Friday Links (18 Jan 08)

Listening to Jeff Buckley, Live at Olympia (thanks, Didi!). That and a pot of coffee should keep me going for a while.

To the links (sit down, we’ve got a few)…

  • This is old, but it bears mentioning. Mike Cameron has signed with the Brewers (hat tip to Marsh in the comments). As I mentioned at Knuckle Curve, I think Cameron and his camp badly misread the market. I’ve heard some sentiment that the Padres should have signed him at the price (1 year, $7M) that Milwaukee ended up paying him, but I doubt that this option was available before the Jim Edmonds trade. Great pickup for Milwaukee. Best of luck to Cameron. Maybe next year, when he’s even older, he’ll get that long-term deal he wants.
  • Padres GM Kevin Towers answered questions at the other day (hat tip to Coronado Mike in the comments). Quoth Towers, in response to whether the Padres might be interested in Josh Fogg or Livan Hernandez:

    We are currently satisfied with the starting pitching depth that we have in-house with guys like Randy Wolf, [Mark] Prior, [Shawn] Estes, Glendon Rusch, Clay Hensley and Justin Germano.

    I’m a little uncomfortable with this arrangement, but Towers usually makes me look like an idiot when I question his pitching moves, so here’s hoping he’ll do it again.

  • Corey at discusses the Padres middle infielders (hat tip to Phantom in the comments).
  • Corey also talks about Chase Headley‘s workouts in the outfield this week (hat tip to Pads Fan in the comments). From the article:

    Headley made several nice running catches, moved well laterally and even made a sliding catch of a short pop just beyond the infield dirt. He also lost two balls in the sun, a forgivable offense for anyone without shades, regardless of experience.

    Instead of fuming over the missed balls, Headley hurried back to the line of outfielders who were also shagging balls and moved on. If there’s any pressure on the 2007 Texas League Player of the Year to impress the organization this week, Headley’s not showing it.

    Sounds encouraging. Doesn’t everything in January?

  • Headley isn’t the only one getting looks in the outfield. Bill Center at the U-T talks to Matt Antonelli about his potential move:

    It was good to get out there. The more I can play the outfield, the more balls I see, the better. We’ll just see how it goes.

    A photo accompanying the story has a caption that refers to Antonelli as the “erstwhile second base prospect.” This makes no sense to me. Just because the guy is getting some looks in the outfield doesn’t all of a sudden means he’s no longer a second baseman. No move has been made. Sloppy work on the caption.

  • Ex-Padre Johnny Podres died Sunday night at age 75 (hat tip to Kevin in the comments). Podres is most known for his work with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, but he spent his final season in San Diego as a member of the inaugural Padres squad in ’69. He went 5-6 with a 4.31 ERA that year while splitting time between the rotation and bullpen. Podres finished with a career record of 148-116 and won three World Championships with the Dodgers. Podres’ best performance with the Padres came on May 25, 1969, when he went the distance at San Diego Stadium against the Cubs in the first game of a doubleheader.
  • While talking about Enzo Hernandez earlier in the week, Lance pointed us to a writeup he did a while back at the now-dormant Friar Faithful. Speaking of which, Lance is looking for a partner to resurrect that fine blog. Let him or me know if you’re interested.
  • While we’re on the topic of former Padres, 88 Topps Cards has posted Andy Hawkins’ card from that year. Not the most flattering photo you’ll see.
  • East Windup Chronicle remembers Ducksnorts fave Akinori Otsuka’s run-in with former Mets manager Art Howe.
  • Frank Pace at Hall of Fame magazine pens an amusing, if bitter, article about Goose Gossage:

    I don’t know how many games Gossage has saved since he retired, but somehow in the years since, he has jumped over more deserving players such as Lee Smith, Bert Blyleven, Jim Katt, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Tommy John and Jack Morris to whine his way into the Hall of Fame.

    Heh. I’ll give him Blyleven.

  • Tango and company are conducting an experiment of sorts. They’re asking folks to let them know who the top clutch hitter is on their team. Could be fun.
  • Sdpads1 continues his look at the Padres’ past four years. The latest installment covers payroll and attendance.
  • Xeifrank has run his simulations for 2008, and the Diamondbacks and Padres appear to be the teams to beat in the NL West.
  • Speaking of projections, reader Pat found a couple others: Replacement Level Yankee Weblog | Nick Piecoro. Both have the Padres at 82 wins. Nick has the Diamondbacks at 94 wins. Guess which team he covers. ;-)
  • Mrs. Emma Peel
       Photo by dickuhne
       some rights reserved

    Joe Posnanski has a long post (is that redundant? I kid, I kid) about hot TV wives/moms and RBI (hat tip to Pat in the comments). Not that they’re correlated, just that he talks about both of them at various points. Anyway, I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but it looks promising. Tony Gwynn’s 1997 season gets a nice mention. As for wives, nobody was more smokin’ than Mrs. Emma Peel. (Just ask Harry Potter.)

  • LynchMob points us to a collection of videos showing baseball stadiums being demolished. Sweet…

There, that should get you started. If you still need more, head on over to Happy Friday!

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40 Responses »

  1. So who is the Padres best clutch hitter? If it’s defined as the guy you want up with the game on the line, I have to say it’s Adrian. Hmm, our best hitter is also our best clutch hitter. Funny how that works… Obviously Hairston was big in the clutch last year, and I also like to see Khalil up there with the game on the line.

  2. Re: 1…why would you want KG up there? Is OBP and/or K rate is enough to want me to see just about anyone else up there…AGon, Giles, Kouz…

    New year though and I am trying to appreciate KG more…mainly b/c my pads are going to resign him and I have to figure out a way to root for the guy.

  3. 1. I saw the “erstwhile” caption too. It’s a weird combination of sloppy fact-checking but relatively deep thinking about vocabulary.

    2. On pitching…we all tend to remember the successes, but let’s not forget Darrell May, Tim Redding, 2007 David Wells, and others. I bet Towers has a very good track record, but 2/5 of our 2008 rotation was either badly hurt or sucksered last year. That includes ALL of the 4th and 5th starter candidates.

    3. Oh, Mrs. Peel. And the Avenger she replaced, Honor Blackman, was Galore-ious as well.

  4. #1: Wait, are you suggesting there might be a relationship between good hitting and good clutch hitting? Say it isn’t so.

    #3 (2): Good point, although May was acquired in a swap of bad contracts (Terrence Long) and Redding wasn’t a bad gamble. Wells… uh, I got nothing.

    (3) Thank you for giving the underappreciated Cathy Gale her due. 8)

  5. 4: There were reasons for both the May and Redding acquisitions, but I think we should temper expectations on pitchers. Not that it’s coming from you, but I’ve read some variation of “Towers is a witch when it comes to pitching” so many times, it’s helpful to remember that he’s not magic.

    Bond girls: It’s almost universally great until you run into Denise Richards as Christmas Jones, and it all turns to ashes in your mouth.

  6. Something about this note in the bottom of the Headley article on makes me nervous…

    The Padres’ three arbitration-eligible players — catcher Josh Bard, shortstop Khalil Greene and pitcher Wilfredo Ledezma — have filed for arbitration. If an agreement can’t be reach before Friday at 9 a.m. PT, the two sides will exchange salary figures and the arbitration process will begin on Feb. 1. The Padres would like to reach a multi-year deal with Greene and Bard, though they might have a better chance with Bard

  7. better be a 2 year 2M extension….bard still hasnt shown me he is an elite star…still seems like an elite backup to me.

    but what do i know im just used to playing the game and helping my catcher actually throw out runners.

    not saying i dont like/appreciate the guy, im just not sure hes the “long term deal type” at this point and time.

    greene would be ok to sign long term tho….and im still waiting for ledezma to go away. he’s my 2008 sledge

  8. Re: 7 im thinking 3 years $15M for bard ($3M in 08, $5M in 09 and $7M in 10).

  9. 7: To expect Bard, or any catcher, to be an “elite star” is unrealistic, and probably unfair as well. Honestly, elite catcher is almost an oxymoron. Those guys are usually once a generation occurences. The coincidence of Piazza, Rodriguez and Posada being elite all at the same time is the exception, not the norm.

    Bard has been very good for his time with us and seems to me to be worth keeping around for a couple of more years. Expecting him to be an elite guy doesn’t seem right, but expecting him to be adequate behind the plate and a good hitting catcher seems about right.

    I think I’d prefer just two years, rather than the 3 Steve C. lays out, but it might not be reasonable to sign him for less than 3. I don’t know enough about the market to say, but I’ll bet the FO does.

  10. It would work with 2 plus an option, but I would think it would have to be a buy out of $2M otherwise I think he sticks with arbitration.

  11. yeah i see what you are saying, i guess i should have checked my wording…i dont expect anyone to be an elite catcher because you’re very right they dont develop all that often.

    i guess it just makes me nervous to lock up a player that we arent sure how long term his skills will be around. its not like hes flashing 20 hr power or anything. its safe to say im sure that hes one of our bigger risks at falling off the map quick.

    while hes developing decently enough he could flop just as quick as he could catch fire.

    my main point of my previous comment i suppose was i hope if we lock him up that his salary will be a low base salary with some incentives to lower our risk and generate more rewards for the team and for bard.

    but im not exactly a GM so….

  12. and im not sure if anyone noticed but Matthew St Germain dropped his 2008 Projections for Prospect in the NL West. heres the link. he’s rough on Matt A.

    and apparantly Ledezma accepted a 1yr 620K contract.

  13. 2: Khalil has hit some big walkoff bombs in the past and when he’s on the road and/or on one of his hot streaks he’s as dangerous as anyone.

    12: I love these projections that people pull out of their ass based on nothing more than reading second and third hand scouting reports on the internet.

  14. For what it’s worth, I heard on sports radio today that the Padres were talking to the Twins about Johan Santana. I don’t know what station it was (I was in a store) but that’s the first I’d heard of that. And the hosts were basically downplaying it saying SD doesn’t have the proper chips to make such a deal.

    Strange. I’m not sure where that came from.

  15. #13: Can’t speak to the accuracy of his comments on other clubs’ prospects, but the blurbs on Headley and Antonelli are a bit misinformed.

  16. Re: 14 ha I think I have a better shot a buying a snowcone from the Devil than the Padres do trading for Santana.

  17. 10: Seems reasonable to me.

    11: I am with you on that. It’s good to be cautious with long term deals, it’s even better to be cautious with them for a catcher, and it would be especially important with a catcher who didn’t arrive at the ML level until as late as Bard did (granted there may have been extenuating circumstances there and not just performance).

    14: Lots of strange things bubble up on the Hot Stove. :-)

  18. Hate to bring this up again but Rick Porcello is Baseball America’s #1 prospect for the Tigers:

    There system is pretty weak overall though as they pretty much traded everyone else this offseason.

    I think Towers’ pitching reputation is based strictly on his work in finding guys for his bullpen, not the rotation.

  19. #18: a) Everyone had a shot at Porcello and passed.

    b) Sanders for Hitchcock, Hamilton for Williams, Ashby for Eaton, Herges for Hensley, Eaton for Young…

  20. Well, everyone else was stupid. Seriously, how can you defend the front office in that situation? They just spent the same amount of money on Jim Edmonds! Granted, there was a hole there but you don’t think that $7m could be better utilized?

    Well, those transaction are pretty good but he’s had some dogs in the rotation. But he’s been unreal in filling up the bullpen. Other then the various LOOGY’s over the years, who’s been bad for the bullpen?

  21. 20: I largely agree on the draft. Everyone else passed on Peavy, repeatedly, back in 1998. 19 teams passed on Schmidt. Is the counting an endorsement or an indictment?

    Porcello actually costs less than Edmonds. It’s a 7 million, 4 year major league deal. 3.5 up front, and because it’s a major league deal Detroit can spread the rest out. Taking chances like that gave the Tigers the horses to trade for Miguel Cabrera. And if they hadn’t decided to inject one of the game’s 3 best hitters in their lineup, they’d have had a continual stream of affordable young talent coming in. Nice problem to have.

    On the bullpen, it depends on your time frame. We’ve had some absolute turds in the pen as recently as 2005 (Denys Reyes). From 200o-2003 there were long stretches when the bullpen was gruesome.

  22. The UT article featuring the “erstwhile” comment ends with this …

    With Giles and Edmonds both expected to see limited duty during the exhibition season, there will be plenty of opportunity for outfield auditions.

    … so, especially those of us who go to Peoria early in the spring are not going to see Giles and Edmonds in the OF … but we may get to see more of Headley and Antonelli … ymmv …

  23. I was including Reyes as a LOOGY but he pitched more than that in 2006. Looking back, the Padres bullpens have been awesome the last few seasons. Last season, the only relievers with ERA’s over 4 were Wil Ledezma and Mike Thompson (Tomko also be he started more then half his games). In 2006, only Brocail (25 games), Sikorski (13), Scott Williamson (11) had ERAs over 4 in more then 10 games. In 2005, only Reyes (36), Cassidy and Falkenborg (10 games each) were over 4. In 2004, they weren’t nearly as good, as Blaine Neal in 40 games was at 4.07, plus there were a lot of guys (Stone, Beck, Puffer, Watkins, Oropesa) that were terrible. In 2002 and 2003, their bullpen’s were awful as there were only a couple guys a year with ERA’s under 4. That’s as far as I want to go back.

  24. #20: Not defending the FO for passing on Porcello, merely pointing out that if you take them to task, then you have to take almost every other team to task as well. Saying that the Padres passed on him is true but doesn’t tell the whole story.

    If we conclude “everyone else was stupid,” then the problem isn’t really with the Padres, is it?

  25. We’ll we don’t really know how stupid they where until either A.) one of either Schmidt and Porcello MLB Careers are over or B.) either Schmidt or Porcello are traded and we can identify the value that the Pads get in return.

    It’s not the choosing Schmidt over Porcello that bugs me it’s the not signing Toledo and Colon that bugs me. Yeah they wanted over slot but hey its a lot cheaper than signing Robert Fick and Will Ladezma for another year.

  26. The problem is that for the Padres to continue to be successful, they are going to have to rely on other organizations to be stupid. That might be a safe bet with the Giants and the Dodgers but we can’t discount their financial advantages (heck, look at the Yankees, they are run by idiots and they’ve had the best team for the past 5 years!). It’s just going to be really hard to keep winning using their model — draft safe, low-ceiling college players, don’t spend a lot of money in free agency and rip other teams off in trades. I’m just not sure that the third thing will keep happening (pretty soon no one will trade with Towers), the first has been hit and miss (Headley, Antonelli and Bush, Schmidt) although I pretty much agree with the 2nd part.

    I’m interested to know in what people would rather have — Rick Porcello and Scott Hairston or someone already on the team in CF, or Nic Schmidt and Jim Edmonds? I’d rather have the first although I admit it probably weakens our team this year but probably strengthens it in the future. Although I could see why people could want the second as the Padres might be in a “win now” mode (although Edmonds doesn’t help out that much).

  27. 26: I think you’d be surprised at how egotistical GMs are. I sincerely doubt that there are many people in baseball who abjectly think that one GM is smarter than another. Everyone believes their own hype and thinks they know how to best evaluate players. Until you get a GM who realizes he’s been repeatedly hosed, they will probably remain ripe for the picking.

  28. 26: You are referring to low ceiling players. I am a little behind the times and ignorant as to how prospect ceilings are measured. Do you have specific numbers as to the ceilings of the Padre prospects you mentioned? Is there some sort of algorithm that scouts use to determine these ceilings? Is there a confidence level as to these ceiling projections?

  29. Nifty table at shows Khalil asking for .9 M more than the club wants to give him and Bard asking for .650 M more.

    I really, really, really hope they can work out a long-term deal with Khalil.

  30. 18: I agree. I don’t think Towers has ever been recognized as great when talking about starting pitching. His reputation is all about building great bullpens on the cheap.

  31. BEIJING — New Dodgers manager Joe Torre and Padres Hall of Famer Dave Winfield are scheduled to appear at a reception on Jan. 24 to announce Major League Baseball’s first games in China, exhibitions between Los Angeles and San Diego on March 15-16.

  32. So glad that the Pads are going to be in Beijing on the 14th and 15th of March…especially since I bought tickets for those games in Peoria and already got my plane tickets from Virginia…oh yea, bought those yesterday. What frigg’n good timing.

    Oh well, guess I don’t get to see my Pads in ST this year…

    Or, if I get lucky, they may have a split squad game.


  33. This article makes me sad:

    I suppose it’s still possible that they can get something done, but it certainly doesn’t look promising.

  34. Sounds like Greenie wants to get out of Petco and SD. The Pads better start looking at other SS options (jack wilson maybe?). I think if the Pads are out of the race Greenie will be traded at the deadline, or at the end of the season. That bum’s me out Greenie has been my fave Pad since his rookie season.

  35. 34: Yeah, it really sounds like it might be a family health issue. I hope that maybe some kind of agreement can be reached where Khalil just goes for 1 – 2 year contracts at a time, but that really puts the team in a tough spot. Hopefully they hang onto him all year and revisit these talks in the off-season, but the situation does not bode well right now.

    And, like you, Khalil has been my fav Padre since 2004. I wish there was a way to let him know how much him being a Padre means to some of us.

  36. Re: 35 I think Greenie is counting down the days until FA, I think he really wants to be on the east coast (family health or not) and is not to fond of petco. I hope im wrong though…

  37. 36: I don’t think that Khalil necessarily hates Petco, and I DO think that he likes the San Diego culture. Khalil has grown into a star of sorts here without having to deal with over-bearing media pressure. I don’t think there are too many other places where Khalil would able to achieve the same star/personal life balance.

    I do know that Petco frustrates Khalil, but I don’t know how much that means to him given his abilities on the road. I think the team has shown that they appreciate what he does and that they have a vested interest in keeping him.

  38. Re: 32 don’t worry mike im sure tha pads are not going to send any players of importance to China 2 weeks before the season starts so the S/T games will still be worth going to.

    Heres what I think the China lineup will be:

    C: Fick
    1B: Myrow
    2B: Robles
    SS: Stansberry
    3B: Rodriguez
    RF: Hairston
    CF: Macias
    LF: P-Mac

    assorted minor league guys

    P: CY (they have to send one star)
    P: Estes
    P: Stauffer
    P: Germano


  39. Re: 37 I agree with all your points, except i think he does not like playing in petco and knows he could do better playing 82 games in a different stadium. I dont see Khalil going to a major market for the reasons that you mentioned but I could see him going to Pittsburg where is family is.

  40. From the Union-Tribune article: Bard ranked second in the National League with a .406 average with runners in scoring position.

    That’s pretty clutch.