The folks at Gaslamp Ball have a fun article up about polarizing topics for Padres fans. Among the topics is Petco Park’s effect on offense.
It’s a legitimate concern, but part of the discussion centers on a fallacy: “Fans used to seeing home runs fly out of a Qualcomm Stadium at an average rate were bored by the low scoring and defensive driven games.”
Home runs didn’t fly out of Qualcomm Stadium at an average rate. Here are home run park factors and MLB rank for the Padres’ home venues over the past 10 years:
Year HR Rnk 2001 .881 26 2002 .758 27 2003 .806 26 2004 .691 30 2005 .747 30 2006 .982 15(t) 2007 .685 29 2008 .743 30 2009 .721 29 2010 .856 22
Aside from that bizarre 2006 season, it has been difficult to hit home runs in San Diego for many years (the last time that wasn’t true was ’97), regardless of venue. Despite complaints by certain players, moving to Petco Park didn’t change things much.
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- The Worst Hitter in Baseball History (FanGraphs). I love Bill Bergen.
- Denny McLain at the Organ (Recordo Obscura). Pitcher, convict, organist… a real renaissance man. [h/t reader Foster Brooks Robinson]
- Metafandom, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Superfluous Junk Surrounding Baseball (Baseball Prospectus). Craig Calcaterra pops in for a guest spot. From the article: “There are only so many hours in the day, after all. Sometimes it’s more expedient to turn off the game and get to our rosters, our checklists, our blog posts and — yes, I’ll say it — our spreadsheets.”
- Ring hoping to stick in M’s bullpen (Kitsap Sun). Former Aztecs and Padres (he’s the other guy in the trade that brought Heath Bell to San Diego) left-hander Royce Ring has landed with the arch-rival Mariners of Seattle. Traitor. [h/t SBNation]
- Predicting the Hall of Fame Votes, Part I: 2012-2016 (Platoon Advantage). Bill thinks Alan Trammell will finally make it in 2016. I don’t share his optimism, but wouldn’t that be nice? Part 2 covers 2017-2021. Bill likes Trevor Hoffman in 2017, so start making plans…
- Thoughts in a bookstore (Joe Blogs). From Posnanski’s latest opus: “The thing that constantly strikes me as I walk through bookstores is that every book in there, every single one, was published with the dream of selling many, many copies.” Yeah, we all have that dream at some point… [h/t reader Didi]
- Heatmaps: for comparison’s sake (Hardball Times). I’m not a visual guy, so it always blows me away when people come up with stuff like this.
- Spring Training 2011 Question Of The Day: Chicago White Sox (SBNation). Our friend Rob Neyer on ex-Padre Jake Peavy: “Already penciled as perhaps the most expensive No. 5 starter in the majors — well, east of San Francisco Bay, anyway — Peavy is not expected to pitch in a game that counts until the middle of April.” Ouch. Remember when Peavy was a stud?
- Getting to know RHP Zack Greinke (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). This is a fantastic interview with a fascinating player. Quoth Greinke: “To talk to people, I have to spend energy talking to them. If I expend my energy on talking to people and making friends, it takes away from the energy I could focus on getting ready to pitch. I try to avoid nonsense talk.” This might put some folks off, but as someone who is pretty introverted himself, I get what he’s saying. [h/t BBTF]