Got the coffee flowing, music playing: Massive Attack, Groove Collective, and George Benson if anyone cares. The Benson is his The Other Side of Abbey Road, which is full of Beatles songs and which absolutely sizzles. His guitar lines are so fluid, it’s disgusting. I mean, he’s not Joe Pass or Grant Green, but still. Apparently Benson recorded his album just three weeks after the actual Abbey Road was released. How sick is that?
Anyway, you come here for the baseball. Very well, then, let’s get to it:
- The Last 4 Years: Part 1 (Regular Season) (Sdpads1 Blog). The Padres own the fourth best record in the National League since moving into Petco Park. They’ve won 12 more games than the division’s second-best team (Dodgers) during that stretch while spending $136 million less on payroll. Once again, smart money beats deep pockets.
- History shows Prior a bad gamble for Padres (Sporting News, via Jonathan S in the comments). David Pinto examines pitchers throughout history who have missed an entire season and doesn’t like Mark Prior‘s chances to rebound in ’08. Jonathan wonders how accurate comparisons are over time given advances in medical technology, and I have to agree. Chris Carpenter is the only guy on this list who has pitched in the last 15 years, and I’ll be tickled if Prior so much as sniffs that kind of success. I don’t think he will, mind you, but I’m also not sure how much we can learn from looking at, e.g., Mal Eason’s 1902 season or Cy Barger’s 1914 season.
- Dan Szymborski, on the other hand, likes the gamble.
- Prospect View – Matt Antonelli (Baseball Digest Daily). Dave Rouleau profiles everybody’s favorite Antonelli (sorry, Johnny!). Not a lot of new info, but it’s great to have all this stuff in one place.
- Chase Headley: What can we really expect? (Rich Folkers…) Corey wonders… well, I think it’s pretty obvious…
- Our friends at MadFriars are running interviews with the play-by-play announcers from Padres minor-league affiliates. These guys see the kids play every day and offer good insights:
The interview with Rich Burk, voice of the Portland Beavers, is scheduled to run on Saturday.
- Debate: Is Goose Gossage a Hall of Famer? (ESPN). This is one of a series of debates between voters on the worthiness of various Hall of Fame candidates. The thought process is sometimes… interesting. (Vegas Watch gets into this a little more.)
- Two more takes on the Hall of Fame: Dave Studeman examines the current candidates, while Patrick Sullivan identifies the best eligible players not enshrined.
- Take the fifth: Examining bottom starters’ impact (Sporting News, via Didi in the comments). Yikes, not only was our #5 starter terrible in 2007, but also he got way too much work.
- Here are two articles about pitching that I’ve only glanced at and thought, gee, I really should read this more carefully when I have time: 2007 NL Starting Pitching Analysis (Statistically Speaking) | tRA and ROA, a new pitching metric (Lookout Landing).
- Lahman Database Version 5.5 is now available for download. It contains stats from 1871 through 2007 and is guaranteed to blow your mind.
Finally, thanks for all the suggestions regarding PadreBlogs.com. An aggregator is at the top of my list; I’m evaluating a few tools, but the book is priority #1 right now, so testing and implementation may take a while. Unless, of course, someone with mad skillz would like to volunteer their services.
Oh, and be sure to vote in the spring training meetup poll to let us know which dates work best for you. Happy Friday!