Friday Links (16 Apr 10)

This week’s links are proudly sponsored by coffee. Give yourself a present


  • Oh, To Be A Padre In August ’80 (Baseball-Reference). Steve Lombardi notes that the Padres played three games of 17 innings or more within a 12-day stretch back in 1980. Yikes.
  • Bill James for Nobel (Sabermetric Research). This article from Phil Birnbaum is way old but still relevant. I think behavioral economics has applications within the baseball analytic community, I’m just not sure what those applications might be. The way in which a team markets itself to fans is one possibility. The role “expert” projections play in fantasy valuation could be another. Seems like there’s a lot of untapped potential in this area.
  • Moneyball: KC Style (Joe Posnanski). Pos talks about Earnshaw Cook, who came before Bill James and whose revolutionary ideas never gained the widespread acceptance that James’ ultimately did. [h/t reader Didi]
  • Review: The Bullpen Gospels (MadFriars). John Conniff reviews Dirk Hayhurst’s book: “Bullpen Gospels will provide any hard-core baseball fan with more than enough depictions of Bull Durham type moments from the fetid locker rooms and juvenile bus trips to a hilarious bullpen insult session with redneck fans in Midland, Texas.”
  • Padres Fans Should Relish New Owner and His Commitment to Fans (The Friarhood). Scott Gulbransen talks about renewed hope: “Moorad and his staff have pushed the reset button and are already turning heads with a more fan-friendly approach built on solid core business principles. This was vital – even more than the product on the field – in order to regain public trust and convince fans to come back.” The people of San Diego never really embraced those winning teams of 2004-2007. Maybe they will embrace lower beer prices.
  • Nuts and Bolts of hitting in the big leagues with Morgan Ensberg (Hardball Times). Matt Lentzner interviews the former Padres third baseman: “I saw dots on sliders all the time. I could see seams tumble on changes. We see everything.”


  • Will Venable’s big day (Baseball-Reference). Fun stuff from Andy: “Of the years covered by box scores in the database, here are the 30 guys to have at least 1 SB, 1 3B, 1 HR in one of their first 129 career games.” Bonus points for a Lance Richbourg sighting.
  • Structural Unfairness In Baseball’s Divisions (Baseball Analysts). Sky Andrecheck is quickly becoming one of my favorite baseball writers: “…some teams face significantly higher hurdles than others… Paradoxically, because they don’t have to play themselves, the large market teams face an easier schedule than their small market counterparts. Situations like these create the imbalances we see here.”
  • Oh, no, not the Padres Post (Capitol Avenue Club). From the SweetSpot’s Atlanta Braves blog: “I like the way they’re re-building, taking flyers on guys that could bring back a prospect or two in a mid season trade and not chasing mediocrity. They do have a few high quality young players on their roster. Kyle Blanks, Everth Cabrera, and Mat Latos, specifically.” It’s always nice to hear such things from outside observers who don’t share our bias.
  • Dick Enberg Analysis: and on the Seventh Day we discussed…..well, Dick Enberg, of course (Avenging Jack Murphy). From the article: “I’m down with Dick Enberg so far. He’s got a great voice. He knows baseball despite not having done it in a while. He’s brought an aura of professionalism to the booth and I think that this has made Mark Grant better. I’m not suggesting that Mud was unprofessional but I do think he has toned down on some of the things he had done under ‘previous administrations’.”
  • Prospect Retro: Heath Bell (Minor League Ball). John Sickels notes that Bell wasn’t much of a prospect and reminds us that sometimes this stuff is as much art as it is science. [h/t reader Didi]


  • Holding on to Mark Fidrych (Huffington Post). Josh Wilker talks about an old Fidrych baseball card and what it means to him: “I have my mom to thank for being able to hold on to that feeling, and not just because she didn’t throw out my baseball cards, including that most important card, my 1980 Mark Fidrych. In that card, the former phenom and baseball-whisperer seems to be simultaneously hiding and caressing a baseball in his hands as if cradling a terminally ill pet in a veterinary waiting room. He doesn’t want to let go of this friend that he cajoled and convinced to do miracles for him that one season before his lean, coltish body began to break down.” [h/t reader Didi]
  • What We Learned from MiLB: Week One (FanGraphs). Bryan Smith is not a fan of the California League: “Of course, summer will come and balls will begin to fly out of Lancaster and High Desert and Bakersfield like they always do, and the silliness of this league will again be proven.” As he notes, “I even wondered on Twitter this offseason why they even still bother to have the California League in its current machination.” Pure awesome. Let’s kill the NL West — with its “Petco Park” and “Coors Field” — while we’re at it. Hmmm, actually I could do without Coors Field, so maybe he has a point. Sort of.
  • Cookie Crumbs: A Picture Speaks… (619Sports). Local legend Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph is now writing at 619Sports. Good times.
  • Thank you, Jackie Robinson! (Bob Scanlan). Scan pens a nice tribute to the man honored on Thursday.
  • Venable’s Early-Season Power Surge (Chicken Friars). From the article: “I appreciate the power (the guy’s on my fantasy team, and who doesn’t love three homers and a .600+ SLG?), but it’s a small sample, and it’s doubtful that Venable is going to slug over .500, let alone .600, for the season.”
  • Clayton Richard Needs More Movement (Friar Forecast). Daniel finds fault with Richard’s repertoire: “The problem is Richard’s fastballs… With the exception of the two-seamer, they are pretty straight.”


  • Odds and Ends from the Opener (Padres Trail). Mike shares his thoughts from Opening Day.
  • Padres Media Opening Night (RJ’s Fro). Fun words and pix from a fun event. Fun, fun, fun. Once more, with authority: Fun. Ugh, what is my problem?
  • Catching Up (The Watson Files). Dan Watson, radio voice of the Padres Low-A affiliate in Fort Wayne, blogs about the TinCaps and his experience covering them: “…if you come to a game and think we have everything together, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, this is my fourth year working in professional baseball and I’ve learned to assume that nothing at a ballpark works the way it’s supposed to the first time you use it. Maybe that’s me being negative, but it makes you appreciate when things DO work.”
  • Padres: A Week in Review, 4/11/10 … (Who’s your Padre?). From Corey: “A word on Headley’s defense. Give him time, he’s going to be fine. He had a couple of errors earlier in the week but has made up for it with a few night plays, especially a few back hand plays. His footwork looks pretty good and his throws have been strong and true.”
  • Starting Stauffer (Woe, Doctor!). Hey, another new Padres blog. Sweet! From the article: “One of my biggest gripes during Spring Training was that of the eight pitchers vying for a rotation spot, Stauffer seemed to be given the least amount of interest. This team, given its relative youth and payroll, has very little to lose in regards to giving an extended look to young players.”

Rock over London, rock on San Diego. Good coffee has Danish written all over it

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