Friday Links (1 Feb 08)

Before I forget, friend of Ducksnorts Steve Poltz has released his latest CD, Traveling (as mentioned in our interviews with him), and it’s a solid effort. If you think I’m saying that just because Steve gave Ducksnorts a shout-out at last week’s in-store at Lou’s, then you don’t know me as well as I thought you did. Anyway, the CD is available through his site, so get it if the spirit moves you. Be sure to check out his blog while you’re there — fun stuff.

On to the links.

  • According to the U-T, Trevor Hoffman still feels the sting of two crucial blown saves toward the end of 2007 (hat tip to Phantom in the comments). Oldish but worth mentioning. Why I love Hoffy:

    I’m anxious for the next opportunity. I don’t think I’ll ever totally put behind me what happened. It’s etched forever as part of the picture. Good or bad, it’s all part of the journey.

    . . .

    Twice I had a chance at it. That’s a very big part of it. It’s not something you brush off. Part of being an athlete, the risk of competing, is the failure that balances success. It comes with a price.

    It still hurts. I know what happened. I’ve played it over in my mind. I’ve seen the video, although I don’t have it on file. It serves no real purpose to watch it anymore.

    We feel it, man.

  • Seems Adrian Gonzalez is seeking counsel from one Tony Gwynn (North County Times). Quoth Gonzalez:

    He feels I can do more with my abilities. A lot of times I get myself out, and he’s trying to make me eliminate all those at-bats where I got myself out because my mentality and approach weren’t right. … Anybody would be dumb not to listen to Tony and not just try but to apply what he’s telling you.

    Sounds like a good plan to me.

  • Corey Brock takes a look at the rotation over at (hat tip to Phantom in the comments). That back end still makes me very uncomfortable.
  • Corey also predicts that Chris Young will win the 2008 Cy Young. I admire Corey’s bravado.
  • Speaking of starting pitchers, MB covers them in his latest look at projections for ’08 at Friar Forecast. Did I mention that the back end makes me very uncomfortable?
  • LynchMob points out that the Padres will play in the 2008 Hall of Fame game (Yahoo!), which also will be the last of its kind. According to the article, “it is the last surviving in-season exhibition game on the major league schedule.” Because, of course, Bud Selig made the All-Star game “meaningful” a while back.
  • Jeff at Lookout Landing (blog about the Mariners, our bitter natural rivals) has used Josh Kalk’s PITCHf/x tool to break down Seattle’s hitters in fascinating ways. Someone should do this for the Padres. Hint: It shouldn’t be me. ;-)
  • MLB Trade Rumors has an interview with Royals pitcher Brian Bannister: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (hat tip to PF4L in the comments. Incidentally, I love Tim’s site but can’t read the grey on black. If you’re using Firefox, you can install the Web Developer add-on and disable CSS from the toolbar. Or if you’re really geeky, you can create your own style sheet and use that instead. Anwyay, this is a good read. One of my favorite bits invokes a quote from our very own Greg Maddux: “When they’re in a jam, a lot of pitchers…try to throw harder. Me, I try to locate better.”
  • Prospect guru Kevin Goldstein talks about the process of evaluating young talent over at Baseball Prospectus (hat tip to LynchMob in the comments). From the article:

    You want to know why I was so wrong about Dustin Pedroia? It’s not because I under-evaluated his tools, I can read my report on those and they’re still very accurate. It’s because I underrated just how valuable his effort is to his overall productivity.

    Intangibles: You might not know what they are, but they still belong in the equation. Ain’t that a bitch.

  • Dex at Gaslamp Ball reviews the Portland Beavers’ new unis. Pretty stylish, but I’m a sucker for earth tones. Or whatever the heck colors those are. Earth tones, right? Yeah, something like that.
  • Ah, spring; time for our favorite cliches (New York Daily News, hat tip to Ben B. in the comments).
  • Calling my own number here. Inspired by an email from reader Arne (a Padres fan in Belgium!), I assembled a list of resources that I have found invaluable in learning more about baseball (Knuckle Curve). Maybe you or someone you know will benefit from this in some way as well.

Finally, two bonus babies from the DS archives:

  • Bad Closer Entrance Music. Oh, yeah, fire me up some Roberta Flack.
  • Ducksnorts: Best of 2003. While we’re all waiting for the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual (updates next week), here’s an old PDF I slapped together, geez, 5 years ago? Those were depressing times for Padres fans. It’s good to be reminded of that every now and then.

And of course, the usual linkage at Happy Friday, folks. Go Padres!