Thursday Links (25 Aug 11)

There is a basilica in Santa Fe, New Mexico, whose bells ring every hour on the hour. The basilica is named after Giovanni Francesco di Bernadone, better known as St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order and patron saint of animals. He died in 1226 while singing Psalm 141, which includes the memorable and haunting lines, “Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.”

Sage advice, no doubt, but not nearly as much fun as today’s links…

  • Baseball’s Randy Moss All-Stars (Hardball Times). Chris Jaffe examines players who were both great and disappointing in some respects. The article includes former Padres Roberto Alomar and Garry Templeton, although I would replace (as one commenter suggested) Hall-of-Famer Alomar with one-time uberprospect Gregg Jefferies at second base.
  • Santiago Casilla And The Worst Plate Appearance In Baseball History (Baseball Nation). Hyperbole aside (clearly the headline writer never saw Akinori Otsuka “swing” a baseball bat), this is impressive. The pitcher, Jose Ceda, once was a Padres farmhand before being shipped to the Cubs in the Todd Walker trade. [h/t BBTF]
  • The Padres Have 99 Problems (Lob Shots). Someone sent this to me. I have no idea what it means… I feel very old.
  • Under the Radar (FanGraphs). Friend of Ducksnorts Brandon Warne observes that Cameron Maybin has been, like, real good this year.
  • “Compiler” Jim Thome for the Hall of Fame (Baseball Prospectus). Wait, there are people who think Thome doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame? Well, at least one other smart person is concerned about his candidacy, so maybe I’m just out of touch. I’d vote for Thome faster than you can say, “Way better than Tony Perez”… or whomever.
  • Q&A: Charlie Haeger on the Knuckleball (FanGraphs). David Laurila chats with the former Padres right-hander about mechanics, mindset, and more…
  • One-time prospect dealing with his bad break ( Corey Brock takes a closer look at the heartbreaking story of Drew Cumberland, the former first-round pick who will retire as a player at age 22 and coach at Fort Wayne.
  • A Twelve Step Program or Something (Avenging Jack Murphy). I agree with much of this (aside from the bit about Jeff Moorad owning the team), including the piece de resistance: “Being a fan of the San Diego Padres is not easy. But life is not easy either.” Yep, although I prefer both to the available alternatives…
  • Late draft maneuvers cause for celebration (North County Times). Padres front-office staffers discuss the process of getting picks signed. Right-hander Michael Kelly lost a bit of money thanks to an MRI on his shoulder that revealed “a little something.” Beyond the lost money, this isn’t expected to cause Kelly any problems. Meanwhile, our pals at MadFriars chatted with Kevin Goldstein, who likes the aggressiveness displayed by Jed Hoyer and company this year.
  • Hannahan’s Indians teammates have his back (CBS Sports). Former SDSU right-hander Justin Masterson spearheaded the effort to fly current teammate Jack Hannahan back home for the birth of his son. [h/t BBTF]
  • Baseball Umpires’ Staff Development Genius: Balancing Winning Today With Winning Tomorrow (Management by Baseball). I’m a big fan of Jeff Angus’ stuff, but I’ve fallen behind in my reading. This and this are also worth a gander. [h/t reader Didi]
  • 11 Memorable Breakdowns, Antics, and Tirades (Baseball Prospectus). Pascual Perez versus the Padres shows up on this list.
  • Five-Tool Players by the (Nerdiest Possible) Numbers (FanGraphs). Carson Cistulli… I don’t even know how to describe this, but it’s a worthy read.
  • The Ball-Strike Machine (Joe Blogs). Former Padres Joakim Soria and Greg Maddux get mentions. And yeah, count me among those who list Maddux as his favorite pitcher ever. Even with less-than-stellar stuff during his time in San Diego, he was a joy to watch.
  • Coors Field: A Love Letter (Baseball Nation). Rob Neyer waxes poetic, and why not? It looks beautiful… except for the whole Arena Baseball thing.
  • “Serious changes” (Inside the Padres). Speaking of extreme ballparks, Tom Krasovic chats with former Padres CEO and current Mets GM Sandy Alderson, who says of Petco Park, “My point of view was the fences needed to be changed.” Alderson might be right, not because moving the fences in would help the team improve on-field results, but because people would stop whining about the damn fences and maybe actually come to games… gotta sell tickets…
  • Breakfast at the Park and #51 Retirement Ceremony (Gaslamp Ball). Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel (aka “Mentor” in their parlance) hosted the GLB crew for breakfast at Petco Park before Trevor Hoffman’s retirement ceremony. Photos and stuff… Jason Rosenberg, the ESPN SweetSpot Yankees blogger, also attended Hoffman’s ceremony. He didn’t have breakfast with Garfinkel, instead hanging out in the press box with members of the media and suchlike.

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

7 Responses »

  1. People are complaining that Thome is a “compiler”?? Assuming he’s clean, he’s not a mere compiler who has hung on too long to get to 600 HRs! He’s hit 30+ HRs six times, 40+ five times and 50+ once. If it weren’t for injuries in ’05, he’d have 14 consecutive seasons of 25+ HRs, bookended by five more seasons above 20.

    I guess we better kick Mike Schmidt and Harmon Killebrew out too, eh?

  2. One could point out he was never a “dominant” player. He very, very rarely led the league in anything, and if you use the new comprehensive stats like WAR, he was never the best player either. I don’t personally believe either of those are reasons to keep him out, but people do like to come up with arguments against HOF status for almost everyone. It’s my favorite baseball topic; I find the HOF utterly fascinating!

  3. where art thou, Randy Jones?

    is it too late to convert Spence into a starter? :D

  4. @Pat: Keep in mind that while he rarely led the league in anything during an era where those who did were all on PEDs.