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Pity About the Padres Offense

The Padres made Jake Westbrook work hard on Saturday in St. Louis. The veteran right-hander used 89 pitches and didn’t survive the fifth inning. Five walks helped. Three of those five walks came around to score. Continue reading ›

I Missed It, but Maybin Didn’t

We were stuck in Dodger Stadium traffic but weren’t on our way to the deservedly hyped Clayton Kershaw/Tim Lincecum pitching matchup (probably just as well). We had tickets to see the pilot of a sitcom that hopefully will air this fall. I’m not a fan of the genre, but this show has a great cast and was damn funny.

No worries… I’d set the DVR before we left. I even had it record for an extra hour just in case the game ran long, which it did.

One problem: ESPN didn’t broadcast the game in the San Diego market. When I got home, around 1 a.m. on Friday, I had the final inning of some other game (Yankees/Tigers?) followed by a boatload of basketball highlights.

Basketball. Really? People watch that? Continue reading ›

Opening Day Links and Open Thread

Well, it’s here. First, we have links to whet your appetite… Continue reading ›

Me, Elsewhere: Looking Forward… in Three Places at Once!

My latest at Hardball Times is part of their annual “Five Questions” series and focuses on our favorite team. One of my questions deals with Cameron Maybin, who is a key to this franchise in many ways right now:

Oliver likes his chances this season, setting the bar at .271/.339/.422, which looks suspiciously like what Mike Cameron (to whom Maybin has been compared) did for the Padres in 2007.

The flip side of Cameron is Ruben Rivera, who peaked at age 20 in the Florida State League and then flopped. Padres fans have seen young center fielders come to San Diego and fail to deliver on their promise, so if there is skepticism on their part, Maybin can thank the likes of Rivera and Ray McDavid for that.

The good news for Maybin is that he’s being asked to replace the ironically named Tony Gwynn Jr. Expectations are low, certainly lower than they were when Maybin went to Florida in the Miguel Cabrera deal. Being traded for Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica presumably brings with it less pressure than being traded for Cabrera.

The article also discusses the void left by Adrian Gonzalez’s departure, the rotation, the bullpen, and attendance concerns. Give it a read…

On a more personal note, this is my final contribution as a regular contributor to Hardball Times. It has been a wonderful 4 1/2 years, and I’d like to thank Studes and the gang for letting me be a part of the madness… That is a fine bunch of writers and people over there.

* * *

I also contributed to a couple of group season prediction type things, one at ESPN SweetSpot and one at Baseball Prospectus. Notice any former Padres first basemen (I had him fourth, for the record) at the top of the AL MVP predictions?

I have to laugh at all the love Gonzalez is getting as a result of moving into a market that matters. He deserves the accolades, but then, this has been true for many years…

Spring Sluggers

There has been recent discussion about whether spring training statistics are predictive in some way. John Dewan at ACTA Sports suggests they might be:

For the most part, we agree with the common perception that they don’t have value. A bad spring training means nothing. An average spring training tells us nothing. Nevertheless, we did find that when a player has an exceptional spring, it does suggest a better than 60% chance they will take their game up a notch.

Details? Sure… Continue reading ›

Me, Elsewhere: What Came Before the NL West?

My latest at Baseball Prospectus ($) focuses on the origins of professional baseball in each of the five current NL West cities. Did you know, for instance, that Hall of Fame right-hander Walter Johnson pitched for the San Diego Pickwicks in 1907? I had no idea.

Anyway, the whole article is full of stuff like that. Give it a read…

I Wouldn’t Miss You if I Had Better Aim

Monday morning, it appeared that Everth Cabrera would make the big club as the Padres backup middle infielder. Despite Cabrera’s train wreck of a 2010 campaign and a less-than-inspired spring training, the path looked clear after Kevin Frandsen, the only legitimate contender for the job, was released on Friday. Continue reading ›

Padres Bloggers Unite!

The good folks at RJ’s Fro have put together an event that promises to be like no other. Really, when you think about it, are any two events identical?

Anyway, here are the vitals:

Sunday, April 3, 10:30 a.m – 4 p.m.
Randy Jones All American Sports Grill
7510 Hazard Center Dr. Suite 215
San Diego, CA 92108

And here is the marketing pitch:

  • Appearances by Randy Jones and “special guests”
  • Jane Mitchell signing her new book One on One – My Journey with Hall of Famers, Fan Favorites and Rising Stars (11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
  • Avenging Jack Murphy, Bring Back the Brown, Ducksnorts, Gaslamp Ball, LobShots, RJ’s Fro, The Sacrifice Bunt, and Woe Doctor will be there
  • San Diego Hall of Champions, Lake Elsinore Storm, and The Madres will be joining in on the fun as well with some awesome raffle prizes
  • Doors open at 10:30 a.m.; Padres – Cardinals game starts at 11:15 a.m. and will be on 22 big-screen TVs
  • Breakfasttown USA specials until noon and the “35″ Happy Hour special for everyone in PADRES BROWN
  • Print out this flyer and 15% of all food and beverages you purchase will be donated to youth baseball programs in San Diego

For more information, visit RJ’s Fro or RSVP here. See you at the shindig.

Open Thread: Stats? Story? Both?

I’ll probably regret asking, but what’s life without a few regrets…

  1. Where do you stand on the stats vs story debate that refuses to die?
  2. Does this dichotomy exist in the corporeal world or only in the mind of the perceiver?
  3. Bonus points if you can:
    • Quantify your response (e.g., on a scale of pi to 42, with blue as the midpoint), and/or
    • Offer a compelling narrative to support your position

Continue reading ›

Your Padres’ No. 3 Hitter Is Not Your Padre’s No. 3 Hitter

One detail I neglected to mention yesterday is the fact that Orlando Hudson batted third in Saturday’s game against the Cubs. This seemed peculiar to me, but I gave it little thought until I later saw that Bud Black is planning to use Hudson in that spot during the regular season. Continue reading ›