The Last Fan Standing

May 6, 2008 at 10:42 am (Sports thoughts)

April is my favorite time of the month. It marks the end of college basketball and the beginning of Baseball. The latter happens to be my favorite of all hobbies. I love baseball, specifically the play of my hometown team, the San Diego Padres. Every single year on my birthday (which frequently falls on opening day) I anticipate a year of triumphs, excitement and ultimately a season-ending championship.

My passion for Padres baseball began in 1996 when I was 16. For the first time I could really remember the Padres were good (1984 was the Padres only previous playoff appearance in my lifetime). The dramatic final game of the season in LA when Chris Gwynn hit the go-ahead double and Trevor Hoffman nailed down the save to give the Padres the NL west flag was huge for me. From then on I anticipated the same kind of successes year in and year out. 1998 was the pinnacle, defeating the team of the 90’s (Atlanta) to win the NL pennant was just about as good as it gets.

Then came PETCO park in 2004 and the Padres were winners again. 2005 (playoffs), 2006 (playoffs), 2007 (one game short) all added up to prove that right now we are living in the glory days of Padres baseball.

The reality of the past 4 years is that the team has made gradual improvements to it’s roster each year. The run-suppressing nature of PETCO park was factored in by the upper level management as they found and installed pieces that would thrive in sunny San Diego.

That is the reality of how it’s been since 2004. It hasn’t been 4 years of championships but it has been 4 years of very good baseball.

So what the heck happened this season?

The title of this post is indicative of how I feel. I’ve honestly stopped listening to the local sports talk because I can’t believe how much this community has turned of this team.

4 years of success followed by 32 games of struggles and all of a sudden it’s “abandon ship”?

“They’re slow”

“They’re old”

“They can’t hit”

“They can’t hit in the clutch”

“They aren’t athletic”

Pardon me but I don’t buy it, and let me tell you why…

I hear it all, but more than that I’ve heard it all. And I’ve heard it all during the past 4 seasons of success. I didn’t buy it then, I don’t buy it now…

“They’re slow” Have they been speedsters the past 4 years?

“They’re old” average age of starting 8- 30.5

“They can’t hit” look at the career numbers and then say they can’t hit.

“They can’t hit in the clutch”

“Clutch” isn’t a stat it’s a reputation that ESPN creates to make us think certain players are better than they actually are (see Derek Jeter for example). consider this excerpt from wikipedia article on clutch hitting

Various baseball analysts, including Bill James, Pete Palmer, Dick Cramer, and the Baseball Prospectus editors, have found so-called “clutch hitting” ability to be a myth. This is not to say that clutch hits, like those listed above, do not exist, but rather that some kind of innate ability for a player to perform above his true talent level in high-pressure situations is nothing but an illusion. In his 1984 Baseball Abstract, James framed the problem with clutch hitting thusly: “How is it that a player who possesses the reflexes and the batting stroke and the knowledge and the experience to be a .260 hitter in other circumstances magically becomes a .300 hitter when the game is on the line? How does that happen? What is the process? What are the effects? Until we can answer those questions, I see little point in talking about clutch ability.”

“They aren’t athletic”

They are professional athletes. They aren’t overweight, they are all physical specimens with low body fat and above average muscle definition. The more I think about this “they aren’t athletic” complaint the more I realize people who are saying this really mean, “They aren’t black” I mean were we considered “athletic” when he had Roberts, Cameron and Bradley?

I really don’t know what else it could mean. Are the Red Sox “athletic”? Ortiz, Casey, Ramirez, Varitek, Lowell, Youkillis? Are those guys are more athletic then Gonzalez, Kouzmanoff, Hairston, McAnulty and Bard?

I heard someone say yesterday they would prefer the Giants lineup because at least they are fast. If speed is what you mean by athletic then would you also take the Giants lineup over the Red Sox?

Now lets move on to this season. I am absolutley shocked at how poorly the Padres have played thus far. I’m not sure which bothers me more, the fact that they’ve played so poorly or having to listen to all the pessimists have their day in the “I told you so” sun. (BTW haters you’ve been wrong the past 4 seasons, how conveniently you forget).

Lets focus however on the Padres poor production this season.

I’ve narrowed their struggles down to four possible options…

A) Lack of talent

B) Coaching failures

C) A combination of aberration and bad luck

D) Internal sabotage

I can’t see A being an option when I look at career statistics.

I can see B having something to do with it with regards to certain strategic mistakes and the apparent lack of motivation in the players faces but it doesn’t seem reasonable to put it all on Black, Joyner and the rest.

C makes sense to me on many levels. Consider how easy it is to get into a hitting slump when you face the pitching in the rest of the NL west. Heck look at the Rockies who have the same record and allegedly much better hitters. How can that be explained? The other thing the Padres and Rockies share is that 22 inning game way back on April 17. The Rockies went from 7-9 on that day to 12-20 today. Padres went from 8-8 to 12-20. You can call it a coincidence if you want but I think it’s pretty significant.

At the same time however I attribute some fault to management for not having made any significant roster moves within the system to help accommodate after that game. Immediately after that game I expected a move for Shawn Estes. No such move has been made. Why? in 6 games he’s 4-2 with a 3.67 ERA. 25 k’s to 7 BB’s. Glendon Ruch is 1-2 with a 7.98 ERA, 12k’s, 9 BB’s and 20 hits in 14.2 innings.

That’s ridiculous.

That’s why D looks like a scary possibility. Could there be an internal desire to lose games with John Moores looming divorce on the horizon? I don’t know. I doubt it because even with an internal agenda like that it’s hard to get the players to play bad simply based on their own individual need for solid statistics.

Then again the clubhouse environment may have something to do with it as well. If the players feel like the ownership doesn’t want them to win then it’s tough to get up and play.

Nevertheless I view the Baseball season through friar-colored lenses and I wholeheartedly expect things to turn around. I think this roster is just way too talented to play this poorly.

One final thought. After 4 games (one quarter) of the Chargers season all the local haters were jumping off their bandwagon as well. The Chargers actually had an even worse winning percentage than the Padres have and yet they were able to rebound and get themselves to the AFC championship game.

I see no reason why the Padres can’t have the same type of turnaround.

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116 Comments

  1. danielbalc said,

    I don’t know what wordpress is doing with the weird Mexican tiles popping up where avatars go but I apologize nevertheless

  2. Bruce S. said,

    Mexican tiles = Cinco de Mayo and Sixo de Mayo.

  3. Bruce S. said,

    Daniel, have you thought about getting some counseling?

  4. danielbalc said,

    I get counseling. Why?

    I didn’t get to watch much of the game yesterday, but I read this morning that Gonzalez missed a home run by 10 feet that would have put the Pads ahead.

    That’s the bad luck factor.

    Meanwhile the part I did watch was some very poor positioning by Iguchi with a runner on second and Kotsay at the plate. He was playing him to pull and he was in. Consequently a routine groundball was able to get past him and score a run. That’s bad coaching.

    Then I saw Iguchi hammer a ball to left center that Kotsay was just able able to chase down. Bad luck.

    Then I heard Ledezma is going to be starting on Thursday instead of Germano. hmmm take our one effective bullpen guy out and put him into the rotation while Estes is stagnating in the minors? Bad front office.

    I also checked on Gerut’s numbers. He’s batting .320 with 5 home runs. My suggestion is to bring him up have him playing in center and move Edmonds over to left. Gerut should have been in the starting lineup from the beginning instead of P-Anul. That’s bad front office.

    Speaking of Edmonds… He single handedly destroyed the Padres chances at a victory yesterday going 0 for 4 and leaving 5 runners on base. Yuck. I didn’t think he would be a big drop off over Cameron but thus far he’s done nothing but disappoint (perhaps he’s another one of LaRusa’s “gamesmanship” ploys sent in to sabotage the Padres). Either way he and the left field platoon (and maybe Greene) are about the only players you can put a “lack of talent” complaint on.

  5. RubeRad said,

    I don’t know what wordpress is doing with the weird Mexican tiles popping up where avatars go but I apologize nevertheless

    They are a new feature from WordPress, called “Identicons”, unique graphical representations of commenters’ email addresses. If you want them to go away, Dashboard/Settings/Discussion, and you can go back to the blank pawn avatar. (Or you could choose “Wavatars” or “MonsterIDs”)

  6. RubeRad said,

    Not sure why WP turned that closing parend into a winky

  7. Albino Hayford said,

    I guess it’s time for me to add another article on my blog. I’m getting really bored with the rest of you. The Mexican tiles actually made things look fresh.

  8. Matt said,

    I have been one of the Padres’ biggest apologists every season. Never wanting to jump off the bandwagon too early and always having faith in the team. But……

    This team is just bad. I think management took some big risks this season and they are not paying off and we are paying the price.

    Lets talk about some of these:

    Left Field: Management was fooled into thinking that they could get away with turning a carreer platoon player into an everyday productive left fielder because he had a couple good months last year. They were wrong and now we are stuck with no production at that position. If you check my comments in other threads I was all over this and said Hairston would never be the answer and we were stupid for expecting him to be productive all year.

    Center field: Management was fooled into thinking that Jim Edmonds could adequately replace Mike Cameron. They seemed to use his 25 game suspension as a reason why he would not be worth the money. Bad mistake. Edmonds cannot cover nearly the ground that Cameron could and he cannot hit his way out of a paper bag. His carreer is over and we were the only team that did not realize it and now we are stuck with no back up plan.

    Second base: Iguchi has been no better than Giles was last year and worse than Jeff Blum.

    Very simply we have struck out (meaning zero success) when it comes to free agent signings this year and when you do that you will not win and we will not win.

    This is why it is so important to be right when it comes to signing free agents because when you are wrong you have no way to correct the mistakes until the following year. We are stuck with these players unless management wants to bring in some guys from AAA or promote guys off the bench to everyday players (like Blum last year) we stand little chance of being successful this year.

  9. danielbalc said,

    I agree they appear to have lost on Edmonds, but I disagree that it’s something anyone could have seen coming. His decline in performance had been gradual this is drastic. In other words that gamble wasn’t as big as we might think. consider Edmonds performance just last season… BA .252, Slg .403, OBP .325. There is no way you could expect those numbers to drop to… .172, .230, .255.

    But it could be worse, we could have signed Andruw Jones for 3xs the amount and gotten nearly identical bad numbers (.162, .248, .273)

    As for losing on Iguchi, I disagree. Last seasons numbers (.267, .400, .347) are well within reach for Iguchi who has started to swing the bat much better of late (.250, .320, .329). And better than Blum (.216, .378, .224) so far.

    The left field platoon has been an issue as well and the solution has been Gerut the whole time. It’s ridiculous that they haven’t made that move. Pull the plug on P-Anul.

    Edmonds being the main problem still can’t explain the slide. Honestly no matter how bad he is playing it shouldn’t be impossible for the rest of the team to overcome. Just look at LA carrying Jones.

    As for zero success with free agents… You don’t think Wolf was a successful signing? I think Iguchi will play out as a success as will Gerut (if given the chance). And I wouldn’t write of Clark just yet either. We still haven’t had any inter league games which is where I think he’ll be most helpful and his pinch hitting has been fine.

    one bad signing is not the cause of the struggles.

  10. danielbalc said,

    Thanks for the tip Rube, I like this a lot better than ocho de mayo tiles

  11. Aunt Beth said,

    I seem to recall a pre-season jab that my nephew took at the A’s while expressing high expectations for the Pads. Baseball’s been good in Northern California so far. Thanks to the Pads, the Giants aren’t in the cellar, and Lincecum is lots of fun to watch.

  12. Bruce S. said,

    I disagree that it’s something anyone could have seen coming.

    Hudgins did.

  13. danielbalc said,

    I stand corrected. The pessimists saw this coming, That’s why I say they get their day in the “I told you so” sun.

    I should have said “no realistic person could have seen this coming.”

    I think the front office made the right move in acquiring Edmonds but it hasn’t panned out. You can’t expect a guy to slip as much as he did in one off-season.

  14. out of thin air said,

    I told you so!

  15. RubeRad said,

    I just noticed this funny mistake:

    April is my favorite time of the month

  16. Anthony said,

    This team is bad not to mention boring.

  17. Matt said,

    The carnage continues.

    We are last in runs scored, last in home runs, 3rd to last in hits and 2nd in strikeouts.

    Impressive.

    This is more than a slump.

  18. Bruce S. said,

    Like I said a while back, “watch out if they go into a slump”. You might want to also take note of the fact that there are only 8 teams in all of major league baseball that have allowed more runs than the Padres’ pitching staff.

    That Thatcher fellow is a one man wrecking crew. I bet you’d take what’s his name back. Did you notice that Black, with the game on the line, pinch hit some kid named Calix Crabbe for Edmonds? Wow! And Greene is striking out like Rob Deer. Soon to be batting under .200 with one homer for the season.

    There is one thing that might offer some hope. They play in the worst division in baseball. So, they will have a little softer competition than most teams in the NL.

  19. Matt said,

    It pains me to say this but the D-backs are going to own this division for years.

    They are so young, talented, confident and mostly home-grown.

    All things I would love to say about our team but just can’t.

  20. Pablo Honey said,

    I consider myself a true fan because I am willing to endure a couple years of torture like this in order to set this club back up for the long haul. I say if by the end of May we are more than 12-15 games out we need to start unloading some starting pitching for some good prospects, particularly speedy outfielders. Chris Young, Randy Wolf, & Greg Maddux all will have high trade value this year, and I would be OK with seeing any or all of them leaving if the trade is right. I would prefer we get things turned around this month and trail by less than 8-10 games going in to June and keep digging, but the way this team is going right now I just don’t see it happening and I think that true fans would accept that we’re gonna stink for a year or maybe a few but eventually if we make the right moves and build a team that truly suits Petco and the NL West style of play then we will be back on top.

  21. danielbalc said,

    U
    G
    L
    Y
    you aint got no alibi

    it’s ugly

    I don’t think this is a team in need of blowing up in order to get younger. Remember the only significant difference between this team and the team that missed the playoffs by 1 out last year is center field.

    I think it’s time to release Edmonds. Pinch hitting for him against a righty last night said it all. He’s been a direct and indirect cause to way to many losses.

    he and one of the three “left fielders” (probably Huber though you all know who I’d prefer) should be released and Headley, Gerut and Estes should be up by Friday.

    I’d also say go try to trade Josh Bard. Not through any real fault of his own, he’s just tired. The Barrett injury hurt more than we account for because Bard can’t catch every day and still be productive. The two of them splitting time was the plan and we haven’t been able to use that plan.

    If Bard is gone then you can bring up Hundley and get him some time.

    Those little moves, I think would be the best of both worlds. It give the young guys a chance as well as gives the team an actual chance to win more than 4 out of 20.

    unlike pablo i don’t think this team is a couple of years away. I think on the contrary we have the key parts in these 6 guys… Peavy, Gonzalez, Young, Kouzmanoff, Greene, Bell. I wouldn’t mind trading Greene (whom I’ve never been a fan of) but I think he’s a foundation of the franchise. I would include the veterans Hoffman, Maddux, Giles and Wolf as necessary pieces to winning, but the kind of pieces you can find through free agency in a single off-season.

    Left, Center, Second and Catcher are all in need of help, but not things that take 2 seasons to fix.

    I think the only thing keeping this 40 man roster out of the playoffs this year is that they may have taken too long to make the obvious adjustments.

    But I’m not giving up yet, even if they have. There is still hope.

  22. danielbalc said,

    That Thatcher fellow is a one man wrecking crew.

    he is, but that was on Black. First how can he leave in Randy who is obviously gassed to load the bases? and then why isn’t he going to Meredith there looking for a double play?

    Black is not taking as much heat as he deserves.

  23. danielbalc said,

    Here is an excerpt from a sullivan article that really makes you nervous…

    Towers wonders, too, whether Edmonds is still suffering from the post-concussion syndrome diagnosed last August; whether it may have impaired his reaction time and/or his ability to recognize pitches.

    “If there is any residual effect of that, that could affect his timing at the plate,” Towers said. “We’ve seen it with hockey players and football players, how having concussions affects their play. I don’t know if it has anything to do with (Edmonds), but I know it was a significant concussion.”

    This explains soooo much. Edmonds has gone Herschel Walker on us.

  24. Matt said,

    Too bad Towers did not wonder that BEFORE he signed him and made the prudent move to sign Cameron.

    Also, Milton Bradley was a huge part of us having a chance to win the West last year. Without him we would have never been within one out of going to the playoffs. Yes he gets hurt all the time but when he plays he flat out rakes and he plays with emotion and fire, something this team sorely lacks.

    The front office made some real bad personel moves and it is going to cost us this season.

  25. danielbalc said,

    Too bad Towers did not wonder that BEFORE he signed him and made the prudent move to sign Cameron.

    I’m sure he wondered it, but it’s too dramatic a slide. He couldn’t have predicted this much of a drop. One must wonder about the residual effects of the new steroid testing.

    Edmonds isn’t alone. Consider…

    Jim Edmonds-
    Last season- OBP .325 SLG .403 BA .252
    This season- OBP .267 SLG .236 BA .180

    Andruw Jones-
    Last season- OBP .311 SLG .413 BA .222
    This season- OBP .279 SLG .264 BA .170

    Frank Thomas- (who was released by Toronto)
    Last season- OBP .377 SLG.480 BA .277
    This season- OBP.346 SLG.343 BA .210

    Gary Sheffield-
    Last Season- OBP .378 SLG .462 BA .265
    This Season- OBP.366 SLG .315 BA .202

    David Ortiz-
    Last Season- OBP .445 SLG .621 BA .332
    This Season- OBP .331 SLG .434 BA .233

    Jones and Edmonds are obviously the most dramatic, but those two switched teams during the off season (and the other three aren’t even real baseball players they are DH’s).

    Funny you should mention Milton Bradley because if memory serves correct didn’t we all think we had resigned him and then he up and switched. I don’t think that was the Padres call. Just like the fact that they offered Fukudome more money then the cubs but he chose the cubs over SD because he knew it would be a better place for him to market himself. Giants signed Aaron Rowand and he seems to be working out for them, but they also signed Barry Zito.

    So when you say the front office made some “real bad personel moves” I have to disagree. Hindsight is 20/20 but when you bet less you lose less. That’s why this team doesn’t need 2 or 3 years to build itself back into a contender. They aren’t
    on the hook for any major money (Giles, Wolf, Maddux, Iguchi, Edmonds are all gone next year that’s nearly 40 million). They haven’t hamstrung themselves. They are still in fine position to be a contender for years to come, even if things look gloomy this year.

  26. danielbalc said,

    Todays game is not on TV, which is good.

    In the first inning Greene hit into a double play with runners at the corners and 1 out.
    In the second inning Giles struck out looking with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out.

    To what can this be attributed?
    Pressing?
    Coaching?
    Quitting?
    Lack of talent?

  27. Matt said,

    Fire the hitting coach, it worked last year.

    For all the talk Sandy Alderson spews about OBP, OPS and pitches per plate appearance his team sure seems lost at the plate and for the most part have terrible plate appearances lacking discipline and common sense.

    We don’t hit behind runners well, we don’t get sacrifice flies very often, we don’t bunt, we don’t hit and run.

    For a team void of power you would think they would have the ability to have good plate appearances and good fundamental approaches at the plate.

    The coaching sucks.

    ****END VENTING*****

  28. Bruce S. said,

    This is a good thread. It shows you guys know the game and are true fans of baseball and the Padres. I am a little surprised to read that DBalc sees things as gloomy this year. Wow. The sky is falling.

  29. danielbalc said,

    even if things look gloomy this year

    you should have read it this way…

    even if things look gloomy this year

  30. Bruce S. said,

    Ah.

  31. danielbalc said,

    It’s officially rock bottom.

    3 errors. 4 unearned runs. 5-4 loss.

  32. Athena said,

    Interesting to see how many people commented on this blog compared to your last blog

  33. danielbalc said,

    It is interesting.

    Give the people an opportunity to complain about something they have no control over and they’ll eat it up…

    I need more weather related posts.

  34. out of thin air said,

    Who are the Padres??

  35. danielbalc said,

    When the Braves finally earned a run, it came against the beleaguered Thatcher, the left-handed sidewinder who hasn’t recaptured the magic from 2007. Because Black had no appealing right-handed options entering the ninth Thatcher was sent out to face several good right-handed hitters with the score 4-4.

    Question: Was Germano sent down or was he just sitting in the bullpen wondering why he got no chance at all to contribute on his 5th day?

    Answer: He was sitting and watching.

    The Padres made a little history Thursday afternoon in Atlanta. And that isn’t good.

    San Diego’s 5-4 loss to Atlanta was the Padres’ 17th loss in their last 21 games — their worst 21-game run since they moved into Petco Park in 2004. In fact, the last time the Padres lost 17 in a span of 21 games was May 14-June 4, 2003.

    The Padres’ present 4-17 run started with a 10-2 loss to Colorado on April 16. The following night, the Padres lost the 22-inning game (2-1) to the Rockies that disrupted their bullpen.

  36. Matt said,

    The following night, the Padres lost the 22-inning game (2-1) to the Rockies that disrupted their bullpen.

    If we could hit this would have never happened.

    This team is bad because they can’t hit, end of story.

  37. danielbalc said,

    This team is bad because they can’t hit, end of story.

    That’s a very inaccurate assessment.

    They are playing badly because they have slipped into a losing mentality. Meaning even if they hit they aren’t going to score and even if they score they aren’t going to pitch and even if they pitch they aren’t going to play defense.

    1984 The Natural…
    Mickey Treanor (Doc Dizzy) – “What is losing? Losing is a disease, as contagious as polio. Losing is a disease, as contagious as syphilis. Losing is a disease, as contagious as bubonic plague, infecting one, but infecting all. Ah, but curable.”

    Gonzalez has more HR’s then all but 2 1st basemen.
    Kooz is top 6 in ave for regular 3rd basemen.
    Giles is on pace to have his best season since 2005.

    Those three guys are actually playing up to expectations (Iguchi is getting there also), as is the starting rotation.

    But they aren’t winning.

    Not simply because they aren’t hitting. It’s much more complex.

    ah, but curable.

  38. danielbalc said,

    In the past week the Padres hit .266

    that’s 16th in the league.

    How many wins did they get out it?

    1

    The teams who hit less than us last week and how many games they won
    Angels (4)
    Mets (3)
    Phillies (4)
    Cubs (2)
    Tigers (1)
    Rangers (5)
    Orioles (2)
    Rays (2)
    Royals (3)
    A’s (4)
    Reds (2)
    White Sox (2)
    Brewers (0)
    Mariners (1)
    Indians (2)

    What the heck? The Rangers won 5 games with a lower ave than us?
    The Phillies beat us twice. They have Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell and we still had a higher ave than them?

    it’s much more complicated than bad hitting.

  39. Matt said,

    I dont care about batting average.

    You win games by scoring more runs than your opponent on that given night.

    We are in the bottom 3 in the NL in runs scored, hits and home runs and in the top 2 in strikeouts.

    It does us no good to hit for a high average if we cannot get the hits that actually allow runners to cross home plate.

    Runs scored is what matters that is how we keep score in baseball and right now the Padres are terrible at it.

  40. Matt said,

    BTW we are last in batting average in the NL for the season and 4th to last in the month of May so we are hot hitting well even using average as a barometer.

    And if I could find LOB I bet we would be towards the top in that category as well.

  41. danielbalc said,

    I agree that it’s about runs scored. But your statement was that we can’t hit.

    I’m saying it’s more than just hitting. It’s scoring. It’s defending. It’s pitching.

    BTW how often to runners that reach on an error score? Yesterday is was 100%.

    That’s insane.

    It’s more than just hitting.

    If you had said their problem is that they are not scoring more runs then the oppostion is scoring I guess I would have had no argument 😉

  42. Bruce S. said,

    You now have the new savior – Jody Gerut. Who is Jody Gerut?

  43. Matt said,

    You now have the new savior – Jody Gerut

    Finally we can start winning, phewww.

    Seriously, has there been a quicker burning of 6 million dollars than the Edmonds debacle?

  44. Pablo Honey said,

    38%

    Do you know what that is? It’s another bad stat that we aren’t talking about.
    38% is the Padres save percentage. We have had 13 save opportunities and saved only 5 of them. That is atrocious. The league average is 67%. If our bullpen was right and we were saving at just the league average our record would be 16-19 and we would still be somewhat in the hunt.

    This team’s offense is terrible and we can say they probably are going to get a little better based on career averages. But what about our bullpen? Right now I don’t see any indication that they are going to improve. This is another problem that needs to be addressed.

  45. Bruce S. said,

    The savior watch= 1-9 this season as a Padre.

  46. danielbalc said,

    At least he made a defensive play. That, more than the 170 average, was the biggest disappointment with Edmonds.

  47. out of thin air said,

    3 wins in the last 4 games. But I’m not ready to jump back on the bandwagon yet.
    What’s with Adrian running off the field and not covering the bag on Monday? These guys need to keep their heads in the game. I blame the manager for that.

  48. Matt said,

    Over\Under 75 wins this year????

    Is that a serious bet? Like a burrito bet? I will take that over for sure.

    booked. I hope I lose.

    You can buy out of this right now for a side of chips and guac 🙂

  49. out of thin air said,

    How long will Black last? Is there an over/under on him? He should go now!

  50. Pablo Honey said,

    It’s getting really really bad.

  51. Bruce S. said,

    Who said it?

    “We’re bad, no question about it. You can’t say it’s early in the season. It’s up to these guys in the clubhouse. I’m certainly not going to watch this for four more months.”

    He needs a pep talk from DBalc.

    Like I said about a month or so ago, “Watch out if these guys go into a slump.”

  52. danielbalc said,

    Scathing commentary from the GM.

    I tend to agree with him. These players should be ashamed of themselves. They look to have given up on themselves. They look like Khalil Greene is their team captain.

    Perhaps it’s karmaic because they elected him team MVP last season.

    Here’s the solution….

    A sit down meeting where you pull out every players statistics (as I’ve strained to do multiple times on this thread).

    You say “here’s the reality. You are all much better than you are playing. Stop moping about expecting to lose. Go out there and play the way you are capable of playing. Play the way your numbers say you ought to play.”

    I reluctantly have to agree with Hudgins that Black is just not motivating them. Not only is he not motivating them but he’s seemingly punishing pitchers. Estes the other day was pitching a gem, gives up a walk in the 7th and then is pulled only to see the Pen let him down. That’s demoralizing. Black ought to know that.

    Peavy in Chicago the other day got pulled after 4 innings for a pinch hitter who struck out. What the heck?

    I’m not on to the “fire black” bandwagon, but I would turn the heat up on him hoping he would turn the heat up on the players.

  53. Matt said,

    This season is over.

    The front office and manager are already looking toward next year.

    It is no longer about winning games this year, but taking a look at which players will help this team in the future.

    We hopefully will be trading some of our older guys at the deadline and getting some prospects to build for the future.

    Ship the burrito, no way we come anywhere near 75 wins this year.

  54. Pablo Honey said,

    Guys we should trade:
    Shawn Estes
    Greg Maddux
    Randy Wolf
    Brian Giles

    Guys I can see us trading if the price is right:
    Cla Meredith
    Chris Young
    Khalil Greene
    Kevin Kouzmanoff

    The only untouchables I see are Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez, and probably Trevor Hoffman. There are 11 games left in May, and we have 9 of them at home. If we can go 7-4 over these 11 games I will say we do not need to completely flip the roster, but anything 6-5 or worse and I say we trade every single one of the guys I listed above, plus any others that teams will take off our hands for any prospects. I am so sick of watching this team, hopefully our team can take on a whole new identity by the end of the year.

  55. out of thin air said,

    What about Bud Black? He needs to go too!!!!

  56. danielbalc said,

    Chris Jenkins of the UT writes this article today about why Headley hasn’t been called up. In it he makes this statement about Headley coming to SD…

    Much as Headley would like to get to Petco…

    it’s clear that his arrival in San Diego will be greeted with excessive expectations by anyone still delusional enough to think the Padres are a single oar from restarting their dead-in-the-water boat.

    I guess I”m that delusional guy he’s talking about. However I think it’s more than a single oar that has been changed already.

    Releasing Rusch and Edmonds along with recalling Estes and Gerut was step 1.

    Having someone upstairs rant on this teams performance was step 2

    Step 3 is to release P-Anul and call up Headley.

    Scott Miller of Sportsline says this about P-Anul…

    “might be a fine fellow, but exactly how he has started 18 games in left field is utterly inexplicable.”

    What he says about the Padres organization is even harsher than that…
    http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/10834026

    of course I for one think Miller is way off base. Yeah the Padres are off to a lousy start, but so are the Defending NL champ Rockies. If you want to blame their lousy record on the Tulowitski injury you might want to consider his numbers before he went down. They were Jim Edmonds-like, .152, 1 HR, 11 RBI. So I think his being on the DL actually helps that team. (His replacement is batting .355 with 5 HR and 18 RBI).

    But anyway back to the Padres…

    Black is having problems, but firing him won’t accomplish anything. He had a good first year, now he is learning how to deal with the valleys of major league managing.

    If he can keep this team together and get them back on track he will be much better off in the long run. But he’s got to learn to vent on the players a little bit. Not Ozzie Guillen style but enough to make them uncomfortable.

    There is plenty of time left in the season. AZ is going to fizzle out and come back towards .500 we need to get moving up towards .500 and then all of a sudden at the all star break you’re looking at a 6 game deficit and realizing anything is possible.

  57. Bruce S. said,

    Here’s the plus side: (see – I have a cup half full attitude) the players who got knocked out of the game tonight aren’t really all that good to start with. There isn’t that much of a drop off between their starters and AAA.

  58. danielbalc said,

    I had been out watching a movie with my wife and came home just in time to see the opening of baseball tonight which showed both Young and Bard having a tough day at the office.

    The blood pouring off of Young’s face honestly was more than I can recall seeing on any other program. Bard’s ankle looked pretty nasty too, ala Jason Kendall 1999. First report is that it’s just a sprain well I can tell you from the sprain I sustained in soccer a couple of months ago that it’s probably not going to heal any time soon.

    My ankle (more specifically my Achilles tendon) is constantly making me nervous to do anything strenuous. Yesterday I was rushing up the stairs and put too much weight on it only to feel a shooting pain go up my leg.

    Even though Bard will get great therapy and access to possibly necessary surgery the fearfulness that comes with an injury like that, especially at his position, is something that will take a lot longer to get over.

    I guess the same could be said for Young. Fortunately I’ve never been hit in the nose by a screaming line drive but I imagine that may take it’s mental toll as well.

  59. danielbalc said,

    Young and Bard go on the DL.

    They release Germano

    They send Thatcher back to the minors

    And call up….

    pitchers Wells (5.85 ERA) Adams (5.52 ERA) and Banks (6.66 ERA)

    and Colt Morton who really looked good in his earlier stint with the big league club.

    Wow. Those sure are some great moves.

    The future is now.

    Meanwhile P-Anul will continue to get a paycheck from the Padres while Chase Headley hits 5 HR’s in a week.

  60. danielbalc said,

    Possibly lost in the Padres terrible start is just how incredibly good Adrian Gonzalez has been this year.

    In all of baseball he is tied for 4th in Homeruns (13), 4th in RBI (39) and 8th in total bases (106).

    The NL is loaded with great first basemen, Berkman, Pujols, Lee, Howard, Texiera, Fielder and Helton all probably get more buzz than Adrian, but let the numbers speak for themselves.

    Adrian Gonzalez for MVP!

  61. Bruce S. said,

    In the face of this incredible ongoing ineptitude

    The Padres struck out 13 times, giving them 39 in three games, pushing their big-league lead to 402. They struck out 17 times Friday night. Five Padres pitchers issued 11 walks and hit one batter.

    I need to hear some more of DBalc’s pep talks.

  62. danielbalc said,

    I got your pep talk right here…

    Padres record when Jim Edmonds played was 8 -18
    Padres record when Gerut has played 9-11
    Padres record with neither of them playing is 2-4

    While Gerut hasn’t put up monster numbers it’s quite obvious that he has not hurt the team. Jim Edmonds killed the team. 2 games under 500 at the point in the season is about where I would expect the Padres to be (as opposed to 14).

    This is an uphill battle they’re facing, but it’s not impossible as some would have you think.

    Put together a couple of winning streaks and fight your way back into it.

    Baby Steps

  63. danielbalc said,

    BTW check out this quote from Heath Bell after the 18 inning Sunday game…

    “If we got paid overtime, we’d get millions,” cracked reliever Heath Bell, one of 18 pitchers who pulled duty.

    hahahahah Wait a second…..

  64. danielbalc said,

    Here is another pep talk for you.

    The Padres are 7 games back of 2nd place Dodgers. My original projection for the end of the season was Padres Dodgers tied for first D-backs third and the Giants finishing ahead of the Rockies.

    I still think that prediction holds true. I honestly think the team to beat in this division isn’t the D-backs but the Dodgers.

    If I’m right then we should be viewing ourselves as 7 out not 10.5.

    I think I’m right.

    I’m still keeping the faith.

  65. out of thin air said,

    This hard to believe but the Pads are leading the league in fielding percentage. At least we have two bats that are hot…Gonz and Kouz. Keep filling my cup with that Kool-Aid Daniel. I need it to keep the faith.

  66. danielbalc said,

    Evidently the Padres do respond to motivation. Consider this excerpt on the 5-2 victory…

    As Gerut and his teammates lamented the lost homer, relief pitcher Heath Bell jumped onto the dugout steps to rally the troops.

    “That’s not going to beat us . . . We have them on their heels,” Bell shouted. “Let’s push them over.”

    Wow. Is this baseball we’re talking about?

    While I’d love to heap loads of praise on to Jody Gerut and the marked improvement of the team with him in the lineup I think the most telling stat regarding his contributions is this…

    He took over the lead off spot and allowed Giles to fall back into the 3 spot. look at these numbers…

    Gradually coming together as a 3-4-5 combo, Brian Giles, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff batted .386 with nine homers, 22 RBI, 21 runs scored, 13 walks and three hit-by-pitches on the 10-game homestand. Giles was 10-for-40, Gonzalez 12-for-39, Kouzmanoff 12-for-40.

    That’s in PETCO of all places. In fact this past homestand saw 15 Padre home runs. that’s tied for the most homers ever on a Padre homestand of any length.

  67. danielbalc said,

    One more look at the standings for y’all…

    Padres are now just 6 games back of the Dodgers.
    The Yankees are 5 1/2 behind the Rays
    The Tigers are 6 back of the second place Twins
    Seattle 8 back of the second place A’s
    Milwaukee is 7 back of the Cubs

    I predict at least 3 of those teams will be in playoff contention by the end of the year.

  68. Pablo Honey said,

    OK, it’s time for some more realism people. The Padres are not dead in the water as many of us suspected them to be. The fact is that the changes made to this team are making a difference. If you look at my comments above you will see I made 2 statements that are very relevant on this day:

    On May 7th – “I would prefer we get things turned around this month and trail by less than 8-10 games going in to June and keep digging, but the way this team is going right now I just don’t see it happening…”

    and on May 20th – “There are 11 games left in May, and we have 9 of them at home. If we can go 7-4 over these 11 games I will say we do not need to completely flip the roster, but anything 6-5 or worse and I say we trade every single one of the guys I listed above…”

    Fast forward to today and the Padres are guaranteed to be no worse than 9.5 games back after this Month and the are on the verge of being 7-4 over the last 11 games of May, needing only to win today.

    At this point it is clear we are not completely out of the race and if the front office keeps making the right tweaks and the competition continues to falter we definitely have a chance. We do need to keep in mind the level of competition we have faced over the last few games though, so I am not getting too excited just yet. I do feel the urge to watch the games again though, and that is a very good thing.

  69. Pablo Honey said,

    Check out these videos I think this guy was watching Hoffman blow a save on the internet.

  70. danielbalc said,

    I was away for the past week. So far away that I had literally no access to the outside world and no ability to check on the progress of the Padres. The last game I had any knowledge of was the Hoffman blown save.

    When i finally arrived back in the real world (aka the world with internet access) the Padres had lost 2 to the cubs before winning 3 in a row. Now they are at 5 in a row and winning in dramatic fashion. The kind of wins that you expected out of the Padres when the season began (2-1).

    The shocking part of it all is that they are doing it with only 2 of the original 5 starters (Wolf and Maddux). They are getting huge contributions from Gerut and Barrett and finally from Tony Clark.

    Gonzalez has slowed the past 5 games but he’s still a top 10 hitter in all of baseball.

    The one guy who still hasn’t done a single thing is Khalil Greene. If he gets his head in the game the Padres will win the division. If he doesn’t, it’s going to be tough but there is still a chance.

    Earlier I started measuring the Padres distance from the Dodgers predicting that they were the team to beat in the NL west.

    Well the Padres are now just 3 back of the Dodgers and just 7 back of the D-backs.

    Since KT’s rant on May 20 the Padres have improved from 16-30 to 28-37.

    Anyone else ready to jump back on the bandwagon?

  71. danielbalc said,

    One more note of craziness.

    The Padres face the Dodgers the next 3 games and are just 3 games behind them in the standings. Interesting.

  72. out of thin air said,

    And only 6 1/2 back of the Dbacks.

  73. Matt said,

    This team makes at least 1 mental error\stupid mistake a game. Until they start playing smarter and executing the fundamentals (like CATCHING FLY BALLS!!!) correctly we will not get back into the race regardless of how bad the rest of the division plays.

  74. danielbalc said,

    Keep on a naysaying Matt but the fact is we ARE back in this race. And it’s not just because of poor division play (while that certainly helps).

    I was hoping we could be within 8 or 9 by the all star break. Well we’ve got 28 games until then and we are currently just 6 1/2 out.

    We will have 16 of those games at home where we’ve played pretty well so far this season.

    If we go 10 and 6 at home (DET, MIN, SEA, FLA, ATL) and 7 and 5 on the road (CLE, NYY, COL and AZ) we will have a record of 46 and 49 at the break.

    If you think 17 and 11 is too much to ask for consider that since KT’s tirade the Padres are 11 and 7.

    Or this number… games in which Gerut has started or got a pinch hit the Padres are 18 and 15.

    Jump on kids.

  75. danielbalc said,

    A 7 and 3 homestand.

    That’s some kind of nice.

    Of course the East Coast trip that starts in just a couple of hours is going to be a big time challenge. Here’s why…

    First of all the Padres have been historically bad in interleague play.
    Second: traveling west to east is much more difficult than traveling east to west.
    Third: we draw Cleveland’s two best pitchers in Lee and Sabathia. Lee has been dominant all year and Sabathia (last years Cy Young winner) is just now turning it on like crazy.
    Fourth: We have to play an exhibition game in Cooperstown on Monday. It doesn’t even count and guys are going to be playing. The Padres have played 17.2 more innings than the next closest team and now they get 9 more of exhibition play?

    Given all those considerations if the Pads can go 3 and 3 on this trip it would be a very good trip.

  76. Aunt Beth said,

    Though U.P. doesn’t read or post blogs himself, I frequently give him a recap of Daniel’s Den second hand. Today – out of the blue – he said, “The next time you talk to Daniel on the internet ask him if he’d trade Peavey for Lincecum.” So?

  77. danielbalc said,

    Thats an interesting question.

    On the one hand Lincecum is younger and currently has had a better season so far.

    On the other hand Lincecum being younger he certainly hasn’t proved anything yet.

    I would say out of all of baseball there are maybe 10 guys who simply should not be traded and Jake Peavy is one of them.

    But so many variables come in to play when you are talking about trading a player. Most of it has to do with money and age. Jake is just 3 years older than Lincecum. He’s a proven pitcher who has led the league in ERA twice, K’s twice and wins once. In just 6 seasons. Not only that but he is signed to a very reasonable contract that keeps him in town for at least 4 more years.

    Now we move over to Lincecum and consider he might be one of those ten guys you simply don’t trade. The only thing working against him so far is that he isn’t signed long term. He’s got a few arbitration years and then he’s going to demand a boat load of cash. The Giant’s, having already dedicated boat loads of cash to Zito, might actually look to trade TL some time in the future. But for now it wouldn’t make any sense to trade him for anyone.

    Now if the question wasn’t about the plausibility of trading young aces but rather a “would you rather have” question then I would still go with Peavy because of the club house leader he is and the fact that he’s proven his abilities. If TL keeps up this pace for another 3 seasons then you’d be able to actually wonder. But I don’t think he can/will.

    He does have an advantage in having Bochy as his manager however. Bochy is a great pitchers manager. He gets a lot of guys.

  78. danielbalc said,

    10 guys in baseball who should not be traded (not even for each other)…
    No Way!
    Utley
    A-Rod
    Pujols
    Suzuki

    Still young and may fizzle, but under current situation NO!
    Braun
    Wright
    A Gonzalez

    Pitchers who are just too good and in too good of situations. Only variable is injury.
    Webb
    Beckett
    Peavy

    There are many other guys who during the season I wouldn’t ever dream of trading but could see moving in the offseason…
    Berkman, C. Jones, M Ramirez, Ortiz, Howard, Fielder, Furcal, Holiday.

    There are other guys who just missed the cut for totally untradeable.
    H Ramirez, Hamilton, Beltran, Reyes, Rollins, and it’s in this group that I would put the young pitchers like Volquez, Lincecum, Hamels and F Hernandez

  79. danielbalc said,

    OK I take it back I would trade Gonzalez for Pujols or Utley, but that’s it.

  80. danielbalc said,

    Now for your Padres pump up!

    Great news for Friar fans…
    Chase Headley has been called up meaning (fingers crossed) P-Anul will be released on Tuesday.

    It’s going to be either P-Anul or Justin Huber. While the Padres may like the fact that P-Anul is left handed and has a decent OBP they should NOT like the fact that he’s terrible in virtually every aspect of the game (defense, running, hitting for ave and hitting for power).

    Huber being right handed is better suited for PETCO and has shown better defensive abilities and more power.

    I wanted the Padres to go 3 and 3 on this trip which means they’ll have to take 2 of 3 from the Yankees. Fortunately we have our two best pitchers in Wolf and Peavy going.

    Lets see what happens.

  81. Pablo Honey said,

    You are forgetting the P-Anul conveniently injured his back so he is likely headed for the DL instead of the waiver wire. I think he is faking an injury to buy himself some time. If he spends 15 days on the DL and Huber goes into the tank without a hit for a week or so, who do you think gets released?

  82. danielbalc said,

    They may keep him on for 2 weeks because I think they are on the hook for a full seasons pay check regardless but he’s seen his last game in a Padres uniform. There is no way he cracks the major leagues again. His .235 ave this season is actually 10 points higher than his career ave. Meaning he’s having the best season of his life.

    I’m no totally sold on Hubers abilities either but we’re talking about the 5th outfield option here. Hairston is your number 4 and can play every position as can Gerut. Gerut and Giles are lefties, Hairson right and Headley switch. If you’re going with 5 outfielders 2 left , 2 right and 1 switch makes the most sense. Especially when the numbers are equal.

    Huber wont get a chance to “go in the tank” seeing as how the most action he might see in 2 weeks is a max of 8 at bats (3- 4 pinch hit chances and 1 start).

  83. danielbalc said,

    I absolutley LOVE the comments of Hank Steinbrener after Wang goes down running the bases. Enjoy this idiocy…

    My only message is simple. The National League needs to join the 21st century,” Steinbrenner said in Tampa, Fla. “They need to grow up and join the 21st century.

    “Am I (mad) about it? Yes,” Steinbrenner added. “I’ve got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He’s going to be out. I don’t like that, and it’s about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s.”

    Making a rare appearance on the bases at an NL park, Wang pulled up rounding third and hobbled home on Derek Jeter’s single. Wang doubled over after scoring, pointed toward his right foot and was helped off the field.

    “This is always a concern of American League teams when their pitchers have to run the bases and they’re not used to doing it,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not just us. It’s everybody. It probably should be a concern for National League owners, general managers and managers when their pitchers run the bases. Pitchers have enough to do without having to do that.”

    They’re not used to running? What the heck? How hard is it for them to add a couple of laps to their training program Hank?

    But it’s not just the race horse owner who has a problem with humans turning corners….

    “It’s a manager’s worst nightmare when a pitcher’s on a basepath,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after Sunday’s victory. “It’s unfortunate.”

    I would think an AL manager’s worst nightmare would be the dreaded “double switch”.

    After the game, Mussina summed up the problem that AL pitchers sometimes face at NL parks.

    “We don’t hit, we don’t run the bases,” Mussina said. “You get four or five at-bats a year at most, and if you happen to get on base once or twice, you never know. We run in straight lines most of the time. Turning corners, you just don’t do that.”

    Moose has some pretty high expectations of his offensive abilities expecting to get on base once or twice in four or five at bats.

  84. danielbalc said,

    I caught a little bit of baseball tonight last night and saw Buster Olney say the team the D-backs are the most afraid of is…. The San Diego Padres.

    Another incredible stat… exactly one year ago today the top 4 teams in the NL were the Brewers, Mets, Dodgers and Padres. All missed the playoffs.

    Today it’s the Cubs, Phillies, Cardinals and D-backs.

    Will all those teams miss the playoffs?

  85. danielbalc said,

    KT blew it.

    they outrighted Huber instead on P-Anul.

    Terrible.

    The baseball gods then cursed this decision by injuring Kouzmanoff in batting practice. Thus removing the Padres hottest hitter of the road trip and a key right handed bat.

    Kouz getting hurt means Headley has to play third and either Hairston or P-Anul play left tonight. Both of them got hurt earlier on this road trip! but instead KT tossed overboard the only non-injured extra outfielder we have.

    Brilliant.

    I’m completely convinced that keeping P-Anul on the team is strictly an ego thing. since the Padres drafted and developed him they don’t want to give up on him. They need to realize it’s not like they adopted a child here. You’re allowed to send players packing if they can’t play.

    This makes me sick.

  86. danielbalc said,

    That trip was abysmal.

    I knew it would be tough but we should have won more than 1 game.

    Fortunately however interleague losses don’t hurt the way division losses do.

    the Pads have dropped back to 4 games behind the Dodgers and 8 1/2 behind the D-backs.

    Since I asked for 17 and 11 the Padres are 2 and 5.

    Is 15 and 6 possible in the next 3 weeks?

    I sure hope so because that is the breaking point. If the Padres aren’t within distance at that point they will start selling off the pieces we have. I’ve heard the talk radio alarmist actually say “true Padres fans want this team to do bad so that they will start trading away guys like Maddux, Wolf and Giles and get some quality young players.”

    I couldn’t disagree more.

    I want the team to win. I think this team can win. It’s a talented roster that has underperformed.

    Of course right now it’s an injured roster… Add Giles along with Kouz and Hairston to the players who got hurt on that trip. Tonight’s lineup could have just 3 opening day starters in it (A-Go, Greene and Gerut). Headley, P-Anul, Stansburry , E-Go and Carlin look to make up the rest of the lineup.

    That’s tough to win with.

  87. danielbalc said,

    *Breaking News*

    word is that the Padres and Pirates are getting ready to swap Jason Bay and Kevin Kouzmanoff.

    I’m not a big fan of this trade because I think Kouz has a lot of potential and Bay has tapped out his potential.

    The pirates have a better record than us but a much larger deficit to try and make up. If the Padres were to make this move I would at least be happy that they are trying to win NOW.

    though there are few friar faithful left I’d like to hear what you have to say….

  88. Matt said,

    Its a great move if we think Headley can play 3B as well and hopefully better than Kouz.

    Bay would be an everyday above average left fielder, something we have not had in years.

    Now if we can just bring back Mike Cameron (12 homers!!! and missing half the season) we have a shot.

  89. out of thin air said,

    I don’t think he can play much better defensely since Kouz is leader in the league in fewest errors by a third baseball. Kouz has been a stud defensely this year. I don’t like the trade.

  90. Anthony said,

    “Brendan Harris and Brian Buscher hit solo home runs on consecutive pitches against Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning, and Minnesota beat the slumping San Diego Padres 3-1 Tuesday night for its seventh straight victory.”

    LOL!

  91. danielbalc said,

    Beach day yesterday so I missed the game but I was shocked to see the headlines…

    “Hoffman booed after giving up back-to-back homers in 9th inning”

    the comments from the coaches and players after the game seemed to confirm that the loud chorus of boos was indeed directed at Hoffman.

    “I didn’t like it,” said manager Bud Black. “This city should be very proud of a player like that for everything he’s done on the field and in the community. I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s fair.”

    “It’s disheartening, knowing what Trevor has meant not only to the organization but the city, and his level of accomplishment is unmatched in our game,” Clark said.

    Jake Peavy, who started the game, said he heard the boos in the clubhouse. “I could not believe that,” he said. “That is as disheartening as it gets. I don’t understand it. When you look at all of his achievements, what he has meant, it’s ridiculous.”

    Said teammate Shawn Estes: “How soon they forget.”

    While I personally wouldn’t boo Trevor Hoffman, I will acknowledge that fans certainly have a right to boo whomever they are displeased with.

    But Trevor is the least of this teams problems.

    There are 3 or 4 guys that ought to be getting booed routinely,
    P-Anul and Greene are the top 2. Of course it’s not P-Anul’s fault he’s in the lineup. Whoever keeps trotting him out there should be the one getting the boos.
    Greene on the other hand has no excuse for his play. Every time he steps up to the plate you just expect him to strike out on sliders. He seems incapable of even putting together good at bats. YUCK. Boo him, not Trevor.

    Had I been there I think I would have interpreted the booing not as directed at Trevor specifically but rather at the overall performance (or lack thereof) by the team. And at least one Padre did see it that way…

    Said catcher Michael Barrett: “I thought they were booing all of us.”

    Overall it seems like the Padres players above seem to miss the point of why the fans have a right to boo. We the fans are the ones you are supposed to be playing for. We are the reason you get paid. In other words when Black says it’s “unfair” for the fans to boo I respond with it’s “unfair” for our team to play so poorly. We want to see winning baseball Bud. And as far as I can tell you’re the one most responsible for keeping us from seeing that. After all you keep penciling in P-Anul and pulling out the starters too soon and putting in the wrong relievers at the wrong times (like say, Trevor Hoffman in a non-save situation)! So Bud if you don’t like the fan’s booing Trevor then just think of it as the fans booing you, because had I been there and seen the Padres let another game they should’ve won slip away I probably would have done the same thing. And that’s saying something because as far as I can tell I still am the last fan standing.

  92. out of thin air said,

    This team will never win even in the mediocre (actually BAD) NL West as long as Bud Black is the manager.

  93. Matt said,

    Once again this team has a golden opportunity to take the lead late in a game and can only muster 1 run to tie.

    This has been a theme all year. They are unable to produce a big inning late in a game to put it away, instead it seems they tense up and try to just get the 1 run across to tie instead of being aggressive and putting together a crooked number.

    Bad team.

  94. danielbalc said,

    While I won’t make any absolute statements like “never win” I can’t dismiss the Bud Black criticism.

    Again the roster difference between this team and the previous two seasons is quite minor. Not only that but Giles and Gonzalez are both having great offensive seasons. When a team consistently can’t get the key hit with runners in scoring position you have to deduce that it’s a mental issue. That’s the managers job to fix. He has to be the one to motivate them, and I don’t think criticizing the fans is a good motivational tool.

  95. danielbalc said,

    Bud Black needs to learn from Mike Soscia.

    The Angels are 18 games over .500 despite having scored just 19 runs more than they have allowed. That’s the kind of baseball I’ve seen and expect to see out of the Padres.

  96. danielbalc said,

    *Breaking News*
    (Ok so the last time I gave you breaking news it turned out to be just rumor and so far hasn’t materialized but this one is legit)

    The Padres did something right for once.
    I’m not talking about the game at all (where the Padres blew another golden opportunity to win a ballgame by failing to convert on runner at 2nd and 3rd with 1 out)

    I’m talking about in the concessions stand. Yesterday the Padres announced that throughout July they would be offering $1 hot dogs $1 regular sodas and $1 off Beer. I’m grateful for this, not because I’m a big time consumer of any of these products, but because it shows that they actually listened to what the fans were complaining about. At least in some regard. I’ve personally written several e-mails complaining about different prices including the price of hot dogs and sodas. Most recently (2 weeks ago) my email suggested a price drop to $1 for a hot dog and $1 for a soda (I actually suggested it in the form of coupons but whatever). And the next thing you know they are actually going to do it, for 9 games at least.

    I’m quite pleased with this decision and hope that the ticket sales are up and it convinces the Padres that they should strongly consider making this a permanent fixture of future Padres games.

    My only other perpetual complaint is the “day of game pricing” which is a ticket increase from $2 all the way up to $7 per ticket if you decide to attend a game on a whim. That is the worst pricing policy ever. It’s like corporate scalping. in fact you could probably buy tickets off a scalper on the street for less than a $5 increase in face value.

    I’m so disgusted by that policy and hope that they listen to my frequent e-mails and change it for next season.

  97. danielbalc said,

    Scott Miller, cbs sportsline writes today…

    • The Padres, sources say, continue shopping third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who missed a handful of games with a bad back last week, and one rumor making the rounds is of a Kouzmanoff-for-Jason Bay deal with Pittsburgh. Bay, a former Padres farmhand and subject of San Diego rumors off-and-on for the past year, is signed through 2009 and is due $7.5 million next season. One long-time scout scoffs, though. “Pittsburgh will never even be .500 if they do that,” the scout says. “That is not a fair trade. They’re too smart for that. They won’t do it unless it’s a money thing.”

    Either I didn’t make it up or I’m the source 😉

  98. Matt said,

    As far as the discounted concessions, you are delirious if you think this is about “listening to the fans” rather than “we are a bad baseball team with dwindling attendance” type of thing.

    No way they do this if we were competitive this year.

  99. Out of thin air said,

    Without a doubt this is about putting people in the empty seats. The product on the field is so bad they have to try and trick us into going. Why don’t they make the ticket prices comparable to the product on the field.

  100. Bruce S. said,

    From what I know about beer, that stuff of theirs is so bad they should be giving it away. Therefore I conclude that Padres=bad beer.

  101. Pablo Honey said,

    From the U.T.:

    “While pitching in pregame bunting drills, Black hit Paul McAnulty’s left hand or wrist on consecutive pitches. The first was a glancing blow, the second required ice for the knuckle. “I felt bad,” said Black.”

    Apparently Bud Black is trying to correct his mistake the hard way.

  102. danielbalc said,

    It’s officially the worst I’ve ever seen from the Padres.

    there is no excuse for losing 8 games in a row at home. None.

    No manager should keep his job after an 8 game losing streak at home. It’s as simple as that.

    I gave Bud the benefit of the doubt for much of last season and I tried to be as patient with him as possible but he’s completely lost control of the team.

    His failure to call guys out, or at the very least call for a team meeting, demonstrates that he doesn’t think of himself as the boss and when you don’t respect your position the players wont respect you. He’s trying to be a players manager. The kind that motivates by friendship rather than by authority. It’s not working.

    We’ve talked often about the lack of a team leader, well that’s not necessarily a players job, it’s Bud Blacks job, and he isn’t leading. He showed he’s not leading when he called out the fans for booing. He should have said, “I would’ve booed too.”

    This little 6 game road trip is the breaking point because it’s all within the division. I know you guys all put the breaking point about 2 months ago but this is it for me.

    Padres sit 9 and half behind the d-backs (we play them 12 games the rest of the season) and 7 games behind the eventual division winners the Dodgers (we play them 9 times the rest of the season). It’s not impossible, but it’s highly unlikely.

    If the Padres sweep the upcoming series against the d-backs (regardless of the Colorado series) they still have a chance. Anything less than a sweep would make them have more games to catch up than they play with each other. Thus it’s regarded impossible.

    It think the only way to get the team going is to fire buddy.

    Consider that since…
    the Mariners fired their manager they are 7-3
    the Mets fired their manager they are 6-6
    Jays fired their manager they are 4-2

    While those aren’t huge sample sizes they show you that a team doesn’t implode when the manager gets fired, instead they seem to play as good or better as they were playing before. Why? Because ballplayers, like every professional anything, need motivation. New managers, and interim managers come in talking about “change” and then they start to refresh the players on some basics and on the general philosophy they have towards baseball. This invigorates a team. Get;s them excited about what they are doing.

    Now the one thing that I won’t do is give somebody the axe without offering up a suitable replacement so stay tuned for my next post, “Bud Black should be replaced by…”

    (BTW if the Padres find a way to sweep the D-backs then you wont see that post)

  103. danielbalc said,

    This Peavy quote is a big sign into what happened to the Padres…

    “I can tell you I’ve got a lot of confidence when I take the mound in what I’m able to do,” Peavy said. “As a team as a whole, obviously (the confidence) is not real high right now.”

    Peavy said this season has been doubly tough on the Padres because they had contended for playoff berths in each of their first four seasons in Petco Park.

    “Once you have a taste of winning, that’s what you want to do,” Peavy said. “And when you have expectations to win, although I don’t know how realistic those expectations were, they were there. . . . When you don’t live up to those and you’re getting beat day in and day out, it’s embarrassing.

    “I’m embarrassed for us all. We all take responsibility.”

    although I don’t know how realistic those expectations were, they were there.

    That’s the key part. That’s an indication that the players themselves are listening to all the buzz about them somehow being an inadequate team. Once you start listening to the “they aren’t athletic” crap, then you start believing it and that was the downfall to this team. That’s Bud Blacks fault. He should have fought day in and day out to motivate them rather than allowing them to buy into the lies of “we’re not good enough”.

  104. danielbalc said,

    And this quote from Khalil Greene tells you all you need to know about him…

    “It’s difficult to deal with, because you know the effort is there.”

    It tells me he’s an idiot and needs to get traded off this team.

    I was at the game on Friday night and I didn’t see Khalil diving for grounders or hustling down the line. I saw him doing his usual wave at the low and away slider and give a gentle jog over the balls hit in the hole.

    P-Anul is making an effort though. He’s diving for balls twenty feet in front of him and watching them bounce on by. YUCK.

  105. danielbalc said,

    Adrian Gonzalez and I must be related…

    “I’ve got a good feeling,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “Giles and I were talking about this tonight. Counting tonight, we have 12 games going into the All-Star break.

    “We’re here and at Arizona on this trip, then return home to play the Marlins and Braves.

    “If we go 8-4 to the break and get to within six out on Arizona . . . we’re not too far out. It doesn’t sound great, but it’s been done before. I think everything rides on these next 12 games.

    “Six-and-six, we’re done. Seven-and-five, though. But 8-4. It’s something to shoot for. We’ve created the start.”

  106. danielbalc said,

    What a disappointment that was yesterday afternoon. Khalil Greene needs to be traded. Get whatever you can for him.

    But not all is lost according to Adrian’s scale. The Padres need to go 5 and 1 this week to think that they still have a shot (Even though 9 games back happens to be the same distance the Yankees are from the top). A win yesterday would have been huge. It would have put them 7 games back with half the season to play.

    Even with that knowledge Khalil Greene still couldn’t make one adjustment to his hideous approach.

  107. Matt S said,

    The opposing pitching coach trots out to the mound with a wry smile on his face and says,

    “Slider away…… Slider away…….. Slider away…….”

    Easy game.

    If it was not for his defensive ability he would not sniff a major league roster.

  108. Bruce S. said,

    Is he that bad? I always thought he was a smart guy who should be able to figure the slider away bit. Especially if that is about all he ever sees. (Kinda’ like Phil Nevin, who never saw anything but sliders away).

    The Pads have been at the very bottom of the “MLB Power Rankings” for all but about 2 weeks of this entire season. I think the guys who write those rankings prolly know what they’re doing.

  109. Matt said,

    He is definitely that bad and if he has not figured it out by now he never will.

    He is a dead pull hitter with no desire or abilty to hit the ball the other way\go with the pitch.

    If you looked at a spray chart of his hits I would wager that at least 95% are to the left part of the field.

  110. Bruce S. said,

    He is a dead pull hitter with no desire or abilty to hit the ball the other way\go with the pitch.

    You’re right about that. I can’t recall ever seeing him go the other way.

    What do lefthanded pitchers throw him?

  111. Bruce S. said,

    BTW, I think what the Pads have been doing to Greg Maddux will go down in baseball lore as one of the greatest crimes ever. That guy had a legitimate shot at 400 wins until he became a ’08 Padre.

  112. Danielbalc said,

    90% was a good guess.

    Of the 42 hits he has at Petco this year (29 singles, 6 doubles, 1 triple and 6 homers) he has just 4 singles to right field and no extra base hits.

    He does however have 1 HR and his 1 triple to right center (the deepest part of the park).
    http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_hitting_chart.jsp?playerID=425867&statType=1

  113. danielbalc said,

    Cleanup man Adrian Gonzalez wants to hit in the All-Star Home Run Derby Monday at Yankee Stadium. He would seem deserving. With 22 home runs entering yesterday, he was tied for fourth in the league despite playing his home games in a pitcher’s park.

    But major league officials had yet to select him; according to major league officials, the NL still has one opening. Gonzalez suggested that being from San Diego – not a prominent media market – could hurt his candidacy.

    “If you’re from a smaller market, there aren’t as many people who want to see you,” he said. “They want to see the players from the bigger market. I’m OK with that. I’d love to be in it, but it’s no big deal.”

    This is ridiculous.

    If MLB doesn’t put Adrian on the home run derby they oughta be punished.
    Selection for the derby should be relatively simple. You invite the all star leaders in homeruns to participate. Adrian would sit behind just Utley and Uggla and tied with Berkman and Seizmore. Coincidentally all of those guys are participating in the derby.

  114. out of thin air said,

    No home run derby for Adrian. Good. It usually messes up a guys swing.

  115. danielbalc said,

    With the Angle’s Escobar going out for the season and Greg Maddux saying he would only want to be traded to a west coast team I think the Padres may finally have an opportunity to add a speedy outfielder.

    I’ve been on the Reggie Willits bandwagon since the beginning of the year. As a 6th outfielder all he is giving the halos is a couple of late inning defensive assignments. The Angels have made it very clear that Juan Rivera is their guy when Vladdy or Anderson hangs it up.

    Maddux for Willits seems like a win/win.

  116. Anthony said,

    Officially the worst team in baseball. Congrats!

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