Links for 4 Nov 08

I have decided, for the first time in 20 years, to participate in a general election. Ordinarily in life I try to stay as far away from politics as possible, but one measure on the California ballot and two political parties have convinced that it’s time for me to get off my butt and vote.

My presidential candidate has no chance of winning — in a game between the Red Sox and Yankees, I’m essentially backing the Eugene Emeralds — but that’s okay. The gesture is purely symbolic, and as symbolic gestures go, it’s probably better than the one I usually give politicians. (Of course, I’ll still deliver that gesture as well — might as well get my money’s worth, right?)

Anyway, it would be hypocritical of me to tell you to vote. That said, maybe you’ll like it. I’m hoping I will.

To the links…

  • SD Native Girl notes that Matt Vasgersian is leaving the broadcast team after seven years. Apparently an (as yet undisclosed) opportunity came along that Matty couldn’t refuse. Vasgersian has been an ardent supporter of Ducksnorts over the years (even contributing the foreword to the 2008 Annual), but that’s not why I’ll miss him. I’ll miss him because he’s a heckuva lot of fun. And between singing Rush’s “Closer to the Heart” after a home run, offending El Camino owners in Missouri, and chatting with a “happy” Rick Sutcliffe, he and Mark Grant always managed to call a great game, even when there wasn’t a great game to call. As SD Native Girl says, this is great for Matty, but sad for us. Best of luck!
  • The Padres have rounded out their coaching staff for 2009. Jim Lefebvre replaces Wally Joyner as hitting coach, while Ted Simmons takes over for Craig Colbert as bench coach. If we could turn back the clock 30 years, we’d also have the catching situation solved.
  • History says writers should use examples to support, not contradict, an opinion. Melvin Nieves at the Sacrifice Bunt dissects a recent Nick Canepa column on the phenomenon of athletes leaving San Diego because… I’m not sure; the article didn’t make much sense to me. Incidentally, Melvin’s title rocks. I wish I’d written that title. Also, someone should tell those kids to get off Canepa’s lawn.
  • Big Apple or no, Peavy is a goner. Jay Paris at the North County Times speculates on the future of Jake Peavy. People sure are spending a lot of energy thinking about something that hasn’t happened. Hey, that’s their right. [h/t Kevin]
  • Ladies Taking Over Arizona. Katie at Ladies Locker Room sends us a couple of video interviews she did with Padres farmhands Mike Baxter and Sean Kazmar at the Arizona Fall League. We learn, among other things, that Baxter’s favorite player growing up was John Olerud. Gotta love Heart’s “Barracuda” rockin’ the stadium during the interview.
  • The Battle for Seamheads Historical Baseball League Supremacy. The list of GMs who will fight for the first Historical Baseball League championship has been published. I’m in some heady company here — Bill James, Curt Schilling, and several other familiar names.

That’s all for now. More links are available at the Ducksnorts delicious page, which I update as often as practical.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

35 Responses »

  1. I am gonna miss Matty V.

    Sorta takes some of the reason to return to SD away…okay, not that much, but I will miss watching him on the Padres telecasts. Maybe it will be a national job and we will get to hear him regularly anyway.

  2. Bummer we’re losing Matt V. As we all knew, this day would probably come, given his talent. It was only a question of time before a bigger fish came by with a bigger and better opportunity. Good luck Matt V.

    This is almost depressing….losing another chunk from those winning teams from the not so distant past…..

    GY: suggest signing up to be a permanent absentee voter. It makes it so easy. Cast your vote from the comfort of your own home.

  3. Contrary to popular belief, we are voting for more than just a new President today! Whether you believe it or not, your voice does get heard at the polls, so please please please please go vote!

  4. I have a list of cool facts about Jim Lefebvre on my site, if anyone is interested. Sorry, no link.

    From various reading, looks like the Padres will pick up Giles’ option by the end of the week and Greene is being shopped, too.

  5. Good luck to Matty V. Dude rocks.

    Hooray, Geoff. I’m glad you voted. Hope you like it enough to keep doing it.

  6. A few of the state wide props are going to be very, very close as well as the local stuff like prop B.

    Prop B could literally be decided by 10 votes in Coronado….how is that for having your vote actually count for something?

  7. Bummer about Matty V…Please Please keep Quis as far away from that job as possible.

    I’m not going to vote today! I voted 3 weeks ago (wooohooo for absentee ballots!)

  8. This is truly a sad day in SD with Matty V leaving. Like Oside Jon said, we all knew this day would come but wow. It was hard enough to tune in and hear Steve Quis’ voice on Matty’s days off. Now this is going to make an uncomfortable season even more uncomfortable without the familiar voice.

    I absolutely wish him the best though. He is truly talented.

  9. Hmm…..Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney, or Ralph Nader

    I am an Independent myself so I am glad you are going 3rd party.

    Though I will probably hold my nose and vote for Obama.

    Rare diversion in to politricks so on to baseball – Question : if 3 or 4 teams inquire about Khalil Greene does it mean that the return in a trade could be better than we thought ?

  10. i dont know if i am late on this or not, but did anyone notice Drew Macias is a minor league free agent this year? id hate to see him leave, we dont exactly have a lot of OF depth.

  11. #10@Ian C.: where do we find that listing?

  12. Carrillo had nice outing tonight. It was his second outing, since they said they were shutting him down.

  13. #8@Jeremy: Matty will be the No. 1 studio host for the MLB Network, which premieres in January.

    From Union-Tribune:

    As for Vasgersian’s replacement, Channel 4 Vice President and General Manager Craig Nichols said he’s already started a national search. One person not expected to be a candidate is Steve Quis, a pregame and postgame host who did play-by-play in Vasgersian’s absence the past couple of years. His role at the station is likely to remain the same, Nichols said.

  14. Rumor of the day from Baseball Prospectus’ John Perrotto:

    The Twins have interest in the Padres’ Kevin Kouzmanoff to fill their hole at third base, and are reportedly willing to trade left fielder Delmon Young for him

    Would this make any sense at all? Young is 4 years younger and would strengthen the defense by allowing Headley to move to his natural position. Young also walked more and struck out less than Kouz. However, Young has substantial negatives. He hits the ball on the ground way too often, has very little power, doesn’t hit line drives and is reportedly a bad fielder (although I can’t imagine he’s any worse than Headley).

  15. I like the IBAs …

    Jake at #10 in IBA NL CY seems reasonable … as does Adrian at #21 in the IBA NL MVP …

  16. Nick Canepa never makes sense. I honestly do not understand why he has a job as a writer.

    I’m interested to see what Simmons brings to the team. I cannot understand why his HOF case has not been taken up the way Santo and Blyelven’s have. I think it’s ridiculous he is not in.

  17. Taking a look at Simmons over at BTF’s Hall of Merit, he was recently ranked at #13 of 20 HoM Catchers. I place a good deal of weight on the conclusions reached by those folks, as they have put significant amounts of time and effort into researching and ranking all of the players (Negro League, 1800′s, MLB) and if they place Simmons so highly, it certainly should raise some discussion amongst the HOF crowd, imo.

    The HOF currently has about 14 catchers inducted. A number of the old timers played other positions for a significant amount of time, including King Kelly who is probably better included as an OF. Comps for Simmons who are in would be Carter, Bench and Fisk. Each had a bit more longevity at Catcher than Simmons did, as he played mostly at DH his last two full seasons and then spotted around the IF with a little Catcher as well during his last three part time seasons.

    Productivity/Offensively he compares really well to Carter. Looking at OPS+, Simmons has a higher peak and they were both above average performers for 10 seasons. I don’t know enough about their defense to say whether Carter makes up the difference, but it really doesn’t matter since Simmons doesn’t have to be better than Carter to be worthy of induction and he’s certainly in the ballpark with Carter.

    He doesn’t compare as well as Fisk, but again he is no slouch and he doesn’t have to be as good as one of the 5 greatest catchers (leaving Gibson out since BR doesn’t include him in its HOF stats) to be inducted. Same goes withe comapring him to Bench.

    I really think it’s a shame Simmons isn’t in and that he doesn’t engender more discussion or stir up more support for his election. Maybe some day we can get him, Blyleven, Santo, Trammell and Whitaker in. Could be tough for Simmons with Piazza, Rodriguez and Posada looming on the electoral horizon though.

  18. One more note on Simmons. There are only 17 catchers with at least 1,700 games caught at BR. Only 8 of those have a career OPS+ over 100. Simmons is tied for 4th with Carlton Fisk at 117.

  19. #11@Masticore317:

    Baseball America hasn’t posted its list that i usually use to track the MFA’s…BUT its noted at that he is…

    full Padre FA list according to

    i hope that will take you there. if not just go to and go to Page 7 of 12(on the full list) hes near the top.

  20. #19@Ian C.: Thanks. That’s a lot of guys. Ambres, Corey, Estes, Falkenborg, Germano, EGon (pitcher version), Henn, Macias, PMac, Myrow, Zarate.

    Not that these guys are all hugely useful, but that’s a lot of depth to lose.

  21. #16@Pat: Are you talking about a particular column by Canepa?

  22. #14@Schlom:

    I’d be all over that trade. Young could be a real stud and with the Padres current situation they should be able to let him step up and take his lumps. Headley seems like our obvious 3rd baseman of the future and not a left fielder.

  23. If we could get Delmon Young for Kouzmanoff, Kevin needs to be in the Twins team photo right this second. Young has IMMENSE power. It hasn’t shown in the majors yet, but he slugged over .500 as an 18 year old in the Sally league, then slugged almost .600 as a 19 year old in the Southern League. He has holes in his game, but he’s a potential superstar.

  24. There is no way the Twins would trade Young for Kouz straight up…I’ll believe it when I see it.

  25. #24@Steve C: The only reason they’d do that is because they have a huge hole at 3B and a glut of outfielders.

    There is no doubt that Kouzmanoff is the better player right now — Young’s only advantage is that he’s still pretty young. There aren’t too many players that have played everyday at age 21 who didn’t turn out to be stars.

    #23@Tom Waits: I don’t know if he has immense power, or at least if he has power now. If you check out his batted ball data from fangraphs you will see that unless he makes significant changes he will never hit for much power (he hits the ball on the ground too much, 5th highest % of ground balls this season).

  26. #25@Schlom: I think it it was an option then KT would have already had a press conference welcoming young as the newest member of the Padres.

  27. The Padres offered Hoffman $4 mil for the coming season with a $4 mil option for 2010.

  28. I’d be surprised if Kouz is traded for anything but pitching. The bullpen and rotation have huge holes right now, even with Peavy, and the Padres outfield has some pretty capable players (Giles, Gerut, Hairston, Venable). That’s actually a much better group going into the season than any of the last few years.

    I still project a Kouz trade to the Twins for one of their starters (likely Blackburn, Perkins, Baker, or Bonser), all guys who would be pretty solid #3 starters on this staff. It would surprise me if he was traded for a position player.

  29. #25@Schlom: Do you think he somehow lost strength from age 18? You don’t hit for that much power at the age in tough leagues unless it’s real. He may be overmatched now, he may even be Ruben Rivera; there have been questions about his work ethic and desire for a while.

    Kouzmanoff had a 99 OPS+ this year. Young was at 100. That looks like an awful lot of doubt to me. Young plays better defense and is younger and has a much higher ceiling.

  30. #28@JMAR: I would not pencil Giles in the 09 OF until they pick up his option….

  31. Peavy’s all but gone… “The train’s kind of left the station,” – KT

    DANA POINT, Calif. (AP)—Jake Peavy probably will be traded by the San Diego Padres before the winter meetings next month.

    After spending four days at the annual general managers’ meetings, Padres GM Kevin Towers said it is unlikely the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner will remain with San Diego, which signed him out of high school in 1999.

    “The train’s kind of left the station,” Towers said Thursday.

  32. #29@Tom Waits: The problem that I see is that he just hits the ball on the ground too much. You can’t hit for power if you hit over half you batted balls on the ground. You are treating his major league seasons as the fluke, maybe hitting for power in the minors was the fluke?

    Personally, if the Twins would do it, I’d do the trade. He’s young enough that he’s worth trading for, especially for Kouzmanoff who is blocking a younger, maybe better player. Plus with the Twins history in developing hitters maybe getting away from their organization will help his power develop (like it did for David Ortiz).

  33. #32@Schlom: The problem is, the Twins won’t agree to that trade because it would be really stupid of them to do so.

  34. Minor League Free Agents:

    A ton of players who were previously in the Padre orginzation:

    Brian Lawrence, Royce Ring, Randy Keisler, Miguel Asencio, Jason Lane, Bobby Scales, Royce Huffman, Jeff DaVanon, Kevin Barker, Rob Mackowiak, Yamid Haad, Morgan Ensberg, Blaine Neal, “The Future” Freddy Guzman, Jack Cassel, Jose Oyervidez, Dave Matranga, Brian Buck Buchanan (!), Corey Smith, Eric Cyr, Bernie Castro, Scott Strickland, “Closer of the future” Brandon Villafuerte, Jon Knott, D’Angelo Jimenez, Justin Leone, Travis Chick, Jason Kershner, Ryan Ketchner, Steve Andrade, Brandon Puffer, Nick Trzesniak, Callix Crabbe, Bret Boone and best of all:

    Dennis Tankersley

    Bochy must be salivating at several of the names on this list.