Hey, how ’bout a sweep at Coors Field? There’s still time for the Padres to knock the Rockies out of fourth place (c’mon, pretend that’s a worthy goal). I especially like that Anthony Bass needed just 25 pitches to get through the entire Colorado lineup once and 52 to get through 5 innings. Efficiency is your friend.
The Padres now head home for three against the Dodgers this weekend, three against the Cubs next week, and a whole winter to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. Meanwhile, we’ve got links…
- Gunslinger’s triumph (Inside the Padres). If Kevin Towers deserves credit for the success of this year’s Diamondbacks (and he does), Jed Hoyer deserves the same for last year’s Padres. I wonder how forgiving folks will be if Towers’ team should stumble in 2012?
- New SABR Stat: Baseball God Factor (BGF) (Mop-Up Duty). Interesting things happen when you stick players out of position.
- Ghosts of MVPs Past (Baseball Prospectus). This is a wonderful read. Also, I had no idea Charlie Montoyo (whose existence I learned about while riffling through a book I bought many years ago in San Luis Obispo) was still in baseball. The man who drew 156 walks in 132 California League games in 1988 is now managing the Durham Bulls (a team I saw on my way to Tony Gwynn’s Hall of Fame induction).
- Alfonzo suspended 100 games for PED use (MLB.com). Former Padres catcher Eliezer Alfonzo (career .240/.271/.377 hitter in 624 PA) reminds us that steroids, in and of themselves, don’t make you a good baseball player. [h/t BBTF]
- Brach beat long odds to reach Padres’ bullpen (Padres.com). I continue have my doubts about the former 42nd round pick, but as ever, I hope he proves me wrong.
- Layin’ Down The Law: Keith Law on Scouts, Ricciardi and his Departure (Drunk Jays Fans). Here’s more insight into the Michael Lewis vs Keith Law thing that happened last week. What I like about Law’s comments is that they reflect the fact that he and his outlook have changed a great deal in a decade. This to me is a sign of growth and wisdom. Foolish consistencies, hobgoblins, and what have you… [h/t BBTF]
- Marlins’ Logan Morrison files grievance (ESPN). Good for Morrison. As for the Marlins, I’m sure we would expect no less from a team owned by Jeffrey Loria. Hey, it could be worse; they could have a hideous new logo…
- World Cup/Pan Am roster announced (USA Baseball). Current Padres farmhand Matt Clark and ex-Padre Randy Williams are among those named to the roster. [h/t BBTF]
- 15,000 days since Spiezio ruins Gibson’s perfecto (Hardball Times). Chris Jaffe reminds us that the Padres did something good in 1970. Not getting no-hit qualifies as “good,” right? When all else fails, lower your standards. Jaffe also reminds us that Jimmy Jones came within a Bob Knepper triple of throwing a perfect game in his big-league debut. Bob Knepper Triple would make a good name for a band.
- Padres’ radio and TV deals taking time (North County Times). Take as much time as you need, just get it right.
- Wally Yonamine and the Integration of Japanese Baseball (Seamheads). The late, great Yonamine retains folk-hero status in Hawai’i.
- Top Historic Collapses in Baseball History (Cool Standings). This list runs 256 deep, and the Padres are represented three times: 2007 (no. 18), 1985 (no. 101), and 2004 (no. 254). Notice a certain team from last year missing? [h/t BBTF]
- More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About 1-0 Games (Retrosheet). Current/former Padres Greg Maddux, Gaylord Perry, Trevor Hoffman, Mike Adams, and Heath Bell show up here, as does the late Dave Smith, a San Diego native. [h/t reader Didi]
- Ted Williams’s .406 Is More Than a Number (New York Times). This is a good read, although it contains one glaring error: “No one, in fact, has hit higher than .390, and that was 31 years ago.” One man has, and that was 17 years ago. Assuming the rest of the facts are correct, there are some real gems here, with perhaps my favorite being that Williams’ “longest hitless stretch was seven at-bats” in 1941. Damn. [h/t reader parlo]
- Well, What WOULD You Do? (Padres Trail). Mike starts planning for next year. I hope Jeremy Hermida is part of the 2012 club. He’s still so young.
- Mo and Boch (Inside the Padres). Tom Krasovic discusses Bruce Bochy’s decision to use Andy Sheets over John Vander Wal as a pinch-hitter against Mariano Rivera in Game 3 of the 1998 World Series:
It took guts use Vander Wal as a pinch-runner and Sheets as a pinch-hitter, but good managers are willing to make moves that will bring them scorn if they don’t work out.”
Vander Wal’s career line: .261/.351/.441, 104 OPS+. Sheets’ career line: .216/.271/.321, 56 OPS+. Well, I suppose “guts” is one word for it…
- The Unlikely Success of Cory Luebke (Baseball Nation). Marc Normandin notes that Luebke’s slider is slightly devastating, which helps explain why lefties are hitting .160/.229/.198 against him.
- A Discussion About Evaluating Pitchers (FanGraphs). Keep talking; that’s how we make progress…
- Removing the Mask (Baseball Prospectus). Former Padres catcher Yorvit Torrealba ranks among the best in MLB at “saving runs for their team by getting extra strike calls at the edge of the zone” from 2007 to 2011, while current Padres backstop Nick Hundley ranks among the worst. Good thing he picked up his offense this year, eh? Seriously, this is fascinating work by Mike Fast with potentially far-reaching implications.