Clouds or Snow?

After a long drive through various subdivisions of nowhere, we spent the night in Page, Arizona, at the edge of Lake Powell. The high point of our brief stay here was spotting a rabbit in the motel parking lot on our way out of town. Continue reading ›

How Far Is Forever?

Got a late start out of Vegas, stopped for gas in Mesquite. Made another stop in St. George, Utah, which is named after a fellow named Smith (St. Ozzie didn’t have the same ring to it) and not an actual saint.

The Virgin River flows alongside I-15, and in the distance from St. George, a snow-peaked mountain is visible to the northwest. Former Padres left-hander Bruce Hurst was born and attended high school in this town, which lies downwind from where extensive nuclear testing was conducted by the U.S. government in the ’50s. Continue reading ›

Musical Outfielders

The Padres have optioned outfielder Will Venable to Triple-A Tucson and recalled outfielder Blake Tekotte from Double-A San Antonio. I don’t know what is wrong with Venable (.224/.293/.291 in 151 PA this year) or how to fix it, but he vows to improve his approach.

At his best, Venable is a useful if flawed piece of the puzzle, providing a nice combination of power, speed, and defense. His swing is long and he often relies on pure athleticism to work around the rough spots in his game, but this year, he just stinks. Continue reading ›

Me, Elsewhere: Maybin, Tulo, Burroughs, and the Rest of the West

My latest at Baseball Prospectus ($) examines the Cameron Maybin/Mike Cameron comparison (their age 24 campaigns are looking pretty similar so far), Troy Tulowitzki’s extended slump, Jamie McCourt’s bout with sanity, the Giants’ recent surge and ridiculous record in one-run games, and Sean Burroughs’ return to baseball as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Like Taking Candy from Fish in a Barrel

Swept by the hated Mariners by a combined score of 14-2? Nice of the Padres to make a cameo in Seattle’s weekend romp through our humble hamlet.

The Padres are now 8-18 at Petco Park and have been outscored 109-59, or by roughly two runs a game. Here is where pithy commentary on an increasingly sad state of affairs would go if I had any left to offer. Continue reading ›

At Least the Burgers Were Delicious

Stopped at Elsinore, overlooking empty ballpark. Sipping coffee, chewing on Posnanski’s advice to stay humble as a writer…

Don’t preconceive. Don’t hesitate to ask questions that might make you look dumb. Don’t linger too long in your comfort zone.

Bearing this in mind, I ask a question: “With one quarter of the season behind us, what has surprised you most about the 2011 Padres?” Continue reading ›

Wednesday Links (18 May 11)

So, fourth place was fun for a few hours… Continue reading ›

Me Elsewhere: Hawpin’ on the Bandwagon

My latest at Baseball Prospectus (free!) touches on the Rockies’ disastrous end-game performance this year (they’ve been outscored, 17-1, in the ninth inning or later so far), Hong-Chih Kuo’s bout with anxiety disorder, and the rest of what’s happening in the National League West… including the sudden emergence of one Brad Hawpe. Continue reading ›

Home, Home on the Road

We recently examined the Padres’ poor performance at Petco Park. Reader bee1000 asked in the comments: “Were the Padres’ home/road records any different prior to Petco?”

It’s a good question, with a clear and simple answer: Yes. The Padres’ ability to win at home hasn’t changed since moving from Qualcomm to Petco; however, their ability to win on the road has improved dramatically in recent years. Continue reading ›

Storm Watch: First Impressions and Bias

I got my first look at the 2011 Lake Elsinore Storm last weekend. They lost to Stockton, 9-7, in extra innings.

Right-hander Jerry Sullivan started and had a rough night. More specifically, he had a rough first inning, surrendering four runs before his team even had a chance to bat. He fooled nobody. Continue reading ›