Friday Links (17 Dec 10)

I picked up a copy of Craig Wright and Tom House’s classic The Diamond Appraised last night… found it at a YMCA book sale, of all places…


Do we have a shortstop yet or what?


Sometimes I get carded at restaurants. I’m pretty sure they’re just trying to get a better tip out of me. Stupid thing is, it works… flattery will get you everywhere.

  • San Diego Padres 2011 Top Prospects 21-30 (Friarhood). Hey, a Peter Friberg sighting. Woo-hoo! Prospects 11-20 are also available. That second installment is particularly interesting. I’m becoming smitten with catcher Jason Hagerty, while lefty Juan Oramas intrigues me. Right-hander Brad Brach was horrible the one time I saw him, but it’s unreasonable to judge a guy on the basis of one appearance.
  • Scouting Report: Reymond Fuentes, OF, San Diego Padres (Scouting the Sally). Mike Newman saw Fuentes play several times in 2010 and shares his thoughts on the speedy outfielder acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
  • Council votes to bring baseball to Escondido (U-T). Meanwhile, the Tucson team still doesn’t have a name or web site.
  • Time to restock (Watson Files). Dan examines drafts conducted by the current Padres staff while they were with the Red Sox and wonders what might become of all those extra picks San Diego has in 2011.


“If you seek truth you will not seek victory by dishonorable means, and if you find truth you will become invincible.”

  • In defense of replacement-level players? (King Kaufman). Good stuff from one of my opponents in the BP Kings Scoresheet Baseball League (which I finished runner-up in, BTW). [h/t The Book]
  • Remit, Rad-aptation & Redemption: Rangers Rate Righteously (Management by Baseball). Another of my BP Kings opponents pens this fine piece: “Accountability is inescapable in baseball. Unlike the corporate or military worlds, the baseball manager can’t blame underlings or have his lobbyists arrange a bail-out. To get to be a D- or better major league manager, you have to embrace accountability, that means to last, you have to adapt your decisions to deal with reality.” [h/t reader Didi]
  • Final Winter Meeting Tidbits (Baseball Prospectus). Christina Kahrl discusses the use of sabermetrics within MLB organizations. As one assistant GM told her about publicly available defensive metrics, “Nobody uses it–why would they? They’ve all built their own, better metrics.”
  • Blogger Ethics (Joe Blogs). Cat fight. But it’s a worthy cat, and a worthy fight.
  • Hustle Is a Skill: Some Ancient Notes on Baseball (FanGraphs). Carson Cistulli bases a baseball article on the writings of ancient philosopher Epictetus. This, incidentally, is the sort of thing that got me hooked on Bill James many moons ago. Numbers are great, but give me some big-picture stuff so I can understand how it relates to the world at large. Bonus points for making it interesting.


This section needs no introduction because, well, I can’t think of one.


“Ran out of time and money, looks like they took my friends.”

  • The 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame (Baseball Past and Present). Several players with ties to the Padres and/or San Diego make the list: Roberto Alomar (2), Alan Trammell (4), Ted Simmons (13), Fred McGriff (16), Steve Garvey (34), Kevin Brown (38), Graig Nettles (44). [h/t BBTF]
  • 40 Greatest Shortstops (Platoon Advantage). More familiar names: Tony Fernandez, Miguel Tejada, Ozzie Smith, Trammell…
  • Not stuck in Lodi anymore (Hardball Times). Steven Booth remembers minor-league baseball in Lodi. The Padres had their A-ball team there in 1970 and 1971, with Johnny Grubb and Mike Ivie among those who passed through town. Another former Padres outfielder, George Hendrick, played there earlier. Will Venable’s dad, Max, made a stop in Lodi, as did Alan Wiggins of the ’84 NL championship Padres.
  • Omar Linares (Mop-Up Duty). Callum Hughson profiles one of Cuba’s all-time greats. He also looks back at the Vancouver Asahi, a dominant team of Japanese-Canadians that was disbanded during World War II.
  • Card Corner: Topps’ top 60 and Billy Cowan (Hardball Times). Not only is this a cool baseball card, but Bruce also shares an amusing anecdote about the time Cowan almost took a swing at current Padres (and former Angels) broadcaster Dick Enberg.
  • Unlikely managerial returns (Hardball Times). I’d forgotten that Larry Bowa got another opportunity to manage after his nightmare in San Diego. And the guy I always think of wasn’t in baseball: it’s the NFL’s Dick Vermeil.
  • A 30-year All-Star Team (Viva El Birdos). Fun list. Choosing Greg Vaughn ’98 over Tony Gwynn ’97 as the Padres rep seems wrong to me, but if you examine the methodology, it makes sense (you can’t choose Gwynn over Mike Piazza in ’97). [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
  • A Retro-Review of the 1950s (the 1950-1954 edition) (Retrosheet). Tom Ruane’s latest opus is long (37 footnotes) but fascinating.


RIP, Bob Feller. These speak for themselves and are offered without comment:

That should keep you busy for a while…

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11 Responses »

  1. You should have waited until after the Hudson news broke. Now you’ll have to write a new post.

  2. The Garfoose has some good words about Bob Feller …

    Thanks for the link to the blog about the Bill James first editions … notice he doesn’t say how/where he got them, nor the price he paid for them … I’m curious :-)

  3. Sounds like Orlando Hudson is gonna be here for two years pending physical and the Bartlett deal is done… so much for the middle infield questions.

  4. Hudson, even with some regression to be expected, is a clear upgrade over Eckstein. He brings decent hitting, speed, and defense to a position that was supposed to have nobody available with any of those. Bartlett will probably not exceed what Tejada gave us down the stretch but his defense will make up what he gives back in offense, and he doesn’t give back all that much. It bothers me that he’s only a one-year rental but the price wasn’t that high, and who knows what might get worked out. Kudos to Hoyer for improving the MI without breaking the bank and in what we all thought was a dreadful MI market. If he can find some 1B power somewhere, 2011 might not be all that long a year after all.

  5. Congrats on the Runner Up finish, Geoff! Classy handling of the Feller links, too.

  6. I was interested in Jed’s comment that he didn’t want to block Blanks and Rizzo. Do we have a competition coming up? Everything I’ve read about Rizzo is that he’s a lefty pull hitter, while Blanks is a righty with all-fields power. I know which one I’d want playing Petco.

    I was also struck by Jed saying Blanks struggled before he was injured. Blanks didn’t have a sudden ulnar ligament snap, it was frayed beyond recovery. That would explain the struggling before he was pulled from the lineup, and you can make the argument that Blanks’ early 2010 stats should be discounted.

    Stauffer’s comment is telegraphing the team’s 2011 motivation. The loss of Adrian will weigh heavily with the prognosticators, but with Maybin, Bartlett and Hudson, they may pick the Padres as high as fourth. Even with first base and backup catcher unsettled, I think the team is even better suited for the Padres’ small ball team play, and the prognosticaters will be burned again.

  7. @Zach: I’m cool with writing new posts. It’s what I do. I’ll have about 1100 words on the Bartlett trade Monday morning.

    @LynchMob, @Didi: Thanks for the Feller links.

    @Joel, @The_Slasher14: I like the Hudson signing; I’ll have more to say about it after the deal has been finalized.

    @Pat: Thank you.

    @Larry: I’m excited about what Hoyer has done/is doing this off-season. Very aggressive. As for prognosticators getting burned, such is the nature of prognostication. I hope you are right regarding the way in which they (we) get burned in 2011.

  8. Heh. I wasn’t thinking of you specifically as a member of the prognosticator class, but was referring to the general pre-season consensus. I don’t think you’ll get “burned” — unless you predict 79 wins again.

  9. @ Larry: One could also make the argument Blanks’ 2009 was a small sample size wherein he rarely had to face the same team twice, so teams did not have a chance to adjust to him, and his struggles in 2010 were as much a result of weaknesses being exploited as they were of any injury. Ergo, his 2009 stats should be discounted.

    Not being a medical expert, I don’t know how the ligament might have effected his offense, but there’s no doubt he was struggling mightily whatever the reason. If he can stay healthy, which seems to be a question mark at this point, I believe he will become a good offensive player, but he does need some seasoning and I think it is wrong to expect him to put up a 137 OPS+ as he did in that very brief 2009 campaign, or anything close, in his first full season in the bigs.

    Competition for positions is a good thing; depth in a system is a good thing. I’m glad Rizzo is here and I’m glad he may push Blanks, whether he pushes him to up his game or pushes him into being expendable so he can be used as a trading chip to improve the system still further; it’s a good thing! :-)

  10. @Larry: Thanks, but I did pick the Padres to finish fourth in the NL West in 2010. In the interest of accountability, it’s worth noting that I blew it, too.