I tried to limit myself to a reasonable number of links this week. When that failed, I contemplated the nature of the word “reasonable” and decided it didn’t suit our purposes…
- PETCO Park (All Down the Line). Caryn Rose of metsgrrl.com fame is “chronicling an obsession, one ballpark at a time” and has kind things to say about our humble home: “It is with complete sincerity that I assert that PETCO Park is the most underrated ballpark in the country. On a trip to visit all the parks in California, this was not a place I was particularly excited about; the Padres were in town and it was a way to tick the park off the list. Now that I’ve been there, I can’t wait to go back.”
- Giants and Padres Cross Paths, Chasing Title in the West (New York Times). Tyler Kepner strikes again. Not that I mind, but it is weird having the national media pay attention to the Padres. [h/t reader Nick G.]
- A Weekend In The Burgh (Padres, Chargers, Illini Blog). Ryan shares some cool photos from the Padres recent visit to Pittsburgh.
- Are the Padres’ Hitters Getting More for Less? (FanGraphs). Matt Klaasen recognizes that the Padres offense has been pretty good this year. [h/t reader Didi]
- Padres sweep Cubs; Gwynn placed on DL (U-T). With Tony Gwynn Jr. possibly out for the season due to a right wrist injury, the Padres will go with a three-headed beast in center field. That’s right, they’ve signed Cerberus to a contract. Go fetch. Good boy… Oh, and they also picked up Jody Gerut just in case that doesn’t work.
- Why the Jose Guillen Trade Makes Me Happy (Gaslamp Ball). Heh.
- Time has come for fading Dodgers to trade Manny Ramirez (SI.com). I’d rather see them trade Matt Kemp. [h/t BBTF]
- Suddenly San Francisco Giants reeling and getting rocked (San Jose Mercury News). I was hoping this might include quotes from Prognosticator Sanchez (it’s like Encyclopedia Brown, only he’s old enough to know better), but no such. [h/t BBTF]
- Decker goes yard twice, plates six runs (MiLB.com). Jaff Decker continues to destroy the California League. Quoth Decker: “I lost a bunch of weight coming into the season, but I pulled my hamstring doing sprints before a game and I missed all of Spring Training, which set me back and disappointed me. I just didn’t have the at-bats at the start of the year, but my swing is back.”
- Pitcher forced to hit for TinCaps (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Seems somebody fouled up the lineup card and Matthew Lollis had to hit for himself the other night. He went 1-for-3 with a double.
- Garcia’s blast gives Ems early jolt in win (Eugene Register-Guard). Prized pitching prospect Adys Portillo threw well this week. Quoth Portillo: “That’s my best game of the season. … Every pitch felt good. I was calm. I felt really good.”
- Minor League Baseball: Investing In The Future (Mike Ashmore’s Thunder Thoughts). This is a very long, but very worthwhile read. From the article: “So, in real world terms, just how little do players who haven’t reached minor league free agency make? They’d make more flipping burgers or working at a gas station than playing baseball. Some players might make just as much if they weren’t playing at all.” [h/t BBTF]
- Scouts On Scouting: What They Look For In A Player (Baseball America). Along somewhat similar lines, albeit from a different angle, Conor Glassey chats with scouts and tells us what they look for in a player. It’s a worthy read that includes gems like “You try to get into pitch recognition and plate discipline and things like that, but that really turns into one of the most difficult things for high school hitters because they’re not seeing quality breaking balls and they’re generally not seeing velocity” and “Every guy, whatever the story is behind them, is going to hit a tough spot and you want to see how he’s going to deal with adversity, so hopefully you do see him in some sort of spot in a game where you can figure out if he’s going to rise to it or if he’s going to shrink from the moment.” [h/t Hardball Times]
In addition to the links provided in our original discussion on Whitson, here are a few more you might find useful and/or interesting:
- An Extended Internal Point/ Counterpoint on the Padres’ 2010 Draft and Failure to Sign Karsten Whitson (Chicken Friars). Nathaniel gives his take: “Why would Whitson randomly raise his asking price? If anything, you’d think that once an 18-year-old gets close to millions of dollars, the money would get harder and harder to turn down.”
- Padres fail to sign Whitson, Vanegas (Friar Forecast). Myron offers his: “It’s a fascinating situation and it’s easy to come down hard on the either side here. Whitson broke a verbal agreement and apparently completely changed his tune after the draft. That said, according to Hoyer, Whitson was looking for a figure in the $2.7M range. The Padres wouldn’t spend an extra $600-800K to sign an elite talent.”
- The pick that never was (Woe, Doctor!). From Bryant: “It’s one thing to invest in the future, it’s another to pay above cost for what they had already priced and valued within reason. I don’t like the idea of the Padres simply spending money to do so, regardless of what it says about them from a PR standpoint.”
- Karsten Whitson: Don’t hate the player, hate the game (619 Sports). Jeff Creps: “So be advised Padres fans, all the blame in this situation cannot be placed on a cheap front office or a greedy high school kid. This is another example of agents getting involved in an unhealthy way.”
- Top pick’s failure to sign a mystery to Padres (U-T). Bill Center invokes the name of Matt Harrington, who went from turning down millions to hurting his arm and ending up in retail. That is an admittedly worst-case scenario, but as cautionary tales go, it’s pretty chilling.
- Whitson (Inside the Padres). Tom Krasovic makes sense, as usual: “I also find it remarkable when a teenager walks away from $2.1 million. Especially in this economy. Especially when he’s a pitcher.”
- There’s Relief in Mark Prior’s Fresh Start (FanHouse). Quoth Prior: “Right now my best goal and my best chance is to come back as a reliever. I think my body will handle that better than trying to go out there and throw 110 pitches or 120 pitches every fifth day.”
- The Expos’ Superfan (Wezen-Ball). I have a soft spot for Donald Sutherland, who played a baddie in one of my favorite Avengers episodes. [h/t BBTF]
- An Extended Interview with Balor Moore (Part I) (Platoon Advantage). Speaking of Les Expos, here’s a fun chat with their first ever draft pick. I vaguely remember Moore from his days with the Angels, when I was just starting to follow baseball… and I definitely had that baseball card at one point.
- Why Relocation and Expansion are a Pain for MLB (FanGraphs). The accompanying image of MLB TV territories is particularly depressing for the Padres and their fans.
- The Great #6org Discussion – Part 3 (FanGraphs). There’s a lot of navel gazing here, but Dave Cameron makes a great point when he notes that “The San Diego Padres are winning the NL West with essentially the same overall plan as the Mariners had – league average offense with league best run prevention.”
- What Would be the Effect of Hard Slotting in the MLB Draft? (Baseball-Reference). Sean Forman asks an interesting question: “Would money pour (and I mean really pour) into the latin markets as big market clubs can no longer use the draft as an opportunity for competitive advantage?” Yes, I think it might. And I’m not sure that this is a bad thing, at least from an ethical standpoint.
- The Giants Win the Pennant (Joe Posnanski). Bobby Thomson died this past week, which inspired Pos to compile a list of “10 home runs that I think will never be forgotten.” [h/t BBTF]
- Understanding DIPS (The Book). I’ve only skimmed this, but it looks promising. [h/t BBTF]
- Expanded Four Factors: Do It Yourself (1.0) (FanGraphs). Oooh, spreadsheet… could be fun.
There you go. Happy Friday; let’s keep it rollin’ in Milwaukee…