Friday Links (22 Oct 10)

I dreamed of Jeff Reardon. We were discussing the nature of regret. I was walking through a park with a girl I once knew. We held hands as we walked and then kissed. I woke up and made coffee, only I wasn’t awake and I wasn’t making coffee.

Dreams are confusing. Let’s just do links instead…

  • Just a Bit Outside (Baseball Prospectus). Colin Wyers asks some interesting questions: “When it comes to things like charting pitches or batted balls off the TV screen — what’s our feedback? What are we using to assess ourselves and our ability?” [h/t BBTF]
  • Thirty-Two Great Calls ( Joe Posnanski runs ‘em down. San Diegans will hate no. 11, but there are some real gems in here. Verne Lundquist and Vin Scully are well represented. [h/t BBTF]
  • 2010 Disabled List: Position Data (FanGraphs). News flash: Pitchers get hurt. A lot.
  • 40 Greatest Individual Seasons on Terrible Teams (Platoon Advantage). I am pleased to see that Dave Roberts’ 1971 campaign made it onto this list. Top 10 even.
  • What Went Wrong: Padres 2010 Season Review Part Two (619 Sports). Craig makes many observations, including this one: “Entering his age 27 season, Headley has to dramatically improve for 2011 or the Padres will need to look elsewhere.” I haven’t given up hope yet on Chase Headley, but yeah, James Darnell has to be in the back of everyone’s minds at this point.
  • I told ya, homeboy (Watson Files). Dan examines Baseball America‘s league prospect lists. The aforementioned Darnell checks in at no. 13 for the Texas League (behind teammates Simon Castro and Cory Luebke).
  • Portland Beavers to be sold, likely moved to Escondido, Calif. (Portland Oregonian). Shock. Baseball America reports that they’ll be making a one-year stop in Tucson. [h/t readers Alan and LynchMob]
  • (Escondido) Condors Will Soar! (Woe! Doctor). Bryant points out that there are some excellent breweries in and around Escondido. Sounds like a promotion or three waiting to happen. He also links to the web site of a group called Ballpark for Escondido that plans to “vigorously urge the Escondido City Council to approve the construction of the ballpark.”
  • The Glavine Line (Baseball Prospectus). Mike Fast investigates the possibility of another 300-game winner. C.C. Sabathia? Felix Hernandez? Cesar Ramos?
  • Jim Bouton (SABR Baseball Biography Project). I just picked up a copy of Ball Four at Book-Off… can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. [h/t BBTF]
  • The coolest and dullest homer hitters ever (Hardball Times). Matt Stairs ranks among the coolest, while former Padres Rondell White and Steve Garvey show up on the other list.
  • Which Staff Had the Most Wins in Their Future? (Baseball-Reference). This has nothing to do with the Padres but it’s a fun study worth perusing.
  • The Old Guy Discount (FanGraphs). I love market inefficiencies.
  • 2010 Minor League Translations (zMLE) Dan Szymborski delivers the goods. Oh man, does he deliver them. I love Luis Durango’s translated line: .247/.322/.269. The sad thing is, an .022 ISO might be asking a bit much of him. Right-handed reliever Brandon Gomes’ line looks pretty good. Ah, spreadsheets. Download, manipulate, enjoy.
  • Crossing the Pacific (Seamheads). Aaron Somers looks at the (relatively) recent influx of Asian players in MLB. Former Padres hurler Chan Ho Park merits a mention, as does Ducksnorts nemesis Hideki Irabu; curiously, Akinori Otsuka’s name is nowhere to be found.
  • Thoughts on Iwakuma (FanGraphs). Speaking of which, Patrick Newman examines Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who is headed to North America. According to Wikipedia, Iwakuma is right-handed and turns 30 in April. Could he be a fit for the Padres? [h/t reader Didi]
  • Sandy Alderson would be great for the New York Mets (Gaslamp Ball). Dex is right, although comparing the calm and measured Alderson (“he’ll be able to yell at New Yorkers”?!?) to the late George Steinbrenner makes as much sense as comparing Bud Black to Lou Piniella (I would love to see Black toss a base). Alderson is a straight shooter. That act never played in San Diego, where we prefer a spoonful of sugar with our medicine. The radio interviews Dex mentions were painful. Not that I listened all that often, but I can’t recall ever hearing an intelligent question asked.
  • The Top 10 Padres of ’10: No. 10 (Sacrifice Bunt). From the article: “Granted, it was still a regular season game, but the Padres were down two to the Giants with two left to play. Against the Giants. In San Francisco. Stauffer, like the legend he’s become, came through when his team needed him the most, striking out four in six and a third.”
  • Gonzalez to have surgery on right shoulder ( Wow, fans in Boston must be sweating.
  • Dodgers Re-Up Ted Lilly (FanGraphs). Three years, $33 million. Will Jon Garland decline his half of the mutual option? Survey says… you betcha!
  • Bell, Black receive Sporting News honors ( Hooray.
  • The Good, The Bad, The Injured (Friar Forecast). Ben reflects on the state of the Padres farm system.
  • The Mysterious and Tragic Death of Don Wilson (Seamheads). Mike Lynch pens a fantastic piece about a once-promising young pitcher who died well before his time. Former Padres Preston Gomez and Clay Kirby get mentions in this one as well. It’s a long article but very much worth reading.
  • Arbitration Eligibles: San Diego Padres (MLB Trade Rumors). It will be interesting to see what the Padres do with Tony Gwynn Jr. One of my concerns when they acquired him was that it would be politically challenging to part ways with him if he didn’t perform. Gwynn has won me over to the point where I think he belongs in the big leagues as a fourth or fifth outfielder (preferably on a team that isn’t lacking in offense), but unless he starts channeling his inner Otis Nixon, starting gigs may be a thing of the past. [h/t reader Didi]

That’s all for now; more as it happens…

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9 Responses »

  1. Alderson: There’s a line between “straight shooting” and “talking to your customers like they’re a bunch of idiots who have no business doing anything but buying tickets and merchandise,” and Alderson spent a fair amount of time on both sides of that line. Philly Billy was a terrible interviewer, but Sandy Andy was often a terrible interviewee.

  2. 32 great calls? Wow … that’s my favorite web page of all time! That’s a lot of good memories right there …

    The only one I’d add is the call of Tony Gwynn hitting a “smash” hit past Ryne Sandberg in the 1984 NLCS :-)

  3. I don’t understand the venom directed at Chase Headley. He’s a streaky hitter, to be sure, and it sucked to watch him struggle down the stretch, but he still gave us 674 PAs of above average offense. Even more importantly he played a Gold Glove caliber third base and was one of the most valuable third basemen in baseball ahead of guys like David Wright, Alex Rodriguez, and Placido Polanco.

    In baseball, a run saved is worth as much as a run scored, and Headley saved more runs than any other third baseman in baseball, to the point that his offense and defense combined were worth 4.6 wins above replacement. That’s a great player and a starter on any playoff team. Only two of this year’s playoff teams (Tampa and Cincinnati) featured third basemen that were better.

  4. Thanks for the link to my post on Japanese pitchers over at Seamheads. I left Otsuka out of the discussion simply because the post ended up much longer than originally planned and I had to cut a few items out. Originally, however, he was included when I started looking at the wave of Japanese relievers we saw come over that included Sasaki, Hasegawa, and Takatsu.

    Been a fan of the site for a long time. I do remember the layout being a little flashier though. Why such a simplistic approach?

  5. @TW: Agreed. Alderson did some good things here, but trying to engage the fans wasn’t one of them.

    @LynchMob: Glad you enjoyed it!

    @Zach: There are two main problems, as I see it: 1) Headley did not provide as much offense as expected by fans and needed by a team that struggled to score runs. 2) He disappeared in the season’s final month (.215/.282/.262), when the Padres went from likely playoff participants to bystanders.

    Headley is useful in the way that Adrian Beltre was during his time with the Mariners, which tends to be a way that isn’t always appreciated by fans. Now that Headley has a full season of third base under his belt, it would be nice to see him take a step forward on offense next year.

    @Aaron: Thanks for the note. I enjoyed the article very much despite your inclusion of the inferior Takatsu over personal fave Otsuka.

    As for the site, stuff broke, and I haven’t had time to fix it.

  6. re: simplistic approach … I’m *huge* fan of the simplistic approach! All I want is GY’s thoughts and a place to leave a comment and read comments from fellow Ducksnorters. Keep it simple, GY! Thanks!

  7. I’m beginning to suspect Headley’s problem was that he played every inning of 161 games out of 162. Bud really had no one to give Headley a day off except Jerry Hairston, who was primarily the starting shortstop.

    With Kouz having such a great year defensively the year before, Headley probably worked harder on proving he was as good on defense. He wound up proving he was much better.

    Next year, I think Headley will put more effort into developing as a hitter, having established his defense. Having someone with a competent 3B glove to give him a few days off during the season (especially day games after night games) wouldn’t hurt either.