That was a fun one Thursday night, eh? I’d make a crack about how it’s only the Giants, but seeing as how we have virtually no chance of overtaking them for fourth place, that hardly seems appropriate.
Seriously, though, it’s cool to see a bunch of these kids that I watched at Elsinore come up here and have some success. Matt Antonelli knocked three hits and drew a walk (and only a fine play by Omar Vizquel kept him from reaching base a fifth time), Drew Macias collected his first big-league hit (a homer off Matt Cain, no less), and Josh Geer tossed a gem.
Meanwhile, we’ve got links…
- Jason at It Is About the Money, Stupid interviews Paul DePodesta. There’s some good stuff in here, but this is probably my favorite bit from DePo:
We get a pass/fail grade 162 times a year, and no matter how good the team is we will fail a lot. The losing can really take its toll when you dedicate so much time and effort to the cause. On the other hand, the triumph of high achievement that accompanies winning is special.
It always cracks me up when fans assume that folks in the front office don’t give a damn. I learn more about the pride those fans take in their own work than anything else.
- Portland manager Randy Ready is up with the big club (h/t Baseball in Fort Wayne). That’s great, but buried in here is a nice quote from left-hander Wade LeBlanc on his difficulties this season:
If you look at it as a failure, you won’t make it through the season. I looked at it as if that struggle will help me in the long run.
Will it help him in the long run? Who knows, but at least he’s thinking about it the right way. He’s admitting that it’s a possibility, which is better than the alternative.
- Could right-hander Mike Ekstrom be a dark horse candidate for the 2009 bullpen? Some within the organization seem to think so. Quoth GM Kevin Towers:
It looks a little bit like the path that Scott Linebrink followed to the major leagues. Scott was a starter, but his stuff and how he pitched was better suited to being a reliever.
Hey, why not. Just keep throwing guys out there and see if any of ‘em turn out to be good.
- Speaking of pitchers, DePodesta talks about the two newest members of the Padres, right-handers Charlie Haeger and Scott Patterson. I find his take on Haeger interesting:
As is the case with most knuckleballers, Charlie can walk some hitters, and he can give up some fly balls. That’s not a great combo in the American League, particularly in US Cellular in Chicago, but it’s more palatable in our environment. Kevin Towers has said in the past that he’s been intrigued with the idea of a knuckleballer in our park given the coastal weather conditions and the spacious outfield. In a more general sense, knuckleballers can also create some flexibility within a pitching staff due to their ability to pitch often and in a variety of roles.
The bit about walks being “more palatable” at Petco surprises me a little because the organization typically places a premium on guys who throw strikes. A natural gut reaction is to wonder why they are going against the grain with Haeger. A more telling observation is that the Padres don’t appear to be overly attached to their own tendencies and are willing to be flexible where the situation dictates. This, I like. The ability to adapt has served our species well over the years.
And here’s what we’ve been talking about this week at Ducksnorts. Some of these discussions are still active, so feel free to add your $0.02:
- It’s Funny Because It’s Truthy — In the end, does it really matter whether someone is trying to be humorous? If I laugh, it works. (See Wood, Ed.)
- Help Wanted: All-Time Padres Team — We’re looking for a third-string second baseman and a third-string left fielder. As of this writing, Bip Roberts leads Quilvio Veras, 12-2, for the former, while Rickey Henderson leads Greg Vaughn, 8-5, for the latter. Unless I’m presented with compelling reasons to do otherwise, I’m inclined to put Roberts on the team. I remain uncertain about Henderson and Vaughn; feel free to convince me one way or the other.
- Bounce or Crash? — Reader Tom Waits wonders about the Padres’ chances to rebound in 2009. Unlike most of us, though, he’s actually studied the issue a bit.
- Partly Focused, with a Ten Percent Chance of Useful — So, yeah, that whole thing about Adrian Gonzalez fading in the second half? He has three homers in the last two games. Emily Litella sends her regards.