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!

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18 Responses »

  1. re: Closer Entrance Music … I propose we start calling Heath Bell “The Machine” … and start having him enter to the Pink Floyd tune “Welcome to The Machine” … … ya, we can be mellow :-)

  2. #1: LOL. My band used to play “Comfortably Numb” (aka “Comfy Buns”). It was a first-set song, kind of a warmup for later in the evening. Some nights, I’d look out at the people in the bar and think, you know, I’m not sure they need to hear this right now. ;-)

  3. GY – Friendly reminder about some kinda Ducksnorts event/gathering/Comfortable Numbness for Trevor Hoffman’s final game…

  4. For Heath Bell, i always thought it would a great idea for him to come out to Boston’s Higher Power. The Chorus is pretty bad ass….and it actually makes sense for a reliever kinda…

    the world is spinning but i’m not afraid.

    i actually e-mailed corey brock with this suggestion once…..i didn’t get a response. haha.

  5. 1: I don’t know why, but for some reason I think it would be hillarious to see Heath enter to “Welcome to the Jungle”. He could just stalk forward from the bullpen like he was going to kill the next person that looks directly at his eyes.

  6. 1: That is a great idea.

    According to Ken Rosenthal, Mark Prior is still on track and progressing well in his rehab. He’s on schedule to return to the big leagues before June. He’ll throw off a mound within the next week.

  7. There’s an interview with Prior from yesterday at the xx audio vault, which is generally a pretty useful resource

  8. 7 … *awesome* link FFD … THANKS!

    3 … I’m presuming & hoping that that’s still premature …

    Good stuff @ BP today …

    – UTK Kickoff … free to all today …

    – This article is for subscribers only, but the headline serves us as a warning: Dodgers Top 11 Prospects, by Kevin Goldstein: The best scouting and player development system in baseball has added to that track record with another excellent batch of impact talent …

    – and finally, their STAT OF THE DAY

    Top 5 Luckiest NL Relievers, by Bequeathed Runs Prevented

    Player, Team, Beq Runs Prevented

    Will Ohman, CHN, 9.6
    Trever Miller, HOU, 6.3
    Ray King, WAS, 6.3
    Cla Meredith, SDN , 6.0
    Doug Slaten, ARI, 5.2

  9. BP Pecota Projections are now available to BP Subscribers. It does not fancy Headley.

  10. 4. Mike, feel free to email me anytime ( You might have sent me a mailbag question. I can’t get to all of those (you’d be floored at how many questions I get).

  11. BP released the PECOTA projections today. Maybe we can compare them to the blogs projections so far:

    Hairston: .258/.332/.469 in about 375 AB’s
    Greene: .254/.310/.443
    Kouz: .280/.337/.473…Tony Perez and Kevin Mitchell are the top-2 comps. I’d take a Mitchell 1989 season out of Kouz one of these days…

    A little lower than ours on the whole…

  12. 9: No kidding-it actually projects David Freese with better numbers than Headley!

  13. From a quick scan of the Pecota spreadsheet, my initial impressions are that it dislikes Headley, it likes Hairston, and the projected innings are for all of the starters except Peavy seem exceptionally low (it has Maddux at 100 and Young at 140; heck, even Heath Bell of the 93 IP last year is only projected to throw 61). It also thinks Jim Edmonds is done.

  14. I’m not sure what music Heath Bell should enter with but I think he definitely needs to stick with some crazy Fu-Manchu type facial hair (maybe in honor of Rod Beck), sprint in from the bullpen Craig Lefferts-style and then fire the first warm up pitch 10 feet over the catcher’s head, Al Hrabosky-style. He needs to add something for the intimidation factor. Not that his 96 MPH fastball isn’t intimidating but he still seems a bit too normal for a guy that will be closing by 2009.

    Check out my predictions for the starting rotation. It might be a bit on the optimistic side, but this group is capable of being one of the best if they can just stay healthy.

  15. 13: I saw that AB total for Edmonds…that’d be pretty ugly.

  16. Keith Law did a rough ranking of the systems of all 30 teams on his blog and the Padres came out 18th. In the comments on the post, Law said the system is full of lots of high probability, low upside guys, but it’s definitely improved over last year with the steps forward taken by Blanks and Headley and the addition of Latos. He thinks guys like Inman and LeBlanc can be successful pitchers at Petco but have limited trade value because other teams worry about them throwing in a neutral park.

  17. Thanks fot the link Geoff. You might be happy to learn that I am redesigning the site and the gray on black will definitely be going.

  18. Thanks, Tim; that is awesome news for my eyes! Keep up the great work. :-)