Thursday Links (14 Oct 10)

Go crazy…

  • MLB players want offseason meeting (ESPN). With the umpires, over the quality of their work… File under “G” for “Good luck with that.” Fun discussion ensues at BBTF.
  • Weirdly timed Oktoberfest wrapup (Sacrifice Bunt). Mmm, beer…
  • Padres Thought Everyone Who Missed Playoffs Was Supposed To Tear Down Stadium (The Onion). Padres fall down, go boom. [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
  • Moorad wishes he’d spoken up about Burrell (U-T). Quoth Jeff Moorad, current Padres owner and former agent to Pat Burrell: “In retrospect, I wish I’d done more than relay Pat Burrell’s interest in coming here… I’m absolutely guilty of viewing Pat as a friend and didn’t want to be the least bit heavy-handed as a result.” Burrell’s career line when the Giants acquired him: .253/.362/.473. Ryan Ludwick’s when the Padres acquired him: .272/.341/.492. Burrell just as easily could have stunk here, and Ludwick could have gone on a tear. Small samples are unpredictable that way.
  • Dear John letters: Your 2010 San Diego Padres (Big League Stew). SDPads1 of RJs Fro fame makes a guest appearance: “No one gave you a chance before the season and you proved the experts wrong. Just please just don’t choke down the stretch next year. The black cloud in my mind can’t afford to get any bigger.”
  • Hall of Famer Gwynn to begin cancer treatment ( Damn. Here’s wishing Mr. Padre a quick and full recovery. My thoughts go out to Gwynn and his family.
  • Talking to myself about umpires (Watson Files). Dan asks an interesting question: “If we have this technology and everybody else can see this stuff, why can’t the umpires, the guys who can actually benefit from it?” Probably because “everybody else” isn’t bound by a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Big decisions coming on starting rotation (North County Times). Quoth GM Jed Hoyer: “You can never have enough pitching. You can never have enough starters.” Choir says, “Amen.”
  • The Geek Shall Inherit … (On Baseball, Bill James, Storytelling & The Simpsons) (Press Coverage). Will Carroll rants… about something. From the article: “There’s no ‘stathead orthodoxy.’ They can’t agree enough amongst themselves to get something like park factors or a signature stat right. Even if they did, someone new would pop up with an extra pi or something.” I think this is intended as criticism, but for my money, lack of orthodoxy is part of what makes sabermetrics so appealing. In fact, if anything, there is too much orthodoxy nowadays. Sabermetrics is more about attempting to uncover the truth than subscribing to any particular dogma. Humans have plenty of other ways to do that already. [h/t BBTF]
  • 2010 Disable List Spreadsheet and Team Information (FanGraphs). Fewest team trips to the DL among National League teams in 2010? Arizona Diamondbacks. So much for that excuse…
  • BBA Post-Season Awards: Manager of the Year (Friar Forecast). More support for Bud Black.
  • 2010 Padres Anagrams (Gaslamp Ball). I am a sucker for anagrams and have long been a fan of “Cushy Groin” for Chris Young.
  • Is Dodgers’ attendance immune to losing? (SweetSpot). It is good to operate in the Los Angeles market.
  • Neal Huntington And Jack Zduriencik: Process Or Results? (Bucs Dugout). As friend of Ducksnorts Charlie Wilmoth (you remember him from our debate about whether Khalil Greene or Jason Bay should win Rookie of the Year) reminds us, “You only have so much control over the results. All you can do is improve your odds by playing well. And if you play a lot, you learn that it isn’t even particularly healthy to worry about the results, at least not on a day-to-day basis.” [h/t BBTF]
  • Sabermetrics stupidity (Sporting News Radio). The title of this one should be “Uninentional hilarity.” From Jason Goch’s article: “The sad part is, many of the so-called ‘experts’ have bought into this nonsense, and now parrot each other without much thought.” In context, “this nonsense” means sabermetrics, but you could replace it with “the categorical dismissal of sabermetrics” and be just as accurate. Of course, this would force Goch to admit that he is parroting other so-called experts, so don’t hold your breath… [h/t BBTF]
  • Rays Lose ALDS, San Antonio Dreams the Pipedream (FanGraphs). San Antonio, currently home to the Padres’ Double-A affiliate, is looking into the possibility of landing an MLB franchise. Maury Brown, who knows a lot about this sort of thing, explains why it won’t happen.
  • Bell selected as Delivery Man of Year ( I’ve never even heard of this award, but congrats to Heath Bell.
  • Trevor Gretzky, Wayne Gretzky’s Son, to Play Baseball at San Diego State (FanHouse). I’m sure he will enjoy losing to the Toreros.
  • Tate on track after overcoming obstacles ( Health is a skill; here’s hoping Donavan Tate possesses it. He was named MVP of the recently concluded Padres instructional league and is expected to start 2011 at Low-A Fort Wayne.
  • 2010 THT Awards: Pitching (Hardball Times). Kevin Correia’s run support on a team not known for its offense is the stuff of legends… or at least two seconds of water cooler conversation. Do people still talk by the water cooler? Do kids hang out at the malt shop? [h/t reader Didi]
  • The Simpsons Baseball Edition ( Joe Posnanski discusses the recent Simpsons episode that featured Bill James. [h/t reader Didi]

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4 Responses »

  1. Geoff, love the line, ” Iā€™m sure he will enjoy losing to the Toreros.”

    My best wishes are also going out to Tony! Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!

  2. re: malt shop … hey, I still hang out at the malt shop! But I don’t see too many kids there. I was just back in my mom’s home town (Eldon, MO) and went to the drug store there, which has a “fountain” … the specialty there used to be “Marshmellow Pepsi” … you should try it! YUM!

  3. re: Tate … thanks for some good news! Finally!

    Here’s KG @ BP’s comment from an article looking back at his #1 prospects for each team …

    No. 1 Prospect: Donovan Tate, OF (29th overall)

    What Was Said: ā€œ…No other position player in the system is even in the same zip code when it comes to pure ceiling.ā€

    Analysis: While Tate struck out 41 times in his first 90 professional at-bats, his list of maladies since signing could fill an entire chapter of our annual. His tools remain top of the charts, but at 20, he’s already behind the development curve. He still could be a beast, but the chances of him doing so are low.

  4. I wonder if Moorad’s Burrell remarks are expressing a regret that he didn’t “encourage” Jed forcefully enough. While I respect Moorad’s expertise when it comes to negotiating players’ contracts, I can’t shake the feeling that deep down he’s a GM wannabe. I’ve read, I can’t remember where, that Moorad preferred a young inexperienced GM that he could “help” make decisions. He’s probably not in the same class as the Wilpons, thank God, but I find the possibility troublesome.

    For one thing, I feel Jed is particularly sharp, and experienced enough in the behind-the-scenes aspect of the job to do exceptionally well. Every time I read or hear what he says, I find myself nodding in agreement, keeping in mind that there are always some poker bluffs going on with public pronouncements. Why, he says the same things I would have said, if I had any tact, or common sense, and knew what I was talking about!

    I’d hate to see Jed subjected to that kind of meddling, since he’s the one who would take the blame for any screwups. The CEO/head of the owners’ group isn’t the one who would get fired.