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?
- Ratings Higher for Friars (Stadium Journey). Drew Cieszynski reviews Petco Park. He likes it, as do I.
- Thatcher remains optimistic (Kokomo Tribune). Quoth the Prime Minister: “Nobody expected anything from us last year and we used that as motivation. I’m sure losing Adrian, nobody’s going to expect us to do anything next year.”
- Yanks, Prior ink minor-league deal (SI.com). The Yankees and their damn money… Wait, that’s less than the Padres spent on Dustin Moseley… [h/t BBTF]
- Ramos still waiting to learn if he has been traded (North County Times). Here’s a first-person view of the Jason Bartlett saga. Quoth Cesar Ramos: “The only stuff I’ve heard is online. It’s a little frustrating. One day you see it’s done and the next it’s not. I’d kind of like to know what is going on and if I’m going to spring training in Arizona or Florida.” Over at Friar Forecast, Myron muses about the speed of information nowadays and the tradeoff in accuracy.
- Bell recovering from typhoid fever (Padres.com). This is why my wife and I refuse to renew our vows… Here’s to Bell’s health.
- Jed Hoyer steers the Padres’ ship in the right direction (PaapFly). Interesting look at Hoyer’s moves so far this off-season.
- Padres GM Hoyer answers questions about Jason Bartlett, Derrek Lee and Twitter (Gaslamp Ball). These radio interview highlights are useful to those of us who don’t listen to the radio.
- Patterson to Friars completes Gonzalez deal (Padres.com). Huzzah! Eric Patterson = Tony Gwynn Jr. without the defense (stifles yawn).
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.
- A Sabermetric Hanukkah (Sabometrics). Holy mother of baseball geekery, it’s first editions of the 1977-1981 self-published Baseball Abstracts!
- A Poem on the Flaws of Fielding Percentage (Baseball-Reference). Nice…
- Radical change: realignment (Hardball Times). This will never happen, but it’s a fun thought exercise.
- Chopsticks Recycled From Broken Baseball Bats Are A Hit (InventorSpot). I so want these. [h/t BBTF]
- Similarity Scores – How Many Clicks to Babe Ruth? (Baseball-Reference). Fun with sim scores.
- The Call-Up (Futility Infielder). Congrats to Jay Jaffe on being voted into the BBWAA.
- Congrats also to former BBTF/THT writer Carlos Gomez (he’s the guy who warned us about Nick Schmidt… didn’t care for Aaron Poreda either) on being named Arizona’s international scouting director.
- Feedback wanted: A Padres E-book (Friar Forecast). Myron wants to know if he should publish a book. Go talk to him.
“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:
- Bob Feller in His Own Words (Seamheads – Arne Christensen)
- Iowa legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller dies at age 92 (BBTF)
- Bob Feller (1918-2010) (FanGraphs – R.J. Anderson)
- Bob Feller (Baseball-Reference)
- Of Bob Feller and wartime baseball (Hardball Times – David Wade)
- You Can Blog It Up: Goodbye, Rapid Robert (Baseball Prospectus – Steven Goldman)
- RIP Bob Feller (SI.com – Joe Posnanski)
- Bob Feller, 1918-2010 (Phil Wood, via BBTF)
That should keep you busy for a while…