Writing the Book (13 Oct 08)

I’m still making good progress on the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual. This week I worked on player profiles and dashboards. My goal was to complete eight of ‘em, but I ended up doing 13. Next up: a few more full profiles to write, plus several shorter pieces on guys who didn’t contribute as much; I should finish those later this week.

I’ve also started piecing together a quasi-philosophical essay on the challenges that lay ahead for the Padres as they try to gain the trust of a fan base and media that show little interest in trusting them. I started thinking about this back when support was waning even as the team won 88 and 89 games in ’06 and ’07, but more recently I’ve been inspired by a Tim Sullivan article at the U-T that invoked some pretty charged language in an attempt to… well, I haven’t quite figured out his agenda yet.

(I had drafted a point-by-point refutation of Sullivan’s article called “Don’t Be a Sponge” but abandoned it when Bud Black re-upped for 2009 almost immediately, rendering most of the article’s talking points moot. Still, phrases like “as if presenting his profile to a police photographer” and “pledge allegiance to Sandy Alderson’s organizational manual” are more provocative than they are insightful. You and I may know better, but not everyone does.)

I’m also reading a book called News Values. Written by former Tribune Publishing Company CEO Jack Fuller, it casts light on many of the problems inherent in today’s media coverage. Suffice to say, we would do well to view the “news” with a more critical eye than many of us do.

Anyway, this essay should fit well with my discussion of declining attendance and the Padres’ inability to capitalize on their initial success at Petco Park. Depending on what else happens, I may also include something on the John Moores situation.

(In case you missed it, Moores either is or isn’t selling the Padres. Technically this has been true since the day he first owned the club, which is why I haven’t commented on it here yet. News is worth reporting; tautology, not so much.)

Research Notes

  • Jody Gerut destroyed lefties in 2008, to the tune of .308/.338/.585.
  • Adrian Gonzalez did not. In fact, he’s been steadily declining against southpaws since he arrived in San Diego:
    2006: .312/.345/.489
    2007: .263/.328/.468
    2008: .213/.287/.387
  • On the bright side, Gonzalez’s overall numbers remain fantastic. Also, the Padres owe him just $7.75 million over the next two seasons and hold a $5.5 million club option for 2011. That’s $13.25 million over three seasons for one of the best young power hitters in baseball if you’re keeping score at home. (This is why Yankees fans are making a mess of themselves in talking about the guy. The latest rumor has Gonzalez and Jake Peavy headed to New York for Andy Stankiewicz, Gerald Williams, and a case of Snapple.) To provide some perspective, the Dodgers owe Juan Pierre $28.5 million guaranteed over that same stretch. And people wonder why I maintain my faith — their relatively strong showing this year notwithstanding — in Ned Colletti’s ability to damage that franchise.
  • Edgar Gonzalez fell apart toward the end of his rookie season, batting just .199/.268/.272 from July 23 onward.
  • Maybe Scott Hairston should be the new hitting coach. He put up some monster numbers at Petco Park in ’08: .271/.333/.514.
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff’s platoon splits have been weird in his first two big-league seasons:
    2007: .240/.309/.396 vs RHP, .356/.376/.596 vs LHP
    2008: .269/.303/.459 vs RHP, .237/.290/.371 vs LHP

That’s all for now; more as it happens…

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4 Responses »

  1. If you want some humor you should check out this post:


    The generic trade seems to be Peavy for 4-5 of their team’s scrubs.

  2. Geoff, you lucky folks in California, or anywhere but the Northeast, have no idea how utterly ridiculous Yankees fans are here in New York/New Jersey with this whole “we’re getting Peavy and Gonzalez” scenario. People are actually talking about and writing about the Padres here in the armpit of America mainly because Jake’s agent spouted off a bit to a writer from a Northern New Jersey newspaper. I’m sick to my stomach even more now here in Dirty Jersey.

  3. #2@The only Padres fan in New Jersey: Hell, the Yankees barely have enough trading chips to land Agon by himself. But it’s not just Yankee fans. As Schlom points out, a lot of people think they can get Peavy by cobbling together a bunch of 4A players. No matter how many turds you put in a pile, it don’t make a chocolate cake.

  4. Was that Matt Stairs bomb into the LA night as sweet as it gets or what ?