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…