Friday Links (21 Mar 08)

Reminder to folks here in San Diego: I’ll be on “SportsWrap” this Sunday evening at 11:35 p.m. PT. Tune to NBC 7/39 for your chance to see a real-live baseball dork on television.

To the links…

  • Bill Center at the U-T takes a look at roster possibilities. According to this, Glendon Rusch will be in the bullpen and Wil Ledezma (who is out of options) likely will be on the staff in some capacity. In related news, Jim Edmonds is optimistic hopeful he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
  • Tom Krasovic at the U-T offers encouraging news on rehabbing pitchers Mark Prior and Clay Hensley (h/t LynchMob):

    The surgeon’s work is enabling Prior to throw with proper form, to repeat the same release point that he had before injuries led to compensation issues and degraded his silky delivery.

    He said he is able to get the extension and angle needed to hit the low-outside portion of the strike zone, or just wide of it. Last spring training, Prior said, he wasn’t able to smoothly get that done. “I’d come around the ball,” he said, tilting his right hand inward.

    Proof is in the proverbial pudding (is that like tapioca?), but this at least sounds promising.

  • I loved watching the games in China, but I’m kinda bummed we didn’t get to see Jet Li throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2.
  • We also didn’t get to see the cheerleaders.
  • There are a couple of new Padres blogs out there worth visiting. Planet Padres has a bunch of cool photos from Peoria (h/t LynchMob), while the Swinging Friar interviews Padres.com beat writer Corey Brock. Stop by and say hey, if you haven’t already.
  • Also, FriarBall has moved. These will all be updated at PadreBlogs.com within the next day or two.
  • Keeping with this theme, MB of Friar Forecast fame has joined San Diego Spotlight, and his first post there is a dandy. Among other things, we learn that Greg Maddux throws a much higher percentage of fastballs than Jake Peavy does.
  • Mark Thoma at the Riverside Press-Enterprise has written a nice article on Chase Headley (h/t Pat). Among other things, Headley talks about his approach at the plate:

    …the biggest thing is learning what pitch you can drive rather than going up there and hitting a pitch that you can put in play but not hit for power. Strikeouts are a product of seeing a lot of pitches.

  • Calling my own number, I’ve penned a Padres preview over at Razzball. It has a fantasy slant and is mostly review material for readers o’ the ‘snort.
  • Dirk Hayhurst’s latest “Non-Prospect Diary” is up at Baseball America. This time he talks about winning a championship at Double-A San Antonio last season:

    I know it takes more then one person to play this sport. I know there are nine positions on a baseball field. But the concept of team is more then the numbers required to fill locations. I’d be a fool to tell you money doesn’t talk in this world of ours, and be lying if I said I don’t want to beat all comers to a spot in the bigs. Yet, in my heart, I still believe this is a team game. Not because of what old coaches preach, what numbers say, or what Disney movies evoke. I believe this is a team game because I know what its like to lose with a team, and win with one . . .

    Maybe he’ll win with the Padres one day.

  • Rich at Baseball Analysts examines pitchers (starters | relievers) based on their strikeout and groundball rates (h/t Jim Parish). As if we needed further evidence that Cla Meredith is superfreaky, yow…
  • My esteemed colleague Rob McQuown ranks prospects at Baseball Digest Daily (h/t Pat). Among hitters, Chase Headley checks in at #25, Kyle Blanks at #29, and Matt Antonelli at #34. Will Inman is #14 among pitchers, which may come as a bit of a shock to some folks (okay, me).
  • Brandon Isleib at Hardball Times examines Bert Blyleven’s career, specifically how much fan (and media) exposure he received during his playing days. In light of our recent discussion on marquee players, I found this an interesting line of inquiry. As Yogi Berra might say, It’s hard to be famous if nobody knows who you are.
  • I would kill to have a business like MLB. No matter how much you screw things up, people keep coming back for more (h/t LynchMob). Really, where’s the incentive to improve the product?

That otter do it. Have a happy Friday, and be excellent…