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Wednesday Links (15 Sep 10)

What day is it even? Here, have some links while I’m trying to get my act together…

Current Padres

Former Padres

  • Trevor Hoffman versus Arthur Rhodes (Hardball Times). From David Wade’s article: “Nonetheless, Hoffman will still be considered a far more valuable player than Rhodes and may end up in Cooperstown.” In Hoffman’s defense, he was a far more valuable player than Rhodes.
  • On the Beat: Going Out with Class (Baseball Prospectus). Speaking of saves records, this is why I love Trevor Hoffman: “In addition to telling the media that he felt largely responsibilities for the Brewers’ poor season, he also apologized to his teammates in a brief team meeting during the aftermath of save No. 600 in which teammates Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Todd Coffey carried him off the field at Miller Park. Melvin said he got chills listening to Hoffman briefly address his teammates.” [h/t reader LynchMob]
  • The tortured life of Eric Show (ESPN). Tom Friend remembers the Padres all-time leader in victories. Show is perhaps best known among non-Padres fans for something he didn’t do. [h/t Baseball-Reference]

Division Rivals

Minor Leagues

  • A short history of the Ventura County Gulls (Hardball Times). It bothers me that there aren’t more pro baseball teams along the California coast. No offense to places like Adelanto and Bakersfield, but I sure wouldn’t mind catching a game or three in Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo…
  • Nick Franklin’s Historic Season (FanGraphs). Jaff Decker and Adrian Gonzalez show up on this list… Come to think of it, so does Wily Mo Pena, who is technically a member of the Padres.
  • Time-lapse video from the final Beavers game at PGE Park (The Oregonian). This short (2-minute) video provides a nice look at the last hurrah of the late Portland Beavers.
  • The Minors in Context: Introduction (FanGraphs). Bryan Smith examines offensive levels in full-season minor leagues.
  • Brach Breaks Cal League Saves Record (619 Sports). John Conniff (Mad Friars) pens a guest piece celebrating the work of Brad Brach. As you probably know, I’m not a huge believer in minor-league relievers, but I have a good feeling (for whatever that might be worth) about Brach.

Whatever Else

  • Weak Sauce? Secret Sauce’s Predictive Capacity Wanes in Recent Years (Rational Pastime). Numbers, charts, and stuff. [h/t BBTF]
  • My curiously long interview with Joe Posnanski (Baseball: Past & Present). Quoth Poz: “I never feel good about anything I write. When it’s over, I just feel like that was the best I can do. Some days, I’ll go back and read it, it’s like, ‘Oh okay, well that wasn’t too bad.’ I never feel too great about what I do.” If you found yourself nodding your head (as I did), congratulations, you’re a writer. [h/t BBTF]
  • Diagramming Mark Teahen’s defense (Sox Machine). Beautiful… hilarious… beautarious? [h/t Platoon Advantage]
  • Joe Torre: Umpires getting hair triggers (ESPN). Uh, Joe, this has been going on for a while now. [h/t BBTF]
  • La Russa says job is getting tougher (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Torre isn’t the only veteran manager pining for the good ol’ days… or is it the fjords? [h/t BBTF]
  • Life, Liberty, and Breaking the Rules (Slate). Bill James, as he often does, offers tasty food for thought: “It is a very American thing, that we don’t believe too much in obeying the rules. We are not a nation of Hall Monitors; we are a nation that tortures Hall Monitors. We are people who push the rules.” James also talks about Babe Ruth, Branch Rickey, and Barry Bonds. Good stuff. [h/t BBTF]
  • Rattled in the Clinches: Manager Pie Traynor and the Epic Collapse of the 1938 Pirates (Seamheads). Hey, something with “epic collapse” in the title and no Padres. Sweet! James Forr’s excellent article moves beyond the realm of baseball and connects us to real life as well: “Emotions are contagious. Work for neurotic, pessimistic people and eventually you’ll probably become neurotic and pessimistic, too.” Yeah, I’m sure none of us have ever had that experience.
  • 9/10 Best seller UPDATE (Muskat Ramblings). Despite the Brewers’ dismissal of this as a “lousy attempt at a practical joke” it’s actually quite amusing. And no, I didn’t do it.
  • Baseball teams as Simpsons characters (Hardball Times). The Padres are represented by someone called Dr. Hibbard. I have no idea who that is, but then, the last time I watched The Simpsons with any regularity, Conan O’Brien was one of the writers. [h/t reader Didi]

Padres go for the sweep this afternoon at that place where something vaguely resembling baseball is played. Rock on…

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5 Responses »

  1. 1. Heartily second the coastal California minor league idea. Putting the Padres’ AAA team in Escondido / San Marcos wouldn’t be coastal by my definition, but compared to Lancaster or Bakersfield, it’s in the tidal zone.

    2. I know little about Brach besides his numbers, but I did see him pitch in the Class A All-Star Game. He seemed to be more of a thrower than you’d expect, not in control or executing a plan. But that was one inning of observation by someone with nary a scouting fiber in my body.

  2. Tom-I think coastal simply depends where you live. For much of the country, 10 miles from the beach is exceedingly close… that being said, in San Diego you’re not close to the beach if you’re east of the 5… let alone if you end up east of the 15!

  3. Trevor Hoffman is arguably nearly the greatest closer of all time. Rivera has put up his great stats with a regularly great ball club, while Hoffman’s teams have been very mixed. Rivera’s post season is mindbogglingly good but otherwise he and Hoffman are close.

    By the way, Ben Davis is still available, he is now pitching (4-11) for the Camden Riversharks.

  4. I love Trevor, great pitcher and seemingly great person, but he’s really not close to Rivera in terms of pitching achievements. In particular, Rivera’s innings pitched dwarf Trevor’s and make him much more valuable. Also, his peak by things such as ERA+ and WAR far exceed Trevor’s. Nothing wrong with being the second best closer of all time though.