Friday Links (4 Jan 08)

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:

Finally, thanks for all the suggestions regarding 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!

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91 Responses »

  1. 50 … thanks for the link … good one … must read, even!

    The first thing in there that stood out for me was his comment about KK … “There is no doubt in my mind that he’ll stay at 3B” … which seems like a strong statement … given the presence of Chase Headley …

  2. 50: Good interview. Thanks for the link.

    A support for Trammell, who should be in the HoF, in this link:

  3. 49: I don’t think that the FO would reconsider getting Bonds in LF. The public outrage against that move would be very damaging. I still don’t want Bonds here.

    The public as a general rule are very hard to sway to change their minds so I don’t think it will be as easy as you think to get them to support a Padres team that includes him on the roster even with recent revelations.

    Look at how hard it is to convince the fanbase that the Padres are doing more with less by winning since moving to Petco without succumbing to spending big dollars on FA. I still have friends who despise the FO since big money was not spent on FA this off-season (one went as far as cancelling the season tickets he’s had since the early 90′s). They think the Padres are not trying even when I mentioned the winning records in the past 4 seasons.

    In any case, getting a slugger for a LF is not a move that will improve the team as much as getting that competent #4 and #5 pitchers that are healthy. I’m still concerned with the rotation that’s relying on rehab projects so far. And in that, I’m just as irrational as my friends who prefer big name sluggers FA to my reliable back-end pitchers.

  4. re: 49

    Gee, thanks for giving me all my options. I actually have about a million options, but I won’t detail them here.

    I did not say that Bonds is still an outcast. He wasn’t even an outcast before, because of Canseco, Caminiti, etc. (Pete Rose, for example, would be an outcast.) My argument is that his steroid use is a bigger deal, about 100 times bigger, than these other players. In the case of McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, maybe not 100 times bigger than them. But I still think a bigger deal.

    I said in my previous post that I realize than McGwire and Sosa helped their careers more, in a way. I realize McGwire had the single-season home run record. But also pointed out that Bonds has the all-time record, what was arguably the most important record in sports.

    Maybe it does matter to some that many names were named in the report. It was certainly interesting. But anyone who has followed this controversy since the Caminiti story knew it was a widespread problem. The difference: We now know that F.P. Santangelo took PEDs, instead of just “a lot of players.”

    My overall point by saying what’s the point is: No, the Padres marketing department shouldn’t “be looking at” Bonds and how he would fair in San Diego as a personality. The image of Bonds has not changed, not one bit, I would argue. Alderson has said they won’t sign before and I don’t see how Clemens and a bunch of average players being revealed in the Mitchell Report would change that.

    Also, it seems we’ve taken quite a bit of time for you to say you were just criticizing my “approach.” Yes, you might not have liked how I said it — I don’t like about 15 things that happen everyday — but I have answered your question about Bonds in San Diego a few times now. So we’ve a discussion about it.

    What is the difference between a blog and just a sports web site? Just curious.

  5. 50: Fantastic link!

  6. Hey, what’s everyone doing here on a Saturday? Well, as long as you’re here, would some of you mind hitting this:

    I’m still tweaking stuff. As always, feedback is welcome…

  7. #54: This is an interesting question…

    What is the difference between a blog and just a sports web site?

    There are as many opinions on this as there are people to give them. Here’s one school of thought:

    Personally, beyond branding purposes, I don’t find the distinctions to be terribly useful. Regardless of what label anyone slaps on the thing, it’s all publishing.

  8. #58: Thanks. Three of ‘em are; the others appear to be dead or at least in deep slumber.

  9. 54: You have two options that make any sense if you think a discussion is a waste of time. Participate with criticisms or abstain. If it was happening on your blogwebsite and you wanted to put an end to it, then you’d have some reason for option 1.

    Based on how Bonds has been demonized for his PED use, and the way Caminiti was lionized in San Diego even after his death, I’d say that not nearly as many people have been paying attention as you think.

    I don’t believe you really think that you speak for all Padre fans. The Padre marketing department should maybe listen to more than just you. They should at least be asking the question, not assuming they know the answer….a good habit.

    Not only were there several better than “average” players named in the Mitchell Report (including possibly the best pitcher of all time), it also exposed how widespread PED usage was. I’d bet that a large portion of fans thought that PED usage was largely limited to hulking star sluggers. Finding out that the usage spectrum included every category of player, from journeyman to star, from light-hitting infielder to power-hitting outfielder to middle reliever to starting pitcher, MIGHT make some people more tolerant of Bonds. I’m not even saying they’re for sure going to be more tolerant. I’m saying, Let’s find out. When Bonds was brought up last offseason, Alderson said they backed off partly because so many angry fans were against it. It wouldn’t be that hard to find out how many of those folks would still be that angry.

  10. Re: 56 Looks great GY!

  11. 56: Like it. Simple and clear.

  12. 60:

    If you look at the definition of blogs and web sites Geoff posted, my site is clearly a web site. The writing is not personal or conversational. It’s information with static pages updated periodically.

    I have many options. I could throw my computer away for one.

    You said: “The Padre marketing department should maybe listen to more than just you.” I don’t even think they should listen to me and never said that. Also, it would be Padres marketing department.

    As for your last paragraph, we agree for the most part. We just disagree on how much fans are informed or not. I don’t really worry about how much fans are uninformed. It’s hard enough staying informed myself. If this is turning out to be a discussion of how dumb fans and people in general are, then yes, they are dumb. When I say “we knew …” whatever about steroids, I meant that “we the informed.”

    If you have a clear idea of what the marketing department should do, you should write them a letter. But with Alderson and Towers in charge of the franchise, I have quite a bit of trust in them.

  13. like the test version of Padreblogs geoff…saves a lot of time surfing from one to another to check for new updates

  14. Regardless of whether or not the Padres fans would accept Bonds as our left fielder, Petco is the wrong park for a defensive liability. Not sure the offensive benefits offset the defensive downside, even for six or seven innings a game.

    If we could get Matt Morris from the Pirates paying only $5M of his salary, I’d be all for it, even if we had to send Barrett along to make it happen.

    For what it’s worth, I’d hate to move Antonelli to CF. Even though we haven’t found a top level CF this year, we’ll get by with a Hairston out ther for a year (unless he has to cover for Bonds). I’d like to see Antonelli at 2B for the next ten years.

    Thanks for the opportunity to sound off a bit.

    Go Chargers!!!!!!

  15. 64: Really? Spelling and complaints about “blog” versus “web site” before you even had a solid definition of “blog” yourself? Talk about “what’s the point?”

    You stated that the Padres shouldn’t even bother researching the question because people’s opinions of Bonds haven’t changed. The only thing you know for sure is that YOUR opinion of Bonds hasn’t changed. You might know a bunch of other people who feel the same way. The Padres drew almost 3 million fans last year. Their TV market is about 3 million. So yeah, you’re basing your idea on what the Padres’ marketing team should do on…

    We The Informed weren’t a large part of the people threatening to cancel their season tickets over Bonds. The people who might – again, might – think differently about him now are mostly people who bought into the idea that he was the worst of a handful of players willing to break the law to achieve greatness. You might still think he’s the worst, but nobody can pretend he was one of a handful. Now that Those The Less-Informed can read about the pervasiveness of the issue, perhaps thinking back to the 96-98 Padre “All Muscle” squads, maybe they wouldn’t cancel their season tickets if Bonds was brought onboard.

  16. 65: Well, we play 81 games away from Petco. He could play LF when Peavy was on the mound, since so many outs are recorded by Ks. He’s going to have the chance for at least 1 at-bat most nights, since a CG is so rare.

    He could easily get 350 at-bats next year without being a defensive liability. Last year we spent 800 at-bats on Blum, Cruz, and Sledge. It’s a serious swing from a 650 OPS to 900 or higher.

  17. Yes, really.

    I don’t think the Padres marketing department “should” do anything. They can do whatever they want. They can call in sick everyday. I wouldn’t research it, but that’s just me. There’s a reason we’re being snarky on a blog and not running the marketing department.

    I never said my opinion of Bonds or if it has changed. I was simply asserting that the public perception — especially among a chief rival’s fan base — certainly has not changed.

    I have written about 15 columns in The Washington Times on Bonds and steroids during the past two seasons, so I have a good understanding of this issue and the public’s perception of it.

    Yes, I understand the difference between the informed and the uninformed. I went some ways toward explaining it my previous post. And I know your point about the uninformed. That’s how this whole thing got started.

  18. 67 – You are no doubt correct that he could accumulate 350+ AB’s in 08 with us, and his on base percentage would be outstanding. That said, he’s still a defensive liability in any ML park. It’s just gonna be worse in Petco, and with the uncertainty of Edmonds ability to defend, I would be concerned about starting Bonds much at all. The potential for a quality rotation makes it easier to accept, but I’m still not comfortable with it.

    In your opinion, what would he want to sign? I wouldn’t think we should go over $4M. My thought is that he would want $8M or more.

  19. 68: How can you write and believe that “the public perception — especially among a chief rival’s fan base — certainly has not changed” without researching it? How many of those columns are post-Mitchell? Probably not many, given the 2 year time frame. The question of how Bonds is perceived now versus two months ago is worth asking. Maybe the Padres have no interest in him anyway, so they don’t need to ask it. But if they’d like to sign him and aren’t asking for terms because they’re worried about a fan backlash, then they should be asking it.

    I’m snarky no matter the medium. Commenting on a blog, work meetings, signing a new mortgage, romantic dinner with the wife…..

    And if you’re really going to be a martinet about spelling and such, shouldn’t it technically be “Padres’ marketing department,” as in the marketing department that belongs to the Padres? Pointing out spelling mistakes on the Internet is often seen as, well, sorta desperate.

  20. 69: Bonds was in the range of “fairly poor defense but you can live with it” last year, by stats that account for his home park. He actually made a fair number of players out of his zone, which surprised me. Guys like Dunn, Lee, and Burrell were worse. SF’s left field is no picnic.

    The last part is probably the deal breaker in any case. He’s going to want more than we want to pay. He might accept a lower base if he was hitting in a better home park, but that’s not ours. Plus, SD was the first place that had to clear out a seating section to protect him. He may not have fond feelings.

  21. No, if you’re going to be technical, it should not be “Padres’ marketing department.” Padres describes what kind of marketing department it is. Jazz marketing department, Wolfpack marketing department, etc. I can see if someone disagrees with that, but that’s the rule I use.

    Pointing out spelling and other errors probably isn’t done enough, and people on the Internet don’t take the time to read what they are writing a second time.

    How can I write and believe that “the public perception — especially among a chief rival’s fan base — certainly has not changed” without researching it?

    Because I believe it to be true. Because there has been no evidence to suggest it has changed, and I believe the notion that it has is fairly ridiculous. Yes, it’s nice to have research, but not everything in the world is researched, and one of the reasons why is something has to be deemed worthy of research. Why don’t we take an informal poll on this site?

    Which is what you wanted to do in the first place. I gave my two cents. So did others. Big deal. But I don’t see why mine elicited the “Toastmaster” comment.

  22. 72: I think it could go either way on the possessive. But you’ve thrown enough sentence fragments around to not be setting yourself up as the Grammarian. The Internet is largely an informal setting and blogs are on the deep informal end. What’s fairly ridiculous is quibbling about “Padre” vs “Padres” when neither word changes the content of the argument. The team itself uses both terms when dealing with the public.

    You can’t say “there’s no evidence to suggest it has changed” without, hmmm, looking for evidence. By your own admission much of your evidence predates the Mitchell Report. You’re closing your eyes and then saying “I didn’t see it.” You didn’t look. How do you know if it’s there or not?

    Your original opinion was that we shouldn’t bother discussing the point, which you then proceeded to discuss at length. Setting yourself up as the Arbiter (originally of what topics should be discussed, now of people’s vocabulary) earns you the “Toastmaster” title.

  23. Tom “the Snark” vs Kevin “the Toastmaster” … kinda like Bonds vs Gwynn ??? You’re both HOFers in my book :-)

    For what it’s worth … my opinion of Bonds hasn’t changed with the Mitchell Report … and I’m very OK if the Padre FO has closed the book on him (ie. if they have decided it’s not worth researching the possibility of a change in the fan reaction to signing him) …

    (site note: hmmm … “Padre FO has closed the book” … or “Padre FO have closed the book” … i really don’t know …)

    What could/would make this complicated is if Bonds decided he wanted to stay in the NL … and sign with the team that had the best fit and chance for a WS ring … and then decided this to be the Padres … and then announced he’d take a serious SD-discount … hmmm … I think IFF that happened … he’d get a 2nd look … from the fans and the FO … but methinks that’s dreamin’ …

  24. 73: Do you honestly believe that the public’s opinion about Bonds has changed dramatically since the coming out of the Mitchell’s Report? Is there any evidence to convince you that this is so? You yourself have pointed out the irrational amount of support for Ken Caminiti in San Diego despite all the steroid admission and other drug problems he had. I’m sure there were some turnaround but in general it is hard to change a public opinion about one player irregardless of facts, true or otherwise.

    Besides, since he has been indicted now , I think teams would stay away from trying to sign him to play for next season.

  25. re: opinion of Bonds … I *hated* (at the time, and even moreso as time has gone on) being put in the position of rooting for Steve Garvey … I hope the Padres do not do that to me again … I did “root for the laundry” back in 1984 … and I s’pose the reality is I would do it again … but I’d rather they try to win another way … and I’m glad that that appears to be the current position of the Padre FO …

  26. BTW, what do you all think of the Clemens interview on 60 minutes tonight?
    He seems very mad to me but couldn’t quite explain why McNamee would lie about him but not Pettitte.

    I don’t think it changed any perception about the Rocket. He sure used lots of chemical by his admission if not steroids.

  27. 77: Glad I wasn’t around for that and not looking to be in that position soon either.

  28. 76 … thanks for the link … very interesting look at baseball’s international status … I’ve got a friend who moved to Sydney, Australia a couple of years ago … he’s been playing on a club team … and has indicated that he’s been amazed at how little about baseball is known, even by the guys who come out and play on the club team …

  29. 80 … Didi … you *would* like any post titled “Old Man River” (inside joke) :-)

  30. 74: I’ve enjoyed this immensely. And I’d like to point out that if we’re going to be absolutely correct on all terms, Kevin’s got to knock 1 point off every time he wrote “steroids” instead of PED or PEDs or performance enhancers. HGH isn’t a steroid. EPO isn’t a steroid.

    75: That’s exactly it, I don’t honestly know if, or how much, fan opinion has changed now that nobody can pretend PED use was limited or unusual. If the Padres think Bonds can help them on the field, it behooves them to find out. They don’t gain anything by assuming they already know the answer. And you’re right, the indictment is going to push teams away from him, although I’m sure a conditional contract could get around that.

    78: If you’re willing to stick that many needles in your body, you’re willing to swallow half a bottle of tranqs before the lie detector test. I’m stunned that MLB has allowed – not even allowed, encouraged – this to swing back on the players. The Mitchell Report calls the owners on the carpet. They’ve got documents from GMs proving that management knew about the issue a long time ago. But the commissioner’s office seems intent on turning it into a hammer against the MLBPA. They’re liable to stick themselves in the eye with the claw if they keep swinging it this hard.

  31. Yes, my original opinion was that we shouldn’t bother discussing the point. But I don’t think I have discussed it at length. I have mostly tried to combat your name-calling and generally inane points.

    Now you want to “knock off points.” Thanks, scorekeeper. Thanks for being so obtuse.

    I haven’t enjoyed this and think you have generally not understood most of what I have written and behaved poorly.

    You took it to this level with the “toastmaster” comment. So here we are. If you didn’t like my first post about this, so what. Guess what: People say a lot of things every day. Get over it.

    If you or anyone else if giving out “titles,” then you are poor poster, and this isn’t a site with civil discourse.

  32. #83, 84: Guys, the baseball stuff is great, but can we move the “toastmaster” conversation somewhere else? Debating placement of apostrophes doesn’t advance any relevant discussions. Thanks.

  33. Re: 78 loved the “didn’t Happen” defense, I don’t understand why more lawyers don’t use it.

    I also loved how he dodged the lie detector questions “I dont know if it would be good or bad” last time I checked its a good thing if you pass a lie detector test.

  34. Re: 83 thats what happens when you have an owner for a commissioner.

  35. 86: It’s like Eddie Murphy’s “Wasn’t Me” routine. Keep it short, simple, and repetitive. Didn’t happen. Didn’t happen. Didn’t happen.

    Clemens filed suit last night. He’s going to have a hard time damaging McNamee’s credibility when Pettite has already admitted McNamee wasn’t fibbing about him.

    McNamee’s not some shady personal trainer who got into the Yankee clubhouse by handing a 20 to the attendant, or a low-ranking staffer who says he stumbled onto an awkward scene in the shower. He was the NY strength coach. He seems to have been everywhere Clemens was after the Rocket left Boston. Strength coach in Toronto, in NY, and then in some capacity in Houston.

  36. 87: Yeah. It’s not very smart. The owners have already proven they can’t help themselves when they have money to spend. What kind of concessions does Selig expect the union to offer if he’s raking them over the coals for this, in direct contradiction to what the Mitchell Report calls for?

    There’s a nice bit of writing in the middle of this story:

    Clemens swears he never took “banned” substances. That’s not the same as swearing he never took HGH or steroids. He could technically be telling the truth if he took steroids only before 2002 and stopped taking HGH after 2005.

  37. The other line I loved was when he said “If someone sold me steroids then why arn’t they coming forward?”

    Well I know that if I had sold Clemens steroids there is no way in H E double hockey sticks that I would I would come forward and say it. I don’t think I would be to keen on having to go to congressional hearings and being mentioned in government reports, I don’t think it would be that good for business.

    The main reason why I think Clemens is guilty is because McNamee had no reason to lie, it did not seem like he had a grudge against Clemens and even if he did he wound have been guilty of perjury if he was found out, and the whole reason why he was doing this was to avoid jail time.