Posting will be light this week. Nothing much is happening with the Padres right now (aside from the signings of Allan Dykstra and James Darnell, I suppose), and a few other projects are demanding my time:
- I’m working on a quick survey of compensatory draft picks through history — We’ve already touched on Rafael Palmeiro being drafted by the Cubs as compensation for “losing” Tim Stoddard to the Padres, but how about the Blue Jays getting Shawn Green for losing Bud Black, or the Rockies getting Jody Gerut for losing Walt Weiss?
- I’m also working on the 1969 chapter of the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual — With 40 hours a week spent editing other people’s stuff, if I don’t get this started now, it’s not going to happen. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be gathering all of my notes on the inaugural 1969 team and attempting to assemble it into something coherent.
Finally, I have a backlog of research questions that I’ll study as time permits:
- The Padres and Rockies have both fallen hard this year, but one team’s attendance has suffered for it while the other’s has flourished despite a much less successful track record over the past five seasons. Why is this so?
- How does the current Padres bullpen compare with those from the past? In examining this, I’ve made some interesting discoveries that have nothing to do with performance. For example, usage shifted dramatically between 1990 and 1991, and again between 1997 and 1998. I don’t know whether this is the case throughout baseball, but it certainly was for the Padres. Anyway, there’s lots of fun stuff here, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish this before the season ends. If not, it’ll be in the book.
- Has there been a less appreciated player in baseball than Brian Giles over the past 15-20 years? After being buried in Cleveland and wasted in Pittsburgh, Giles has been dismissed in San Diego despite being one of the best performers ever to play for the Padres. He’s sort of like Ryan Klesko and Phil Nevin, but with less whining and more winning. Still, some folks prefer to rewrite history and insist that Jason Bay was destined for stardom from the beginning. (I guess that’s why the Expos traded him for Lou Collier, and the Mets traded him for Steve Reed — what rational person wouldn’t give up a known future star for such fine players?)
- Does Petco Park distort perceptions about the Padres’ strengths and weaknesses, and if so, to what degree? Hint: The offense isn’t what’s been killing the team this year.
I’m also hoping to have the Portland Beavers review ready within the next couple weeks, so hang tight. One day we’ll all look back at this season and laugh. I look forward to that day…