Snappy intro? We don’t need no stinkin’ snappy intro…
- A pennant race crystal ball (Yahoo!). Tim Brown likes the Padres’ chances: “The starting rotation is good, the back end of the bullpen is great, and the offense has shown some life in July and August.”
- Moneyball Before Moneyball Was Cool (Payoff Pitch). Gene Tenace and Jimmy Wynn are two of my personal heroes. Regarding Tenace, who is the second or third best catcher (depending on your opinion of Benito Santiago) in Padres history, the author notes that “his power stroke faded” on arriving in San Diego; of course, hitting home runs out of San Diego Stadium at that time was hard to do, and I suspect Tenace’s power stroke might not have faded had he called some other ballpark home. [h/t BBTF]
- Most Young Regulars (Baseball-Reference). Speaking of which, here we have the ’77 Padres. You know, this could have been a good team in the making. Dave Winfield ended up in the Hall of Fame, Gene Richards was darned good until he reached 30, Mike Ivie should have been good… Even George Hendrick and Tenace were still in their primes. The pitching, though… when Bob Shirley is your best starter, that’s a problem.
- The Frieri Paradox (Chicken Friars). Nathaniel takes a closer look at Ernesto Frieri: “There are two possible explanations for the fastball’s success. The first is that it’s a small sample and that hitters could figure Frieri out once he’s been around the league a bit. The second is that something in his delivery is deceiving hitters to the point where the fastball seems like it’s coming in faster than the 90-95 mph it actually is.”
- Sixto’s ’82 Season (Padres, Chargers, Illini Blog). Ah, Sixto Lezcano. Ryan remembers one of the all-time great Padres seasons. Think Brian Giles 2005.
- 2010 San Diego Padres Top 20 Pre-Season Prospects in Review (Minor League Ball). John Sickels reviews his pre-season list. He expresses concern at Jaff Decker’s BB/K ratio (which we’ve noted is due at least in part to his early-season injury) and likes Edinson Rincon. [h/t Friar Forecast]
- A Night At Dodger Stadium (Friar Forecast). Daniel visited Dodger Stadium and came away less than impressed. I haven’t been in a few years, but the last time I was there, it definitely had slipped from when I used to go as a kid.
- Storm closer prefers ‘cool’ over ‘dubious’ regarding saves record (U-T). Right-handed reliever Brad Brach is having a nice season at Lake Elsinore.
- Webb, Young race clock to return (Padres.com). Barry Bloom talks about Chris Young’s shoulder.
- Prior still hopes to return to Major Leagues (Padres.com). Speaking of shoulders, Mark Prior “threw a scoreless inning in relief… in his first competitive appearance in nearly four years.” It’s hard to believe he’s still only 29 years old. Here’s hoping he can make it back to the big leagues.
- Ten things I didn’t know before SABR40 (Hardball Times). Chris Jaffe recaps the recently concluded SABR convention held in Atlanta. Next year’s event will be in LA, so I may have to drag my butt out of the basement and do that thing.
- Lake Elsinore: Leaders excited about AAA-team possibility (North County Times). This would be so awesome if they can swing it. [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
- Sunday Seven: Padres Slowing Down (619Sports). Craig notes, among other things, that “the Padres’ team ERA has risen every month so far this season.” This comes (or should come) as no surprise to anyone who has followed the team since the start of the season, but it’s no less important now that we’re seeing it actually happen. As I’ve been saying since it became evident that the Padres weren’t a mirage this year, it would be nice to add a starting pitcher… preferably not Bob Shirley.
- Hard lessons led to Latos’ breakout season (Yahoo!). Quoth the young right-hander: “I’d probably beat the crap out of 19-year-old me. I’d probably hate myself too. But I’ve learned.” I’m not sure I’d beat the crap out of 19-year-old me, but I’ll bet I’d tell him to get off my lawn… which would be awkward and likely cause a rift in the space-time continuum. [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
- Latos picks up Padres – again (U-T). Speaking of whom, you might say that Latos has a bit of an internal fire burning. Good.
- A Voice Embraces the Echoes of His Past (New York Times). Here’s a fun article on Padres televeision play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg. [h/t reader parlo]
- Padres pitching coach Balsley tops this season’s unsung coaches (SI.com). Jon Heyman acknowledges what many of have known for some time: that Darren Balsley has been doing fine work in San Diego. [h/t reader Pat]
That should keep you busy for a while.