Friday Links (1 Oct 10)

While we’re all waiting for a miracle or three, here are your links…

  • Padres’ Gonzalez raves about Chicago (Chicago Sun-Times). Quoth the best first baseman in Padres history: “Chicago’s a great town, and they have great fans, and I like the fact that it’s a small ballpark. I know the wind can play against you, but it can play for you, too. There’s definitely some positives. And my wife loves Chicago, for the shopping.” How nice for his wife. On a more serious note, when you’re covering the Chicago Cubs and trying to paint the club in a favorable light at the end of a miserable season, I imagine the temptation to create stories of this nature is great. [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
  • Adrian Checking Out Early On Padres? (619 Sports). Craig weighs in on the subject: “A player whose heart has never been questioned showed questionable hustle and a decided lack of focus when his team needed him the most.”
  • Mat Latos is in need of a dose of maturity (HardballTalk). This article’s headline would have made sense several years ago. Anywho, the point is, Latos is young, talented, and talkative; that combination bothers some people. The more I read quotes from players and “interpretations” of said quotes, the more I understand Steve Carlton’s policy of silence. Carlton’s stance didn’t sit well with a lot of folks, because it forced them to talk crap about him without getting any input from the source, but there’s something to be said for self-preservation. [h/t reader Didi]
  • Pathetic Team Performance, Pathetic Fans (Websoulsurfer). Somebody isn’t happy, and this time it isn’t one of the players: “San Diego sports fans, you do not deserve a winner.”
  • Wins Without Homers 2010 (Baseball-Reference). Hey, look, there at the top… it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… the Padres.
  • Venable’s Winning Defense (FanGraphs). Jack Moore examines Will Venable’s spectacular catches from Wednesday night’s victory over the Cubs.
  • Will Venable and Chris Young save the season (Padres Trail). Those crazy cats from Princeton… well, technically they’re Tigers, which any self-respecting zoologist will tell you are felids.
  • Padres Elias Rankings (Friarhood). Miguel Tejada is the only projected Type A free agent, which raises an interesting question: Do the Padres dare offer him arbitration? Picks would be nice, but there is a downside…
  • Why Are Modern Pitchers So Fragile? (Sabernomics). J.C. Bradbury notes, among other things, that “…managers have discovered that 100% mediocre arms can be more effective than paced good arms.” [h/t BBTF]
  • Baseball (TedQuarters). Don’t let the title fool you; this is a wonderful read: “I started playing pickup baseball in Brooklyn three years ago this month, and, coincidentally, just a few weeks after I first felt the symptoms of M.S.” [h/t BBTF]
  • Film review: Top of the Tenth (Watson Files). Dan talks about Ken Burns’ latest opus. So does Chris Jaffe at Hardball Times. Anyone else see it? Thoughts?
  • Final Adventure at Petco Park of the 2010 Regular Season (Perpetual Padres Saga). “Fear the scrappy” sign, check; video interview with Ashley Eckstein, check; okay, these are not the droids we’re looking for…
  • D-backs ‘gunslinger’ earned his notches (FOX Sports Arizona). Here’s a fun little article on former GM Kevin Towers. Other ex-Padres appearing include Tim Flannery, Bruce Bochy, and Jake Peavy. [h/t BBTF]
  • Todd Helton makes it clear that he’s not retiring from Rockies (Denver Post). File under “T” for “Tying up an opponent’s financial resources”… [h/t BBTF]
  • Matt Stairs is Forever Young (FanGraphs). Bud Black took some criticism for starting Stairs in left field in the series against the Cubs, but it’s worth noting that Stairs has hit (in an admittedly microscopic sample) .286/.375/.629 since August 1.
  • Padres, Giants primed for big showdown ( We’ve been talking about ’96, but Barry Bloom’s article recalls the Dodgers and Astros in 1980: “That the Dodgers lost badly to the Astros in the finale is just a footnote to history.” Uh, not for those of us in Mrs. Sawicki’s classroom watching veteran free-agent bust Dave Goltz, getting the start over rookie Fernando Valenzuela, implode on the mound, but I digress…
  • Shutdowns, Meltdowns and Making the Playoffs (FanGraphs). Yeah, that Padres bullpen would be devastating in a short series. [h/t reader Didi]
  • All They Need Is a Miracle (New York Times). Ya think? [h/t reader parlo]
  • Mike & The Mechanics – All I Need Is A Miracle (Live Baden Baden ’99) (YouTube). I don’t love this song, but it’s appropriate. No disrespect to Paul Young, but limiting Paul Carrack to keys and backing vocals is a waste of talent.

Miracle time. No problem. I saw a double rainbow in San Diego yesterday; that’s gotta mean something, right?