to a 3 year/$10 million extension this off-season. He’s had by far his best season as a Padre and he seems to be better developing his power.

    3B: Like second, this will be an interesting spot. Kouz is certainly a capable ML-level starter, but it depends on the club’s plans for Headley.

    LF: Likely depends on the outcome of the 3B scenario, but Hairston provides a very capapble 4th OF. Also, if they can resign Bradley (which I’m in favor of), maybe this situation takes care of itself.

    CF: Probably the most interesting position for the Padres in the off-season. No way do they (or should they) sign Cameron to a 3-year deal. If he comes back for 2 at 7 or 8 a year with a club option for a third year, we should probably do it. We don’t really have much better options.

    RF: Giles is a lock for ’08, and he handles the Porch area well. Giles is actually a much better defensive RF than we ever give him credit for.

    SP: Jake – So long as they don’t trade him this off-season, he’ll be back and better than ever.
    SP: CY – Hopefully a long off-season of rest really helps to recharge him.
    SP: Maddux – After this year, we’d be dumb not to exercise his option.
    SP: ???
    SP: ??? – I’d be OK with giving Tomko, Cassel, et al, a shot for the fifth spot. I’d even throw Germano into the mix.

    The relief corps should be fairly static and probably won’t change all that much. It will be interesting to see what the Padres deign to do with K-Cam.

    Bench: We clearly need a back-up catcher of some-sort, and Blum probably makes it as our utility IF (or starter). Wouldn’t mind keeping Stansberry/Robles around for another back-up IF. Hairston and Clark are good 4th and 5th OF options, so I’m OK with them if we can keep them.

  17. 13: The position players seem less likely to regress. We’ve had surprising power from LF, and 2b has been a hole almost all season, but otherwise the players are doing about what you’d expect. Greene is having a Greene year, but with a lot more games played.

    I’d focus on starting pitching. Peavy’s having a season for the ages, and by definition those don’t happen often. Young seems like a good candidate to miss 10 starts. Maddux has been better this year than he has in the recent past and the calendar keeps turning. It would be nice to get another SP with dominant potential, even if there’s risk, instead of another Petco special. Next year we should have plenty of possibilities for “league average starters who are really helped by their home park” in the 5 slot. I can’t suggest who that pitcher might be without thinking a lot more than I want to on Friday.