You Say It’s Your Birthday?

Two men with Padres ties celebrate their birthday today. Catcher George Williams, who appeared in 11 games for the Pads in 2000, turns 38. In the fifth inning of a September 2 contest against the Pirates, Williams hit the last of his 10 big-league home runs, a blast to right-center off right-hander Todd Ritchie that plated the late Mike Darr and kept the Padres close in a game they eventually lost, 6-3.

Preston Gomez managed the inaugural Padres squad in 1969 and stuck around through the first 11 games of 1972. He finished his Padres managerial career with a 180-316 record, and later managed the Astros and Cubs. Gomez turns 86 today and is still recovering from being hit by a truck in spring training. Our thoughts continue to be with him and his family.

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75 Responses »

  1. So, I think we just need to finish Aprill with a .500 record. If we can do that, I think we’ll be fine.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #1@Phantom: Scotty is trying to pull pitches he couldn’t reach with a boat oar, Edmunds’s is doing his last days of Willie Mays impressions, NOG had plastic surgery, and the seven man bullpen is overworked. No I’m not worried.

  3. #1@Phantom: If by fine you mean on track to finish at .500, then I’ll agree with you :)

  4. Well, the padres are what they are. Its the competition that scares me. Az is 5.5 ahead and showing signs of being amoung the best in MLB. The Central is strong with 4 teams playing at a 600 clip or better. All that will tighten up as the season goes on, of course, but unless the Padres improve drastically, they have no shot at the NLW or the WC.

    So, if the trading deadline was today with the current standings, would you break the team down to rebuild or rent-a-vet?

    I would rebuild with some of our young guys.

  5. #4@PM: I would use Randy Wolf as a trade chip, and try to fill the hole in center field.

  6. #1@Phantom:

    What exactly do you mean by fine?

    The way I see it we will be lucky to finish .500 and realistically will probably be under it. With this bullpen and this offense we give our good starting pitchers almost no help to win games.

    It would also be nice if we started looking at guys who can pitch anywhere and not just petco. Justin Germano couldn’t start on any other team in the league but because we have this insane home park “advantage” the front office passes him off to us as a legit starter and he is a mop up bull pen guy at best.

  7. #3@Anthony: I don’t think we’ll finish .500, I do think we’ll finish a bit higher. By my count/estimate, we should have won about four game mores at this point than we currently have.

    I do think we’re a good team, we’re just not playing like it. Adrian showed some signs of life yesterday, and hopefully Khalil will start hitting the ball out of the yard. Our bullpen is better than it has shown itself to be thus far. I think we’re gonna be fine.

  8. #6@Field39:

    You mentioned that the other day and I feel that I need to let you know that Randy Wolf won’t get us anything decent for Center Field. I think the other day you even said a top cf prospect and that’s just not going to happen. Randy Wolf has looked good so far but he hasn’t had a healthy season in 3 years so no team would give up anything of value for him. If we want a top prospect type or anyone with upside we will probably have to give something of value in return.

    I think Tony Gwynn JR. could be a reasonable option but again his upside seems limited and the Brewers have not been exactly open to giving him up to us in the past. I honestly don’t know who we could get with good potential without bringing Headley or Antonelli into the picture.

    If I was KT I think I would definitely be on the horn with the Angels though.

  9. #7@KRS1: Are you kidding? Germano had the third lowest ERA in the NL going into yesterday’s game. The Astros are starting Jack Cassel (our cast-off) later this week. There are PLENTY of teams who would take Germano. Just because he got shelled yesterday doesn’t mean he’s all of a sudden a terrible pitcher. He’s fine as a number five.

  10. #10@Phantom:

    You’re expectations are way too low if you think he is fine as a #5.

    What do his splits look like so far? I know he has a low era but Petco is the whip cream to his turd. Did you forget about how he pitched last year? Started out great then the league caught up and was all over his 87 mph cheese.

    But I suppose I would rather have him than Jack Cassell… Touche!

  11. #10@Phantom: At the risk of turning this into a Pick On Phantom thread, accepting Germano as a full-time starting pitcher is exactly in line with building a team that tops out at 88 wins. It’s true that many teams have below-average pitchers in the 4 and 5 spots; that doesn’t mean we should pass on chances to have a competitive advantage there. Besides, Germano’s low ERA was largely a product of Petco. 3 strikeouts in 13 IP at home, with 8 walks and 7 strikeouts overall, should worry people given his minor and major league track record. He’s a good insurance policy. On a stronger overall team he might even be acceptable for the entire season.

    The SP hasn’t been much of a problem the first three weeks. There are some possibly ominous signs – CY has been achy and shaky, Germano was walking a tightrope before falling off it last night – but the hitting and pen have hurt us far worse. Bullpens are too volatile for me to have much faith in a turnaround. It’s been mentioned before, but it bears repeating that the Padres have put together some real stinky pens even under Towers. I’m actually less worried about the hitting. Seems to me the same thing happened last year, a lot of colder, damp games at home, some strong opponent pitching on the road, and we ended up with a slightly above average offense.

  12. #11@KRS1: I don’t see how my expectations are way too low for Germano to be a fifth starter.

    As for his splits:

    He’s pitched 10.1 innings on the road and given up 10 runs. He’s pitched 13 innings at home and given up 3. Prior to last night, his only earned runs had come at home.

    In his first two starts, he gave up a combined 7 hits (one at home, one in SF).

    I think expecting Germano to be a fourth starter is a mistake. He’s fine as a fifth starter. He had a bad outing. It happens. It happened to CY in LA, and it happened to Maddux on Friday. Should we all of a sudden not consider them worthy enough to be in our rotation?

  13. Hey, GY, Mike Darr was alive when he scored that run.

  14. #12@Tom Waits: I agree that we should upgrade if we can, but I don’t think it’s currently possible. Of our currently available options, Germano is probably the best bet for the fifth spot. LeBlanc might be better, but Germano pitched incredibly well in ST (probably meaningless) and has shown great composure in his first 3 games. He had a hiccup yesterday. It was the worst outing of his career. It’s not like this type of thing happens to him on a regular basis.

  15. #15@Phantom: Yes, he’s the best option for now, until one of the youngsters gets acclimated. He’s not a better option than some pitchers who were available over the winter.

    His composure isn’t a problem. Not striking anyone out and walking too many guys is. Petco can hide that.

  16. #13@Phantom:

    That’s fine if that’s how you feel but IMO being content with Germano in severely selling yourself short. He wasn’t good last year he looks shakey as hell this year and for me I just want someone better in the rotation. I expect more than Justin Germano and I think everyone else should too.

    The fact that CY and Maddux have been questionable in some starts so far just cements my point that we need better out of the 5th spot. If we had a dynamite 1-4 starters than Germano might be passable but we don’t and he isn’t. CY and Maddux have earned my respect enough to make me think that they can pull through it but I saw this last year from Germano and I just don’t think he is good enough.

  17. #17@KRS1: My point is that our rotation isn’t shaky, it’s that people have bad outings. We’ve had a total of 3 bad outings from our SP in 20 games. That’s really not that bad at all. In fact, it’s quite good. Until Germano blew up yesterday, I believe we had the best starting rotation ERA in baseball.

    The offense will come along, and the bullpen will be better than it has been. If we can have 17 good starts for ever 3 bad ones, we should be in good shape to make up some ground over the next few months.

  18. #18@Phantom:

    I guess we will see once the sample size gets bigger but let’s just say… I have my doubts.

  19. #14@Stephen: “Mike Darr was alive when he scored that run.”

    Which absolutely requires me to link to this.

  20. 18: Germano is a fifth starter because that’s what he is on a good day.
    I think the Padres need to wise up and only use Germano at home and skip his starts when there is an off day to keep Germano’s start to a minimum. He lacks the swing and miss pitch in his repertoire. He’s useful to have but let’s not count on him every fifth day. I was hoping he’ll go 10-9 for the season but at this point he should be 3-1 already and not.

    Yes, it’s sad that the Astros are counting on Cassel but it’s not any sadder than giving Germano a start on the road.

    14: LOL, I thought there was something weird as I read the sentence but couldn’t place it.

  21. Germano is a marginal 5th starter but let’s be honest, he’s probably not even in the top 5 things wrong with this club. Our centerfielder is breaking down and ill-suited for Petco, Hairston is showing us why Arizona let him go, the bullpen is a disaster, our HOF closer is coughing up leads and giving up warning track bombs in Petco that would be 10 rows deep in any other park. Our backup catcher is an overmatched AA kid. Our offense has shown a lack of power, even on the road, and a total lack of speed. If all we had to worry about was Germano we’d be fine.

  22. #22@Anthony: Agree completely. The difference is, some of the offense may come back; I’m not writing off Hairston’s minor league record or Edmonds career (even last year he hit) on three weeks. Germano, though, has always had borderline peripherals.

  23. 22: Agree. I’m still rooting for Germano and have ever since his season in Elsinore. I just have learnt to temper my expectations. Had the offense done its job, he’ll be 3-1. The offense scored as many runs yesterday as in his three prior starts combined.

  24. #22@Anthony: I agree lets not Kill Germano after one bad start in a hitter park, has he been amazing all year? No, has he been lucky and taken advantage of Petco? Yes. He’s ok in the fifth spot and yes I think he would be a legitimate 5th starter for half of the teams in the league.

    I don’t want to write off Hairston yet, lets give him another month to see if he adjusts to playing every day. I really do think Edmonds is done he has had 58 PA’s and played in 14 games so im not really sure how far the lack of spring training argument will go because he has looked progressively worse as the season has moved on. His glove is also not keeping him in the lineup so I think its time the Padres admit that the gamble did not work and move on.

    As far as a backup catcher goes im not really sure what else is out there, Damien Miller is available but how long has he been sitting on his couch for at this point? I don’t see the Padres using him to PH and other than starting once a week im not sure what he would provide that would be more valuable then what Colt is providing.

    I think if the Padres are playing .500 ball after May they should really think about brining up some kids and seeing who can play and who can’t.

  25. 23: I think its safe to write off Edmonds career. He had a nice one but he is coming of YEARS of injuries and he obviously isnt bouncing back from them. On the other hand I think it is much too early to write of Hairston, his minor league numbers were strong and he started off hot. I think you might be right about the weather.

    I agree. Germano is not a 5th starter. Great insurance policy, great spot starter, but not who we should be ok with taking the mound every 5 days. I think he proved that last year. I dont know if it is too early to try out Leblanc, but I think Ledezma has more upside as a starter than Germano. Ledezma has the stuff and he seems to be finding his location. His stuff it 10X Germano’s.

  26. #26@SDSUBaseball: I’m not enough of a scout to know if Edmonds’ bat speed is gone. It may be that his injuries have completely compromised his hitting, I just can’t tell.

    Defensively, he looks done in CF. In LF, though, he could be a defensive weapon. But it all depends on whether his bat still has anything but termites in it.

  27. #27@Tom Waits:

    He looks like he litterally doesn’t have the bat speed to turn on anything. It’s like he only looks strictly to left field. I know he has always been an opposite field type but he could also turn on pitches and I have yet to really see him do that. I’m not saying he’s done but it doesn’t look good.

  28. #27@Tom Waits: I hear ya. I cant claim to be either, but the last few years and so far this year hasn’t shown me much is left in his bat. Defense shouldn’t take much time to find a rhythm though. I think you may be right, he could be solid in LF, but he is taking weird routes and it may be just as bad in LF. If Jimmy plays in LF then Hairston plays in CF. Hairston has looked ok in CF so I might be ok with that. I would really like to give Huber some more ABs.

  29. Why put Edmonds in LF? His bat does not justify it and he might still be below average defensively, why not platoon P-Mac and Huber there see if one pans out, or drop Edmonds and let Ambers or Guret get a shot? Any of the four will prob give the same production at the plate and who knows one may pan out and give the Padres options for next year when the entire OF will be replaced.

  30. I think in about one more week, we’ll have a pretty good sense of what’s going on with this team. By then, it should be pretty clear what we’re doing in the OF, and any other changes that might need to be made. I do think that Germano probably has a pretty short leash, and if he has another outing like yesterday, he’s gone.

    My biggest concern is what do we do if one if one Jake, CY, or Wolf goes down.

  31. #30@Steve C: If Edmonds is the hitter he was in 2006 (not holding out hope for his peak), then he’s a better hitter than any of those options. Like we’ve been saying, it all depends on whether his bat is just tired or if it’s dead.

    I wouldn’t have a problem dropping Edmonds entirely if it looks like we can’t climb back in the race, but the team isn’t going to do that before June. They traded a prospect for him and are paying him 7m. They didn’t do that to throw in the towel this soon.

  32. #31@Phantom:

    If Jake CY or Wolf go down then we start looking for playoff contenders that can use the services of a solid outfielder (Brian Giles) or second baseman (Iguchi). Maybe even Maddux is he holds up well.

  33. Let’s not get too crazy after just a bad run of 6 games. It’s foolish to give up on players after less then a month too. There are plenty of players that aren’t hitting at all:
    Does everyone think that all the older players on this list are done? Sure Edmonds might be done but I think we should give him more time (mainly because outside of Headley, the alternatives are all worse).

    Now I know that most of you know that I was too excited about the moves the made this off-season (or didn’t make) especially the decision to use Germano in a starting role instead of signing Kyle Lohse (admittedly it’s early but it looks disastrous so far). The main thing I don’t understand is why Hairston isn’t playing more CF. Just by watching him in games it seems like he can play CF and when Headley comes up it’s not like he’s going to be sitting while Edmonds plays everyday (I hope).


    Top 5 2008 NL Starters, by SNLVAR

    Player, Team, SNLVAR

    Jake Peavy, SDN, 1.5
    Ben Sheets, MIL, 1.5
    Brandon Webb, ARI, 1.2
    Kyle Lohse, SLN, 1.2
    Cole Hamels, PHI, 1.1

    … makes me happy!

  35. #35@Kevin: I disagree, to an extent, when it comes to the assessment of Edmonds. Yes, if someone is only looking at this season, but we have more than this season available to us in assessing him. He has a consistent run of injuries and downward trend in performance documented over the past 3 seasons and now into 2008. I haven’t had a chance to see him play much yet, but I think it’s pretty clear from his 3 year trend, plus ST injury, plus poor performance to date that he is not going to improve; at the very least the odds are strongly against it, imo.

  36. Drop PMac; pay Bonds.

    Give into your anger.

    Your journey towards the Dark Side will be complete.

    (Oh, I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive.)

  37. #38@M. Peror: Impressive, most impressive. But you are not a Jedi yet.

  38. Yet another reason to have sub’d in Adrian for Clark when Adrian PH’d in the middle of the 22-inning game last week …

    … with reason #1 being keeping Gonzalez’ bat in the lineup, and reason #2 being keeping Gonzalez’ glove on the field.

  39. #32@Tom Waits: I just dont think Edmonds is the hitter he was in 2006, but I agree the Padres won’t drop him until June if at all.

  40. #37@Pat: We knew Edmonds was not a good choice before the season. So no sample size was needed.

    My statement was a general response to the sky is falling comments.

  41. Nice summary Anthony!! But you forgot one: ….and a beer is freaking $9! Because with this team, we all are gonna need a lot of beer.

  42. One benefit of being a non-beer drinker…I get to ONLY pay $5 for a large soda! WoooHooo…

    On a completely non-related note, Albert Pujols is playing 2nd base for the Cardinals in the 10th inning right now. Jason LaRue went to first from behind the plate.

  43. #38@M. Peror: I was thinking the same thing in the shower this morning. I’ve actually been rooting for Pmac to succeed, but you’ve got to figure Bonds can’t be that much worse defensively. I can’t stand Bonds as much as anybody, but if he gave us a .450 OBP (which would be a drop from even his last two years), and some more power, our offense would get a huge boost, even if he is subbed for a defensive replacement, or only pinch hits some games.

    Like him or not, he would help this ballclub on the field and put more people in the seats. We’d probably get a lot more exposure and interest from casual fans as well as ESPN and other national media too. In my mind, my feelings towards him are the same as other guys like Tejada or Clemens.

  44. If I thought Bonds would push this team over the top to win the NL west I would say bring him in but I just don’t think he will do it. I would rather see a player who may have a future with the team (P-Mac, Huber, Guret, Ambers, Headly even Huffman) to be in LF.

  45. #46@Steve C: That’s actually a fair point.. I’m not sure it’d be worthwhile unless we were in the playoff hunt. I guess it hasn’t hit me yet that this years team might not be a contender. We’ll see how the next few weeks play out…

  46. #46@Steve C: Well unfortunately none of the players you named has a future with this team except for Headley. McAnulty will probably be cut when they bring up Headley (unless they cut Edmonds but that’s doubtful with his $6m to $7m salary), Gerut and Ambres are really just Portland filler and Huffman hasn’t hit at all above Single A yet. Huber might stick around for awhile but players with his skill set (poor defensively, can hit left-handed pitching) aren’t exactly rare.

    As bad as Edmonds has been so far, he’s not the worse hitter on the team, Iguchi is. But I don’t see daily calls for them to cut him and either bring up Antonelli or someone from Portland.

  47. #48@Schlom: We dont know if Guret is done and we dont know if Huber can play every day. Also P-Mac seems to be one of the few players on the team who can hit more than a single.

    My point was why bring in Bonds for a year if it does not look like the Pads are going to make a playoff run. There are alot of holes that need to be fixed other than LF before this team will become a contender.

  48. #48@Schlom: Then again, Antonelli probably wouldn’t be the same upgrade at 2B as Bonds would in LF.