I Think I Sprained My Cliche

Spring training has arrived. Players are preparing to give 110% while staying within themselves. They won’t try to do too much… one day at a time, of course.

They’re busy people. It’s all very complicated; just try to stay with them. Here’s a quick rundown of what to look for this spring… Continue reading ›

Me, Elsewhere: Galarraga and Latos

I’ve made another guest appearance at SweetSpot. This one focuses on the near-perfect games thrown by Detroit’s Armando Galarraga and San Diego’s Mat Latos in 2010. Although the outcomes were nearly identical, the two performances will be remembered differently by history because of a few critical differences that don’t show up in the box score:

Galarraga’s lone blemish occurred because first base umpire [Jim] Joyce incorrectly called Jason Donald safe. Latos’ came when he fumbled Eli Whiteside’s grounder before throwing to first a shade late. One man (Galarraga) was subject to forces beyond his control (Joyce’s imperfect interpretation of events), while the other (Latos) has only himself to blame (and forgive) for the event that kept him from pitching a perfect game.

This article has been gnawing at me for 8 months, so it’s good to get it out there. Enjoy…

BP Kings Scoresheet League Draft Begins

I did a miserable job of documenting my experience in BP Kings Scoresheet League last season, which is unfortunate since my team won 90 94 games and reached the finals. I’ve been playing Scoresheet for nearly 20 years, and that ranks among my most satisfying debuts. Now that I’ve resolved to write more about the league, I’m sure my team will stink. Continue reading ›

Open Thread: Spring Forward

After yesterday’s ridiculously long article, we’ll keep it simple today. With spring training upon us, I have three questions for you:

  1. Are you planning to attend spring training this year?
  2. Have you ever been in the past?
  3. If so, do you have any stories to share?

Continue reading ›

One-Hit Wonders: John Urrea to Jaret Wright

This is Part 13 of a 13-part series examining the 65 men who have collected exactly one hit as a member of the San Diego Padres. The current installment features a man who once outpitched Dennis Martinez in the minor leagues, a high school teammate of Kerry Wood, one piece of the Ken Caminiti trade, a pitcher who homered more frequently than Dave Winfield, and a man who delivered one of the worst pitching seasons in Padres history. Continue reading ›

Ditching the Kid Gloves

Corey Brock brings word that right-hander Mat Latos’ workload won’t be as closely monitored in 2011 as it was last year. Latos is understandably excited about this, saying “It’s a weight lifted off my shoulders.”

I am a little less excited, but this is a knee-jerk reaction. Continue reading ›

Me, Elsewhere: Hittin’ the SweetSpot

I had the privilege of being guest author at SweetSpot today. My contribution consists of three articles. Unfortunately the Padres are not represented, which is entirely my fault. I had a couple ideas but couldn’t make them work.

Here are the articles (my original stupid, cutesy titles in parentheses):

  • The worst pitching duel ever? This is the flip side of a series I did at Hardball Times highlighting the best duels in baseball history. The amazing thing is, George Earnshaw and Wes Ferrell were pretty good pitchers. (“Some days, you don’t have your best stuff”)
  • More to starting pitching than wins, losses. This is review material for many of you, but I always enjoy looking at these things. (“Hansonland and Narvesonia”)
  • Robin Yount was different kind of player. I may have shared this story before, but it’s one of my fondest spring training memories. (“Unreasonable things”)

Thanks to ESPN for the opportunity and to everyone for the support. Enjoy!

Great Pitchers Duels in Padres History: Kevin Brown vs Darryl Kile, 9/20/98

On September 20, 1998, at Qualcomm Stadium, nearly 38,000 fans witnessed a fantastic duel (among the best of the ’90s) on a Sunday afternoon. This was the final regular season home game for San Diego.

The Rockies’ Darryl Kile would lead the National League in losses this year, while Kevin Brown would finish third (behind teammate Trevor Hoffman and winner Tom Glavine) in the Cy Young Award race. Kile had been a Cy Young contender himself the previous season, and on this day, he pitched like one again. Continue reading ›

Hungry. Thirsty. Whatever.

A poet friend and I exchanged Sarah Vaughan tunes on Saturday morning. I served with “Shadow of Your Smile”; he returned with “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” — nothing but aces with The Divine One. Her voice and a pot of freshly ground French roast go a long way toward wiping away the grime that accumulates after a week’s worth of nonsense.

After a light breakfast, Mrs. Ducksnorts and I hit the road. We were running late, but we were running. The original plan had called for us to arrive at the ballpark around 11 a.m. The new plan involved, chiefly, not arriving at that time. Continue reading ›

Open Thread: Bookworming

What are you reading? What do you want to read? Continue reading ›