The (long awaited) Padres Prediction Post

March 20, 2007 at 6:09 pm (Sports thoughts)

I do not adhere to the doctrine of pessimism. Pessimism, I believe is a psychological disease that can be attributed to many factors ranging from childhood disappointments to cowardice. Regardless of the cause, it is a certain fact that pessimists are consistently less happy and more unrealistic. Ironically most pessimists consider themselves realist and in one sense they are realist. That is, their personal reality is woeful compared to the actual reality but it is still their reality. They have indeed created their own reality.

I only mention pessimists because in my experience as a baseball fan (and a Padres fan) I have encountered far more pessimists then realists or optimists regarding the Padres prospects.

My goal in this post is certainly not to “spin” the realities of the Padres chances this season. That is what pessimists do! I want to look at the team from top to bottom and make a realistic evaluation. The best way to do that is not to evaluate the other teams in baseball or even within our own division. The only “realistic” comparison can be made by comparing the roster from last season with the roster from this season. I will do so simplistically with on a “worse/same/better” scale.

Position Players-

1st base- SAME, Adrian Gonzalez. Though one could make arguments that he is “only going to get better” based on his youth and now with a full season of experience under his belt, one could also make an argument of a “sophomore slump”. Both those arguments are subjective rather objective so we give this a position a “SAME”.

2nd base- SAME, Marcus Giles. Last season we had Josh Barfield who had a solid rookie campaign. He (Barfield) averaged .280 and hit 13 HR while stealing 21 bases. Giles on the other handover his career has averaged .285 17 HR and 14 SB. Giles also holds advantages in slugging and OBP. It wouldn’t be difficult for me to consider Giles a step up but in order to maintain consistency with my above logic I will call this one a SAME.

Short Stop- SAME, Khalil Greene. Though I could also make a case for this being a step due to some of his off season activities (he got married), I could also make a case for this being a step down (oft injured). I won’t do either. SAME.

3rd Base- BETTER, Kevin Kouzmanoff. This is a better on the basis of nobody could have been worse then Vinny Castilla was last year. Even if Kouz doesn’t perform as the organization is hoping the back ups range from Russell Branyon and Todd Walker, both of whom are better then Castilla was. Personally I think we can expect to see out of Kouz what we saw with Adrian Gonzalez last season. A guy given a big job who takes big steps and lives up to the expectations perhaps even exceeds them.

Left Field- WORSE, Termel Sledge. Though I don’t think this is much of a step down from Dave Roberts I can’t possibly argue against Roberts value for the team last season. Sledge has more power but is less handy defensivley and considerably slower then Roberts was. Nevertheless Roberts, despite leading the team in stolen bases and being the leadoff man only managed to be 4th on the team in runs scored. Why? nobody was driving him in. Sledge can drive guys in at the bottom of the order and that kind of value can’t really be measured on this scale. Therefore I say Sledge is indeed a step down in left.

Center Field- SAME, Mike Cameron. This guy is really good. I’m a big Cameron fan he has shown up and played very well in San Diego. This is a contract year for him so i think we could call this a BETTER but again I am being realistic not optimistic.

Right Field- SAME, Brian Giles. After a poor season last year many could argue that this is a WORSE. Unfortunatley for those pessimists there are more factors that point to Giles improving this year rather then declining. I won’t make arguments for either but I will say that even during last season (admittedly the worst of his career) he drove in 83 runs. Thats more then a couple of other left handers in the NL west named Todd Helton (81) and Barry Bonds (77).

Catcher- SAME, Josh Bard. This is the only one I will allow any argument on. Last season Mike Piazza was a terrific offensive piece of the Padres NL west championship. Defensively however he was a liability. Though we don’t have much of an offensive sampling for Bard what we do have points to tremendous potential. Last season he hit .338 in 93 games. He also averaged 1 HR for every 6 full games played. If he plays 140 games (as expected) we can factor that out to 23 + HR this season. Piazza hit 22.


Starting Pitching- BETTER, Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Clay Hensley, Greg Maddux and David Wells. I read this report on the NL west by Foxsports Dayn Perry where he asserts that the Dodgers have the best rotation in baseball based on the 5 starters combined ERA last season. He did is math correctly and noted that last season they had a combined ERA of 3.95. What he failed to realize is that the Padres starting 5 last season was actually lower then 3.95 and that was with Peavy having a poor season. The recent news that David Wells has diabetes is tragic but could conceivably benefit our 5th starters performance. Either way there is not way you can argue this rotation is worse then last seasons or even the same. This is the best starting 5 ever to put on a Padres uniform at the same time. Peavy, Young and Hensley are comparble to the A’s “big 3” of a few seasons ago. Adding Wells and Hall of Famer Maddux is just gravy. I love this rotation!

Bullpen- BETTER, Trevor Hoffman, Scott Linebrink, Cla Meredith, Royce Ring, Heath Bell, Doug Brocail, Andrew Brown and Scott Cassidy. 2 of the last 5 won’t make the 25 man roster but will stick around in the minors in case the others don’t pan out. The Padres will win 90% of the games where they have a lead in the 7th inning (and they should with the above starters). This bullpen is fantastic. In case you haven’t noticed all of your ridiculous pessimistic notions of being “afraid” whenever Hoffman takes the mound are insane. The guy had the second best season of his career last year! He’s money. The fears surrounding Linebrink are also unwarranted. Sure he’s given up a few games in the 8th, but there isn’t a team in all of baseball who wouldn’t want him taking the hill in then and MOST would want him to close out their games. Meredith was amazing last season, it would be unrealistic to expect the same kind of performance this year, but even if he digresses he still has the tools and the poise to be a perfect bridge in the 6th and 7th.

The Rest-

Bench- SAME, Geoff Blum, Russell Branyan, Rob Bowen, Todd Walker, Jose Cruz Jr, Paul McAnulty. 3 of these guys have been full time starters (Branyan, Walker and Cruz). Blum can play just about anywhere, Bowen showed himself a solid backup catcher and McAnulty will only stick around if there are serious questions about Sledge. This is a deep bench that can be used for everything from pinch hitting to defensive replacements to double switches with very little drop off. The one negative is that none of them are very fast which limits the pinch running part of the game.

Manager- WORSE, Bud Black. I don’t have anything against Black but Bochy was one of the top 5 managers in baseball. All signs point to Black to doing a great job relating to the players and getting the most out of his guys. My only concern is how he manages the bullpen (Bochy’s expertise). If he is open to advice from pitching coach Darren Balsley then i don’t think this will be much of a drop off.

For those keeping score that’s 3Betters, 2 Worses and 7 sames. If you do the addition you will see that you can expect the Padres to be a little better then last season when they won their second consecutive NL West division and had the second best record in the NL at 88 and 74.

A realistic expectation based on facts like statistical analysis can hypothesize the Padres winning 90 games this season.

Now that I have realism out of the way let me say this…

I am unabashedly an optimist who always anticipates the best possible. Therefore I personally think both Giles brothers being together will help them play better. Sledge will hit 30 home runs. Cameron will play better (contract year) . Bard will excel as a starter. Greene will stay healthy, the Bench is deeper then we think and Black will be just as good as Bochy was. Thus my score is now 10 Betters and 2 sames adding up to the Padres winning 102 games this season and storming through the post season for the first of many Padres world championships!

Feel free to argue with my optimism, but there ain’t much you can say about the realistic facts I have put up; so all you pessimists can just go back to living in your false reality where the Padres AREN’T back-to-back division champs.



  1. Pablo Honey said,

    I don’t argue with your position by position analysis, but you are overlooking what may be the deciding factor in this years NL West race: the improvement of the other NL West teams. Though the Padres may be much improved in pitching, their offense still appears to be very very weak. This fact coupled with the vastly improved rotations of both the Dodgers and the Giants could make it very difficult to repeat for the 3rd year. Now I truly do consider myself a realist, and I do believe it is possible for the Padres to win the NL West this year, but while I would not be shocked if they won the division, I would also not be surprised by a 3rd place finish. I truly hope that we are in the drivers seat come the trading deadline, and maybe this year will be the year that John Moores will let K.T. trade for someone OTHER than Joe Randa! Offensive firepower is all that stands between this team and another title and possibly a deep playoff run, and while I agree with the Padres frugal spending on free agents while the market is WAY overpriced, bargains can still be had on 1 year rental trades. I am hoping for the best, so that all my friends and family can join in the fantastic feeling of rooting on a champion. The same feeling I get every single week watching Jimmie Johnson baby!

  2. Matt S said,

    I few points of contention:

    1) We need someone to emerge as a consistent middle relief pitcher. I too like our rotation and the back end of the pen, but the middle relief is just as important and right now it is lacking .

    2) Left field is a problem. I do not for one second believe Sledge is the answer. He will not be consistent enough and him hitting 30 HR’s is ridiculous. No one hits 30 HR’s in Petco, let alone Sledge. We let Roberts go because we wanted a power threat at that position and Sledge is all we could muster? If MacAnulty could play better defense he is a much better option than Sledge.

    3) 90 games will not win this division this year. The Dodgers and Giants have “on paper” drastically improved their squads. Yes, they do this every year and at least the last 2 years we still won the division, but I really feel that we will need to win 93-97 games to win the division.

    I think we have a shot if Maddux and Greene stay healthy, but we are not the favorites this year.

  3. danielbalc said,

    A deadline deal seems to be a big hope year after year. If you really want a big time premonition put this in your pipe and smoke it. Come trading deadline the Padres will acquire Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners. Though this isn’t exactly POWER per se it would vastly improve the offensive AND defensive aspects of the Padres game giving them just the tools they need to make their championship run.

    As for your pathetic JJ fascination I parallel it to this. lets say you are a HUGE Phil Mickleson fan. You watch all his tournaments you cheer for him at all his matches. You make voodoo dolls of Tiger woods and stick needles in it, whatever. When Phil won the masters, were his fans, do you think, more or less excited then the Colts fans were when they won the super bowl or the cardinals fans were when they won the world series?

    There simply is NO comparison to the accomplishments of team sports verses the accomplishments of individuals. I was at the game where LT broke the TD record, it was phenomenal and experience I will never forget. But I would trade that feeling in a heart beat for a super bowl or a world series ring. And so would HE. Sorry Neckcar fans, but you are settling for cheap thrills You’re like the Giant Fans who just go to the game to see Baroid hit a HR. The giants could get blown out by 6 runs and they would leave smiling knowing their hero did something “great”. Cheap. Cheap. Pathetic

  4. danielbalc said,

    What is all of this “Giants have improved” talk. They have regressed boys. The Giants added Barry Zito and who? Ryan Kelsko? Dave Roberts? are you serious?

    MAYBE the Dodgers are better but go up to Dayn Perry’s article and read number 7 evidently the dodgers hit less homeruns then everyone but the pirates last year. And now they’ve lost JD Drew. The dodgers, like the Padres are going to try and do it with pitching. I’ll take out starters and our bullpen over theirs every day.

    The Padres will be overlooked by every major media outlet as usual. I don’t mind this. But when we let ESPN blur the facts we start thinking ridiculous things like NASCAR is cool. Don’t let that perversion affect your brain and not enjoy what the Padres are about to do this season.

  5. Matt S said,

    Dave Roberts, Barry Zito and Bruce Bochy don’t improve the Giant’s chances?

    The fact remains we have some holes: middle relief and left field. All teams have holes the hope is the rest of the roster can pick up the slack, hopefully they can.

  6. Pablo Honey said,

    With all due respect, your comparison of Jimmie Johnson to Phil Mickelson is absolutely idiotic. You are comparing a single victory by Phil Mickelson to a CHAMPIONSHIP for Jimmie Johnson. I agree with your assessment that there can be no championships in golf, a player can win a major, and that is the highest accomplishment possible. All that golf has is an arbitrary “player of the year.” NASCAR crowns a champion, the best performer of the entire field. There are standings throughout the year, and you have to qualify for the post-season in order to win the championship. NASCAR is quite possibly the hardest championship in all of sports to win. The NASCAR season is 36 races spanning the first week of February all the way till the middle of November! It is an absolute physical and mental grind for all of the drivers and teams. These drivers don’t just show up every Sunday, race for 3 hours and then head home to relax for the rest of the week. They spend the entire week testing for future races, traveling all across the country to do so. All of the crew members rarely get to see their families or take any time off. And all this is off the track pressure. On the track things are even more intense. NASCAR haters always say that all you need to watch is the last 5 laps of a race to see all there is in NASCAR, nothing could be further from the truth! Every lap for well over 3 hours in there races is of the utmost importance, 1 error by the driver, or 1 little mistake by the crew on pit road will cost the team literally hundreds of points, potentially dropping them several spots in the standings. The pressure on the pit crew is incredible, 7 men have to change 4 tires, make chassis adjustments to the car, clear the windshield and grill and refuel up to 22 gallons of gas all in at 13-15 seconds. A 16 second stop could drop a driver 10 positions on the track! It is very exciting to watch a race from start to finish and see how the strong teams are able to adapt their car to ever changing conditions on the track to make theirs the fastest car on the track come crunch-time. Even more amazing is to watch a team that makes a critical error, or have some bad luck on the track overcome it to post a good finish. NASCAR truly is a team sport, and it is a shame that the drivers get more recognition than their crews. NASCAR, like the other major sports, and unlike golf has a true playoff format. Over the last 4 years in NASCAR only 10 out of 43 drivers makes the post-season field (this year it has been expanded to 12), by comparison 8 teams out of 30 make the MLB playoffs, and a whopping 12 out of 32 in the NFL! A team has to be on the absolute top of their game to advance in each of these sports playoffs and NASCAR is no different. 1 poor finish can end an entire season of great racing for the team. Just like 1 poor playoff performance for our Chargers wiped out our entire 14-2 resume. There are major races in NASCAR just like there are major tourney’s in golf, and Jimmie’s won those too, but when it comes to championship format NASCAR is more like the NFL or MLB then you care to admit, just because you’re afraid of the redneck persona that jerks like you throw on people who enjoy the sport. So you can hate on NASCAR all you want, but you cannot deny that I was rooting for a team from start to finish last year, and my team, and my driver won the greatest achievement in motorsports. And now I know what it’s like to root for the champion, and buy some of the championship gear, and be hated by all the teams at the bottom who want to bring the champ down, but you can’t take away that pride by comparing a full season championship to a single golf tournament, that’s just plain foolish.

  7. Lants said,

    cla meredith is a starting pitcher???

  8. danielbalc said,

    Let me tell you what I think is just plain foolish. If in the playoffs of MLB all 32 teams played but only 8 were really playing. Or how about this. In the 7th game of the world series the team that gets the most HITS wons instead of the most runs. Or how about the team that wins the AFC championship game being declared super bowl champion because the NFC wasn’t as good.

    Please answer these questions; “Who won the last race of the year in 2006? And who was the “champion” that year?”

    If Baseball followed the same rules as nascar the yankees would be “champions” every year.

    If golf’s arbitrary “player of the year” award was run the way the “nascar chase” is run would that make it any better? NO, no way. No comparison. It’s still rooting for an individual. Golfers have teams behind them as well, caddies, coaches, publicist. We don’t cheer for them because their skills aren’t athletic. We don’t cheer for pit crews because they are just fast jiffy lubers. I have to get an oil change today and I would be thrilled if they could do it in 15 seconds but I’m not paying to watch them I’m paying so I don’t have to do it.

    nascars appeal is the same as golfs. It is something that you personally do so it makes it easier to fantasize and enjoy. Football and Baseball are things I knw I can’t do. That’s why I am so amazed by their accomplishments. Oh and one more thing. The name of the city attached to the team makes me feel like I am a part of it. They represent me in some strange way. Even though that was what got you into nascar to begin with (jimmie johnson being from el cajon) you need to remember he doesn’t represent San Diego at all! He has moved OUT of San Diego. He represents North Carolina! ZERO loyalty.

    There is nothing wrong with our middle relief. I don’t know how you made that up.

    Admittedly Sledge is a step down at left. But with improvements in the starting rotation and third base I think our team has overall improved.

    Bochy will help the Giants, but how many wins are Roberts and Zito going to add? this team won 76 last year, even a 10 game improvement would still put them behind the Padres of last season. I calculated a 2 game Padres improvement with the addittion of Kouzmanoff, Maddux, and Wells. I think you’re giving the Giants way too much credit.

  9. danielbalc said,

    oops. thanks lants. fixed that

  10. Matt S said,

    Royce Ring, Heath Bell, Doug Brocail, Andrew Brown and Scott Cassidy. 2 of the last 5 won’t make the 25 man roster

    Which three of these canidates gives you the impression our middle relief is fine?

    Brocail is like 50 years old, Cassidy was a gas can last year, and 2 I have never heard of. Hopefully none of our starters will come out before the sixth.

  11. Pablo Honey said,

    Once again your statements are way off. Let me address them 1 by 1:

    Things you claim would be foolish:
    1. “If in the playoffs of MLB all 32 teams played but only 8 were really playing” – I actually think this would be pretty cool. This would extend the regular season and give the teams something to play for rather getting an early start on vacation. In NASCAR the drivers who didn’t make the chase still compete because they still want to earn money! Baseball should award money to the teams that actually win! What a novel idea! The top driver who did not qualify for the chase at the end of the year gets a 1 million dollar cash bonus. Do you think that the MLB players wouldn’t want to compete against the other non-playoff teams for a chance at 1 million each? Sure there are the few to whom 1 mill is chump change but I guarantee you most would jump at the chance. The owners would love the extra revenue and the fans would get to cheer their team on for a little longer. It would be sorta like the NIT in college hoops.

    2. “Or how about this. In the 7th game of the world series the team that gets the most HITS wons instead of the most runs” – I don’t really understand the point here. I think you are trying to say the champion of NASCAR should be the driver with the most wins at the end of the season…. but that doesn’t apply to any post-season play otherwise the Chargers would be world champions. So once again I disagree.

    3. “Or how about the team that wins the AFC championship game being declared super bowl champion because the NFC wasn’t as good.” – Again this doesn’t really apply. I think you are referring to your next point which is:

    4. “Who won the last race of the year in 2006? And who was the “champion” that year?” – First off, the answers are a.Greg Biffle, and of course b.Jimmie Johnson. So you feel that the winner of the last race should be champion? Let me put it to you this way: Instead of considering the 10 race chase in NASCAR as a postseason series, consider it 1 10 week long championship race. Last year halfway through the chase Jimmie Johnson was way down, consider it like being down 49 points at the half in a football game. Well over the next 4 races he finished no worse than 2nd, an absolutely historic run. So now he dominated the opponent and holds a HUGE lead in the 4th quarter with 2:00 remaining. Now for the final race (or the final 2:00) he could go all out, show up the field, and win the final race and go to victory lane as the race & season champion. Or he can race safe, let someone else have some glory for the race, and just take home the champions hardware. Now consider in football the Charger’s are blowing out the opponent in the 4th quarter with 2:00 left and the ball at the opponents 2 yard line, on top of that their opponents have no time outs left. Would you want them to give the ball to L.T. risking injury to run up the score with no class and embarrass their opponent? Or would you prefer they let their foe keep their dignity and just walk away with the victory? The final race in the chase might be inconsequential but it is the whole season that counts.

    5. “Golfers have teams behind them as well, caddies, coaches, publicist. We don’t cheer for them because their skills aren’t athletic. We don’t cheer for pit crews because they are just fast jiffy lubers.” – Both NFL and MLB teams have coaching and training staffs behind them as well, and we praise them and critique them accordingly. You are talking out of both sides of your mouth on this one.

    6. “nascars appeal is the same as golfs. It is something that you personally do so it makes it easier to fantasize and enjoy.” – I wasn’t aware that you are in the habit of driving 800hp / 200mph race cars in your spare time. Believe me, even in your super sport camaro you are a far cry from what they are doing. Conversely, you can in fact pay a fee and go to a real NASCAR track and drive a stripped down version of a stock car. I would challenge you to find out how much it would cost us to go down to Petco and play a game of baseball on the field. In this way NASCAR, while hard to relate to in everyday life, is actually more accessible in the professional sense than other sports.

    7. “The name of the city attached to the team makes me feel like I am a part of it. They represent me in some strange way. Even though that was what got you into nascar to begin with (jimmie johnson being from el cajon) you need to remember he doesn’t represent San Diego at all! He has moved OUT of San Diego. He represents North Carolina! ZERO loyalty.” – Wrong again. While Jimmie does now own a home in Charlotte, because he spends the majority of his year there. He still owns in San Diego and is active in the community. He still calls San Diego home in interviews and he owns a car dealership in Kearny Mesa. Also, his family still lives in El Cajon. How is this any different than many of the players who are on San Diego teams who stay in San Diego for the season but actually live elsewhere?

    So please bring some more ridiculous claims against NASCAR so I can continue to shoot them down…. one by one.

  12. Alex said,


    You must educate yourself in the sport (NASCAR)in order to gain a respect for it. I bet if you could somehow get him (DBalc) to study up on the sport of NASCAR he would at least if nothing more respect what those guys do on the track. It happened to me. I decided to study up on this whole NASCAR craze and actually found it to be pretty fascinating. Do I consider myself to be a big fan? No, but If I have nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon and NASCAR is on I will actually watch it now.

  13. Pablo Honey said,

    Al, I have tried to open his eyes, but he may be beyond hope. It is sad to see someone so lost, especially when they are your own flesh and blood. But I still hold out hope and pray that he will realize the error of his ways. In all seriousness though I cannot understand why so many people are so set in their ways against NASCAR. Like you said, if you just take a small interest, you may find NASCAR isn’t at all what you thought it was.

  14. Matt S said,

    Hey just look at Jim Rome. All I remember is him bashing NASCAR for “turning left all day” (that is still hillarious), but now he has gone through a transformation and is in full support.

    This is more about politics and money than his liking of the sport, but it shows a tiger can change his stripes once in a while.

  15. danielbalc said,

    first off Pablo, if that’s what you call “shooting down my arguments” then i’ll take it. i will leave up those replies for an eternity and let you stand by them. Your saying that a playoff system where all the teams that weren’t good enough still keep playing “sounds pretty cool” is a vivid and sad portrayal of how much your mind as been corrupted.

    how am i talking out of both sides of my mouth by criticizing your keen intrest in the pit crew? I don’t cheer on Kelly the Padres massage therapist when she gives Brian giles a good rub down. I down cheer on the bullpen catcher when he helps warm up trevor hoffman. I don’t scream and clap when the groundscrew rakes the infield. But yeah they are all a part of the “team” I guess if that’s how you want it to be.

    Correct me if i’m wrong but isn’t it true that someone could not win a single race during the whole nascar season and still be given the title “champion” at the end. That’s ridiculous. That’s comparble to awarding the team the scores the most rones or has the lowest ERA in baseball with the world series trophey.

    BTW It’s not like I am picking on NASCAR. I respect the drivers and what they do. Hooray for them. But I am not interested by it. I do not find it entertaining and it certainly isn’t a talent I wish to support financially.

    Here’s a list of other things i have been activley known to criticize…
    baby baptizers
    Bottled Water
    the yankees
    ghetto gas stations
    the acadmey awards
    American Idol
    and much more.

    What I find most tragic is that the major media companies are shoving it down our throats telling us we should like it. You noted that with Jim rome above. BTW I can’t stand Jim Rome. It’s all about money for them. Not so for me.
    For me it’s civic, historical and philosophical. The historical and local connetions of baseball and football and college basketball are the most compelling athletic pursuits. Indeed I also enjoy olympic sports for the same reasons. I have no historical or philosophical attachments to NASCAR and I certainly don’t consider Jimmie Johnsons home ownership to be a civic affiliation. similarly in golf I have no investment in phil mickelson due to the fact that he golffed at Torrey Pines when he wasa teenager. I root for him because I don’t like tiger woods. If there was a local NBA or NHL team i suppose i would be interested. I actually think the athleticism of NHL is remarkable! stock car racing is a far cry from any type of quality like that.

    here’s another one for you nascar zombies who can’t think for yourself. Why don’t you like indy caror truck racing or drag racing or speed skating for that matter? It’s all the same stuff. In fact indy car is more impressive because they go faster.

    perhaps the most tragic example of what your drone like tendencies have led you to is the ruining of what is supposed to be a beautiful baseball conversation and making it into your retarded agenda. I should delete all of this drivel but I won’t because i hope one day when redemption comes to you you can look back and see what a fool you were for this ungodly idolatry.

    and al, i would have expected much much more out of you my dark skinned brother. Don’t let the white man assimilate you.

  16. Pablo Honey said,

    When I was talking about your supporting coaching staffs and trainers I was referring more to Managers and position/skill coaches. I know you think these are valuables members of a team but you disregard the pit crew and garage team members on NASCAR teams. Now in regards to a couple more NASCAR points:

    1. Yes, it is technically possible that a driver could win the championship without winning a race, though it would be extremely difficult under then new points system that is designed to reward winners more. I agree this is a problem with NASCAR. My least favorite driver in NASCAR is Matt Kenseth. Kenseth is always in the top 5-10 and occasionally wins a race. Therefore he is consistently near the top of the rankings. He won the championship a few years back when I believe he won only 1 or 2 races, but his unbelievable consistency made him unbeatable in points racing. Because of the public outcry against this type of racing the chase was adopted and winning has since become more important. I hope that this issue in NASCAR continues to be adapted because quite frankly I want to see drivers race to win! That is exactly what we saw this last Sunday by the way when Jimmie won the race by making an EXTREMELY difficult and aggressive pass on Tony Stewart with 3 laps remaining, almost wrecking himself and Stewart in the process. I love this kind of racing and hope we see it more often.

    2. Here is my main problem with your criticism of NASCAR: You don’t know enough about it to criticize it. Compare your knowledge of things NASCAR with your knowledge of the other topics you criticize:
    Starbucks – You are a heavy coffee drinker so you have grounds to criticize
    UFC – Probably don’t know enough to criticize, but I can understand criticism if you are a pacifist.
    Golf – You have watched it almost all your life, so you can criticize to some degree, but maybe you haven’t ever played enough to truly appreciate the difficulty
    baby baptizers – I know for a fact you understand the topic enough to criticize it.
    Bottled Water – You have done research and can criticize.
    NBA – You understand the game and can personally see what a low level it has sunk to, you are free to criticize.
    the yankees – They are evil. You understand this and may criticize them unfettered.
    ghetto gas stations – Ummm… Did I miss this one? Whatever, I was scared in Oakland, criticize away!
    the acadmey awards – You have probably watched enough and know most the categories and have undoubtedly seen the recent attempts by the “academy” to thrust African-American culture into the forefront. You may criticize.
    American Idol – I don’t know that you watch this show, but even though I watch it and enjoy it, I would probably agree with your views on it. And because it is such a prominent piece of pop culture, you are granted freedom to criticize.
    Lost – I know that you have watched at least all of season 1, and I personally have lost a little interest in recent days. You may criticize.
    24 – You have seen season 1, and while I would encourage you to watch some more, you are welcome to criticize.

    But when we come to NASCAR, how much do you know. I for one thought I had a fair knowledge of NASCAR before I became a fan, but after watching my first race I discovered that I knew shockingly little about true stock car racing. In fact, your lack of knowledge is revealed in your comment that Indy Car racing is more impressive than stock car racing. There is an extremely long list of Indy racers who have tried to race NASCAR and have failed miserably. Very few have the skills to handle the large stock cars. NASCAR cars are almost twice as heavy as indy cars, they have no power steering and absolutely ancient technology compared to indy. For the price of a NASCAR engine you could by an indy steering wheel. If you are in to technological marvels traveling at amazing speeds then indy or f1 is right for you, but if you want to see exciting side by side racing with battles to the end then you should be watching NASCAR, because it is the closest racing out there. In fact Juan Pablo Montoya, the Colombian driver who came from indy and F1 to NASCAR said that he started watching the F1 season opener the other day but lost interest and turned off the tv after just 3 laps because the leader already had a 6 second lead and the race was already decided.

    I guess my entire point is that you are just dead set against NASCAR for no reason. I know this because I was once too. But I am here to tell you today that there is no reason for it. You don’t have to hate it. In fact if you try and appreciate it, you may find that it fills a void in your soul that no other sport had yet occupied. And your sports world may be at peace…. at last.

  17. Anthony said,

    “Bochy was one of the top 5 managers in baseball.”

    Yeah, if sleeping in the dugout out is what makes a good manager. But really, I will miss seeing his blank stare and that large melon.

    You must consider your opponents changes when you come up with 90 wins. Yes the Padres are better this year, but I don’t think they keep pace with the Dodgers. Giants I hope do bad because I hope Barry Bonds doesn’t play a single game.

    Dodgers (0.574) One and done.
    Padres (0.548) Wild Card, one and done.
    Giants (0.519)
    DBacks (0.446)
    Rockies (0.423)

    As far as NASCAR goes, have you ever watched a whole race (HD) or have you ever attended a race? If not then I don’t think you are qualified to have an opinion. Wait, it’s YOUR blog of course you can have an opinion. 😉

  18. Anthony said,

    My last post is funny. I said no to 90 wins but my stupid 548 prediction puts them around 89 wins. LOL!

  19. danielbalc said,

    Anthony, who do you put over Bochy ? Larussa, Cox I’ll grant. people always talk about Torre but he’s got tools boch never had. Serioiusly I would like to know. Soscia? Pinella? hahaha

    Pablo, you totally underestimate my understanding of nascar. I am not a fan, thats quite true but I understand what is going on. I have never watched a full race but I also don’t think I have ever watched a whole NBA game or NHL ame for that matter.

    do i appreciate it? What does appreciate mean? Do I add value to it? no i don’t. I think the drivers are good at what they do, but Le mans seems to be far more challenging in a similar game.

    I do not enjoy watching it, it’s that simple. I don’t really understand the logic that says, “you have to really try it to know if you like it or not.” I heard the same arguments for alcohol, thai food and pet ownership. Thanks but no thanks

  20. danielbalc said,

    I like the 90 win wild card prediction anthony. I would have thought of you as a pessimist. Funny how I misjudged you baseball knowledge.

  21. itsasecret2u said,

    Re: 16


    You will probably be able to judge how qualified (or not) Daniel is to judge UFC/MMA by looking at his comments toward the end of my “What do all mean fear?” post. And last I gathered, Daniel is not a pacifist.


  22. AS said,

    Jim Leyland. I know they choked in the world series but you have to like what he did with the Tigers and of course the Marlins.

    As far as the Padres prediction goes I was checking out the rest of the NL and I think the West is the best division as a whole. Outside the Mets and Cardinals there isn’t a team that strikes fear into other teams. Cubs improved and the Reds surprised last year. Should be a good year.


  23. danielbalc said,

    Yeah I’ll put Leyland up there in the top 5. But still Bochy has to be up there doesn’t he? What he managed to do (4 playoffs in 9 seasons) with consistently poor lineups and bottom 10 payrolls is unbelievable. He’s had two “Hall of famers” in Gwynn and probably Hoffman and very few All Stars (legit all stars not automatic ones) and yet he’s managed the team to 4 division championships and a world series. I think losing Bochy hurts. I do like Black, but it may (or may not) take him a while to make me forget about Bochy.

    I agree the west is the best in the NL. The place to capitalize is in inter league where this year we get the Mariners, Devil Rays, and the Red Sox while somehow missing the Yankees and the Blue Jays. Cool. If we can take advantage of missing those games the Giants and D-back have to play we’ll do well.

  24. Aaron said,

    Wow, a lot of angst around here . . . I’ll try to stick to the subject at hand: the Padres and their relative chances against both their division and the NL in general.

    As I see it, the Dodgers and Pads are the only legitimate contenders in the West. The San Francisco Resthomes are still too old in my opinion and the Zito move if practically offset by losing Schmidt. (that was a PR move to sell tickets, plain and simple.) Rockies are still too young and the Diamondbacks, while they have lots of pitching, are so unproven that I find it hard to believe that they could make the jump into 92-96 win territory so quickly. (although I see them finishing third.)

    As far as the NL’s 16 teams: Cincinnati, Florida, Pittsburgh, Washington and the aforementioned Rockies and Giants have little to no chance. That leaves ten teams for 4 spots. (ATL, NYM, PHA, STL, HOU, CHC, MIL, ARI, LA, SD). I still believe that pitching wins you championships so, for me, the Mets, Cardinals, Astros and Cubs need to be taken out of the equation.–and yes, I know, the Mets and Cards had arguably less pitching last year and still made it to the NLCS, but I just don’t see that happening again. I really like Milwaukee to stun people this year and win the central. Then, Arizona is out because I don’t think they’re ready yet and Atlanta is on the verge of breaking up with Andruw Jones a free agent at the end of the year, which should be a huge distraction. So, the playoffs will be: Philly, Milwaukee, the Padres and Dodgers–a virtual tie again although, as someone has already said, 95+ wins might be needed to WIN the west.

    Well, that’s all I’ve got . . . not really mind-blowing analysis, just my thoughts.

  25. danielbalc said,

    The Brewers???? I am not really privy to what their rotation looks like but didn’t they lose doug davis and don’t they still have brittle ben sheets? I think the central still belongs to the cards with the astors right behind them (adding Jennings was huge, plus the clemens wild card).

    I think the phillies look pretty good as well, but so do the mets, Chan ho Park was a HUGE steal for what they are paying him.

    I don’t buy the dodgers hype. schmitt is overrated as is wolf. They did nothing to improve their offense and their hot dogs still suck. dodgers in last with the giants a game ahead of them. Padres on top followed by Arizona and Colorado 😀

  26. Bruce S. said,

    102 wins is your optimistic prediction. What is your realistic prediction?

  27. danielbalc said,

    For those keeping score that’s 3Betters, 2 Worses and 7 sames. If you do the addition you will see that you can expect the Padres to be a little better then last season when they won their second consecutive NL West division and had the second best record in the NL at 88 and 74.

    A realistic expectation based on facts like statistical analysis can hypothesize the Padres winning 90 games this season.

  28. danielbalc said,

    I take it you got bored reading the whole post

  29. Matt S said,

    Let’s talk about the more important issue: The possibility this team can compete for an NL Pennant.

    I, for one, will not be satisfied with a division title or wild card birth only to be ousted in the first round of the playoffs. We need to take the next step. Can we compete with the Mets, Astros, Dodgers, etc… in the playoffs?

  30. Bruce S. said,

    No, I didn’t get bored. I have a 15 minute rule. I forget anything that I learned or read prior to 15 minutes ago. (Unless the subject matter is important, then the rule doesn’t apply). I think 90 games is possible. But I confess I would have to be judged optimistic to hold for that number.

    Have you ever won the “Pick the Padres record” pool at L-Dub? Have you ever come in with a number lower than the actual?

    Finally, quick word-association game: “Back-to-back-to-back-to-back”?

  31. danielbalc said,

    have I ever won the pick the padres record pool? hahahaha

    I picked Kentucky to win the National championship in my bracket for march madness what does that tell you? I will put my money on 102 wins his year as usual.

    As for your word association game the first thing I thought of were the living creatures in Ezekiels vision (chapter 1). Then I looked it up and they weren’t standing back to back to back to back, they just had a different face on each side.

  32. danielbalc said,

    My latest edition of sporting news magazine had this quote in it from former mlb commisioner Bowie Kuhn, who died last week. i think it pretty uch tells you why I think baseball is the greatest sport.

    “I believe in the Rip Van Winkle theory: that a man from 1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for 70 years, walk into a ballpark and understand baseball perfectly.”

    What sport but baseball could make such a claim? Perhaps boxing, perhaps golf (though that’s a stretch) but other then that, nothing.

    take me out to the ball game….

  33. Bruce S. said,

    I think ole’ rip would understand a constant succession of left turns, i.e. NASCAR.

  34. danielbalc said,

    Really? Everybody keeps telling me I don’t like it because I don’t understand it, but Rip understands it?

  35. Anthony said,

    “Golf – You have watched it almost all your life, so you can criticize to some degree, but maybe you haven’t ever played enough to truly appreciate the difficulty”

    I’m pretty sure playing just once teaches you that. 😉

  36. Anthony said,

    Daniel, I think Larussa just dropped a few spots on that top 5 manager’s list. What a bonehead.

  37. danielbalc said,


    I heard that driving in this morning. haha. I hate Larussa, absolutely hate him, but I think he’s a darn good (if not cheap) manager.

    I think a DUI is a very serious offense, but it seems like the general populace is very forgiving of celebs and athletes who get them. Probably because so many “regular” people have gotten them. I think the league should have a mandatory 10 game suspension for any DUI arrest and then teams should have further disciplinary action (maybe a 5 game suspension) depending on the character of the organization.

    but I’m betting Larussa will get off with a 3 day vacation and be forced to undergo some type of “counseling”.

  38. danielbalc said,

    Hey Bruce, I was driving down the road today and it finally came to my brain what you were referring to with the “back to back to back to back ” quip. Hahaha I seriously have the worst memory when it comes to negative things. I don’t know if you were trying to diminish the Padres bullpen with that or elevate the Dodgers power but either way what happened that game was a fluke. I remember Jim Rome the next day saying that historic dodgers rally would crush the Padres right out of the playoffs. I’m pretty sure the rest of the baseball press would have agreed with that sentiment. But it didn’t happen. Nope, the Padres went on a tear after that (obviously since they beat out the dodgers for the division title). I think you are demonstrating classic pessimistic tendencies by using aberrations to build platforms. Well actually you aren’t building any platform outright, but I could perceive some people to do so in fact know some who do so in fact as you well know my Dad is the ultimate example of someone who would build a platform such as that (he thinks the Padres are going to win 70 games this season).

  39. Bruce S. said,

    Is that 70 win prediction the pessimistic prediction or the realistic one? Assuming that’s the pessimistic prediction, get back to us on the realistic one, if you will. I think the 70 win idea is possibly more irrational than the 102 win idea.

    I do have another question for you. If some guy came up to you and said he’d bet you $20 that the Padres would win 102 games, would you take that bet [forgetting for a moment that it is probably against your religion to bet against the Padres in any way]? Or to put it another way, how low would that number have to go (assuming you take that bet) before you would eschew the bet? That number would land you some where between optimistic (102) and realistic (89).

    As for the Hoffman BBBB, there was no platform or agenda. Just a little quiz to bring up one of the sweeter moments in baseball history.

  40. danielbalc said,

    again 102 is my optimistic (idealistic) prediction. My realistic is 90 wins. I’d bet $20 on 90 wins right now. If you gave me good odds i’d bet $20 on 102. BUT they would have to be really good odds because 102 is hard for any team. Maybe 35-1

  41. Albino Hayford said,

    It’s just sad to have a long baseball post in the middle of March Madness. Come home to college basketball, everybody.

  42. Deborah said,

    Daniel, read my comment #39 [another question] again. You didn’t read it right the first time. I am basing this analysis on the fact that you didn’t answer my question at all.

  43. danielbalc said,

    ok ok I see what you are saying. Yes I would take a bet of 102 (like I said thats very difficult). The lowest I would bet against the Padres if 95. i.e. someone says to me “i’ll bet you 20 dollars the Padres will win 95 games” I would say “no way”. If he said “I’ll bet you $20 the Padres will not win more then 96 games” I would really consider taking the bet.

    Sorry about talking Baseball a week before baseball starts.

    March madness first round was terrible. 2 upsets? gimmie a break where’s the fun in that? Now it’s getting kind of interesting but I’m off to a retreat so I don’t get to see this weekend. Oh well.

  44. Bruce S. said,

    I’m sure you saw this Sports Illustrated prediction for the NL West:
    1) The Doyers
    2) The Diamond RattleBacks
    3) The Fathers
    4) The Rockettes
    5) The Gi-Ants

    The article also said that the Padres GM hired a kid named danielbalc to do a breakdown position by position and see where the team stacks up, predicting a possible number of wins for the year. The figure? 96 wins.

  45. Matt S said,

    I also saw the SI article predicting Kansas to win the National Championship.

    “Expert” is a very loosely-worn label.

  46. danielbalc said,

    I stopped reading SI a long, long, long long time ago. All print media is east coast biased, it has to be weeing as how thats where the majority of the population lives and they have to sell tickets. But SI is just ridiculously over the top. makes me puke in my mouth. Anyways I looked it up online and read what they had to say, interestingly they had little if anything negative to say. they called the offense “above average but under the radar”. They said stats dude punched out a figure of 92 wins (hmmm) and they said the Pads are the best team out there at finding a way to win close games. IF they would have attributed that to Bochy then they would have had reasonable justification for picking the Padres to finish third in the division (16th in baseball). But they didn’t say anything at all about Bochy’s departure. Weird. Oh well, like Matt says, “expert is a loosely-worn label”. SI doens’t have any the Padres front office does (Aldreson, Depodesta, Towers).

  47. Bruce S. said,

    There may be an east coast bias in print media, but they didn’t pick any east coast teams to win the NL west. I don’t think they exercised any kind of bias in picking the Dodgers. They call ’em as they see ’em.

    What was really amazing was their choice of the Indians to take the AL Central – AKA the toughest division in all of baseball. It is also the toughest division to pick, since the AL’s last two World Series participants came out of that division. It’s gotta be pretty tough to have to pick the Twins to come in 4th out of five teams.

    They also picked the Redlegs to come in last in the NL Central.

    I did get the idea that the SI prognosticators put a lot of stock in young 5 tool phenoms. Something which the Pads don’t really have, unless you want to count Kouzmanoff (who may be a one tool guy, for all I know – but certainly not a 5 tool guy). I don’t count Peavy as a young phenom any more. I also think he is a bad shoulder injury waiting to happen.

    Here’s a few things I think the Pads need to happen to not finish third (or worse). They need Giles to finally start hitting it past the warning track – and I don’t think he will since they outlawed syringe power. They need to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump from Gonzalez. They need to give Peavy more than 4.5 runs per game. They need the NL to not figure out Hoffman’s change. If they do, the Pads will come in dead last. The NL should go up there pretending they’re playing softball at a church picnic. (Hoffman’s fastball is 5 MPH slower than Zumaya’s changeup).

    Finally, call me an optimist if you have to, but I think the Royals will win 65 games this year.

  48. danielbalc said,

    “They call ‘em as they see ‘em”

    Thats the point, they’ve never seen em. I wonder if SI, ESPN, Foxsports or any other major sporting publication/network has ever picked the Padres to win the division? And yet since 1994 (when the current 6 division format began) no team in the NL West has won the division more often then the Padres. But then again no division has been exciting as the NL west either with every other division basically being dominated by one or two teams. So yeah the NL west is indeed the toughest division to call, which makes it more ridiculous that they seem to pick the dodgers or giants every single year (BTW I would argue that both the dodgers and giants could be viewed as east coast teams based on their franchise origins and possible remaining fan bases).

    It’s all good though, the Padres thrive off of the anonymity. Flying under the radar is much easier then having the spotlight shining on you, and incredibly even after winning the division two years in a row AND improving their roster the mainstream media still looks over the Padres.

    What really bothers me is that the media’s bizarre glancing over transfers so prevalently into the local fan base. I don’t know how this is possible. It seems like every year I am fighting to convince my fellow Padre “fans” that the team is better then they think. Why is this? Why do so many locals have this same pessimistic opinion of the Padres chances. They all seem to think things like “Peavy is a bad shoulder injury waiting to happen”, “Hoffman’s change up is easy to hit” and “Giles only had good numbers when he was doing steroids” . And YET, Peavy still in the past two seasons is behind only Johann Santana in K’s, Hoffman still is behind only Francisco Rodriguez in saves and Giles still hit in 83 runs and scored 87 last season. That’s 170 of the Padres 731 runs scored total.

    I wonder if fans of other teams are as pessimistic as Padres fans. Or maybe I am just hanging around the wrong kind of Padres fans. Aaron up above (post 24) is a Canadian Padres fan who has only been to 4 Padre games in his life but follows them religiously on TV and internet (so much of a fan he named his dog “Diego”) he tends to be more like me in realistically evaluating the Padres chances. But locals? they only seem to see the negatives. Why is this?

  49. Anthony said,

    Brian Giles has zero home runs in spring training with second most at bats. Every year as a Padre his home run to at bat ratio has gotten worse.

    Peavy had an ERA above 4.0 last year (32nd) and the most losses for the Padres. He was also arrested.

    Hoffman does good every year from a saves perspective. The Dodgers debacle was failure on historic proportions.

    Despite all these things they are still a decent team with a good change of winning the division.

    What are your thoughts on John Moores and his lucrative downtown redevelopment? Do you post on

  50. danielbalc said,

    Giles has declined with age, granted, but he can still produce, just ask the 170 runs he contributed to in his worst professional season.

    Peavy’s ERA was 32nd out of how many pitchers? His “arrest” was the result of a power tripping, over zealous rent-a-cop and resulted in dismal on the basis of an apology (not quite LaRussa like).

    Hoffman is the best closer ever and would be known as such indisputably if he played in New York, Boston, Chicago or even LA. (BTW here is a nifty little article on fastballs for you Zumaya fans out there)

    John Moores is making money? Is this a bad thing?

    No I don’t post on, I should though huh?

  51. Anthony said,

    That’s the thing about Giles. We got him on the downside when Bay was on the upside. Bay by the way had 210 total runs contributed.

    Hoffman is the best closer ever, I agree. How many years do you think he has left? Every year his fastball and change up become closer in speed. Pretty soon his change up might be faster.

    John Moores is making a lot of money. It’s a good thing for John Moores and not for the fans. In other words, you deserve more than Joe Randa when you are making a run for the playoffs.

    There’s a lot of posters on It’s fun seeing the homers and the pessimists fight it out, especially during the season.

  52. Anthony said,

    Peavy still had the most losses for the Padres last year. He definitely lost something. The arrest comment was a joke. Although he really should have parked his car.

  53. danielbalc said,

    They Giles trade revisited really wasn’t that bad. it was a PR move more then a player for player move. Giles has been a key point of the offense every season, Bay has been terrific for the Pirates, but that’s not to say he would have done the same here (especially with the way Bochy failed to give young guys a chance). Would I rather have Bay right now over Giles? Yes of course, but that doesn’t mean Giles has been hurting the team.

    Hoffman is still in great shape, he’s a workout machine and is very intelligent. I think Hoffman has at least 3 more seasons.

    Peavy hasn’t lost anything except run-support. I think this may have something to do with matchups (Ace verses ace) but it also may be a psychological thing in hitters where they don’t get as amped up when they see their ace on the mound. I don’t think Peavy has lost anything, I think he will win 17 games this year posting an ERA better then 3.23. In fact I’ll go on record and predict our starters finishing records

    Peavy 17-8 3.23
    Young 15-10 3.55
    Hensley 19-5 2.87 (cy young award as well)
    Maddux 12-7 3.99
    Wells 10-10 4.35

    How do you like them apples?

  54. Matt S said,

    All I am asking is for management to raise expectations. I want to know we have a team that can compete for a world series not a division title.

    You do not come into spring training with the mindset that winning the division is the goal, it is one goal, not the goal.

    Daniel, do you feel this club can compete for a title? Or if not will they make the moves necessary to do so at the deadline?

    The past tells me no to both and that is no longer good enough, WE NEED TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP!

  55. danielbalc said,

    What makes you think the management doesn’t want to contend for a title? I don’t get that. it makes no logical sense to think the Padres DON’T want to win the world series. Of course they do. step one, win the division step two win the pennant step three win the world series. Does one player really make that much of a difference? Seriously Fill in the blank. If the Padres had traded for _____________ they would have beaten the Cardinals, then the Mets and then the Tigers.

    Who’s name fits in there?

    I do feel this particular club can compete for a title. YES I honestly do. Do I think it would help them to have a left fielder better then Sledge? Yeah of course, but you could get a “better” player at every position and still be bounced in the first round of the playoffs, just ask the yankees.

  56. Bruce S. said,

    Let me revise my prediction for the NL West:

    1. Not sure.
    2. Not sure.
    3. Not sure.
    4. Not sure.
    5. Giants

  57. Matt S said,

    My revised prediction for the NL Pennant


  58. Alex said,

    I have huge expectations for B. Giles now that his little bros’ here. Making almost $10 million a year in my books, should equal at least leading the Padres in HR’s. Don’t get me wrong, he seems like a nice enough guy and he has a pretty good OBP but $10 million is $10 million.

  59. Alex said,

    of course everyone wants to win the Series, the real question is how much are you willing to pay for it? Have you heard the term “spend money to make money”? The thing we have lacked most here in San DIego is POWER. We paid pretty good money for power from washed up power hitters like Nevin and Klesko. Those guys were a waste. I understand it ‘s never a guarantee that spending big money on big power hitters will win you the series(ie. Yankees) but at least show your fans you’re in it to win it!!!
    (Bruce and I have a bet going, I have them winning at least 90 games this year)

  60. danielbalc said,

    I’m not totally down on Giles. Nor do I equate his salary with how his performance ought to be. In Baseball the salary structure is so incredible different then in other fields. Giles getting paid 10 million doesn’t mean he should have better numbers then Gonzales. Just like Maddux getting paid 10 million doesn’t mean he should have better numbers then Peavy or Young or even Hensley for that matter. Veteran players I generally getting paid for what they have done. Younger players are generally working to get paid later on. See Ryan Howard getting paid less then 1 million this season (The guy was the MVP for crying out loud!)

    Giles is a good player who gets on base and plays every day. He isn’t going to hit a lot of HR’s any more. Oh well. But winning baseball games is more then hitting HR’s. I’ll bet you if Russel Branyan started 145 games this season he would hit 30 HR’s. But he wouldn’t bat over .220.

    Clearly with Giles new spot in the lineup they aren’t asking him to hit homers but to get on base. here are the kind on numbers I am expecting out of Giles. .290 BA, .390 OBP, 80 RBI, 95 Runs, 18 HR. That’s basically what he has done the past 3 seasons at PETCO and I really don’t expect more out of him. I think everyones disappointment in him is that they expect something that just isn’t realistic like 30 HR’s. But again which will help the team more 30 HR’s or the numbers he is putting up?

    BTW Barry Bonds is getting paid like 17 million and he won’t hit 30 HR.

    Question for everyone who is SOOO Power hungry. Who do you think/want the Padres to get that will add the power to this team?

  61. Matt S said,

    We just need this team to produce at home like they do on the road. The splits are drastic in home\away offensive numbers. I do not get it, the Petco jinx i guess? It would be nice for our starters to have a lead before the 6th inning, yea?

  62. Bruce S. said,

    Just having watched Kouzmanoff strike out in the 7th against the Dodgers, I would say we got jobbed by Cleveland in the Barfield trade.

    Go Indians!!

  63. Bruce S. said,

    Just having watched Kouzmanoff strike out again in the 9th against the Dodgers, I would say we got jobbed by Cleveland in the Barfield trade.

    Go Indians!!

  64. Matt S said,

    Although Marcus Giles has been every bit as good as Barfield at 2nd and in the lineup.

    Just face it, we will never have a productive 3rd baseman.

  65. Bruce S. said,

    I agree. I have no probs with Giles. In fact, I just checked Barfield’s stats as an Indian. They gotta be thinking that they got jobbed on the Kouzmanoff trade. Barfield is 4-29 with 7 strikeouts. Kouzmanoff is 3-26 with 8 strikeouts.

  66. danielbalc said,

    give it time boy’s. Kouzmanoff is a long term investment. Fact is he has much more upside then Barfield. BTW how is that middle relief that Matt was so worried about doing?

  67. Matt S said,

    Well, they have not had much opportunity. Last night was not too impressive.

    Merideth, Linebrink and Hoffy are great, but we need guys to keep us in games when the starters have an off night and last night they did not do that.

  68. danielbalc said,

    They have not had much opportunity? Dude, We have ONE reliever now who has allowed a run. One. Add Bell and Cameron to your list of great relievers. I would put Thompson in there also even though he didn’t do to well last night. That being said I have to give it to the Dodgers after last nights game. Grady Little was super aggressive and it seemed to get the Dodgers bats going big time. All it took was a couple of flukey garbage “hits” and the Dodgers were swinging with confidence. Meanwhile Kahlil Greene with the bases loaded was HORRIBLE. That was a game changing at bat right there. Not hanging yesterday on the bullpen sorry.

  69. Matt S said,

    Nice to see the “bully” blow that great game by Peavy last night.

  70. danielbalc said,

    I was at the game last season when Peavy fanned 16 Braves and the Pads lost. It was sad but fun to see.

    I watched every pitch last night and had the exact same feeling as the game last May. DON’T TAKE HIM OUT!!!! But he did.

    Pitch counts are so overrated. And when a guy is totally dominating like that and you bring in a new pitcher, Linebrink, Hoffman or whomever it’s going to be much easier on the hitters. So it was last night.

    That was the first time the Padres have blown a lead this season. A LEAD, not a game. Our Bullpen has been and will continue to be outstanding. It’s too bad that it happened to Peavy but that’s baseball.

    The 4 best closers in Baseball, Hoffman, Rivera, Rodriguez and Jones have all blown a save this season. It’s just not an easy thing to do.

    Oh well.

    Only 3 times in history somebody has fanned 16 in 7 innings. Peavy twice and both times the Padres lose.

    BTW is there anyone out there who actually agrees with the 1st base umpire that Byrnes checked his swing?

  71. Matt S said,

    “If he hits it its a double!”

    ….And yes pitch counts are overrated, LET HIM FINISH (or at least pitch until he gets into something resembling trouble)

  72. Matt S said,

    …I will also add that Peavy got the call of the year on the strikeout of Tracy!

    That pitch was like shin high! I was cracking up when I saw that punchout

    And the best part was the homers in booth could not bring themselves to say that it was a ball.

  73. danielbalc said,

    Yeah he got that call and YET it wouldn’t have been ball 4 so he still would’ve had a chance and nearly every other K before then was swinging.

    But he got hosed on the one that would’ve been a record.


    And seriously I was totally expecting Black, as a former pitcher to let him pitch at least the 8th and see if he could get in line for the record 20. When it happened last year I chalked it up to the overcautious nature of Bochy but I figured Black would be different. I think Jake getting pulled after 7 was worse then the fact that we lost the game. I would still be upset today even if we had won based on that alone (and the missed call on the check swing).

  74. Bruce S. said,

    And the strikeout in the 7th (to whatever lefty it was) had to have been a half foot inside.

    I can tell you this much, the whole Arizona bench had to have been thinking they caught a huge break when they saw Peavy not come out to pitch the eighth inning.

    The booth homers also made fools of themselves when they commented how confident Peavy was to turn over his masterpiece to Linebrink.

  75. Bruce S. said,

    But he got hosed on the one that would’ve been a record.

    Tied a record? What record? I thought the record was 10 consecutive strikeouts.

  76. danielbalc said,

    That would be Stephen “I’m going to have my revenge” Drew. But seriously 2 out of 16 of your K’s were backwards. If the back of Jakes jersey said “Maddux” and the front said “Atlanta” I think he would’ve gotten a few more calls.

  77. danielbalc said,

    I stand corrected Tied. and given the chance for a record.

  78. Matt S said,

    yea he would have tied the record if 1st base ump would have wrung up Byrnes.

  79. danielbalc said,

    On baseball tonight they asked Eric Young “Have you ever seen anyone as dominate as Peavy was last night?” and he said in his high pitched squeaky voice, “Well actually I have”.

    Young was playing for the Padres last year when Peavy struck out 16.

  80. Matt S said,

    That brings up another point, who does the hiring over there at ESPN?

    Apparently as long as you played a few years in the league, you are entitled to be on TV talking baseball. I love Kruk, but the rest of the guys are clowns!

    Read the teleprompter, but don’t let us know that is what you are doing!

  81. Bruce S. said,

    If the back of Jakes jersey said “Maddux” and the front said “Atlanta” I think he would’ve gotten a few more calls.

    Makes me wonder just how many times Az batters took a pitch of any kind immediately after the second strike got wrung up. Cause if they are hacking, he can’t get any backwards K’s. I wonder a second thing that I think one of those stats guys should give us. And that is this: In the list of all time great strikeout games, how many what’s the percentage of guys going down hacking. Peavy, with 14 out of 16, is truly amazing.

  82. danielbalc said,

    Tough Weekend. My brother thinks the dogs may have our number the way we had their number last season. I hope that isn’t the case but it seems quite possible after losing two games we should have and could have easily won.

    Oh well Hopefully we can get healthy off the nats

  83. Pablo Honey said,

    I hope Peavy relies heavily on burying his 2-seamer tonight instead of trying to pile up the K’s. We need at least 7 strong from him.

  84. danielbalc said,

    tonight is the night. I’m setting the DVR for this game. This is going to be a hungry Padres team ready to feast on poor pitching!!!

  85. Alex said,

    Padres April Evalution:

    1) Desperate need of a “feared” power hitter. A player in the line up that pitchers may think twice about pitching to.

    2) Alderson, show us you’re serious about winning and spend some money

    3) Hanging it up Hoffman!
    I remember the days when hell’s bells brought a little bit of comfort late in the games now I can’t stand even watching. When you’re topping out at 82mph your time is up! Do yourself a favor and go out with some class.

  86. danielbalc said,

    Beautiful Alex, Thank you for being the stereotypical pessimistic Padres fan that I referenced in the beginning of my post.

    let me destroy your ridiculous “evaluations” in turn.

    1) a “feared” power hitter? Presently only Alex Rodriguez has more RBI’s then Adrian Gonzalez in all of baseball. In the NL only 5 teams have more Home Runs then the Padres. I don’t know how you can attribute our terrible 13 and 12 record to a lack of power hitting.

    2) Spending more money equals serious about winning? Tell that to the Yankees or the Cubs.

    3) For only the second time in his career and the first time in 9 seasons Hoffman blows consecutive saves and here comes the “hang it up Hoffman” grumblings. I don’t know if you watched the game he “blew” against the Dodgers but Adrian Gonzalez said after the game “I lost that game for us.” referring to his misplay of the Furcal bunt. neither that nor the Cameron doink were scored as errors but any unbiased observer would tell you that was hardly Hoffmans fault. Honestly if you gave me my pick of any closer in baseball right now in a straight up trade the only one I would even consider is Rodriguez in Anaheim and even then I don’t know. Hoffman is such a pro, he will convert 90% of his chances this season and post an ERA under 3.00. Guaranteed. Obviously you didn’t read the link on post number 50. Go back, read that and then read Zumaya’s current stats
    you’ll notice 100 mph Zumaya has as many blown saves as Hoffman does this season, but it only took him three tries to blow 2.

  87. Alex said,


    Pessimistic? Me? Nah.
    Pessimistic about the “same old story” sports in San Diego?(tight pocketbooks) Yeah.
    I guess we’re all a little pessimistic about something aren’t we?

    1) I can’t see how having a guy like David Ortiz might help us any (please note extreme sarcasm). You mean to tell me you wouldn’t want 2 guys in your line up with more than 20 RBI”s? Why limit us to one “power” hitter? Not enough money? Hint: you might find the answer below. Read on.

    2) This is what happens when you don’t really “chew” on a comment, I said “SOME” money. Steinbrenner spends too much money, Alderson doesn’t spend enough. Am I making any sense. I’m all for getting a great deal but sometimes you have to spend “SOME” money to get a return. Is it because we don’t have the money?
    Take a look here:
    We are 24th on the list of team salaries for 2007. (out of 30)

    Sorry Daniel but when we sqeeked into the playoffs last year and didn’t spend any more money to help us out, that my friend is frustrating. I guess that fits our reputation “just happy to make it to the playoffs”, sound familiar?

    3) I love Hoffman just like I loved Michael Jordan but it has to end sometime. I want to remember Hoffman for all the great years he has had with us not him getting “lit up” like he did on Friday.

  88. Matt S said,

    All this Chicken Little “The sky is falling” talk is way too premature.

    It is a long season, we have only completed 15% of the games. That being said, Kouzmanoff and Cameron better start hitting or Branyan better get a shot at third and hopefully Hoffy will rebound after a couple bad outings like he has done every year.

    On the flip side, Gonzalez is a stud. I am starting to get the same feeling with him as I did when Gwynn was playing. He is the guy you want up there in the clutch spots and more often than not he delivers. He hits for average and has power to all fields.

    Oh yea and Peavy looks like an ace again.

    We will be fine gents, be patient.

  89. Matt S said,

    I will remind all of you that as of this time last year we were 10-15 and in last place.

    You do not win championships in April boys!

  90. danielbalc said,

    Once Again Alex I must counter your “arguments” with facts.

    1) I can’t see how having a guy like David Ortiz might help us any (please note extreme sarcasm). You mean to tell me you wouldn’t want 2 guys in your line up with more than 20 RBI”s? Why limit us to one “power” hitter?

    No I don’t think a guy like David Ortiz would help our lineup because he’s a designated hitter and at present we don’t have that position in the national league. Also at present there is only 1 team in baseball with two players over 20 RBI’s that would be the Texas Rangers. With Sammy Sosa (20) and Ian Kinsler (22). The Padres top 2 RBI guys are Adrian Gonzalez (25) and Khalil Greene (17). Do the math dude.

    What I am saying is that the Padres woes are not do tho their lack of a “power threat”.

    2) This is what happens when you don’t really “chew” on a comment, I said “SOME” money. Steinbrenner spends too much money, Alderson doesn’t spend enough. Am I making any sense. I’m all for getting a great deal but sometimes you have to spend “SOME” money to get a return


    That was your response to my question of the validity of this equation “spending more money equals serious about winning”
    Who didn’t “chew” on the comment?

    Ok first off I am not sure why you are comparing Steinbrenner and Alderson, one is an owner of the most affluent team in baseball and the other is a CEO of a middle of the pack revenue team in San Diego. In case you don’t realize how the rest of the country sees San Diego think about how you imagine Tampa Bay. People who are not from San Diego see San Diego as a vacation destination, not a thriving metropolis. Anyways back to the point. There are only 3 ways of acquiring baseball players. 1) you draft and produce them in your minor league system. This way is very difficult and take a long time. I am guessing this isn’t what you are talking about when you say “spend some money”. 2) You trade for talent. In order to do this you must have and be willing to part with quality minor leaguers. This is difficult to do if you don’t have the guys that other teams want. As much as you may like the fantasy of the yankees trading a-rod for Kevin Kouzmanoff, it’s not a reality. You know what you can get for a Kevin Kouzmanoff? Josh Barfield! You can’t trade with someone if you don’t have much to trade, therefore I am assuming this isn’t what you were referring to when you said “spend some money”. 3) Free Agency. This is the advantage that the Yankees have over every other team (except the Red Sox) on earth. They have billions of dollars to spend on free agents. Consequently they buy the best players out there. and the second best player go to Boston and the third best to Chicago and then LA. That means teams like my beloved Padres have a choice. They can make a LARGE investment into a single player for many years with the hopes that he will be the “power threat” they are looking for (like Alfonso Soriano). Or they can sign quality players for 1 or 2 seasons at reasonable contracts (like Greg Maddux). If you want to have a team that can succeed consistently and you don’t have the kind of funds that NY, Chicago and LA have then you better be very wise in how you spend those funds.

    Which one seems “more serious about winning”? I think the team that makes better investments. But that’s just me.

    BTW how many MORE games this season would you actually go to if that Padres had signed Soriano?

    Oh and Soriano only has 1 RBI so far this season.

    Oh and this statement

    “Sorry Daniel but when we sqeeked into the playoffs last year and didn’t spend any more money to help us out, that my friend is frustrating.”

    Is ridiculous. The Padres had the second best record in the NL last season. they didn’t “sqeek” in as you put it. They had the best pitching in all of baseball and every expert picked them to beat the Cardinals, who coincidently DID “sqeek” into the playoffs and ended up winning the whole thing. It’s called baseball dude. And yeah you’re happy to make the playoffs because once you do you have a 1 in 8 chance of being world series champs. You HAVE to make the playoffs!

    3) I love Hoffman just like I loved Michael Jordan but it has to end sometime. I want to remember Hoffman for all the great years he has had with us not him getting “lit up” like he did on Friday.

    All the great years he had with us? If I’m not mistaken last season was by all accounts the second greatest season of his incredible career.

    You may “want to remember” all the great years, but your problem isn’t Hoffman, it’s your chemically imbalanced rationale. If by the end of this season or next season or the season after that all you can think of is “Hoffman should have retired long before this” then you my friend, are terminally pessimistic.

  91. danielbalc said,

    Losing to the Nationals at home with your ace on the mound is embarrassing. Bud Black needs to do some motivating right about now

  92. Alex said,

    Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, What am I to do with you Lad?

    I want the Padres to win. I think they have weaknesses and they need to be addressed. I gave you what I see as our weaknesses. If you don’t like it, tough. I’m not going to argue with you about your solution of “more motivation”, that’s your opinion. Maybe that’s all they need, motivation. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  93. Anthony said,

    This just in: April’s over. Don’t ask us what to make of it.

    Al Reyes saved eight more games than Mariano Rivera. Kip Wells made as many home run trots as Mike Piazza. John Buck outhit Sean Casey by .128 points.

    The Devil Rays had a better record than the Yankees. The Pirates had a better record than the Cardinals. No first-place team in either league had a bigger lead than the Brewers.

    So does anything that happened in April mean anything? Your brain might tell you no. But history tells us yes.

    New York Yankees
    Nick Laham/Getty Images
    There’s no joy in the Bronx. The Yankees are in last place after having an April to forget.

    April matters.

    It might not matter as much in the wild-card age as it used to matter. So teams such as the Yankees, Cardinals, Cubs and Astros may not have buried themselves yet. But it does matter. And because it does, the odds that those teams are going to right the ship and play in October are longer than they think.

    So howwwwww long are they?

    We looked at every full season since 1982. Here’s what we found:

    • Of the 144 teams that made it to the postseason in that span, only eight (or 5.6 percent) came out of April more than three games under .500. Clubs that need to worry most about that history lesson: the Yankees (9-14), Astros (10-14), Cardinals (10-14), Cubs (10-14) and Rangers (10-15).

    • Just six of those 144 playoff teams (or 4.2 percent) found themselves more than 4½ games out of a playoff spot after April. Those same five clubs ought to get nervous about that trend; the Yankees are 6½ games out, while the Cubs, Cardinals and Astros are all 5½ games out.

    • And you wouldn’t think the standings would mean much this time of year. But more than half of the 120 teams that found themselves in first place after April (66 of 120) wound up finishing first. And 98 of the 120 (81.7 percent) of the teams that finished the season in first place either led their division or were within 2½ games of the lead at the end of April.

    So if you’re a team such as the Yankees, all those facts and figures are about as uplifting as a Carl Pavano tendinitis attack. At five games under .500 and 6½ games out of first, this is up there with the most dire April predicaments the Yankees have faced in the last quarter-century. Take a look:

    • No Yankees team has finished April this many games under .500 since 1984. That ’84 team had an 8-13 April, which meant that even a 79-62 finish didn’t help it climb higher than third place, 17 games behind the Tigers.

    • Only one Yankees team in history has ever entered May this many games out and then come back to finish first. And while it may seem encouraging to know that happened just two years ago — when they emerged from April at 10-14, 6½ out — the bad news is, the team they trailed then was the Orioles, not the Red Sox.

    • So when was the last time the Yankees were this far behind Boston after April? How about 1912, when they started out 2-10 (while the Red Sox went 9-4). And how did that season turn out? The Red Sox won 105 games and won the World Series. The Yankees lost 102 — and finished 55 games out of first.

    • Finally, George Steinbrenner will really be ecstatic to learn that the 1979 Pirates are still the only team since 1935 to lurch out of April more than three games under .500 and survive to win a World Series.

    But since our Starbucks mugs are always half full around here, we’ll gladly acknowledge that if there is one team out there with the talent and the checking-account balance to blow away all these trends, this is it. And the Yankees might feel a lot better to know that we’ve seen more teams beating these odds lately than ever. For instance:

    • Just last year, two teams — the Twins (9-15) and Padres (also 9-15) — came out of April with records worse than these Yankees and charged back to win their divisions.

    • Three teams in the last two seasons — last year’s Twins and Padres, plus the 2005 Yankees — were at least 5½ games out of a playoff spot after April and came back to make the playoffs.

    • And four teams in the last two years — those Twins, Padres and Yankees, plus the 2005 Astros (9-13) — were more than three games below .500 after April but still rebounded to make the playoffs. Before that, only four teams had done it in the previous 22 full seasons.

    So when you hear these guys tell you there’s a lot of baseball yet to be played, they’re not lying. But to recover from just this one lousy month, they’re going to have to be pretty close to the best team in the whole sport over the last five months.

    Just remember this: Over the last five years, the AL wild-card winner has averaged 96 wins. For the Yankees to reach that number, they’d have to go 87-52 the rest of the way.

    That’s a .626 winning percentage — the equivalent of winning 101 games over a full season. Which is more than every Yankees World Series champ since 1962, except for the 1998 114-game winners, won. So if they’re going to show Boss Steinbrenner “what they’re made of,” they’d better forget the moral of this little history class:

    April matters.

    Elsewhere in April

    Who stole the crooked numbers: Yeah, the weather stunk. Yeah, we’re in an age of great young pitchers. But there’s no easy explanation for the plunge in offensive numbers across the board. Runs scored are down 0.8 per game from this time last year. Home runs are down nearly 20 percent. The major league slugging percentage is down 28 points. And if you take a wider view, how about this: In April 2000, teams scored 10 runs or more in a game 91 times and scored 15 or more seven times — and there were eight games in which a team scored in double figures and still lost. This April, the 10-or-more total was down to just 45, the 15-or-more figure was down to one, and there still haven’t been any games in which a team scored 10 runs and lost.

    Runs scored are down 0.8 per game from this time last year. Home runs are down nearly 20 percent. The major league slugging percentage is down 28 points.

    Player of the month: Alex Rodriguez. Hey, you were expecting maybe Freddie Bynum? Had the first 14-homer, 34-RBI month by any Yankee since Roger Maris in 1961. Tied Albert Pujols’ all-time record for most April homers. Just missed Juan Gonzalez’s record for most April RBIs (35). Even after going homerless since Monday, Rodriguez is still on pace for 99 homers, 239 RBIs, 190 runs scored and 148 extra-base hits. But the most telling A-Rod stat of the month was this: The Yankees went 1-11 in April games he didn’t homer in.
    Apologies to: Barry Bonds, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, Magglio Ordonez, Ian Kinsler, Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Cabrera, Joe Mauer.

    Starting pitcher of the month: Tim Hudson. If he’d just exited after eight innings Wednesday in Florida, he would have become the second pitcher in the last 35 years to start a season with five straight starts of seven innings or more, while allowing one run or none in each. (Fernando Valenzuela was the other, in 1981.) But even though Bob Wickman helped him screw up that note by combining on a three-run ninth, Hudson still finished April 3-0, with a Maddux-esque 1.40 ERA. “Best pitcher I’ve seen all year,” says one scout.
    Apologies to: Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay, Dan Haren, Dontrelle Willis, John Maine, Matt Cain.

    Francisco Cordero
    Relief pitcher of the month: Francisco Cordero. Talk about domination. Faced 41 hitters in April. Gave up a hit to two — but struck out almost half of them (19). So how does that Carlos Lee deal last July look now?
    Apologies to: Jonathan Papelbon, Al Reyes, Jose Valverde.

    Rookie of the month: Josh Hamilton. The best story in baseball just keeps getting better. Remember, this guy had 50 professional at-bats in four years before this season. Then, in April, he outhomered the entire Yankees outfield (6-3). He either leads all major league rookies, or he’s tied for the lead, in homers, RBIs (13), slugging (.609), extra-base hits (10) and OPS (.974).
    Apologies to: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Akinori Iwamura, Delmon Young, Chris Young, Hideki Okajima, Joe Smith.

    Great Aprils under the radar screen: B.J. Upton, Placido Polanco, Hanley Ramirez, Aaron Rowand, Kelly Johnson, Ian Snell, Chad Gaudin, Heath Bell, David Aardsma.

    Greatest offensive feat that eluded the radar screen: At month’s end, Derek Jeter had gotten a hit in 56 of the last 58 games he’d played in, going back to last season. SABR research whiz Trent McCotter reports that he can find only two other hitters in the last 108 seasons who came that close to a 58-game hitting streak. One, of course, was Joe DiMaggio in 1941. The other was Ed Delahanty, who got a hit in 61 of 63 games from June 5 through Aug. 18, 1899. Pretty cool list.

    Free agents who wouldn’t mind a mulligan: Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Weaver, Tony Armas, Adam Eaton, Shea Hillenbrand, Sean Casey.

    Injury of the month: Cubs reliever Bobby Howry wrenched his back trying to carry a gas grill across his patio.

    Injury of the month (managerial department): Brewers manager Ned Yost was jogging to Wrigley Field, tripped on some loose concrete and broke his collarbone.

    Messiest box score line of the month: San Diego’s Clay Hensley, April 16 versus the Cubs: 5 IP, 11 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 1 WP. That made him the first Padre to allow at least 10 runs and 14 baserunners in one start since the immortal Junior Herndon, on Aug. 30, 2001.

    Jake Peavy
    Starting pitcher
    San Diego Padres

    6 3-1 2.06 46 13 .203
    Most spectacular box score line of the month: No, it’s not Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter. It’s Jake Peavy’s eye-popping April 25 start against Arizona: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 16 K. What the box score didn’t tell you: The Diamondbacks swung at 55 pitches that night — and put just six in play. They missed more than half the pitches they took a hack at (28 of 55). And during Peavy’s run of nine straight strikeouts, the hitters he faced missed nine consecutive balls they swung at in one stretch. Nobody makes big league hitters do that. Nobody.

    Pitcher who deserves a written apology from his team: Why are “wins” the most misleading stat in baseball? Because of pitchers like Matt Cain. That’s why. This guy has allowed fewer hits all year (12, in five starts, totaling 35 innings) than Houston’s Chris Sampson gave up in four innings last week. Yet somehow, poor Matt Cain is 1-2 for the season (despite a 1.54 ERA), and the Giants have managed to lose four of the five games he’s started. In his last four starts, he has given up one hit, two hits, three hits (in a game in which he took a one-hitter into the ninth) and one hit, respectively. And the Giants still found a way to lose three of them (via two blown saves and a 1-0 loss). Criminal.

    Weirdest division of the month: As loyal reader Justin Germany points out, until Monday the Cubs were the only team in the NL Central to outscore its opponents in April. And they were tied for last place.

    Related development: In an April 13-15 series at Wrigley Field, the Reds scored in only two of 27 innings — and still won two out of three.

    The all-sub-Mendoza line team: 1B) Adam LaRoche (.133), 2B) Josh Barfield (.162), SS) Ben Zobrist (.148), 3B) Brandon Inge (.150), LF) Frank Catalanotto (.140), CF) Mike Cameron (.192), RF) Luke Scott (.194), C) Jason Kendall (.169). BENCH) Richie Sexson (.145), Alex Gordon (.173), Carlos Delgado (.188), Sean Casey (.192), Paul Konerko (.198).

    Your April zero heroes: The No-Homer Club: David Wright, Alfonso Soriano, Jacque Jones, Mike Cameron, Rich Aurilia, Sean Casey, Edwin Encarnacion. The No-Wins Club: Bronson Arroyo (despite a 2.86 ERA), Jon Garland, Vicente Padilla, Aaron Cook, Woody Williams. Miscellaneous zero heroism: Dave Roberts had three triples and a homer — but no doubles. And Ty Wigginton had three caught-stealings — but no steals.

    Walk-this-way stat of the month: Loyal reader Eric Orns noticed that heading into the final day of April, Jose Reyes had as many unintentional walks in April as Barry Bonds (13). Three years ago, Bonds walked 232 times — and Reyes walked five times.

    Religious experience of the month: As loyal reader Phil Yabut reports, the Nationals used Jesus Flores to pinch hit for Jesus Colome in their April 26 game against the Phillies. Uh, we guess they should have prayed for contact. Flores struck out.

    Human transaction of the month: Pitcher J. D. Durbin was either the most unwanted man of the month, or the most wanted. We can’t figure out which. If we include the final three days of March, he went from the Twins to the Diamondbacks to the Red Sox to the Phillies in a span of 16 days, all on waiver claims. Now here’s the bad news: He accumulated more teams (four) than outs (two). His line in the only big league game he actually pitched in (April 4, for Arizona): 2/3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.

    Jayson Stark is a senior writer for

  94. danielbalc said,

    Wow! That’s some good stuff Anthony. But applying all those stats about starting in April tells us that there is nothing wrong with the Padres start and they are in fine position to make a run at their third consecutive division championship.

    Which is what I am trying to say to Alex.

    Al, now that you have clarified your comments as just trying to show us the weaknesses the Padres have I can better understand you.

    I will reply to those.
    1) Padres are offensively deficient at only 2 positions so far. Third base and surprisingly Center field. Center field will right itself (Cameron is a notoriously slow starter) and third base I think there needs to be a change. Branyan needs to be your regular starter, Kouz needs to go back to triple A and find his swing again. Robles can and Blum can play third so I think it’s time to take the pressure off of kouz. Other then that the Padres are doing quite well offensivley, including left field. With the platoon of Cruz and sledge we statistically have the most productive Left Field in baseball. Seriously compare Manny Ramirez stats to Sledge and Cruz it’s very funny. Ramirez has 3 HR’s. So does Sledge and Cruz has 4. Offense isn’t our problem, maybe situational hitting (er clutch) is, but not overall production.

    2) I don’t see how this can be considered a weakness in the team thus far. This is a patent excuse of PPF’s (pessimistic Padres “fans”). They always sight the payroll, but again money spent doesn’t translate into victories UNLESS your payroll is twice the average MLB team. And even then it doesn’t always work.

    3) Trevor is the reason for two of our 13 losses. The bullpen hasn’t lost any other games but those two others (1 being the 17 inning affair on Sunday). I don’t think you can rationally say our bullpen or any member of the bullpen is a “weakness”.

    legit weaknesses

    1. third base
    2. center field
    3. situational hitting

    not surprisingly the main culprits of the third weakness have been kouz and cameron so I’m not worried at all.

  95. Matt S said,

    Anthony is the Echo of sports blogging! That was beautiful. You should work for Baseball Perspectus or Tim Kurjkan 🙂

  96. danielbalc said,

    Are you suggesting that Echo is just a cut and paste guy? How could you ever suspect something like that Matt?

  97. Matt S said,

    Well he is at times, but I was more so referring to the length and “babble-like” tendencies seen above.

  98. Alex said,

    I didn’t see the game but I heard about it. Looks like Bud Black did some motivating yesterday.
    Daniel, looks like you’re voice was heard yesteday.

  99. danielbalc said,

    I’ll tell you one thing i like about Bud Black that we didn’t get out of Bruce Bochy is the squeeze bunt play!

    We’ve already seen more squeeze ATTEMPTS this season then we saw in the past three seasons combined. It’s an exciting and highly effective play, I’m glad to have a manager who is willing to roll that dice.

    Kouz actually got a hit AND an RBI AND he was the guy who scored on the squeeze. He better do something tonight though if he wants to stay on the team for the Florida trip.

    Chris Young was stellar.

  100. Pablo Honey said,

    Amen brother! Thank the Lord for the return of the squeeze! Our team has really been struggling to drive in a runner from 3rd with less than 2 outs, and the squeeze is an effective tonic to heal our ills. Bochy was a good manager but his refusal to play small ball is confusing. It just makes sense to put the squeeze on when you are trying to score a man from 3rd and you have a good bunter at the plate. This is the kind of managing I was hoping to see from Black, and I hope it continues.

  101. danielbalc said,

    Here’s a Terrmel Sledge update. Last night he hit his 4th home run in just 57 At bats. that’s actually a better HR per AB rate then anyone on the team including Adrian Gonzalez.

    If he got a full season (500 At Bats) at this pace he would hit 35 HR’s.

  102. Matt S said,

    Easy cowboy, there is a reason he is sharing time…he is not an everyday starter.

    Now, we either need to blow a couple games open or get blown out in a couple games because our front line relievers are OVERWORKED. We cannot rest them because every game is close.

    (Warning: second guessing to follow and I said this before it happened)

    Black should have double switched for the pitcher spot so Brocail could have worked 2 innings last night. He had not been in a game for a couple days unlike Bell who worked in like 8 out of 11. Not to mention his first inning was like 10 pitches. That was where the game was lost.

  103. Pablo Honey said,

    Also a poor choice leaving Bell in to face Andruw Jones. I agreed with the choice to put Chipper Jones on 1st but why not bring in Meredith to face Jones and hopefully get a double play? Costly.

  104. danielbalc said,

    black has missed a few double switch spots this season. a problem that comes with being an AL guy for so long

  105. Matt S said,

    Old starting pitching (i.e. not able to go 6 strong innings) + OVERWORKED bullpen = heart-breaking losses.

    At this point, I am hoping we get blown out of 2 games in a row so our bullpen can rest because hanging a crooked number with this team is not going to happen.

  106. danielbalc said,

    I disagree that the bullpen is overworked. every teams bullpen pitches a lot of innings. That’s why you have a bullpen. We’ve had a few extra innings games that inflate the stats of “bullpen innings pitched” but we’ve done a good job of getting guys good rest and of switching around guys from the minors.

    No The only problem in the last two losses was situational hitting. Not getting a guy in from third with one out will beat you every time.

    BTW Black did the right thing in the double switch and it seemed to be working fine but then 4 straight hits of Cla Meredith? Yikes. He probably should’ve been pulled but that’s too simple of a second guess.

  107. Matt S said,

    I disagree that the bullpen is overworked. every teams bullpen pitches a lot of innings.

    The Padres have 58 “late innings pitched” the next closet team is 10 innings fewer.

    They are overworked and that is why they are not as effective. This team needs to find a way to score some runs to take the pressure off the pitching staff

  108. Matt S said,

  109. danielbalc said,

    Dude, you said yourself earlier “pitch counts are overrated”. We’re barely a month and a half into the season you can’t call the pen “overworked”.

    If there is any problem with the bullpen it’s Blacks “triangle” approach. It’s far better to remain consistent. bell in the 6th, Meredith in the 7th, Linebrink in the 8th and Hoffy gets the 9th.

    Black feels like he can insert any of the first three into the 8th and that sounds good on paper but if he wants to learn anything from how Bochy managed a bullpen for the whole season he should realize that consistency allows these guys to get into a routine and routine is what keeps them fresh. Pick an order and stick with it. I think he got scared after a couple of bad linebrink outings, which is understandable but ultimately I think Bochy’s track record for sticking with guys in certain postions through thick and thin speaks for itself.

    As for your stats those are totally inflated by our extra innings games.

    regardless, the flaws on this team are minor which is why you stay competitive in every game no matter how good the opposition is.

  110. Matt S said,

    As for your stats those are totally inflated by our extra innings games.

    Yes we have played a lot of extra inning games this year(another downside to a struggling offensive team), but those are innings having to be pitched. It is not inflating the stats.

    My point is even though the bullpen is giving up these leads it is not their fault. They are working too much. Fault lies with the lack of offensive production.

  111. danielbalc said,

    looks like your going to get the blow out you were asking for. Boomer has been struggling this season.

    Bad luck getting a 4 game series against the Braves and not getting Peavy to the hill.

  112. Alex said,

    “ultimately I think Bochy’s track record for sticking with guys in certain postions through thick and thin speaks for itself.”

    Yeah, just look at Nevin and Klesko?……….. Oh wait, Did I just say that?

    Daniel, please just break down and admit the Padres need to spend some money to get offensive help.

  113. Alex said,

    There is absolutely nothing more frustrating for a pitcher than “pitching your heart out” on the mound and getting no bat support on offense. That my friends is frustration at it’s finest.

  114. danielbalc said,

    Alex, I was talking about Bullpen order, Bochy did this better then anyone. He never panicked and he got the absolute MOST out of his bullpen.

    I never said we can’t use more offense. I said Where do you think we are going to get more offense? What magic wand are you going to wave that will make us into the yankees offense? “spending money” is what the Padres did on Klesko and Nevin.

    Our offense isn’t bad. It isn’t the best, but it isn’t bad. We are top ten in the league in every category while playing in a pitchers park.

    The last three losses are tough because each could’ve been a win with just one or two timely hits. But that’s baseball. We aren’t getting blown out, we are in every game. I think this is a darn good team that’s going to win a lot of games and has an excellent shot at winning a world series.

    You seem to think this team is terrible because it doesn’t have guys like Albert Pujols. But we’ll see this weekend how the Padres do against the Cardinals.

  115. Matt S said,

    Our offense isn’t bad. It isn’t the best, but it isn’t bad. We are top ten in the league in every category while playing in a pitchers park.

    Actually, we are not in the top ten in any category. (unless you are talking just NL which being in the top ten would only be middle of the pack) We are 25th in AVG. and have 3rd most STRIKEOUTS in baseball.

    We are not a good offensive club. We can get better, right now we are BRUTAL.

  116. danielbalc said,

    Dude, what part of “top ten in the league” did you not understand? Of course I am only talking about NL. Why include the AL? it’s an entirely different game in the AL with the “position” of DH. It’s comparing apples and oranges. “Middle of the Pack” or “average” is, by definition, NOT BAD!

    We are an average offensive team. And an above average pitching team.

    If we could only be above average in one I would take pitching.

  117. Matt S said,

    We are not a team that is going to hit alot of home runs playing at Petco. We never will be no matter who we bring in.

    This means we need to play small ball and excecute properly. I hate not having a lot of speed because stolen bases help small ball teams. That is something that should be addressed at the deadline or next year.

    Above all, the team needs to execute. Get the bunts down, move runners to scoring position and get them in with clutch hits, sac flies, squeeze plays, etc….

    Right now it is not happening, hopefully they can turn it around.

  118. danielbalc said,

    when we are bottom 5 in runs scored that will be a stat to be upset about.

    right now we are 8th.

    BTW the team with the most strikeouts in the NL (the Marlins) also has the most runs scored in the NL.

    Average, Slugging, OBPS, all of these stats are nice and everything but the only stats that matter are runs scored and runs allowed. That’s not even true, the only stats that matter are Wins and Losses.

  119. danielbalc said,

    clutch hits is the key.

    The braves won because of clutch hits. They didn’t hit a single hr in this series, we hit 5. We out hit them, they out scored us, because they had some clutch hits.

    There really isn’t a way to determine if a guy is “clutch” no stat can really measure that, and no player can actually wear that badge. He just is when he is and isn’t when he isn’t.

    I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, “that’s baseball”

    I love this game.

  120. Matt S said,

    And the Braves have something crazy like 60-70% of their RBI’s are with 2 outs!

    How nice is that!

  121. Alex said,

    Padres will be contenders if #5,6,and 7 can start putting the ball in to play. Like your original post said, we sure do miss Piazza’s bat.

  122. Bruce S. said,

    There is absolutely nothing more frustrating for a pitcher than “pitching your heart out” on the mound and getting no bat support on offense. That my friends is frustration at it’s finest.

    As I recall from Little League, Pony and Colt, bad defense (which you get a whole lot of in LL, P&C) is far worse. Makes pitchers homicidal, or suicidal.

  123. danielbalc said,

    last night i had the pleasure of taking in a little league game (13 yearolds). I think they would agree with Bruce. Bad defense. It was very sad, every pop fly was an adventure, every ground ball to the left side of the infield was a guaranteed hit. Defense is so over looked and so difficult. Defense ROCKS

  124. danielbalc said,

    Tim sullivan writes today about the Padres offensive woes.

    Funny how much he sounds like Alex and Kevin Towers sounds like me.

    Here’s the big difference. Alex wouldn’t want the padres to sign Phil nevin and put him at third base. I would LOVE for the Padres to sign Phil Nevin and put him in at third base.

    Other then a move like that i honestly don’t see any possible way for the Padres to improve offensivley. there isn’t anyone they can trade for this early and there aren’t any guys not on a major league roster who can hit 20 HR’s they can just sign (except Nevin of course who is litteraly going to the Padre games and sitting in the stands. I know because I sat next to him two weeks ago).

    So I ask all of you who are so frustrated with the padres offensive production. How would you improve the offense if you were Kevin Towers. the time frame is TODAY. Not second guessing the off season, not waiting around till the rading deadline, but right now TODAY how would you improve the offense?

    My suggestion is to put Kouz bak in the minors sign Nevin and have make your batting order this way…
    Giles, Giles, Sledge/Cruz, Gonzalez, Nevin, Bard, Greene, Cameron, Pitcher.

    Right now your 3 and 5 spot are hurting the most. Sledge/Cruz in the 3 spot would get pretty good pitches with Gonzalez behind them. Gonzalez is barely getting pitches with who is currently behind him. A guy like Nevin (though hated by many nay-sayers) still would command enough respect to give A-Go some help. Greene Thrives near in the back of the order where he gets forgotten about.

  125. Matt S said,

    Nevin is the person responsible for putting the “Petco park jinx” in every hitter’s head. His crying about his sudden warning track power and blaming it on the park did more damage than we realize. I think if he had an offer on the table from the Padres and any other team in baseball he would choose the other team. He knows he cannot produce here.

    There is no one we can bring in right now. We need to use what we have and what we have needs to start producing.

    We need to do a better job manufacturing runs. I would like to see us steal some bases. Giles bro’s have decent speed. Cameron has speed. Khalil has speed. These guys need to be aggressive on the base paths. I would like to see us hit and run more also. We need to put pressure on the defense and make them make a play to get an out.

    Any of you who are tired of watching this slop should come out to the LWC softball league and see some real ball being played.

  126. danielbalc said,

    Matt, suppose Nevin WOULD want to play for the Padres. Would you rather have him or Kouz at 3rd for the rest of the season?

  127. Pablo Honey said,

    Matt, apparently you haven’t been listening to Nevin on the BP show. He has said repeatedly that he wants to join the Padres and be a complete team player, with ZERO complaints about the ballpark. That being said, I’m not sure I believe him completely, but we could use his power. He did hit over 20 HRs last year while bouncing all around MLB, both AL and NL. Pretty impressive. On the other hand you are dead on when you say we need more base stealing. I am tired of hearing about a lack of speed. Stealing bases is not all about speed, Ryan Klesko stole 23 bases in back to back years for the Padres in 2000-2001! The fact is you’re not going to steal any bases if you don’t try. I am confident that both Giles bros, Sledge/Cruz, Greene, Cameron, and maybe even Kouzmanoff (if ever gets on base) could all steal at least 70% of their chances. It’s time for Black to start taking risks, at the very least it will get the offense on their toes and create pressure on opposing defenses.

  128. Pablo Honey said,

    As for LWC softball…. as much as I would love to support my friends and family on the team, the mid-Sunday game times interfere with my strict NASCAR viewing schedule.

  129. Matt S said,

    All this “team player” talk sounds good now because he is trying to get a contract, but the first time he squares up on a ball and it dies on the track believe me he will be back to his old self.

    I would like to give Branyan a shot at playing everyday at third. He definitely has as much if not more power than Nevin and plays decent defense.

  130. Matt S said,

    I hear rumblings that Towers is going to send Kouz down and I hope he does. Let’s not kid ourselves, Towers has an ego and alot of pride and it would take a hit if he were to do this which would be admitting that he was wrong and Kouz in fact is not ready for the bigs quite yet.

  131. danielbalc said,

    All this Nevin not being a team player talk is super crazy. Nevin is the ultimate team player. Every teammate he’s ever had has loved playing with him. Where did you get this idea of him not being a team player? That’s just weird.

    The chairs in the Padres club house were purchased by Nevin. They used to have cheesy folding chairs then went to a park with these nice office style chairs (probably like the one you are sitting in) something like 500-700 bucks a pop. Nevin bought 25 of them for his teamates. They are still the chairs in the club house today.

    He wasn’t a fan favorite because fans love a scapegoat, and he was making a lot of money. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a team guy. Shoot the guy played every postion they asked of him and even volunteered to be an emergency catcher.

    Nevin consitently has put up better numbers then a guy like Greene, but because he is vocal (and Greene is NOT) fans jumped on him. I think he would help the team.

    FWIW discovered this super rad web site…

    check it out

  132. Pablo Honey said,

    Nevin is a good teammate, but he is not a good team player because he fights with team management. That is why KT cut him loose before, because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut about petco.

  133. Matt S said,

    He is a whiner and talk about a scapegoat, he used the ballpark as one instead of owning up to his struggles like a man.

    This is not perception, this happened and the proof is the fact that he is using the BP show to assure us that he will be different.

    I do not think he is the answer at third base. Give Branyan a shot at starting everyday and see what kind of groove he can get into.

  134. Matt S said,

    The chairs in the Padres club house were purchased by Nevin.

    I am sure that was well before his “home runs” were being caught on the warning track.

  135. danielbalc said,

    Matt, your arguments against Nevin are so unfounded and personally bias. Honestly you don’t think he could do a better job then Kouz and Branyan?

    Nevin has never been a bad teammate to anyone. Pablo is right however. he called out the ball park said it was too big in right field and if they brought the fence in ten feet he, Giles and Klesko would hit 10+ HR’s Each. Was he wrong? Not at all. he’s exactly right. The pitchers wouldn’t have as good of numbers either and thats why KT likes the park the way it is.

    As far as him being a “whiner”? that’s such a crazy accusation. i guess Jake Peavy is a whiner when he complains about not getting a pitch.

  136. Matt S said,

    They did bring the fence in and it has not helped. So I do not know what you are talking about.

    Daniel answer this question for me please:

    What has Nevin done AS A PADRE since we moved into Petco that warrants management bringing him back? Give me numbers and stats, my belief is it has not been much. Therefore, your support of such a player is unfounded.

    How can you judge Branyan the way you do? He has not been given a fair chance to prove himself at third, yet you have already judged him to be insufficient.

    The argument about Peavy is ridiculous. He is allowed to argue supposed HUMAN ERROR, which is what you are doing when you argue balls and strikes. It is completely different than blaming an inanimate object for your troubles.

  137. Matt S said,

    I will also say that players such as Nevin, Klesko, and Giles who in the early 2000’s were consistent home run hitters and now are not have some explaining to do.

    Right around 2004-2005 is when all the steriod and “greenies” suspicion started to swirl and low and behold that is the same time their home run totals took a nose dive. Makes me say Hmmmmmm.

  138. Matt S said,

    I will also say that players such as Nevin, Klesko, and Giles who in the early 2000’s were consistent home run hitters and now are not have some explaining to do.

    Right around 2004-2005 is when all the steriod and “greenies” suspicion started to swirl and low and behold that is the same time their home run totals took a nose dive. Makes me say Hmmmmmm.

    Perhaps they were only power hitters with the help of some, shall we say, questionable supplement choices?

  139. Matt S said,

    What has Nevin done AS A PADRE since we moved into Petco that warrants management bringing him back? Give me numbers and stats.

    I will answer my own question.

    In 2004 he had a very nice year with 26 HR and driving in 100+ runs.
    In 2005 he struggled and only hit 9 HR before being traded to the Rangers.

    I do not know what happened to him in between the 2 years (I have a theory, see above) but I know it was not the ballpark’s fault. He was hitting in the same yard both years.

    It is also alarming that no other team in the majors is willing to offer him a contract. This tells me there are serious concerns about his ability to produce and to stay healthy. Add that to the fact that he is aging and already has a history of discontent with Padres management and I think his time here is over.

  140. danielbalc said,

    I like Branyan, I say Branyan should be the starter for now over kouz. But as far as stats go Nevin has proved himself to be a better player then Branyan.

    nevin had 9 Hr’s in less then half a season with the padres in 05. He probably would have finished with 20. There isn’t a substantial drop off there to explain.

    As for you accusing those three dudes of jucing that’s a fine accusation but it doestn’t change the fact that las leason Nevin hit 22 HR’s and we NEED a third baseman who can hit.

    Just because you don’t like that he “wears his heart on his sleeve” is hardly a reason to not give him a chance.

    Personally I think the only think keeping KT from giving him a job is he’s to proud to bring him back. KT is to Phil Nevin as AJ is to Marty Schottenheimer

  141. thin air said,

    Arrrgh! I can’t believe you’re even talking about Nevin.

  142. danielbalc said,

    take away the name on his jersey and just imagine that your 3rd baseman hits 20 hrs and drives in 75 batting 280. Would you want that over what is currently at third?

    Thats the question that no one will answer. why not?

  143. Bruce S. said,

    Can we get Eddie Mathews? Brooks Robinson? George Kell? Ron Santo?

  144. danielbalc said,

    Did any of them hit 22 hr’s last season?

  145. Matt S said,


    Do you know something 30 GM’s do not know, Daniel?

    Man you really love this guy!

  146. danielbalc said,

    he’s retired. it’s official.

  147. Anthony said,

    Especially after he saw Branyan hit to dingers and a single last night.

  148. Bruce S. said,

    – That wasn’t Anthony either. That was me. I’m prety shure he nows how too spell.

  149. Bruce S. said,

    Now we really getting confused. What I wrote was – two – but I put the word – two – inside angle brackets which gets treated as html. So, it didn’t show.

    So, Branyan sends Nevin into selling insurance and Kouzmanoff back where he belongs, – and I don’t know why you all think he can make it in AAA. He looks more like single A to me.

  150. Pablo Honey said,

    Man, is Peavy hot or what? Completely dominating and he still gets very little buzz on the east coast.

  151. Bruce S. said,

    His fastball moves just like Maddox’ fastball, but about 10 MPH faster. Steinbrenner shoulda’ signed him for 20 M per year.

  152. danielbalc said,

    Steinbrener will get that chance eventually but he’ll probably end up in atlanta one day. But while he’s here we should enjoy. I didn’t think anyone could make those uni’s look good but peavy sure did.

    My latest sporting news has an article on 7 pitchers you would feel are most worth it to pay to watch. 5 starters, 1 set up guy, 1 closer. Any guesses on how it played out?

    And what would be your list?

  153. danielbalc said,

    check that. It wasn’t a sportingnews article but an one.

    after you’ve guessed, see for yourself.

  154. Matt S said,

    My guess as to who the article picked
    (The only thing I would change would be hoffy as the closer)

    1) Peavy
    2) Santana
    3) Maddux
    4) Halladay
    5) Smoltz


    1) Zumaya (103 MPH is cool)



  155. danielbalc said,

    You got two out of 7 right.

  156. Matt S said,

    30% not bad. Some of those choices are stupid and trendy and have little to do with proven talent

  157. danielbalc said,

    yeah they’re pretty lame. I’ve seen The Rocket, Oswalt, Wagner and Dice-K (in the WBC championship game) Pitch. I would indeed pay to see Hernandez and Santana. Honestly though I would choose Peavy over all those guys.

    My List… mostly guys I’ve never seen except Peavy who is incredible and I honestly look for any chance I get to go to games he’s pitching.

    Wakefield (knuckleballs are fun)

    I wouldn’t pay to see a set up man no matter how hard he throws it.

    I’ve seen Hoffman I’d like to see Francisco Rodriguez.

  158. Matt S said,

    Dice-K is all hype he is not even a frontline starter

    Wagner blows more saves than anyone, no idea why he gets paid as much as he does.

    Clemens just wants to get paid, he cannot even commit to an entire season or staying with the team all year, I would never pay to see him pitch anymore.

  159. danielbalc said,

    Dice-K was dominate in the WBC. I think he’s a quality starter but not at the level of Santana, Peavy or Oswalt.

    Wagners OK, He’s a good closer but there are a few good closers but there is no guarantee your going to see a closer pitch and if it’s an opposing team you don’t WANT to see the closer pitch.

    Clemens is probably the best pitcher of our lifetime. For that reason I am glad to have seen him pitch. But at this point It’s not worth my money anymore. Same logic goes for Maddux. Possibly one of the ten best pitchers of all time, but past his prime. I am glad he’s on our team and he’s still a quality pitcher but he’s not a guy I feel compelled to go to the ballpark for. Peavy is. I don’t have tickets on Wednesday but I’m going to get some somehow because every time his spot in the rotation comes up I think some kind of record could be broken.

  160. Bruce S. said,

    Peavy won’t throw a no-hitter ’till he wears a different uni.

  161. danielbalc said,


  162. danielbalc said,

    here’s another great anecdote that demonstrates how cool a sport Baseball is. What other sport has stories like this one?

  163. danielbalc said,

    Well Kooz was amazing last night. Could it be that the Padres will be rewarded for having stuck with him this long?

  164. Matt S said,

    I hope he has turned the corner. He is definitely taking better swings and the results are starting to come. He has a way to go, however, as this is the first game I have seen him look like a major leaguer and he still is not hitting for much power. Time will tell.

  165. danielbalc said,

    Ahhh My Padres. Nearly 50 games into the season and they STILL haven’t had any kind of a streak either good or bad. The most games the have lost in a row has been 3. The most games they have won in a row has been 3. They haven’t swept or been swept at all.

    The pitching has been fantastic (best ERA in baseball). But we have a bit of a problem right now. What do we do with Justin Germano? He’s been lights out and Clay hensley (though struggling early) looked to have returned to his old form before being put on the DL. Here are some options, what do you think?

    #1 Bring up Hensley send down Germano.

    #2. Bring up Hensley but put him in the bullpen (send down hampson or someone).

    #3. Bring up Hensley put Germano in the bullpen (still sending down hampson).

    That’s about it unless you want to try and mess with David Wells spot in the rotation (ain’t happening). Oh and leaving Hensley in the minors is not an option (I don’t think) because he’ s coming off the DL, I believe he has to at least come back to the majors before he can go back to the minors.

  166. Matt S said,

    Both of them will be on the major league roster. You cannot send Germano down because he will not clear waivers and someone will snatch him.

    I believe that Hensley will get his spot in the rotation back, but be on a very tight leash. Germano will go to long relief awaiting the next injury, or demotion of a struggling Hensley.

    BTW It looks like the patience with Kouz HAS paid off as he looks like a completely different hitter than he did 2 weeks ago. This all started to happen right after Branyan hit 2 homers in his start, a little motivation for the boy I guess.

  167. danielbalc said,

    I guess. or perhaps the baseball god’s wanted to humble you for your “genius” text message 😉

  168. Matt S said,

    I am now more of a genius than before.

    Not only did I predict good things for Branyan, which came to pass. But I also, in doing that, managed to get Kouz motivated because of what Branyan has done thus having 2 productive people at third. All this work for free!

  169. danielbalc said,

    Can you do something about left field which seems to have tapered back to it’s predicted state of slightly below mediocre.

  170. Matt S said,

    Let me see what I can do.

    I think they should bring up Paul MacAnulty and give him a shot at playing everyday.

    Defensively he may be a slight downgrade from Cruz\Sledge, but hey we played Klesko out there so he can’t be that bad.

    Offensively he has a great bat and good understanding of the strike zone and would be an upgrade from Cruz\Sledge.

    Look what happened to Jack Cust, he got an opportunity and is taking advantage.

  171. danielbalc said,

    I was wondering about why they traded Jack Cust until I read that the Padres were “contractually obligated” to give him up to ANY team that showed interest. What the heck kind of contract is that? That’s crazy. Thus the A’s got him for NOTHING. Future considerations. hahaha. Baseball is crazy.

    As for Left field I think Sledge ultimately is a better hitter then Cruz and should be starting. Plus the diversity of Cruz makes him a perfect bench player. Sledge is no good from the bench because he is too limited. He can’t play center, and only hits left handed. Start Sledge against all right handers.

  172. Bruce S. said,

    the diversity of Cruz

    You mean that being Hispanic somehow helps him ride pine?

  173. AmyLee said,

    Has anyone ever had a chip wich sandwich at the Padre Stadium??!!

    By far the best treat EVER!! Practically the sole reason I go to a Padre game, Wences knows there best be chipwich in the picture for me, or I just can’t go 🙂

    Just a little fruit for thought there 🙂

  174. Pablo Honey said,

    Nice to see AmyLee in the blog world. I haven’t had a chipwich at Petco, are they genuine Chipwich brand or are they imitation? I haven’t had a genuine Chipwich in years, can’t find them anywhere anymore.

  175. danielbalc said,

    Chipwhich’s were a staple of summer time Powegian life for the Balcombe’s. I believe my sister would put the chipwhich into her top 5 foods of all time.

  176. danielbalc said,

    I was wrong. i just called her and she said they are her number 3 “theme park snack food” of all time (Behind Bailey’s Shakes and Churros). But top food in general can’t be occupied by deserts. She did put it top 50 however.

    I guess she’s growing up.

    She also wants to know what brand is sold at PETCO Park. She supposes it’s Nestle Tollhouse which is good, but not the best.

  177. AmyLee said,

    I think it is Nestle Toll house brand, but how can you go wrong with 2 scrumptious choc chip cookies, with some yummy icecream in the middle… Aaaah it just doesn’t get much better than that!!
    Am I asking for a major attack if I said …..
    Sorry I just can’t get past my home team no matter how hard I try.. .(sorry Wences)
    Yes I know some might say your home is California, but for me my home is where I was brought up…. and I Just cant forget Fenway Park with a big fat hot dog and a bunch of screaming fans…. ( I think I have a problem, every good memory is related to food 🙂 )

  178. danielbalc said,

    You are one of the few people who is allowed to cheer for the Red Sox. ONLY ONLY ONLY New England Natives should be allowed to make such an idiotic claim. there is absolutely nothing worse thAn “fans” of teams who have never lived in that area (Namely Yankee “fans”). Especially if the team happens to be the red sox or the yankees who both are an absolute joke and blight on the entire system of professional sports. But if you were/are local then you are obligated to support your team as they represent your community. Sadly for those communities they are represented by the worst examples of “team” sports there is. (Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez etc.)

  179. thin air said,

    “He can’t play center”

    I’m not sure he can play left either!

  180. Pablo Honey said,

    Ummm… maybe I’m crazy but I’m pretty sure Daniel had it right on the last then/than. Check again Secret.

  181. Pablo Honey said,

    Oops, never mind. You were referring to his second thAn which is in fact incorrect. At first glance I only noticed his first thAn which is correct.

  182. Bruce S. said,

    Does anybody else associate colors with letters? For example, a=red, b=yellow, c=blue, d=yellow, e=black, f=dark gray, etc. ( I can go further, m,n brown, o=white, p=yellow)

    Maybe Daniel does this as well and that would explain mixing up red with black.

  183. danielbalc said,

    Gosh, now I know what Jeff feels like as fantasy commissioner. For crying out loud can you give a guy a break?

    What’s most frustrating is that there are a couple of fellow bloggers who have given me administrative privileges and I’ve gone in and adjusted some of their mistakes but do they ever help me out? Nooooooooo

    On the above noted error I literally talked myself out of ThEn and put down ThAn. You’ve messed up my brain. I hate you all.

  184. itsasecret2u said,

    Aww, poor Daniel. You can always refer back to my comment for clarification. 😀


    Yeah, I noticed that he had the first one correct after I posted the comment (because it was correct, it didn’t even register on my radar when I first read his post), but I didn’t want to take up too much baseball room and post another comment saying I was referring to the second one. 🙂

  185. danielbalc said,

    If you look back at post #124 you’ll see that I officially gave up on Kouz on May 11th. I think that is about 2 weeks longer than the rest of you guys but either way I, just like the rest of us did indeed give up on him. Well since May 11 Kouz has gone 13 for 27, raised his average nearly 100 points (he is now officially over the mendoza line) Had 9 RBI and 2 HR’s. Last nights being our only offense at all.

    Wow! And backwards !woW

    Lets see if tonight the Pads can pull off a minor miracle and win (gasp) 4 games in a row while (huge gasp) sweeping a series.

    fingers crossed.

  186. danielbalc said,

    BTW what do the den readers think of this name their calling Kouz, “The Crushin Russian”. I kind of like it and see tremendous marketability.

  187. thin air said,

    My favorite quote of the day…

    David Wells was restless. His Padres teammates had yet to score and the 44-year-old pitcher felt the game was slipping away.
    “Let’s go,” Wells told his teammates. “Who’s pitching, Cy Young?”

  188. Matt S said,

    Kouz crushed that ball! Who says (er Nevin) you cannot get the ball out at Petco. You just have to hit it well, no cheap homers I like that. (His oposite field shot 2 nights ago was just as impressive)

    The boy is strong, hopefully this will be the guy we get for the rest of the season. I like our chances at this point and I am glad I did not give up on the team as a whole even if I did give up on Kouz.

    I will be there tonight to see the first sweep this year.

  189. thin air said,

    Wow! What a great pitching performance by Chis Young last night. Unfortunately, the Padres were facing Cy Young once again. Can someone please get a basehit with runners in scoring position. The ballpark isn’t preventing them from getting a single. Nothing wrong with stringing a few singles together. Yes, we will probably never have a long losing streak but we will never have a winning streak either. Greene is clueless at the plate right now.

  190. danielbalc said,

    This has always been my issue with Greene. he is way too streaky. sometimes he’s on fire sometimes he’s “clueless”. It’s very bothersome.

    Marquis has had a great season so far, it’s not like losing to to some other dogs.

    I think we have the potential to run off a really nice long winning streak, much more than we have the potential to get into a long losing streak. Our pitching is just too dang good and our hitting isn’t terrible (especially on the road). This series with the Brewers is going to be very interesting. Right now they are the class of the central, but after that series with the cubs I am ready to predict the cubs will end up winning the central. Their lineup is stacked and their pitching is better than average.

  191. danielbalc said,

    This has always been my issue with Greene. he is way too streaky. sometimes he’s on fire sometimes he’s “clueless”. It’s very bothersome.

    Marquis has had a great season so far, it’s not like losing to to some other dogs.

    I think we have the potential to run off a really nice long winning streak, much more than we have the potential to get into a long losing streak. Our pitching is just too dang good and our hitting isn’t terrible (especially on the road). This series with the Brewers is going to be very interesting. Right now they are the class of the central, but after that series with the cubs I am ready to predict the cubs will end up winning the central. Their lineup is stacked and their pitching is better than average.

  192. Matt S said,

    I was at the game last night and I have never seen so many hopelessly optimistic people in one place at one time. The Cub fans were acting like they just one the World Series, when in fact they scraped out a win to avoid a sweep.

    Marquis is pitching great this year, definitely one of the top 5 in the league right now so it is no suprise we could not muster much offense.

    The game turned with the Geoff Blum at bat. I have no idea why he is always the first option off the bench. He has been terrible this year in that role and we need to find someone else. We score in that inning and we win the game in my opinion.

    That being said I look forward to seeing what all the hype is about with this Brewers club. If we can keep winning series we will be fine.

  193. danielbalc said,

    You should’ve seen my txts to my brother Paul when i saw Blum on deck. Bad decision right there. If you’r going to have him up there you should at least put the runners in motion. Blech!

  194. Bruce S. said,

    Kouzmanoff is winning me over singlehandedly. He is actually cute to watch. A while back it looked like he could start crying at any minute. Now he is just deliriously giddy with what’s been happening. (I am writing this minutes after his grand slam). A few games back he actually looked surprised when he swung and missed once.

    This turn-around is one of the better stories in sports – which is of course being missed by everyone but SDers.

  195. Pablo Honey said,

    I hear you Bruce. Kouz has been a thrill to watch recently, and he seemingly has no idea how to handle his newfound popularity. I hope he can keep up with this pace to some degree for the rest of the year. Obviously we can’t expect him to continue at this torrid pace but I definitely believe he has the ability to hit around .300 and average a HR every 25-30 AB’s or so for the rest of the year. As of right now he looks like the #5 hitter that we need.

  196. Matt S said,

    I told you Kouz would be fine.

  197. LynnH said,


  198. danielbalc said,

    I don’t think i have ever seen a Padres pitching staff as good as what we get the pleasure of watching right now. It’s incredible. Team ERA is 3.00! They’ve only given up 25 HR’s in 50 games. Wow. The On Base percentage against the Padres pitchers is .290. That’s crazy.

    The question is, as a fan, just for entertainment value, would you rather the Padres win with great pitching, or win by scoring tons of runs?

    Don’t answer “both” because it’s a “rather” question.

  199. Anthony said,

    I’d go with great pitching because that’s what gets it done in the post season.

  200. danielbalc said,


    that’s what we said last post season and the post season before that.

  201. Matt S said,

    Pitching and defense, for me, is always more enjoyable to watch than a run scoring fest. My wife, however, hates going to games with all zeros across the scoreboard.

    The problem with a team like the Brewers who rely heavily on the home run ball is when they are in a slump they have no way to manufacture runs and thus cannot win.

    Conversly, a team like the Padres can still win even when they are not swinging the bats well because they are adept (maybe not as adept as some of us would like) at playing small ball and manufacturing runs. It also helps that your staff is as stingy as they are.

  202. Anthony said,

    Well maybe the pitching isn’t as “good” as the stats show. Good pitching holds up during playoffs. Good pitching dominates even the best lineups like the Yankees.

  203. danielbalc said,

    I think the pitching was pretty darn good last post season (11 earned runs in 4 games) , but it doesn’t help if you only score 6 runs in 4 games (yikes).

    That being said our pitching is much better this season, with Peavy being dominate, Maddux instead of Williams and guys like Bell and Brocail pitching as well a they have. Plus you now have to factor in Germano and what we do with Hensley. I’m liking this Padres team more and more.

  204. Matt S said,

    The problem lies in the confines of a short 5 or 7 game series. There is no margin for error.

    Throughout the course of a season, even the best staffs will run into trouble at times, but the season is so long those short term struggles get absorbed.

    In a playoff series 1 or 2 bad games (or bad pitches for that matter) is the difference between going on or going home.

    You not only need to be good, but good at the right time and in the right situations.

  205. danielbalc said,

    That problem may be partially eradicated with all of the off-days scheduled for this years October. We may get the chance to start Peavy 3 times in a 7 game series. How jacked up is that?
    Also Jacked up is that the games are going to be on TBS. I don’t know if TBS is in HD. It better be by October though.

  206. danielbalc said,

    Dang we went from 1st place to third place in one game. Which leads to another intriguing question…

    It’s seems like it’s going to be a tight race in the NL west all season. Do you prefer the excitement of a close division race or do you prefer when one team (your team) runs away with thedivision? Another way of asking it is this. Do you think it would be more fun to be a red sox fan or a padres fan this season? Better yet lets take out the padres so we can be more objective. Would you rather be a Red Sox fan or a Tigers fan?

  207. Anthony said,

    Being a Tiger’s fan is a lot like being a Padres fan in the sense that neither team has had a lot of success in recent years (aside from last year). Why root for the team that always win. Having a team like the Tigers or Padres is more exciting because it makes winning that more enjoyable. Nobody thought the Tigers would do what they did last year and that’s why it was an awesome season. The Tigers success last year was more impressive than any Yankees Championship.

    I like close races. I like seeing a team go from near last back to first. It shows character. The Yankees are 13.5 games back. They are not used to that sort of thing. Do they have the character and team unity to catch up? I don’t know.

    The Padres aren’t going to run away with the division because it’s a good division.

  208. amyleesspace said,

    Well I would say a RED SOX fan…

    Why you may ask?

    Because that is my “home” team like I have stated before.. and I am devoted to my home team ,win or lose.

    I do however prefer it to be close, rather than the Red Sox just taking the season and running with it. This makes for more exciting bets! I have won some pretty good sports bets in the recent past.. When it is close, it makes it more exciting when you are watching the game. ( Atleast for me any how)

    I don’t know Alex what do you think ?? 🙂

    ( I refer to Alex as he has had a bit of bad luck betting on sports with me)

  209. thin air said,

    I’d rather be 5 games ahead than 5 games down.

  210. danielbalc said,

    thin, that doesn’t answer the question at all.

    Which is more exciting (fun to watch) right now, being a brewers fan or being a Padres fan? (5 games up verse 1 game back)?

  211. danielbalc said,

    Does anyone think that the media will notice the beating that the NL west is going to give to the NL east?

  212. danielbalc said,

    For a time I used to console myself regarding the travesty that will be Barry Bonds breaking the HR record by saying, “at least A-Rod will break Bonds’ record in a couple of years.” Now I’m starting to hate A-Rod as much as I hate Baroid.

    what a moron. The guy is playing bush league and cheating on his wife on the same trip. What the heck is in that Canadian glacier water?

  213. Matt S said,

    The west coast lives in anonymity. We hardly exist in the sports world and you can see why as most our games start at 10:00 PM EST and end at around 1:00 AM.

    Even Fox Sports does a crappy job of covering west coast sports.

    I think a station like a “west coast espn” would be a successful venture.

  214. danielbalc said,

    good call Matt,

    More successful than trying to start a league to compete with the NFL (ahem Mark Cuban).

    but seriously I don’t think you can say we live in anonymity. Look at all the press for Kobe Bryant.

  215. Matt S said,

    A-Rod is clown. This is not the first time this guy has done this.

    I seem to remember a play against the Red Sox in the playoffs where is purposely knocked the ball out of the pitcher’s hand as he was making the play at first base.

    And recently he slid into second and grabbed the guy trying to turn a double play.

    He is definitely one guy I love to see fail.

    And on that note, how sweet is it to see the Yankees playing so poorly? Nothing like the highest paid team in baseball sporting one of the worst records, beautiful.

  216. Matt S said,

    That is Kobe Bryant, the most recognizable name in the NBA. He would get the pub no matter where he played. But, yea the Lakers probably are the one team out here that does get some exposure nationally.

  217. danielbalc said,

    only thing that could be better is if the Red Sox stunk too. Go Blue Jays! Bring back Joe Carter!

  218. LynnH said,

    Nothing wrong with being 10 games up. Less nail biting.

  219. amyleesspace said,

    Red Sox stink— hmm not sure we will see that day 🙂

  220. Matt S said,


    How far is Boston from New Hampshire? I mean I understand your home state is too small to house a pro franchise so you want to root for some team, but maybe you should adopt the Padres as your “new” home team. After all, you have lived here about as long as you lived there right?

    Just because San Diego does not have a pro basketball team does not mean I become a Lakers or Clippers fan. Root for teams where you live, not for teams in the “vicinity” of where you live.

  221. amyleesspace said,

    Boston is about 45mins-1 hr from New Hampshire…
    You are correct NH is too small to have it’s “own” team, however The Red Sox is considered “our team” as much as it is to the people that live in Boston.
    I also lived in NH for 17 years, I have only lived in San Diego for about 8 years or so..
    Not sure the big issue with what sports team I like??
    Just because I live in SD doesn’t mean I have to root for the Padres, I grew up with Red Sox, you grew up with Padres…. probably explains why we route for the teams that we route for.

  222. danielbalc said,

    Amy, Boston has always stunk. They won the WS a couple years ago just because the stinky Yankees completely blew it.

    The fact is that if Boston and New York playing with literally hundreds of millions of more dollars than most other teams DON’T make the playoffs they are proportionately stinkier than any other team in baseball.

  223. Matt S said,

    It is like America bragging about winning a war.

  224. danielbalc said,

    Poor analogy matt, how about this…

    It’s like McDonalds bragging about outselling In-n-Out.

  225. amyleesspace said,

    hmmm dont get the analogies… but regardless I like them regardless of if they win or lose… I just happen to like them… call it a personal preference…

  226. Matt S said,

    I guess we can give you a pass since you used to live in the vicinity of Boston, but your husband’s support for the Yankees is disgusting.

  227. amyleesspace said,

    I COMPLETELY agree…. I do not support the Yanks…… I am slowly trying to work on him 🙂

  228. Alex said,

    I have two words for all of you……………..Derek Jeter.
    How can you not like the best player in baseball year in and year out. He is the true Mr. October. I like the Yankees because Derek happens to play for them.
    You got a problem with that?
    It’s the same reason why Pablo Honey only shops at Lowe’s.
    You support the team your favorite people play for, drive for etc..
    If Victoria Secret decided to sponsor JJ for NASCAR I’m sure Pablo Honey would shop there also. Oh wait, did I just say that?

  229. danielbalc said,

    “best player in baseball year in and year out”


    I was just sitting here counting Jeter’s MVP’s

    Jeter is a good player, but “best player in baseball”? C’mon Alex.

    I like the pistons in basketball because Teyshaun Prince is my favorite player, but I am not delusional enough to call him the “best player year in and year out.”

    It’s ok if he’s your “favorite” player but “best”? You should pick a guy better than Jeter to call the “best”. Jeter isn’t even the best player on his own team

  230. Alex said,

    “Jeter isn’t even the best player on his own team”

    I’ll pretend you never said that.

  231. Matt S said,

    How about my Padres! 9 over and they get to hopefully beat up on the Nats for 3 games with Peavy leading the way tonight.

    This team is coming together nicely, I see a deep run for us this year.

  232. danielbalc said,

    I see a possible trade brewing for Jermaine Dye. The White Sox are desperate for relief pitching (the one thing we have a TON of) and Dye has had a slow start this season. Nevertheless he’s gotta be better than Boccachica who is NOT the right handed power we need.

  233. Alex said,

    Daniel, I stand corrected about Hoffman. Apparently he still has it.

  234. danielbalc said,

    alex, I stand corrected. Our offense needs some help.

  235. danielbalc said,

    Apparently somebody stayed up late in Bristol last night as the lead story on sportscenter was the Padres game. They are starting to realize the dominance of the NL West. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

    good win for the Padres. Branyan should be batting lead off. He’s got BLAZING speed.

  236. Bruce S. said,

    I am ready to hand over the $5 to Alex. The Padres are going to win 90 easily. They weathered the slumps of Cameron and Kouzmanoff, and have shown that Brian Giles, a has-been, is not needed on the team. Dredge is in left field simply to provide entertainment, since the Padres win so efficiently that almost nothing ever happens. And I still think the Giants are going to come in last.

  237. Alex said,

    “And I still think the Giants are going to come in last”

    Yeah, but we’ll all celebrate when Bonds breaks the record…………NOT!!!!!

  238. danielbalc said,

    The past two seasons it was like pulling teeth trying to convince Padres fans that the team was actually good. This season I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone would say they aren’t one of the 5 best teams in baseball. And this is without any corner outfield production at all to speak of. WOW!

    I was at the game last night and I think the tide is actually starting to shift. I think fans are actually starting to believe in the Padres are for real.

    Way to go Hoffman. One of the coolest things about the game last night was that before the game they showed a video clip from “This week in baseball” that was shot in December. It was Hoffman’s off season workout. Incredible! He was seen carrying guys on his back up the stairs at the beach. Really cool to see a guy that committed. He’s still got at least 2 seasons in him. Maybe more.

    Also mad props to Bud Black he has exceeded my expectations.

    That’s 8 straight series victories.

    (I’m still hoping we see a move for Jermaine Dye)

  239. Bruce S. said,

    one of the 5 best teams in baseball

    That’s hard to say since we don’t see the AL much.

    But, I would venture to say they are as good as the best team in the NL, whoever that is. And better than the rest.

  240. danielbalc said,




    Of course a good power ranking and 4 dollars will get you a drink at starbucks.
    The point is that for the third straight season San Diego fans are getting a quality baseball team. Not many places get that. Especially at the payroll that the Padres are doing it at.

    It was so great to see the 500 saves being set in front of a bunch of doger fans. It was just a couple of years ago when all the talk was about how incredible Eric Gagne was. Sorry boys, but there just isn’t another closer as consistent and good as Trevor Hoffman.

  241. Pablo Honey said,

    500 saves! Wow! Question of the day is: Does anybody else ever reach it?

  242. Alex said,

    Did you see those stats on saves among active closers? Rivera is next closest but he’s 81 saves(at the age of 37) away from 500, after him it jumps to like 160 saves away from 500. I never realized how significant Hoffmans numbers are. Also interesting in the post game show was that Hoffman came into the minors as a shortstop? I never would have put him in that position. Not with those Ginormous legs!!

  243. danielbalc said,

    Mariano Rivera could. After that it’s doubtful. Managers don’t have the patience and young guys don’t have the discipline to go through the exact same preparations every single day to be ready to pitch any and every day with a huge amount of pressure on you.

    The Red Sox have already thought about using Pappelbon as a starter. He may end up there, he may not, but one thing he won’t do is be a consistent closer for 10 plus seasons. It’s too hard.
    Billy Wagner would need 4 more 40 save seasons to reach 500, he’s 36 years old and he’s only had 2 seasons (out of 11) with more than 40 saves! It’s possible for him to reach 500 but he’ll never catch Hoffman. It’s doubtful anyone will ever catch the number that Hoffman finally stops at (I’m guessing it’ll be closer to 600 than 500).

  244. danielbalc said,

    And the ironic thing is that now guys in college and the minors are being trained and brought up as closers. And they still can’t do it as good as Trevor.

  245. Pablo Honey said,

    I don’t know if Rivera can do it, he seems to be really wearing down this season, and if the Yankees don’t right the ship he will likely be gone after this season. He may do well somewhere else but I get a feeling he has maybe 1 year left after this one before he fades away. I don’t think Wagner has any chance. He relies entirely on power pitching and I doubt it will be long before he completely breaks down. That’s the problem with all of the closers today, the majority of them are power pitchers who just blow guys down until their arms blow up. I suppose eventually someone will get to 500 but I doubt anyone will run down Hoffman. His totals probably depend on what the Padres do this year. I think if we pull out a world series win then Hoffman will probably retire, otherwise I give him 1 more year. All told he’ll probably end up between 550-570.

  246. Midge said,

    This post just went Brokeback when Alex commented on Trevors LEGS!!!

  247. danielbalc said,

    hooray! I found the video clip showing Hoffman’s December workout. click on this link then go to April 7 and click on the clip that says “top 5 The Natural”. After watching that clip try and tell me that you think Hoffman is ready to retire after this season.

  248. danielbalc said,

    Oh and Alex, I think you’ll really appreciate what the trainer has to say about Trevor’s body.

  249. Alex said,

    I am not ashamed to give him credit for those legs. I’ve been working out for years and I know how hard it is to bulk up your legs specifically. I ‘ve come to the conclusion that genes plays a bigger role than I thought unless you cheat the system like Bonds. =) There used to be a saying ” you either got it or you don’t” now it’s “If you don’t got it fret not, Balco will get you want you want.”

  250. Alex said,

    Daniel, I followed your instructions but the video failed to play.

  251. LynnH said,

    Hey, it was flaxseed oil.

  252. danielbalc said,

    Alex, did you click on the “400k” next to the clip? It works fine for me.

  253. Alex said,

    The video still won’t load. It could be because I’m using Windows Vista or because I’m using Internet Explorer 7.

  254. danielbalc said,

    too bad for you, because it’s a very cool video.

  255. LynnH said,

    Thanks for the link Daniel. You’re right. It is very cool. After watching that I think Trev may go at least another 2 years. Let’s get the sweep tonight.

  256. danielbalc said,

    The only negative is that he is working out with rivals. I don’t get that. But then again I don’t think I want to see him carrying David Wells or Heath Bell up those stairs so i guess it’s ok.

  257. LynnH said,

    The only way David Wells would make it up the stairs is to be carried.

  258. danielbalc said,

    that is why a closer is sooooo important! Wow! what a come from behind vicotry! go padres

  259. amyleesspace said,

    DBalc- I don’t think you used firefox on your last comment 🙂

    (sorry I couldn’t resist)

  260. danielbalc said,

    Holy COW! Evidently somebody at was watching the Padres vs the Dodgers. check out the current power rankings….

  261. Bruce S. said,

    Three reasons the Padres should have won that game against the Mariners: 1) Betancourt’s error with the bases loaded and two outs was a play that should have got him sent to the minors. I’ve seen lots of Little League-ers put in a better effort than that . Teams are supposed to be punished for that kind of play. 2) The idiot manager having Beltre bunt with a man on in the 8th inning. That has got to be the dumbest idea I have seen in a while. They should have given him the “hit a double” sign. 3) The idiot ??third base coach?? arguing a strike call when it was obvious the batter agreed with it.

    Oh well. The Padres are currently a fairly weak hitting team. But they play near perfect baseball.

  262. LynnH said,

    Why did Boccachica try to steal 3rd? Well, I guess they only play NEAR-perfect baseball. So are you on the Padre bandwagon Bruce?

  263. Albino Hayford said,

    I’m willing to let all of you sad baseballs fans hop up on the Spurs bandwagon with me. It will be Spurs in five games, and Tim will have 4 rings. Can you say DYNASTY???

  264. Bruce S. said,

    So are you on the Padre bandwagon Bruce

    Not really. I’ve said all along that I like sports for their aesthetic appeal. The rooting business isn’t what I am called to do.

    I missed the Boccachica steal attempt. Was he sent?

  265. Alex said,

    Bocachica was tagged on the rear end, usually when sliding head first that means the whole other half of his body has already been passed that point. The umpire made a bad call. Should he have gone in the first place? Probably not, but I do like the aggresive style base running. : )

  266. danielbalc said,

    Bocachica was out. It was a close play but the ump called him out for idiocy as much as anything else. it was the right call.

    this has been a rough series with the M’s. I think it’s partly because of the hangover you get after that big series with dogers.

  267. LynnH said,

    Anyone know a good hangover remedy? If so, please pass it to the Pads.

  268. danielbalc said,

    I do. It’s called “Devil Rays”

  269. LynnH said,

    We can only hope. Why is it that Greene seems to hit better in the daytime? Maybe he needs to eat more carrots. Although I expect him to hit better now that he’s back on the road. Did you notice Kouz started every at bat yesterday 0-2. It’s tough to hit when you start an at-bat in the hole like that.

  270. danielbalc said,

    I didn’t notice I only watched half the game.

    I think I have a tremendous amount of influence on Chris Young’s success. When I’m watching him he’s doing really well. When I stop watching him he ends up giving up runs. Seriously. Yesterday we were cruising along with a 3-1 lead so I went out to spend some time at the pool with my wife, I come back and it’s tied 3-3. I go take a shower and come back and we lost. Horrible.

    Earlier this season I was watching and Chris Young had gone like 4 innings without giving up a hit. I left and when i came back we were losing.

    I keep trying to tell Athena how important it is to the teams success that I watch but she’s not convinced.

  271. danielbalc said,

    I think Meredith needs to be demoted and Cameron promoted. I’m not trying to be an alarmist here or anything but Meredith needs a break. He’s pressing. I understand trying to give a guy confidence but then a couple of errors come along and he’s going to think he’s cursed.

    In completely unrelated sports story I just want to say that in light of this news

    I feel justified in frowning upon my brother as the equivalent of a yankees fan.

    What an embarrassment. This is actually worse than the Yankees. This is like if George Steinbrener bought the Red Sox, because now the best guys aren’t even competing against each other anymore since they’re all on the same “team”.

    I pity all of you neckcar fans. PITY

  272. ineedsheetmusic said,

    In a completely unrelated sports story

    Does this mean you are now conceding that NASCAR is a sport?

  273. danielbalc said,

    I’m using the same broad definition I use to call swaying dancing. 🙂

    ESPN calls it a sport, but the also air poker, spelling bees and cheer leading competitions.

    It’s an embarrassment that’s what it is.

  274. Franky said,

    I was going to poke fun about Nascar being a sport, but thought better of it considering what I think about MMA and people’s thought of whether or not it is a sport.

  275. danielbalc said,

    MMA is absolutely a sport. a hard core sport. a very challenging sport.

    there is no comparison when talking about MMA and NASCAR. It’s like comparing Baseball to spelling bees.

  276. Alex said,

    Daniel, I used to feel the same way until I did a little research. Nascar drivers have to train, be in good physical condition, compete against others, study, and be skilled. What else do you want from a sport Danielbalc?
    My what strong opinions you have Daniel.Since this is your blog (den) you can make up whatever you want. While your at it, why don’t you minimize humans to nothing but progressed animals. =)

  277. itsasecret2u said,

    MMA is absolutely a sport. a hard core sport. a very challenging sport

    Gotta admit… I almost fell out of my chair with joy when I read that one… then I remembered that we never debated about it being a sport… it was about the manliness/gayness of the sport. Oh well. I’ll still take what I can get. 😀

  278. ineedsheetmusic said,

    train, be in good physical condition, compete against others, study, and be skilled.

    So, is chess a sport?

  279. danielbalc said,

    Alex, so then you are all for poker, and spelling bees on ESPN. That’s fine. Stupid, but fine.

    Secret, You made the fatal mistake of assuming too much. Try and stay out of land wars in Asia alright.

    sheetmusic, Exactly.

  280. Matt S said,

    SPORT: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

    Perhaps we need a new thread to discuss your definition of a sport?

  281. itsasecret2u said,


    Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Always remember that, buddy.

  282. danielbalc said,

    I did, thats why I didn’t bring up death :-/

  283. amyleesspace said,

    Well I will throw my 2 cents in here (which I am sure is all it is worth 🙂 )

    I personally do not care for Ultimate Fighting, I think it is horrible that people can call a “sport” punching people in the face until their knocked out.

    When Wences watches this, I have to leave the room. I absolutely REFUSE to watch it! I don’t promot punching and kicking, and all this arm bar nonsese as a sport. ( no offense to anyone that does, my husband loves this! He actually tries to play with my son)

    Which leads me to this….. DON’T PLAY JU JITSUI fighting with your children EVER!! My husband thought it would be fun to play with our 4 year old. Well the other morning I run downstairs to my daughters screams, I find her head locked between Wency’s legs screaming for dear life!! Wency’s explanation for this , “But mom it was just a choke hold”


  284. Albino Hayford said,

    No props for my Spurs? Last one out of Cleveland turn out the lights, babeeeee!!!
    4 rings for Tim Duncan!!! GO SPURS, GO!

  285. Matt S said,

    The NBA is the most unwatchable “sport” on the planet. I would rather watch underwater basket weaving than that garbage. How can both teams score less than 80 points in a Finals game! That is deplorable.

    My advice for the folks at ABC, put the camera on Eva Longoria the ENTIRE GAME and just put a score ticker in the corner.

  286. itsasecret2u said,

    I personally do not care for Ultimate Fighting, I think it is horrible that people can call a “sport” punching people in the face until their knocked out.

    That’s not MMA. That’s boxing. 🙂

    Sport: Sport is an activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Used by itself, sports commonly refer to activities where the physical capabilities of the competitor are the sole or primary determiner of the outcome (winning or losing), but the term is also used to include activities such as mind sports and motor sports where mental acuity or equipment quality are major factors. Sports are used as entertainment for the player and the viewer.

    OK, so baseball, football, soccer, boxing, tennis, (ahem) MMA, basketball, etc. sound like sports. NASCAR would be a motorsport on the basis that the equipment quality is paramount to the outcome. Chess, spelling bees, and poker would be mind sports, though luck certainly has something to do with a poker tournamnet outcome. A luck sport? What kind of sport is that!?

  287. amyleesspace said,

    Secret- Everytime I have watched Ultimate Fighting with Wences, there has been blood filled faces and their slamming their fists and elbows into eachothers faces.

    I admit I haven’t watched alot of this, so I am somewhat ignorant to it’s process.. Just from what I’ve seen it seems ridiculous 🙂

    Sorry Dave I know you love this 🙂 ( and Secret)

  288. amyleesspace said,

    Secret- I COMPLETELY agree that poker if we must call it a mind sport 🙂 Is most definitely a “sport” of LUCK!!

    Wences would say ” It is a skill” I say its luck, it all depends on the cards you are dealt. Luck of the draw, if you will !

  289. Matt S said,

    Stop infiltrating this “manly” subject with happy faces, geez.

  290. itsasecret2u said,

    I shall refrain from further smileys. Apologies. I shall also refrain from an MMA discussion on Daniel’s baseball thread, since I know how he feels both about threadjacking and MMA.


    Oops, sorry Matt. It just slipped out…

  291. danielbalc said,

    This thread is all about thread jacking it’s no big deal. If we were having a serious conversation I would slap your hand with a ruler when you went to type. But with 300 comments on the horizon it’s difficult for me to get picky now.

  292. amyleesspace said,

    Sorry Matt we can’t help it if we are happy people! (insert smiley face here )

  293. Alex said,

    “So, is chess a sport?”

    I’m not going to go out on a limb and say it’s not.

    I must point out that chess, poker, and spelling bees do not require you to be in” good physical condition”. Just ask Doyle Brunson.

    Daniel, just because you drive around a sports car does not mean you understand what it’s like to drive 200mph + for 3hours straight. Driving at speeds of 105mph on Scripps Poway does not qualfy you for NASCAR. Your argument is weak. But hey this is Daniels Den I guess anything goes(Or doesn’t go).

  294. danielbalc said,

    Alex, when did I make a weak argument?
    Are you saying it’s not fair to compare turning left to spelling bees?
    I guess you’re right. Spelling is much more difficult (for me at least) than turning left.
    as for you not being willing to “go out on a limb” regarding chess.
    I will.
    Chess is NOT a sport.
    it’s sad that you can’t say that. Look at what nascar has done to you.

  295. Bruce S. said,

    In order to get back to the Padres, I give you this from ESPN (something which Tony S is very aware of)

    This is precisely what the Tigers hoped for when they signed Verlander to a $3.12 million bonus out of Old Dominion University in 2004. Verlander went second in the draft after the San Diego Padres selected high school shortstop Matt Bush first overall in a monument to shortsightedness based upon “signability.”

    The Tigers got a potential Cy Young Award winner; Bush failed to hit a lick in the minors and is being converted to a pitcher. Can you imagine how Verlander might look in that San Diego rotation with Jake Peavy?

  296. Bruce S. said,

    It is very well known that chess GM’s have personal trainers. They need to be in pretty good shape these days to withstand the strain of top-level chess.

  297. danielbalc said,

    I’ll go out on a limb and say…

    The 04 draft was worse than the Ryan Leaf catastrophe.

  298. danielbalc said,

    Bruce, I’m wondering how many den readers are thinking “why do chess players have general managers?”

  299. itsasecret2u said,

    OK, so maybe I thought that at first, but it only took a second to realize there must be something about chess I don’t know… There is, in fact, a lot about chess I don’t know.

  300. danielbalc said,


    it’s “Grand Master”

  301. itsasecret2u said,

    Oh. :-/

  302. Pablo Honey said,

    The padres get as many hits as C.Y. landed on Derek Lee’s jaw and we still won the game. I love it.

  303. danielbalc said,

    I think thats the third time this season we have won with 2 or less hits. That’s gotta be a record.

    how about Jake Peavy bringing down D-Lee? Scary to see our ace doing that, but I like that he cares.

  304. danielbalc said,

    When you watch the replay it’s pretty clear that Young is saying something like, “that’s my fault” when D-Lee decides to try and sucker punch him. Then after Giles has pushed Young back Lee pretends like he’s going to run at him but at the same time is trying to hide behind one of his coaches.

  305. danielbalc said,

    Here’s a tip for D-Lee. When trying to land a punch, open your eyes.,4644,1895,00.html#2_0

  306. Matt S said,

    Derek Lee is an idiot.

    There was no reason for C Y to be throwing at him intentionally in that spot with a no hitter going and a 0-0 score.

    There is also no reason for C Y to be ejected as he was just defending himself.

    I saw him lip something like, “I wasn’t throwing at you” and then Lee takes a swing, moron.

    We own the Cubs the last 2 years anyway so it feels good.

  307. danielbalc said,

    Baseball is so weird. You win a game with just 2 hits and then the next day you come out and score 11 runs.

    5 Homer Runs? Wow!

    heart of the order goes 9 for 14 scores 8 runs and drives in 10. Cool.

    Orioles fire their manager then board a plane for sunny San Diego. Padres need to take advantage of teams on the rocks.

  308. Matt S said,

    tied for 3rd best record in all of baseball.

    Not bad for a team with a relatively small payroll.

    Hopefully we can take 2 out of three from the Orioles and then get some respect from the east coast honks by beating up on the Bo Sox.

  309. danielbalc said,

    relatively small payroll?

    24th out of 30 according to this report…

  310. danielbalc said,

    Chris Young gets a 5 game suspension. So does D-Lee.

    Fair or not?

    (BTW Peavy is lucky to only be getting fined.)

  311. LynnH said,

    Unfair!!!! Why should CY get 5 games for defending himself. That stinks. Besides neither one connected.

  312. Matt S said,

    5 games is one start. Not a big deal compared to the Cubs losing D-Lee for 5 games.

    The circumstances do not matter, if you throw a punch some suspension will come.

    I just wish the punch would have landed.

    (remember Nolan Ryan pounding on Robin Ventura? Beautiful when pitchers get the last laugh)

  313. 5najeras said,

    Hey! I saw that fight and Robin was one of my favorite players. It was so sad. I remember Tony and my dad laughing about it. I didn’t (and don’t) think it was funny. I haven’t liked Nolan Ryan since then.

  314. LynnH said,

    I just hope CY appeals so he doesn’t miss the BoSox series.

  315. Bruce S. said,

    Padres fans gotta like it when their two top rivals lose Schmidt to surgery and the Unit to a ruptured disc on the same day.

  316. danielbalc said,

    Great news for the Padres today as they acquire Michael Barrett for backup catcher Rob Bowen. This is a steal. Absolute steal. The catching position has been a disappointment all season. Bard clearly wasn’t as capable as they thought he would be as a full time starter. The tandem of him and Barrett could actually be better than last years tandem with Piazza.

    I can’t wait till we get Kouzmanoff back in the lineup and does anyone remember a guy by the name of Brian Giles?

    We still have a huge opportunity to add power in Left field. Not giving up any relievers in this Barrett deal blows me away. Now we really have the tools to get a power right handed bat into left (or right) field. In a perfect world I’m thinking Miguel Cabrerra, but that’s perfect so a more likely solution is Jermaine Dye.

  317. Bruce S. said,

    The Cubs fans are mostly against the trade. Is Barrett the starter now?

  318. danielbalc said,

    He is for Peavy at least. They are BFF!

    I think you’re going to see Barrett starting for 3 of the 5 starters. As the old cliche goes “a good problem to have” is two capable starting catchers. Pablo has informed me via text that he thinks Bard is trade bait too now. Reasonable when you consider LaForest is in the minors but has experience as a big league back up.

    Either way it looks like we can thank Carlos Zambrano for this trade!

  319. LynnH said,

    Schmidt wasn’t a factor anyway. The traitor should have stayed with the Giants.

    I suspect Maddux likes barrett too. I agree that we made a good deal. Although Bard hits well on the road he doesn’t hit in Petco. Adding the right-handed Barrett will help.

  320. danielbalc said,

    Schmidt wasn’t a traitor, that’s weird to say that. I can only understand the “traitor” label being attached to guys who cam up through the system and then go to a rival. i.e. if Jeter went to Boston or if Peavy were to go to the Dodgers.

    Another reason to hate red sox fans. They got on Johnny Damon for signing with the Yankees like it was some sort of evil sin. They got Johnny Damon from the Royals. Why were they complaining?

    Getting on Jason Schmidt for taking the best deal possible doesn’t make sense.

    And your wrong, he WAS a factor because the Padres owned him.

  321. LynnH said,

    Sorry, I consider anyone who signs with the Dodgers a traitor. But, that’s just me. I loath the Dodgers. I’d have a real dilemma if I was ever offered a job with the Dodgers. You’re right. The Padres did own Schmidt. Let’s hope he makes a speedy recovery.

  322. Matt S said,

    Hey! I saw that fight and Robin was one of my favorite players.

    Is that because he is one of select few major leaguers with a girl’s name? 🙂

    Great trade for the Pads, I have always liked the way Barrett plays the game and we do not have anyone (maybe Marcus Giles) that has that fire and intensity that a team needs.

    Hopefully he can hit as well here in the expansive Petco Park as well as he has at the Friendly Confines.

  323. Bruce S. said,

    Hopefully he can hit as well here in the expansive Petco Park as well as he has at the Friendly Confines.

    Good point. His nine HRs vs. Bard’s two may actually translate to equality. Can he throw base stealers out?

  324. danielbalc said,

    No he can’t. But then again neither could Bowen or Bard.

    I think the base stealing is more in part due to our pitchers approaches then the catchers abilities.

    Meanwhile do you guys realize that the Padres lead all of baseball in run differential? We’ve scored 84 more runs than we’ve given up this season.


  325. Matt S said,

    I love how all the so-called “national” media is focusing on how this trade will affect the Cubs who are presently 32-37 and 7 games out of first, while completely ignoring the important team in the trade who are 41-28 and own the 3rd best record in baseball.

    To be expected of course.

  326. Midge said,

    San Diego NEVER gets positive sports press.

    Not even when we had the best record in the NFL and the leagues MVP.

  327. danielbalc said,

    This is from

    • Finally, what’s the biggest crisis in Chicago following the Cubs’ trade of Michael Barrett? They traded him six days before Michael Barrett Jersey Day and 11 days before Michael Barrett Bobblehead Day. Our official bobblehead czar, David Hallstrom, reports that Barrett is the third player in the bobblehead era to get traded in midseason before his very special day of bobbleheadedness. The first was Ryan Dempster, dealt away by the Marlins in 2002 before they could give away 15,000 of his bobbleheads. So they just rescheduled the giveaway for May 30, 2003, when Dempster was finally set to return to Florida with the Reds. Oops. He was on the disabled list. So no wonder, after the White Sox traded Esteban Loaiza in 2004 three weeks before his bobblehead day, they just went ahead and gave away the bobbleheads anyhow. At least Loaiza did pitch that day — in the Bronx.

  328. danielbalc said,

    Hey Padres fans. What do yu think about Milton Bradley, who was today designated for assignment by Oakland. He’s a career .270 hitter good for about a dozen home runs and 50 RBI’s. His problems are that he gets hurt a lot and he has no self discipline. i remember a game a couple seasons ago where I was yelling at him out in right field and he responded with some unpleasantnesses.

    Do the padres want that kind of headache on their team?

  329. LynnH said,

    No, Let’s not disrupt the chemistry we have. He’s trouble.

  330. Midge said,

    DBalc – Serves you right! How would you like it if someone came to your work and was being obnoxious while you were trying to work… Blog…or whatever it is that you do?

    Hecklers…those are the worst “fans” – But I guess that’s a bit off topic, isn’t it?

  331. danielbalc said,

    Midge, I can’t beleive that anyone actually uses the “how would you like it if someone came to your work and yelled at you” argument. Honestly that is such a ridiculous comparison. All professional atheletes know and expect to be heckled. It’s part of the game. no one who works in an office or at a gas station or as a teacher or on a space station or an oil rig or as an architect or at a church has that in their “job description”.

    Please spare us that argument.

  332. Midge said,

    I’m just sayin don’t complain that he comes back with “unpleasantnesses” when you do something lame like heckling.

  333. Matt S said,

    Peyton Manning likes that argument. It has made him alot of money.

  334. danielbalc said,

    I wasn’t complaining. I pride myself in getting responses from the opposition. If I can get them off their game I am adding to the “home field advantage”.

    hecking isn’t lame. Sitting on on your hands and not saying anything is lame.

  335. danielbalc said,

    Well after a disappointing week at petco it’s time to go on the road. Here’s what we learned…

    Patient Hitting pays off. The Red Sox lineup didn’t slug the ball all over the place. they were just ridiculously patient. I can’t recall how many 0-2 and 1-2 pitches Peavy threw off the corners that were just spit on by the Red Sox hitters. If the pitch got near the zone they fouled it off. They really made him work.

    Bad Defense costs you. I am not a fan of this Russell Branyan in left experiment. It doesn’t work. Likewise Geoff Blum is a capable utility guy who can fill in every now and then but I think with the hype and circumstances of yesterdays game you would want to field your best lineup or at least your best defense. Blum gives you neither of those things.

    Being competitive isn’t about money. Padres easily could’ve taken 2 out of 3 if not all three had they been a little more clutch or a little more lucky. These were close games (except the second game). We actually even scored more runs than they did. I think it’s strange that a team making 100 million dollars less than another team can play competitive baseball. But baseball is a very strange game.

    Padres have a golden opportunity. This Padres team, because of their pitching, has the best chance of any Padres team previous to win a championship. This Padres team also has the biggest opportunity to improve it’s lineup with an upgrade in left or right field. I’ve given up on the Idea of the Padres trading for a big name guy like Adam Dunn (strikeout machine anyways). A Jermaine Dye doesn’t really seem like the Padres style either (too much money). I think it’s more likely to suppose the Padres make a move for a guy like Craig Monroe from Detroit. I don’t think he would make anyone too excited but he would improve our lackluster corner outfield production.

    Padres need Brian Giles back. Jose Cruz Jr. Was signed to be a fourth outfielder, not a starter. His numbers have been steadily declining, probably because he is wearing down as the season goes on. Brian Giles (even though we all love to hate him) is going to put up better numbers than any other corner outfielder we currently have on the roster. We NEED him back out there. BTW out of the three corner outfielders Giles, Cruz ans Sledge guess which one has the most production. Sledge. So why do they keep trotting Cruz out there. or Branyan? Give Sledge a week in left and see what happens.

    Lastly. I’m so sick of hearing how Red Sox fans are great fans and how they know the game and all that. It’s simply not true. They are loud fans. They are obnoxious fans, but they aren’t any “better” than Padres fans. Most of the Red Sox “fans” were residents of San Diego. I highly doubt that they read the box score every day to see how their beloved sox do. I highly doubt that they are subscribing to MLB extra innings to get their out of market red sox games on TV. they are EXACTLY like the average “opening day” Padres fan. Or “Promotional give-away” Padres fan. The type that go to maybe three of 4 games a season to get drunk and yell. That’s why when the Sox were getting spanked on Saturday night (the one game in the series I was able to go to) they started chucking trash onto the field. Idiots. Yeah baseball needs fans like this to make some money, but these aren’t “baseball” fans. They are more “party” fans.

  336. amyleesspace said,

    DBalc- I think your opinion of Red Sox fans is somewhat of an ignorant opinion. You really don’t even know many, what you see at the game can’t really account for much because I was also at Saturdays game. I was surrounded by Sox and Padre fans, and the honest to God truth is the Sox fans were actually quiet, and the Padre fans were drunk and screaming obscenities. I was rather annoyed to say the least! I was also surrounded by Padre fans that thought it would be funny to mimick Bostons accent. So my experience was quite different, I thought the Padre fans (that were in my area) were obnoxious.

    I also was the ONLY Red Sox fan in my area complaining about the 2 calls that were challenged, I didn’t hear one other Sox fan in my area complaining about the calls. (I must add after I watched the replays once I got home, the calls were incorrect so they were rightfully challenged and changed)

    ” Lastly. I’m so sick of hearing how Red Sox fans are great fans and how they know the game and all that. It’s simply not true. They are loud fans.”

    First of all how do you know that they are not great fans? You see them what 3 games out of the season? And would you really want fans that sat there and filed their nails the whole game and did no cheering at all? BOTH teams had loud fans, which was expected especially at this series.

    In regards to the Sox winning this series, we won off of Padres errors on Sunday. Both teams played excellent, both teams pitched great! That is why Big Pappi and Manny were not hitting! It all started when 2 players in left field couldn’t exhibit something we learn in Tball which is to CALL THE BALL! Instead the two run into eachother and drop the ball.

    I wonder if the Padres had won this series if your segment above bashing SOX fans would be in existence?!?

  337. Matt S said,

    I love this Padre team and I do not think 3 games will determine the outcome of our season but……

    For once, is it too much to ask for a San Diego team to show up and play its best ball when a big market east coast team comes to town!

    Chargers lose a home playoff game to Jets, Chargers lose a home playoff game to Pats, Padres lose 2 out of 3 to Red Sox….

    Is it any wonder why we do not get any respect nationally?

    Because every time we are matched up in a “Big” game or a “Big” series with an east coast powerhouse we lay an egg!

    I am disapointed the country could not see the best this Padre team has to offer, I am optimistic we will get another chance in October and have better results

  338. LynnH said,

    They did see the best we have to offer…a .246 team batting average.

  339. danielbalc said,

    Amy, I am also characterizing many Padre fans in the same light as the Red Sox fans. It’s the “party” fans that are not true fans. Tony Gwynn used to say his favorite game of the season was that day after opening day when the true fans would show up. most of the people who show up for opening day or for a big give away are not fans of baseball but of fun. I am frustrated by the characterization of Red Sox fans as being “better” somehow. They are just larger in number.

    I’m glad you noticed that the whole game hinged on the bonehead play in left. That wasn’t a T Ball mistake however, it was a managerial mistake. Branyan is not a left fielder and has no business playing there. He was just trying his best (which isn’t good enough).

    A low batting average is NOT this teams problem. We score more than 1 run per game than we allow. (77 more runs scored than allowed so far this season). In fact we outscored Boston in this series.

    I don’t think there is any shame in losing to Beckett and Matsuzaka. It’s just frustrating because we easily could’ve beaten them.

    Oh well. Inter league is mostly meaningless, what matters is winning in your division and that’s what we have to do now in SF and LA.

  340. LynnH said,

    Sorry Daniel,
    I too am a disciple of D.B. You can’t always live on pitching alone. I agree, we did face two excellent pitchers but how many times this year have we left guys stranded at 3rd. And against lesser opponents.

  341. Matt S said,

    I don’t think there is any shame in losing to Beckett and Matsuzaka.

    This argument is tired.

    If you want to be considered the best you have to beat the best. We did not get it done.

    And by the way, we had our 3 best pitchers go in this series too and the Red Sox managed to beat 2 of them

    Find a way to win the big games against the best pitchers or we will be having this same discussion come October

  342. danielbalc said,

    “how many times this year have we left guys stranded at 3rd”

    Every team does this. Every team has frustrations when they lose. It’s baseball.

    As for it being a tired argument, it’s the exact same thing the Sox would’ve said had they lost. “There’s no shame in losing to Maddux and Peavy”. It’s not “tired” it’s true. But unlike in football the ramifications are much less in baseball. It’s 2 games out of 162.

    I’m more ashamed to have lost to Guthrie and Bedard.

  343. danielbalc said,

    BTW I would have rather faced Boston IN Boston. I don’t know what’s worse than having home field advantage taken away from you. They way the fans jeered Branyan and Greene in what could’ve been a catastrophic injury was simply unacceptable, and it’s ten times worse when you’re at home.

  344. Alex said,

    I will say once again, we need the feared power hitter in our line up. You can’t get around it. So we lost to the Red Sox. The positive thing about this loss is it exposed our weaknesses. Now it’s up to the management and front office to fix it. We should have no problems winning the west as it is right now but who wants to just make it to the playoffs. It is time to win. Let’s not forget that this isn’t little league here(your stuck with what you got) it is a business, if you need a better salesman than get out there and find one.

    Sorry Tony G., I didn’t go to opening day or the next game. Am I not a “true” fan?

  345. amyleesspace said,

    DBalc- The Padres gave us a run for our money, and I was VERY impressed! Not that I am anyone of extreme importance here but just my opinion.

    I do however disagree with the following statement..

    “I’m glad you noticed that the whole game hinged on the bonehead play in left. That wasn’t a T Ball mistake however, it was a managerial mistake. Branyan is not a left fielder and has no business playing there. He was just trying his best (which isn’t good enough). ”

    -That may not be his playing place of choice, but no matter what position you are playing it is a given that if there is a pop ball coming your way you call the darn ball. It would have been very tragic if the two got hurt, but I hate to sound harsh but it would have been due to their own error. CALL THE BALL!

  346. danielbalc said,

    I think Tony’s point is that the true fans are the ones who will go to a game when they aren’t giving anything away but just want to go and enjoy baseball.

    Who are the suggestions then people for the guy (or guy’s) it will take to win us a championship? Also who are you willing to give up?

    I’m saying right now a straight up deal Linebrink to Detroit for Craig Monroe. This would only cost about 1 million dollars in extra salary. Both of them will be free agents next season. This seems like a move the Padres might be willing to make.

  347. danielbalc said,

    I think they probably did call the ball Amy, that particular place on the field is a very difficult place. They were both running full speed, there is a lot of noise. I don’t think it was a lack of communication that lead to the collision.

    but how do I know, I sure wasn’t out there.

  348. amyleesspace said,

    Good point, neither was I 🙂

  349. Matt S said,

    As for it being a tired argument, it’s the exact same thing the Sox would’ve said had they lost.

    That is the point. They do not have to say this because THEIR TEAM GOT IT DONE.

    I also think we would have faired better in Fenway, but oh well.

  350. danielbalc said,

    BTW, I think the Red Sox played their absolute best. Honestly it took everything their 200 million dollar payroll had to beat us. We on the other hand played OK, but obviously not good enough. I feel pretty confident that come October the Padres will have what it takes to win it all. Yes indeed. This is OUR YEAR!!!!!

  351. Alex said,

    My solution to the Padres weakness………….Vlad Guerrero. Now that’s what I’m talking about!!! It looks like his contract ends in 2008. Can you imagine Vlad complaining that the fences are too far back at Petco?
    Hey DBalc, see if you can pull some strings to see that this deal happens. =)

  352. danielbalc said,

    Yeah and maybe the Yankees will trade Kouzmanoff for A-Rod straight up.


  353. Pablo Honey said,

    Whoever signs Vlad when his contract with the Angels expires will be making a huge mistake. He is very close to a career ending injury. Every time I watch him round the bases he looks like he is going to fall over. He is an amazing player, no doubt about it, but he relies ENTIRELY on his natural ability, and it won’t be around much longer.

  354. Anthony said,

    I think the Tigers would jump at the Craig Monroe for Linebrink trade. The Tigers need bullpen badly right now with Zumaya out. Craig Monroe has some power but does strike out a bit. I think the Tigers could replace him easily with a platoon of Marcus Thames and Gary Sheffield.

  355. Matt S said,

    I think the Tigers would jump at the Craig Monroe for Linebrink trade.

    Maybe not anymore. His stock is falling rapidly. He no longer has a second pitch that he can get hitters out with, he is relying solely on the fastball and that never works.

  356. 5najeras said,

    Speaking of relief pitching wasn’t that some good pitching last night in the 8th inning by both teams? Esp. the Giants. What a joke.

    And that effort on Barrett’s smash that went past the sleeping Giant 3rd baseman was pathetic. No wonder they are gonna’ finish in the cellar.

  357. Bruce S. said,

    Oops. That was me logged in as 5n.

  358. danielbalc said,

    Tony as a Tigers fan how would you like that trade?

  359. LynnH said,

    Arrrgh!!!! Coming soon to Petco. Gay Pride day.

  360. danielbalc said,

    Lynn I had to write a whole post to respond to your last comment.

  361. danielbalc said,

    OH MY! This is something i find hard to believe. It looks as though the Padres have indeed traded for Milton Bradley. YIKES!

  362. Matt S said,

    I obviously have concerns about this deal.

    I am concerned about his ability to stay healthy. He has a history of getting hurt and this most likely will not change. This is not that big a deal because he will not cost us much (1 minor leaguer), nonetheless, we are bringing him here to play everyday and if he is hurt, it will be a wasted move. Hopefully he will buck this trend.

    More of a concern is his temper and his effect on a tight knit clubhouse. He has a well deserved reputation as a hot-head and a trouble maker. If things do not go his way, he has not proven to be mentally tough enough to handle it. I find solace in the fact that we have a good group of veterans that will not tolerate such behavior (guys like Giles bros, Wells, Maddux, and Hoffy). Hopefully they will keep him in line.

    When all is going well and he is healthy he is a very productive player and an upgrade from what we currently have in left field. Hopefully he will work out.

  363. LynnH said,

    Well at least it’s not costing them anything. Which fits the Moores philosophy of being cheap.

  364. danielbalc said,

    Ok here is my spin.

    Last season you didn’t hear of ANY problems from Milton Bradley. His personal temper issues have been solved because the MLB anger management program is just SO powerful.

    The injury problem is as good as solved because the Padres have the best training staff in the business, I mean look at our ancient pitchers, Hoffman, Maddux, Wells, and they haven’t missed anything. Sure Giles has been out for a month but he ran into a brick wall for crying out loud.

    The biggest problem with Milton Bradley is that he is a racist. He’s proved this with his comments about Jeff Kent as well as members of the LA Times. Perhaps it will benefit him to play with a guy like Mike Cameron who is very mild mannered and seems to get along with his teammates regardless of their skin color. If MB can learn to do this he will be alright.

  365. danielbalc said,

    I just saw that the pitcher traded for Bradley was Andrew Brown, the guy we got along with Kouzmanoff for Barfield. Lets revist that trade now….

    Padres got…
    Kouzmanoff (ave .217, OBP .279, HR 6, RBI 30) in 62 games
    Bradley ?????

    Indians got…
    Barfield (ave .266, OBP .289 HR 2 RBI 36) in 74 games

  366. Anthony said,

    Bradley – 15 day DL

    Good start.

  367. Bruce S. said,

    The biggest problem with Milton Bradley is that he is a racist.. . . .Perhaps it will benefit him to play with a guy like Mike Cameron who is very mild mannered and seems to get along with his teammates

    Because Cameron is quite possibly the blackest guy I have ever seen Bradley might not like him either.

  368. Matt S said,

    He was hurt when we traded for him. We knew this.

    This is a good move to ensure he is 100% healthy before bringing him back. Especially with the break right around the corner, no need to rush him back.

  369. danielbalc said,

    congratulations to Jake Peavy for being just the third Padre ever to start an All Star Game. That’s awesome, I think this is the first time I’ve ever actually wanted to watch the ASG.

    What are the chances of Chris Young seeing any action?

  370. pokerforprofit said,

    That is awesome! Hopefully he mows them down. I am sure CY will get an inning sometime in the game.

    The pads finish the first half in first place. I am looking forward to the second half being even better. I think the Barrett and Bradley aquisitions will prove to be great moves and will hopefully propel us to another division title.

    I also look forward to Gonzalez getting back to raking like he was earlier in the year, a few days off should do the trick.

    We know the pitching will be there.

  371. danielbalc said,

    Gonzalez is in a slump but has proven he is a much better hitter.
    Cameron is heating up.
    Greene is having a career year.
    Kouz is looking like a pro.
    B Giles looks good at the top of the order.
    M Giles is slumping like A-go but has shown himself to be a better hitter.
    Barrett and Bradley look like really good pick ups.
    I predict a lot more runs scored in the second half which is good because It will be very difficult to keep up this kind of pitching. The one positive is we won’t have to face any more AL teams till the WS.

    Clay Hensley is getting bombed in the minors but Justin Germano isn’t fooling anyone anymore. It might be possible that the Padres trade for another arm and some bench help before the end of the month.

    Either way every other time the Padres have led at the break they have gone on to win the division.

    There was an article in the UT today calling this team boring. I think thats crazy I don’t know what is boring about winning.

    yeah I’d like to see more see more clutch hitting and longer sustained rally’s but you’ve only got to score 4 runs when you give up 3 so keep scoring 4 and giving up 3 and I’m fine with that.

  372. danielbalc said,

    Well Chris Young saw some action. Actually a whole lot of action as he gave up and inside-the-park HR to Ichiro. I hate ichiro. I really do. I would love to have him on our team because he’s an incredible player, but it’s so annoying that he has his first name instead of his last name on the back of his jersey. AHHHH.

    What kind of balls are they using in the all star game? seriously how many weird bounces were in that game? And I may be wrong but I think there were more dingers hit in last nights game than were in the whole Home run derby on Monday night.

    Two straight seasons a Padre gets hung with the loss in the ASG. Brutal. As a Padre apologist I blame both losses on shoddy defensive efforts but still it stings just a little.

    consolation prize. Last season after Hoffman was the goat in the ASG he went on to have a pretty good second half. Lets hope Young has similar results.

  373. amyleesspace said,

    All that I have to say about the game last night is…

    Pls never have Chris Isaac or his little pal sing AGAIN!!!

  374. pokerforprofit said,

    My comment got spammed, so I will reiterate.

    The best part about the game last night was watching Eric Byrnes throw his dog into McCovey Cove to fetch a ball only to see him swim in the opposite direction and “go adrift” as he put it. Classic.

    Eric Byrnes is a beauty…. and a good ball player too.

  375. danielbalc said,

    can you imagine the ratings boost the game would have gotten had the dog been sucked into the prop?

  376. amyleesspace said,

  377. pokerforprofit said,

    …..Yea or drowned, as Joe Buck said there are animal activist groups salivating over the chance to sue Fox should something like that happen, “So Byrnes get your dog back in the boat!” to which Byrnes replies, “Joe, I’ll tell you what, I am the best dog owner you will ever find.” HAHAHA I love it.

  378. amyleespace said,

    Ok so Wells gets suspended for 7 games for throwing a ball at the fence.WhenPaul Laduka from the Mets got ejected he began to throw a bunch of equipment on the field, what does he get for that 2 GAMES!! Hmmm I wonder if someone just doesn’t like Wells???? (not that Wells reaction was appropriate, but the punishment was quite drastic)

    Just some food for thought for the day 🙂

  379. danielbalc said,

    yeah 7 games does seem over-the-top, but what you have to realize is that 7 games for a starting pitcher is less than 3 games for a catcher. A starting pitcher only plays once every 5 games so it’s really more like a 1 game suspension. But why 7 and not 5? That doesn’t make any sense.

    I like boomer a lot. He’s a very fierce competitor and though i didn’t see the outburst that got him suspended I had seen some previous games where I thought he was walking a very thin line. He may need to tone it down with his umpire interactions just a bit. I think it has been building all season and that’s why they hit him so hard.

    I feel like I’ve been on a 7 game suspension during this all-star break. It’s soooooooooo long! I need baseball! Thank God the break is finally over.

  380. danielbalc said,

    99.9% of the time I hate it when the dodgers win. But if it leads to stories like this then i am more than happy to sit a game back of the boy’s in blue (at least in July).

  381. pokerforprofit said,

    Will Bonds even break the record this year?

    I would love to see him fall 1 short or even tie the record and have to come back 1 more year just to hit 1 or 2 dingers.

    Talk about a drain on your payroll, man that would be beautiful. Bochy and the rest of management are his biggest fans at this point. They want the record broken and him out of there next year.

    Wishful thinking.

  382. danielbalc said,

    It just goes to show how meaningless home runs are. They keep calling it the “most sacred record in sports” and all that jazz, but a HR doesn’t equal a win. Presently the team in Baseball with the most home runs (the reds) also has the second to worst record (the worst belongs to the Devil Rays and they have the 9th most bombs).

    The fact of the matter is that Barroid makes it IMPOSSIBLE for that team to have success. if they had an award for least valuable player it would have to go to him. He’s getting paid 16 million dollars to put up mediocre numbers. Just so that the people will hopefully get to see that special* home run (in a game that the giaints will probably lose). It’s sad really.

    Even though I shouldn’t I revel in their ineptitude.

  383. Midge said,

    **I feel like I’ve been on a 7 game suspension during this all-star break. It’s soooooooooo long! I need baseball! Thank God the break is finally over. **

    This is exactly how I feel about the football off season – 24 more days and counting….woo hoo!!

  384. LynnH said,

    Bite your tongue Daniel! Never root for the Dodgers to beat the Giants!!!!

  385. danielbalc said,

    Sorry Lynn but the giaints have far less redeeming qualities than the dogs.

    I think an equal comparison is to say the giants are like the raiders and the dodgers are like the broncos.

    Giant fans, like Raider fans, seem to be arrogantly ignorant. Both teams seem to try and stock up on player past their prime.

    Dodger fans, like Bronco fans, have a much larger amount of team success to back up their cheers. So their arrogance isn’t exactly ignorant. But it’s obnoxious nonetheless. I would indeed rather have the dodgers and broncos lose, simply because they are more of a threat the the Padres and Chargers. But every so often I like the giants and their fans to taste humiliation just as a reminder of how ignorant their arrogance is.

    Plus in my experience with opposing fans at PETCO the giants fans are hands down the worst. dodger fans are bad, but giants fans are the worst. There’s just something about the bay area that breeds cocky liberal punks. dodger fans are mostly the shaved head baggy pants white shoe wearing low-rider drivers. They’re actually kind of funny.

  386. Alex said,

    Hey, There is nothing wrong with white shoes

  387. danielbalc said,

    Alex, I agree (I have a pair myself), I’m not trying to insult you or your cousins. Notice I am defending dodger fan over giant fan with that comment. In the meantime I give you a whole post on that subject.

  388. Alex said,

    I guess we now know why Adrian has been in a slump. It turns out his Father’s life has been threatened for the last 1 1/2 months and now his life has been threatened. I’m not one to make an excuse for him but the game of baseball is 90% mental and 10% physical and those are tough circumstances to be playing under. Check out the story below.

  389. Alex said,

    Actually according to Yogi Berra:

    “Baseball is 90% mental — the other half is physical.”

  390. pokerforprofit said,

    I am on record as threatening Scott Linebrink’s life if he gives up another game tying or game winning homer.


  391. danielbalc said,

    9 blown saves while pitching in the 8th inning is simply unacceptable. I’ve been a linebrink apologist before but he clearly has issues that need to be addressed. Issues like 4 pitch walks. Or back to back walks or meatballs right down the middle for game tying 3-run home runs.

    Tragic news about a-go

  392. danielbalc said,

    I’m very concerned about Young. Seems like we only win in games he starts. Hopefully he’ll only miss one start.

    may Clay Hensley help us all.

  393. Pokerforprofit said,

    “Padres reliever Scott Linebrink was removed from his role as the team’s eighth-inning specialist.”

    Props to Bud Black for making this move. I do not know if Bochy would have done the same thing.

    I still don’t know who will bridge the gap between the starters and Bell and Hoffy in the 8th and 9th as Meredith and Linebrink are both struggling.

  394. danielbalc said,

    There is never an exact formula that can be employed when it comes to managing a bullpen. I.e. it won’t always be: starter 1-6. pitcher A 7th. Pitcher B 8th. Closer 9th.

    It’s nice when it goes that way, but it just doesn’t work that way all the time. As previously mentioned Bochy had managing a bullpen down just about as good as anybody. We all knew this would be the biggest challenge for Black to figure out. If your candidates for gap fillers in the late innings include Bell, Meredith, Linebrink, Brocail and Cameron, More often than not you’re in much better shape than the other team. Don’t hit the panic button just yet.

    Score more runs and we won’t have this stress.

    BTW Bradley has been very very good.

    Barrett? hmmmm

    Mad props for the T Gwynn statue. very cool! He may be the youngest former athlete to have his own statue. How rad would it be to have that? If I had a statue I think I’d like to have it around so I could enjoy it, instead of it being put in when I’m dead or at least have one foot in the grave. Why don’t the O’s have a statue for Ripken yet?

  395. pokerforprofit said,

    Well, it looks like Linebrink will get to blow late leads for the Brewers the rest of the year.

    I can’t say I am suprised, and actually am quite happy because we got some top pitching prospects in return. I think we have enough depth to absorb this one even if he was to return to his old form.

    What I am suprised to hear are the following quotes from Jake Peavy.

    “It’s devastating … losing a guy who has been a huge part of your team for the last five years, and the reason we’ve had any kind of success around here is because of what he and [closer Trevor Hoffman] Hoffy have been able to do at the end of ballgames.”

    And this…

    “To be in a playoff run and not have No. 38 to lean on. That’s tough to swallow.”

    And then the clincher…

    “But you’ve just got to trust the front office. When you’re in the middle of a playoff run and you trade your setup man away? I don’t know what kind of message that’s sending.”

    Not what I want to hear from my #1 starter. Hopefully this will not be a clubhouse distraction. Perhaps Jake has selective memory syndrome and only remembers the good outings, not the consistently bad ones over the last month?

  396. danielbalc said,

    I think thats why the Padres tanked yesterday. I’m sure linestink had already packed up his stuff. It’s never cool for a guy who is a big part of the clubhouse to be dealt. He was a very popular player.

    Nevertheless this is a very good move from the front office as it sets us up for the playoffs just in case we may face the brewers we obviously now have the upper hand.

  397. danielbalc said,

    Seriously though, I am very grateful for the success that Linebrink had brought to the team for the pat few seasons. In no way should his recent woes tarnish his tremendous Padre career. The fact is he was a free agent at the end of the season who was going to demand a lot more money than the Padres would have paid. Getting 3 young arms for a guy you would have only had for 3 more months make a lot of sense.

  398. pokerforprofit said,

    We play the Brewers the last series of the year. That would be an interesting twist should the games matter and he is in the game.

  399. danielbalc said,

    This thread is too long. A new Padres conversation is here…

  400. The Chargers Prediction Post « Daniel’s Den said,

    […] 27th, 2007 at 9:37 pm (Sports thoughts) In honor of my most popular blog of all time, “The (long awaited Padres prediction post” it is only necessary that I make a similar post for my beloved Lighting […]

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