Friday Links (25 Jan 08)

Before we hit the links, a quick reminder that FriarFest is this weekend. I went last year and it freakin’ rocked. Anywho…

  • Sdpads1 continues his reflection on the Petco Park era by examining the relationship between a team’s payroll and its on-field success. This line of inquiry fascinates me, and Sdpads1′s findings shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention. Still, it’s always nice to see what we think we know supported by actual evidence.
  • MB wonders who will win the Khalil Greene arbitration case and offers some thoughts on what Greene might be worth.
  • Speaking of arbitration, reader Phantom points us to a slick table showing figures sought by players and offered by teams. Hearings are scheduled to run February 1-20.
  • Jorge L. Ortiz at USA Today previews the Padres. Mostly review material here. From the article:

    Bombers. Wallbangers. Lumber Co. Murderers’ Row. No such clever monikers will be applied to the Padres lineup.

    Pitching brought them National League West titles in 2005 and 2006 and got them to the brink of the playoffs last year. They see no need to change their approach.

    So, yeah, nothing about park effects. What else is new.

  • The Dodgers and Padres will play exhibition games in Beijing, China, on March 15-16 (hat tip to Kevin in the comments). This makes sense in terms of reaching out to new markets, but stinks if you’re planning a trip to Peoria that weekend.
  • Prospect maven Deric McKamey shares his top 15 Padres prospects in a guest spot over at MadFriars (hat tip to LynchMob in the comments). Interesting that he identifies Mat Latos and Kyle Blanks as the two guys with “elite player” potential. McKamey has been doing this for a long time and his analysis is solid. Good stuff.
  • According to the good folks at Stat of the Day, no team had more players with fewer than 100 at-bats in 2007 than the Padres. That’s a lot of holes to plug.
  • Jim Callis at Baseball America has USD left-hander Brian Matusz pegged as a top 5 pick in the 2008 amateur draft (hat tip to LynchMob in the comments). That makes this Torero alum feel all warm and tingly inside.
  • Speaking of which, we’re also having an informal meetup on February 22 at Tony Gwynn Stadium. More info on the Meetups page. Reader Ian C. has indicated that he might be able to get us discounts on the tix. Let’s do it, yo.
  • Corey Brock reminisces about the time Mark McGwire almost became a Padre (hat tip to Coronado Mike in the comments). Really? Who knew.
  • The Padres have signed outfielder Jody Gerut to a minor-league deal (hat tip to Bruce in the comments). Gerut had a nice (.279/.336/.494) rookie campaign for the Indians in 2003, tailed off a bit the next year, and has battled injuries ever since. Sounds like a certain Terrmel Sledge I know. Eh, it’s a minor-league deal, so no harm.
  • Speaking of minor leaguers, reader Coronado Mike notes that the Padres have signed three kids from the Dominican Republic and one from Australia: right-handers Juan Herrera, Severino Perez, and Al Angelucci (converted outfieler), and southpaw Pedro Martinez. They’re just names for now, but who knows. It would be nice to see some international signings make an impact.
  • Padres minor-league right-hander Dirk Hayhurst’s latest installment of “Non-Prospect Diary” is up at BA (hat tip to Ben B. in the comments). As always, it’s a fantastic read:

    Staying in shape in the offseason is serious business, so this year I joined a serious gym. Not one of those spa types or health-clubby ones with a few rusty weights in a dimly lit corner. I joined a real Temple of Testosterone, the kind of place where beverage coolers are stocked full of drinks bearing adjectives such as “ripped,” “blast” and “explode.”

    The magazines have muscle-bound, gladiator extras lifting ridiculous tonnage. The walls are lined with photos of fake-tanned super humans flexing hard enough to crack nuts between the rear folds of their purple G-strings.

    I’m a sucker for any line that includes the phrase “crack nuts” — the bit about purple G-strings is just a nice bonus.

That does it for the links. If if you haven’t gotten your 2008 projections in for Josh Bard and Michael Barrett, head on over to that thread and do so.

Happy, happy…