2009 San Diego Padres: The Prediction of Hope

March 30, 2009 at 9:57 am (Sports thoughts)

The San Diego Padres organization has always been adept at marketing their product with catchy phrases. Probably the most memorable of all was the phrase, “Keep the faith”. I think (but I’m not sure) that was the title phrase of the NL pennant winning 1998 team.

Since then there have been slogans like, “experience it” and “play downtown” and “on a mission”. But none of these slogans have resonated the way that “keep the faith” works. Still to this day you occasionally hear the chant making it’s way through the stands.

Keep-The-Faith!

Keep-The-Faith!

Keep-The-Faith!

But sometimes keeping the faith is so unbelievably difficult we can’t rally ourselves around it. Sometimes “Yes we can” is the last thing we believe. Especially when all the experts are telling us “no you can’t”.

It’s times like these, times when faith is wavering, that we need hope.

We’ve gotta hold on to what we got.

It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.

We’ve got each other and that’s a lot- for love.

We’ll give it a shot!

That’s hope.

And that is how I write this year’s Padres Prediction Post.

Sporting News may predict the Padres to finish 30th out of 30 and to be officially out of the race by (I swear I am not making this up) “early April”. But I have an audacious hope for my beloved jewel of a franchise.

I’ve done several different variations of predictions… this one should be fun…

April- 23 games (10 home).

Notable: 5 vs LA, 5 vs SF, And a brutal east coast trip where they open up NYM new field for 3 games and then play the WS champs for 4. That’s 7 games in a row in front of sold out LOUD crowds.

Commentary: OUCH this could be the toughest month of all but by making it through with a decent record confidence begins to emerge.

Predictions: 10-13

Peavy and Young start out 7-0. The back end of the rotation can’t win anything. Bell gets his first 5 saves of the season against 1 blown save (but he gets a win out of it). A-Go goes bonkers in Philly hitting 6 HRs in 4 games.

May- 28 games (13 home)

Notable: 6 vs Cubs, 5 vs AZ, 5 vs Col

Commentary: Playing 6 games vs the very potent Cubs team within 2 weeks can actually help a lot. It’s an equalizer of sorts to see a team that soon after playing them the first time.

Predictions: 13-15

A-Go stays hot as do Peavy and Young. Nick Hundley starts playing less in favor of Henry Blanco whom both Peavy and Young are using as their primary catcher. Bell blows three saves this month and the press is sure he has cracked.

June- 26 games (15 home)

Notable: Interleague, that evil nemesis to the Padres comes for 15 games straight! Ana, Sea, Oak, Sea, Tex. Fortunately the AL west was awful last year and is worse this year with the decline of the Angels.

Commentary: This is the year the Pads finally do something good with interleague. Cliff Floyd is the main reason. We had high hope for Tony Clark last year and he let us down terribly. But this time things are going to be different.

Predictions: 16-10

Floyd hits 8 HRs this month. A-Go is getting MVP talk especially in Tex where he goes bananas. Peavy loses 2 games this month but Young goes undefeated. Most surprising is that Baek wins back-to-back starts against Seattle. Bell shows he hasn’t cracked by getting 6 saves this month with none blown. Headley and Kouz also have a fine month and for the first time in a long time we see back-to-back-to-back HRs from Gonzalez, Kouz and Headley! But the biggest news of this month is that the Pads trade up in the draft to take Strasburg as the number 1 pick! Also Brian Giles is traded (Padres have to eat a portion of his contract but it’s worth it because they find a consistent 4th starter out of it.)

July- 27 games (13 home)

Notable: How is it that the month with the all-star break you actually play more games than the previous month? It’s called 1 day off outside of the break! The good thing is that the break is followed by a week at home.

Commentary: Pads get three guys into to the All Star game. Adrian, who leads the league in HRs and RBI; Young and Peavy who are both 11-3 and 10-2 respectably.

Predictions: 14-13

The week after the break the Padres win 7 straight home games and are leading the NL West. Eckstein has become the team leader. Best of all Jody Gerut hits for the cycle in Cincinnati.

August- 29 games (17 home)

Notable: 7 vs Stl, 6 vs Atl, 0 vs NL West.

Commentary: Atlanta and New York were supposed to really compete with Philly in the east this year but the exact opposite has happened. Both have been major disappointments. NY because of their new ball park can’t seem to hit HRs anymore (sound familiar?) and ATL because they were grossly overrated. Shocker of the year is that the Pads take 8 out of 10 from those two teams this month.

Predictions: 16-11

Headley wins player of the month award. Hundley has worked himself back into regular catching duties by maintaining a .300 average but no power. There is an article in SI about the Twins farm system and how deep it is that a guy like Luis Rodriguez could be snatched away from them for nothing (he’s batting .310 because of Ecsktein’s tutoring).

September- 26 games (10 home)

Notable: 20 games vs NL west rivals. 4 in Pittsburgh.

Commentary: The 4 in Pitt is notable because the Pads have fallen apart in late Pitt games in previous years. It’s a classic case of overlooking. In the middle of all these division games that matter so much the tendency to overlook a non-division dog is always there. Padres have to be ready for this.

Predictions: 14-12

The division is so tight this year it seems like anyone can take it. The difference between 1st and 5th is a mere 6 games in September! Perfect timing for the Padres first ever no-hitter (9/29 vs LA) to give the Padres a huge boost in momentum and a bullpen two days of rest in a row.

October- 4 games all at home

Notable: Padres last 6 games are at home verse LA and SF. HUGE

Commentary: Whichever team wins each series wins the division. Home field in SD is the advantage that pushes the Padres into the playoffs.

Predictions: 3-1

Winning the last game of the season vs SF is incredible. Bell saves the game and starts the champagne showers for the NL west division champions! 86 and 76. Not bad at all for a team that was written off in mid-May. Padres will face the Phillies in the first round of the playoffs after that I don’t know what will happen.

Feel free to keep track throughout the season and see just how audacious my hope for the Padres really is.

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81 Comments

  1. danielbalc said,

    With a specific answer for Bruce…
    10. A brilliant DH job from Cliff Floyd that gives the pads a 10 and 5 interleague record.
    9. Bell saves 38 out of 45 chances
    8. Adrian Gonzalez hits 40 HR and 126 RBI
    7. Eckstein’s leadership molds Rodriguez into a.300 hitter.
    6. Headley and Kouz each hit over 25 HR.
    5. Jake wins 18, Young wins 18, Baek wins 12 and the mystery starter we get for Giles goes 8-2.
    4. Buddy Black feels like with nothing to lose he can call for more hit and runs and squeezes. He manages like Scosia. It’s awesome.
    3. Hundley hits .298 in his 95 games. Blanco hits 17 HR in his 67
    2. Hairston starts playing every day after the Giles trade and thrives.
    1. Jody Gerut takes the batting title at .344!

  2. Lants said,

    wow…. i cant wait to see this happen….

  3. Bruce S. said,

    Nice work. And I do mean work.

    Of your 10 there, I believe that #9 and #6 (not so much Headley) and #8 are possible. #5 would be a lot easier for those guys if they were on a different team. They certainly are capable. #4 is also possible if not likely. Maybe he reads this blog.

  4. L. Hudgins said,

    Double WOW!! Nicely done.

  5. Bruce S. said,

    Hey DBalc,

    Any comments on Peavy’s complete collapse in the WBC?

  6. Aaron said,

    Well, you certainly are an optimist. I think f you flip it around (76-86), that would be more like it, but I’m definitely hoping you’re correct. (I have my hometown team at 71-91, so it may just be a rough 2009 . . . but any baseball is a welcome respite from a slow winter–the World Baseball Classic was truly amazing and will be the best baseball you see this year, in my opinion, but even Jays-Rays in April is exciting for me.)

    My biggest worry for the Pads (other than the obvious disaster that is the 3rd-5th starters with Baek hurt now) is 2B/SS. The “other” Gonzalez is likely to have a serious drop-off after a career year, and Eckstein is simply done. I got to see a lot of him with the Jays last season and while he hustles like crazy, and tries his best, he’s lost his ability to hit three singles in a game. He’s strictly a bench player now and I think the Padres are thinking of 400+ at bats for him. Why did we trade Khalil again? (I miss those flowing locks already)

  7. Pablo Honey said,

    Unfortunately we won’t be trading up for Strasburg as trading draft picks is not allowed, unless there is a rule change I’m not aware of.

  8. Matt said,

    This thread made me laugh.

  9. Jeff said,

    I hope your right. I don’t think your far off on the wins and loses, but I don’t know about some of the players numbers. Hey the rays were picked to finish last last year and how did they do? I don’t think the padres have ever been picked to win. So I have hope!

  10. Uncle Paul said,

    Did you mean 0 and 7?

  11. danielbalc said,

    Well i was flying during the Padres opener (actually i was sitting in an airplane that was not flying but rather having mechanics look at it for most of the time) so I didn’t get to see any of the game.

    Therefore my analysis is flawed to the mere boxscore breakdowns.
    So here we go…

    It looks like peavy pitched well enough to win. 7 innings and 3 earned, 8k’s and just 2 BB is not too shaby.

    Clearly the goat is Kouzmanoff who left 5 runners on base. Clearly they wanted nothing to do with Adrian. He’s going to get pitched around an awful lot until Kouz finds his stroke or headley can become a protective force.

    One thing that I did notice is that Headley had a lead off double and didn’t score. If I were the manager I would make it a point of emphasis that such a thing is unacceptable. i would do it early on in the season with an immediate replacing of whichever player failed to advance the runner. In this case it would be catcher Henry Blanco. After he came in from grounding the ball to third base I would say, “hit the showers” and get Hundley into the game.

    You can’t allow low expectations to cripple the fundamentals of the game. Black can’t allow this team to become lazy and if you don’t get on them early that is exactly what will happen.

    Either way it’s not a terrible loss. It’s not as though the dodgers came out and beat the snot out of us. I am sure CY will even things up tonight.

  12. L Hudgins said,

    Same old story. They can’t hit with runners in scoring position. Fire Bud Black now!

  13. danielbalc said,

    Same old story? It’s one game. You gotta give them a chance. They really didn’t have too many chances from what I looked at. Meanwhile up in the bay, timmy big boy didn’t look too snazzy dazzy. 3 IP, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.

    USA today says that the Padres have the second lowest payroll in all of baseball. I find that amazing to be honest. The roster may have some holes in it but for being the second lowest in all of baseball I don’t think it’s that bad.

  14. L Hudgins said,

    when will someone (aka Buddy Black) get on those guys to take a pitch after the opposing pitcher just walk the bases loaded. That’s fundamental baseball. I repeat, FIRE Bud Black.

  15. danielbalc said,

    Lynn you are commenting in response to Wed night’s game when the Padres had got the bases loaded on three straight walks and then Gerut hit the very next pitch to the first baseman for a Fielders Choice to second to get an rbi and move the runner on second to third.

    I got a text from Ted right after that because he too was pretty upset.

    The weird thing is that I was at the game and wasn’t frustrated at all by it. I thought it was a smart productive out. It scored a run and moved a runner to third with 1 away which on the next batter became the tying run.

    The point is this… The pitch Gerut hit was clearly in the strike zone. Suppose Gerut had just stood there and watched it as you think he should have. Then he is immediately behind in the count and might have missed his chance at the best pitch he will see. Or suppose that ball had fallen for a basehit but it was the first pitch or maybe it was a sac fly on the first pitch, would you then be upset? What if it he hit a grandslam on the first pitch?

    The fact is he helped to produce two runs (which tied the game) all because he swung at the first pitch.

    I thought it was great, I was very pleased with it.

    Padres had a very good shot to win that game until the defensive miscue by Kouzmanoff led to three runs. Oh well.

    A few other positives from the opening series…
    1. All 4 starters pitched well enough to win
    2. Heath Bell looked strong
    3. The Padres constantly challenged Manny (lost some and won some but at least they weren’t afraid of him). I wouldn’t think this is smart with the playoffs on the line in September but it’s smart in the first series of the year to set an aggressive tone.
    4. The Dodgers were constantly afraid of Adrian. They walked him 4 times in the 4 games and rarely gave him anything close. The pitch he drilled 411 feet to the opposite field was high and a bit off the plate.
    5. Eckstein probably had 150 pitches thrown to him in that 4 game series. He fouled off so many pitches it’s insane. It’s also going to help having him and Giles one after the other in front of Adrian, because those two both know how to work a count.
    6. Our catching duo can throw out baserunners! With Blanco and Hundley i don’t think we will be able to complain about that anymore this season. Woo Hoo.
    7. The bullpen looked better than expected. The only blemish coming when the defense let them down when Kouz missed the spinning bloop and then when Edgar couldn’t handle a one hop smash (should have been an error). Actually Edgar’s came when Correia was starting so they pen only had one problem.
    8. Most importantly by splitting the series the Padres saw that they can in fact compete with any team no matter what the payroll differences may be (against the Dodgers it is 60 million dollars).

  16. Matt S said,

    The point is this… The pitch Gerut hit was clearly in the strike zone.

  17. Matt S said,

    ^^^^^^^
    Wrong.

  18. L. Hudgins said,

    I don’t care if it was in the strike zone. Unless you’re T. Gwinn or Hank Aaron you should be taking a pitch. FUNDAMENTAL!!!!

  19. Matt said,

    The Scott Hairston Show continues against all NL West foes, continually crushing their souls with great defense and home runs when it counts.

  20. danielbalc said,

    And that is why I wouldn’t trade Jake Peavy for timmy big-boy.

    Yeah it’s just one week into the season but you gotta be pleased with what the Padres did in that week. Lot’s of small ball, flashes of power and great pitching.

    Of course it was just the dogs and the gi-aints but it is a very good thing to win division games.

    Let’s have a nice east coast trip now.

  21. danielbalc said,

    BTW Luis rodriguez looks in good shape to break the record for most sacrifice flies in a single season. He’s got 3 already! the record is 19.

  22. danielbalc said,

    The only time my Padres threads get any action is when the Pads are losing. Why is this? Why is that nobody ever wants to compliment the friars they only want to complain about them?

    WHERE ARE ALL YOU HATERS?

    Let’s get some Padres praise going on.

    5 games in a row? That’s fantastic. And here is the kicker…

    They are fun to watch! All you complainers who whined and cried last year about lethargic baseball can’t do that with this team. They are hustlers, scrappers and best of all, Winners!

    Heath Bell may talk too much but it’s fun to see how excited he gets when he nails down a save. David Eckstein sprinting to first on walks or calling a balk before the umpire is a thing of beauty.

    But whenever my phone started buzzing with a new text message I knew it would be one of the haters saying something like “fire bud black” or “Giles is an idiot”. Funny thing is I didn’t get a single cheer message. No happy messages, not even when Met castoffs Sanchez and Bell stuck it to the team that didn’t believe in them.

    It’s sad. Everyone has so conditioned themselves to thinking that the Padres stink and are horrible and wont win 60 games this year that you are missing out on the exciting ball that is being played now. You are tempering the happiness that could be yours by saying “ah well it won’t last”.

    You my friends are missing out.

    People told the rays all year last year that they wouldn’t last. I guess the people were right since the rays didn’t win the WS. So I guess if the Pads don’t win the WS then you all can go back to your complaining and whining about how un-athletic the pro athletes are.

    Go Padres. Lets keep up this momentum and build confidence to carry us all season long.

  23. L Hudgins said,

    Yeah Padres! Eck is a pest. He IS fun to watch. Pitching has been surprising. They are getting off to a good start. There, that’s the best I can do. BUT, it’s only the second week of the season. Fire Buddy. He left Silva in too long.

  24. danielbalc said,

    I agree that he left Silva in too long. But that was a heart play. Silva had pitched so well for the first 4 innings he wanted to get him in line for a W. At the same time it was probably one of the best pitches of the inning that got drilled for the HR.

    I thought Black needed to be fired last year, but this year, with the gloves off and low expectations I am wiling to give him a fair chance.

    His only mistakes this year have been mistakes aimed towards instilling confidence for the long haul (i.e. giving a guy a chance to work himself out of trouble). Those same mistakes are also victories in other cases… Moreno is a great example of that. In second game of the season I thought that kid was done but because Black let him work himself out of it he’s gained a lot of confidence and has impressed.

  25. L Hudgins said,

    Go Padres!! I do love beisbol.

  26. Bruce S. said,

    I still haven’t seen one pitch of Padres’ baseball this year. And it’s looking like it might stay this way all year. I could add it to my anti-bucket list: Go one season without watching any baseball.

    Life is short. Get off the couch.

  27. Pablo Honey said,

    Come on Daniel give me some credit, did I not send you a text last night telling you that I love Eckstein on our team?

    I am thrilled with the start of the season. The challenge is going to be keeping the scrappy attitude the club has now throughout the season. I still have concerns about the bullpen, right now we have some guys who are succeeding because no one has every seen their stuff before and it won’t be long before the book is out on them so I think we still need some better arms down there.

    I expect the offense to start picking up more soon once Kouz and Giles come around. I think our rotation is going to be switching out guys from 3-5 all year long but there’s no doubt that we have 2 legit aces at 1 and 2 so if we can pick up some wins from the other spots I think we’ll be able to challenge to win most series.

    The really good news is that outside of the Dodgers the rest of the NL west looks pretty abysmal so if we can beat up on division opponents we will have a realistic shot at winning the division, but it’s a loooooong season.

    By the way I love the Heath Bell smack talk, I hope he keeps it up!

  28. danielbalc said,

    You’re right pablo. You did hit me with a pro Eck text. I forgot about that.

    Regarding our rotation you may be right, especially when it comes to Silva. But I think Correia will stay in the rotation throughout. I also think Baek showed himself a worth 4 or 5. Hill reminds me of Brian Lawrence, a pitcher I liked a lot.

    I think that this other dude they picked up, Chad Gaudin, is going to be HUGE. I expect him to come in by June and end the season with double digit wins. He’s just 26 and last year went 9-5 with a 4.40 ERA as a reliever for the cubs and the A’s. He will be starting in Portland I think once he has the endurance level to throw 100+ pitches a game will be up here in Silva’s spot (5 weeks max).

    And I know it’s a long shot but maybe, just maybe one day Mark Prior will pitch for the Padres. I would hope in a bullpen role. I would really like a Prior to Sanchez to Bell 7-8-9.

    I too like Bell’s smack. I think it’s great that he called out ESPN as only interested in the Red Sox Yankees and Mets. I think it’s great that he called out John Kruk for saying he doesn’t believe in the Padres and that he promoted the MLB network. Bell is saying the things fans think and say.

  29. danielbalc said,

    BTW I don’t think the Dodgers rotation is too hot. While their lineup is probably the best in the west it’s not anywhere close to the best in the NL.

    I think it’s anybody’s division to take in the west and the advantage goes to whoever starts the hottest. Right now that happens to be us.

  30. L Hudgins said,

    Life IS short. Get out and go to a game. Even if it’s only a little league game.

  31. Bruce S. said,

    I’ve seen three so far this year (little league games, that is).

  32. L Hudgins said,

    I miss little league. Plus its free.

  33. danielbalc said,

    not at the snack shack. unless of course you played

  34. L. Hudgins said,

    Not ready to get on the bandwagon yet. But they are fun to watch right now.

  35. danielbalc said,

    So the Pads gave one back yesterday, (not too surprising when you send up edwin Moreno to try and close it against that lineup in that balllpark) but they are still looking pretty good.

    It would’ve been nice to have an off day today but instead they have to play and then hit the road for a game tomorrow in SF. This is where things get tough. Can the Padres keep playing well when the challenges of long road trips and time changes hit them? Can they pull out victories when the back end of the bullpen has to get a day off? I predicted April would be their toughest month but they are off to a scorching start.

    I think the injury to Walter Silva may be a blessing in disguise because it gets Josh Geer back into the rotation and I think he may be more major league ready than Silva.

    Losing Everth Cabrrera hurts however because the only other infielder on our 40 man roster is Antonelli and he’s a second baseman. Eck sure doesn’t look to have a shortstop arm. At the same time Floyd is due to be coming to the roster soon so they may be looking to just keep 13 pitchers.

  36. danielbalc said,

    Welp we got our day off with the game being rained out today. Woo hoo.

  37. danielbalc said,

    Man the past three games have stung.

    Sunday in Philly the Padres had that game in the bag but did anyone at all have confidence in Edwin Moreno?

    Tuesday in SF Jake did not pitch great and it seemed that he allowed that busted inning to get into his head (the one where Kouz missed a 3 run shot by 2 feet and the Padres ended up getting just 1 run out of it all). My two main (only) complaints about Jake Peavy is that 1. he never challenges the hitter at 2 strikes. He always seems to try and get the hitter to swing at something out in the zone. But if the hitter has any scouting of Jake he knows better. and 2. Jake seems to try too hard and take it all on himself when the team isn’t scoring.

    That tuesday gay was especially upsetting because we were getting lots of opportunities but few rbis. that has been a major padre complaint the past couple years.

    And yesterday was a debacle. Brian Giles is really hurting the team right now. If he can’t drive a ball (and he clearly can’t) then have him lay down a squeeze bunt at least! the model of eckstein moving over a guy from second to third seems great in theory but in practice giles has been awful.

    but a .500 road trip, especially one of that length and location is nothing to sneeze at.

    This weekend set against Pittsburgh is a lot tougher than it sounds. The pirates are playing great baseball right now so this should be interesting.

    I predicted a 10 and 13 record for this month but right now I am optimistic that we can maybe flip that.

  38. Matt said,

    Sunday in Philly the Padres had that game in the bag but did anyone at all have confidence in Edwin Moreno?

    This is why I say you trot your closer out until his arm falls off.

    We need to win every game we have a chance to win this year if we wan’t to make a run for the division. We cannot give up games because someone needs “rest”.

    Also, what inevitably happens every time you rest a reliever and you lose is you get blown out the next game or two so he would have got his rest anyway.

    Heathcliffe is a big boy, give him that ball!

  39. danielbalc said,

    I concur. Especially with closers. If you need him 8 days in a row that’s a GOOD thing. take advantage of it.

  40. danielbalc said,

    Yuck. i don’t want to talk about how ugly it is to get beat down by the pirates twice in a row.

    I also don’t want to talk about the possibility of the WBC being the source of Jake’s ills.

    And I really don’t want to talk about the offense.

  41. L. Hudgins said,

    Then I won’t mention that what we are seeing are the “REAL” Padres.

  42. danielbalc said,

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/11688928

    SDSU Aztec pitcher Steven Strasburg makes the front page of CBSsports.com

    Interesting stuff in there.

  43. danielbalc said,

    Well I prediceted 10-13 for the month of April and the Pads went 11-11 (with one rain out).

    I was way off with the projection that Peavy and Young would start hot.
    I was right on with the projection that Gonzalez would be a force.
    I was right on with the projection that the bullpen would falter.
    I was mostly right about Bell but he has exceeded my expectations (which we high).

    This is great news. Because the Pads finished better than I anticipated with only 1 guy playing above my expectations (Bell). Imagine how good this team can be when Peavy settles down, Giles learns how to hit, Kouz and Headley heat up and the bullpen gets into a rhythm!
    I am much happier with Geer and Gaudin in the rotation over Silva and Hill.
    I anticipate good things in May.

    Go Padres!

  44. Matt said,

    Remind me again why Jake still wants to play here?

  45. L. Hudgins said,

    Jake settled down. But it doesn’t matter because the rest of the team has come back to ground. Why is Brian Giles still in the league?

  46. Pablo Honey said,

    From the CBS Sportsline Power Rankings:

    Adrian Gonzalez is really good. Really, really, really, really good. Really really really really really. Every other regular? Not so much … I keep reading that the San Diego bullpen is “full of questions,” but I can only come up with one or two. Like “why don’t they have better relievers?” Or “would it be possible to locate better relievers?”

  47. danielbalc said,

    That new guy doing cbs power rankings is so intentionally incendiary. I really don’t read him much. He knows that folks will keep on coming back just to see how much more extreme he can get.

    Of course the football powerrank guy, Prisco, has people coming back all the time just to see how stupid he is. He is the ultimate lover of manning and brady. blech. It’s kind of annoying because I know that by the end of the year he will also be in love with Rivers and will lose all partiality because of this.

  48. L Hudgins said,

    Bye, Bye ManRam!!! Don’t let the locker room door hit you in the butt on the way out.

  49. danielbalc said,

    Dude, how can you be rejoicing over your number one fantasy pick getting suspended for 50 games? I don’t even know if you will be able to drop him.

  50. L. Hudgins said,

    That’s the problem with this league. I can’t even change my lineup until Sunday. We’ve got to change that next year. But as for ManRam, My fantasy team takes a back seat to my dislike of the Dodgers.

  51. danielbalc said,

    Regarding the so called fantasy “problem”. This reason why it’s set up where you can only change once a week is so that people who are only casual players aren’t at a disadvantage to people who are intense players. I’ve gone three weeks in a row losing a player to injury but I just chalk it up to bad luck. and move on.

    Regarding Manny.

    Peter Gammons was on ESPN today and I feel bad for the man. This is how disillusioned he is.

    He says that last season Manny was telling his Red Sox teammates that he would “do anything to get out from under the red sox” His obvious insinuation being that Manny just for the first time started taking steroids and the numbers he put up for the red sox are legitimate. Sorry Peter but your beloved Red Sox are just as tainted as the next team. Heck does anyone really doubt that David Ortiz is a big time juicer?

    I hear so many people saying “but he was great before he started using steroids” (the Bonds argument), but that’s simply not true for a couple of reasons, A) we have no idea when they started using and B) greatness is defined by a single season. There have been countless number of guys who have had a “career year” or even two or three only to fizzle out in the long run. Time and again what we are seeing with steroids is that they extended the longevity of these guys. It did give them a tremendous advantage. Oh and one other point Steroids or HGH only need to be used once or twice in a year to give these guys the advantages they need. Off season “routines” is what these guys did/do. All that drama with whether or not manny would sign with the dodgers was because he knew as long as he wasn’t in camp he wouldn’t be getting tested.

    All I know is that it couldn’t have happened to a better team. Especially they way they treated SF’s “star” left fielder. haha

  52. Pablo Honey said,

    Strasburg tosses a no-no last night. Why couldn’t the Padres suck a little more last year!?!?!

  53. Pablo Honey said,

    Did anyone else notice that MLB fined White Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks $750 for throwing behind Ian Kinsler? $750!?!?!?!?!?! Jenks is making $5.6 million this year! To put it in perspective that would be the equivalent of a $6.70 fine to someone making $50,000. MLB sure got their message across!

  54. Matt said,

    Jenks is lucky he did not actually hit him, he would have to fo on welfare.

  55. L. Hudgins said,

    4-17 over the last 21 games. How much longer must we endure Bud Black?

  56. Matt said,

    In other news,

    Roger Clemens newest defense of his alleged steriod use is “common sense” because there is a history of heart disease in his family and it would be “suicide” for him to take drugs with the elevated risk.

    He cited his brother who died of heart disease as well as, wait for it, his stepfather.

    I bet you did not know that even family members that are not blood-related can raise your level of risk for disease.

    This was broadcast on a national radio interview.

    Hillarity.

  57. danielbalc said,

    I saw that about Fraudger. HAHAHA What an idiot.

    I saw that Sheffield has come out making a preemptive denial but I haven’t read his quotes yet. I am sure it’s as ludicrous as the rest.

    Jerks. Idiots.

  58. danielbalc said,

    tons of Padres action to talk about. Too bad no den dwellers to chat but that’s ok….

    1. Jake Peavy says “thanks but no thanks” to the White Sox.
    This is good and bad. The good obviously is that he’s still a Padre and will be starting tonight. The bad is that this is as real as it gets. The Padres actually agreed that 4 white sox minor leaguers was worth giving up one of the top 10 pitchers in the game and probably the 8th lowest paid of those top 10! AHHHH! Presently they are 5 million dollars over budget for the season. Clearly nobody wants to take on Brian Giles Contract, but perhaps you could deal him and agree to pay the majority of his contract. I.e. he’s owed 8 million you pay 7 million and you’ve saved 1 million. I don’t know. Maybe it would work. You’ve gotta get rid of him though. Cutting him and paying him for nothing seems like a last resort but it may have to come to that.

    2. Tony Gwynn is a Padre again!
    While this does seem intended to mitigate the backlash of trading one of the two most popular players on the team in Peavy it’s still a good move. I was a big Gerut fan (as you all know) but Matt said it best in a text when he said, “not bad for a guy anyone could have had a year and a half ago”. So true! We’ve been trying to get our hands on Junior since he was drafted, who knew all it would take was to pick up a journeyman let him put up some decent numbers and there you go. I really think Gwynn can be a part of this outfield for years. While I doubt he will put up daddy numbers (not possible) he can make petco’s outfield much smaller by playing center or (fingers crossed) right. He can also run quite a bit and could really mature as a leadoff hitter. It’s a definite win for the Padres to bring him home. I also like that he’s been given the number 18. That’s pretty cool.

    3. Padres are streaking.
    6 in a row! Atta boys. For all the hater-talk about how the Padres are the worst team in the league it should be noted that presently the Padres are actually better than 12 other teams in terms of winning percentage. And what is really remarkable about that is their home record of 14-6 is actually 4th best in the league (It’s the road that has killed us). While the Padres are still a good distance behind the Dodgers and certainly don’t look to be a real threat to win the division you have to keep in mind that most experts predicted them to be the worst team in baseball. I don’t see it. Instead I see a team with a whole bunch of hitters slumping right now. If those hitters can start to believe in themselves as well as get some savvy aggressive managing (like hit and run which almost beat us last night… see next comment) then maybe this team can continue to eek out some close ball games.

    4. Buddy please learn from Bochy!
    So I was at the ball game last night and things looked bleak when the giaints in the top of the 9th got the lead off guy on (in what I would have ruled an error, a bad hop ball that went off Adrian’s glove). But it was the next batter where the manager makes his money. Bochy consistently was sending the runner with (I think) Pablo Sandoval at the plate. Sandoval is a second year player with mediocre skills and yet Bochy had enough faith in is contact ability that he could avoid the double play. Well he got that and much more when he grounded behind the SS burke who was running over to cover second. It was a tailor made double play pall and instead with the runner going he gets runners at the corners with no outs. That’s good baseball managing. Make the holes bigger for your hitters! Black never seems to do this. Anyway Bell ends up giving up his first “earned” run of the season by 1. a bad hop single 2. a hit and run that would’ve been a double play 3. a grounder to the right of the second base bag through a drawn in infield. To me that is some incredible pitching from Heath. More impressive than striking out the side is being able to mitigate bad breaks. Great job.

    5. And finally I hate Giant fans. They have to be the worst of all the fans that visit Petco Park. They are so vulgar and obnoxious. Two guys sitting behind us drinking several beers started taunting the Padre fans in their row. It was ridiculous. I have been to many away games and I never taunt the home fans. it’s dumb. Why do that? it’s rude and obnoxious not to mention risky. Well not too risky because they will only taunt people that are clearly not a threat to them like senior citizens or pregnant women. Anyways it was delicious to watch Brian Wilson blow up in the 9th and before Scott Hairston’s single hit the grass those two morons were already up the stairs. HAHAHA. love it.

  59. danielbalc said,

    One more comment on Jake.

    I cannot believe that anyone would insinuate that Jake voided the trade because he can’t handle to hitting on the AL. That’s so ridiculous.

    The reason you have a no trade clause in your contract is beacause you have earned the right to decided where you want to play. Why would anyone in their right mind want to leaver San Diego unless it was for a legitimate chance at a world series championship?

    The white Sox don’t give him a much better chance than the Padres!

    I have a feeling Jake’s list has about 5 teams on it…
    1. Atlanta
    2. Chicago Cubs
    3. Dodgers
    4. New York Yankees
    5. St Louis

    I could also see him going to Boston, the Mets or possibly Houston but that’s it.

    Atlanta and Houston are only on that list for proximity to Alabama and his friendship with Oswalt by the way.

  60. L. Hudgins said,

    The only problem with them winning 6 in a row is that Buddy is getting the credit. He doesn’t deserve the credit. Listening to management it seems like we’re stuck when him for awhile. Now if we could only play the giants and reds at home the rest of the year.

  61. Matt S said,

    You can’t see him going up the freeway to the Angels? They have the prospects to make the deal work and they are perennial contenders with a great manager. The only problem is he does not get to hit, which I think is a big problem for Jake, he really likes to swing the bat.

    On a side note, I cannot believe how much little Gwynn sounds like his dad. If you closed your eyes during the post-game interview with him there is no way you would not think it was big Gwynn talking. Really weird actually.

  62. Bruce S said,

    Eke out.

  63. danielbalc said,

    thanks for the correction

  64. danielbalc said,

    BTW 7 in a row? Hello.

    Early on everyone was saying, “wait for the real Padres to show up” then they lost like 14 out of 16 or something and everyone said, “that’s the real Padres”. What do we say now?

    You are what your record says you are right? Well then the Padres are presently a slightly below .500 team. That happens to be exactly where I predicted they would be at this point. Now if June goes as I predicted than perhaps we might see some folks jumping on the bandwagon.

  65. danielbalc said,

    best part of last night’s game was that Jake beaned the first cub batter he faced after Zambrono drilled Eck in the chest. (although it would have been sweet for Jake to drill Zambrano himself) That is exactly why Jake is one of the best pitchers and teammates in all of baseball. That’s the kind of baseball I like watching.

  66. danielbalc said,

    John Kruk has put together one of the most moronic pieces of web commentary I’ve ever seen.

    You have to read this… http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/notebook?page=bbtn

    His basic argument seems to be that since he is ignorant and since he is a “baseball insider” the Padres must be a stinky team.

    Huh?

    John, just because you suck at your job doesn’t mean the Padres suck at theirs!

    As for the Padres winning 10 in a row “not being a great story”. Eegads dude! The Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers winning 10 in a row isn’t a great story, because they are the favorite to win every game they play! The Padres winning 10 in a row is the underdog winning every game! That’s a much more intriguing story than the teams with 3 or 4 times as much payroll winning (IMHO).

    I have stopped watching baseball tonight for two reasons. Number 1 is idiots like John Kruk get air time. And number 2 is that MLB network is just so much better and able to offer much more as well.

  67. Matt said,

    1) That piece is written like it came from a 6th grade english class, which I would venture to say was the last time Krukie recieved any formal writing education.

    2) It is nothing new to hear that “baseball insiders” don’t have a clue as to what is happening west of the Missisippi river. The east coast bias is laughable.

    3) If\when the ____________(insert east coast team here) wins 10 games in a row they practically throw a parade for the team, but this winning streak is no big deal.

  68. danielbalc said,

    Well the streak came to an end last night but it wasn’t like the team rolled over and died. In fact they came within 2 inches of another 6 run come back. Not too shabby. Let’s see if Jake can get another streak started tonight.

  69. danielbalc said,

    WIth three games left to go in May I take a look back to see where I projected the Padres to be at this point… at the end of May I had the Padres at 23-28

    Today, with three games left the Padres are 24-23! They have defied even my lofty expectations!

    I think it’s about time we gave KT some praise. Praise because no GM in baseball has such tight financial constraints. Praise because he always manages to find bullpen pitchers out of nowhere (Burke? Gregersson? Mujica?). Lets face it, that Padres aren’t hovering at .500 because they have a potent lineup. It’s about tight ball game for these Padres and that Pen has to be good if the Pads are going to be competitive.

    So I give KT mighty props for this squad.

    Now back to saving money. It’s a scary concept when you look at the Padres payroll and try and figure out a way for them to cut more salary. On the current roster there are just 6 guys left making over 1 million dollars… Peavy (11) Giles (9) Young (4.6) Adrian (3.1) Bell (1.2) Hairston (1.2). We’ve already dumped two other guys in Sanchez (1.6) and Gerut (1.7). Every other player is making less than 1 million dollars.
    http://content.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salaries/teamdetail.aspx?team=28&year=2009

    The only hope the Padre have of getting under 40 million and still being able to win like they are now is to move Giles. But I have no idea who would want him even though he is playing much better lately.

    But right now the Padres should be buyers and not sellers! If the Padres can themselves to about 8 games over .500 the front office is going to have to look into seeing what it would take to add a player or two. Preferably a Matt Holiday, who is a free agent next season.

    We shall see. I just have to believe that something is going to hit John Moores and he is going to want to go out with a bang instead of as one of the great villains of San Diego history.

  70. L. Hudgins said,

    Props to KT.

  71. Pablo Honey said,

    Just watched some clips of today’s game on mlb.com. 2 thoughts:

    1. Adrian is just sick. I always watch game clips and see his home runs and I love seeing him launch rockets to left field. He is truly reaching the point where there is no way to pitch to him. My only concern is that I have seen him been hitting some homers on balls that are way out of the strike zone. Obviously he is going to be pitched around a whole lot I just hope he doesn’t expand his strike zone too much to try and generate some offense because that could lead to a boatload of K’s.

    2. Gaudin has some nasty stuff. What’s the buzz in town like about him? I haven’t seen too much but everything I’ve seen looks pretty good.

  72. danielbalc said,

    Concerning your two thoughts.

    You are right about Adrian and the fact that they will pitch less and less to him with him swinging and worse pitches. At the same time however his aggressive approach is getting him to drill a lot of mistakes. For instance either Saturday or Sunday (im not sure) one of his bombs came on an 0-2 count. It was a pitch that was off the plate but it was up. A patient hitter would have let that ball go and try and get a better count. Adrian, being as aggressive as he is, hammered it.

    The bigger concern I have is how much of an impact he is making on W’s. Out of his 20 HRs this season 15 have been on the road. Our road record is 8-19. Our home record is 17-6… 15 homers in 8 wins vs 5 homers in 17 wins.

    Clearly we need more than Adrian’s bat to win on the road.

    But all we need to win at home is Pitching! And Jake Peavy’s ERA at home is a point and a half lower than on the road. Young’s is 4 and half lower!

    Gaudin is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA at Petco. On the road he is 1-3 with a 5.35 ERA!

    Why am I saying all this? Because, while I am in no way endorsing this idea, It makes more sense for the Padres to trade Adrian than to trade Jake (NOTE: DO NOT TRADE EITHER!!!)

    The Padres can compete at home with almost any old lineup because their pitchers know how to pitch at home. But they need pitchers who can pitch on the road if they want to be consistent. Jake is the only guy on the staff whose numbers don’t show a crazy road/home split.

    17 wins at home… Adrian has 12 RBI
    19 losses on the road… Adrian has 28 RBI.

    I guess we would probably have zero road wins if not for Adrian but still. You’d like to see his power helping the team win more.

    OK so May wraps up… I had predicted 23-28. They ended 25-25. Pretty good!

    I have the Padres going 16-10 in June. The way they are playing at home currently that seems like a really high chance (15 games at home 11 on the road this month). If the Padres are at 41-35 at the end of June are they all of a sudden buyers instead of sellers?

  73. danielbalc said,

    Oh sorry I forgot to say about Gaudin that he’s got great stuff but control issues. I like his makeup. He’s a competitor and barring an injury will probably stay in the rotation all year.

  74. danielbalc said,

    Padres fans, if you have not heard about what is going on with Khalil Greene in St Louis then you HAVE to read this article from Stltoday.com

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/cardinals/story/85EFBB15E1C55309862575C7000EC1C1?OpenDocument

    Evidently getting two nobody pitchers (one who’s elbow blew out in spring training) was a much better deal then being stuck with Greene. He is on the DL with “social anxiety disorder”.

    I may appear to be a jerk in this situation but I honestly don’t have sympathy for a professional baseball player with SAD (that’s really what they call it.)

    He’s getting paid 6.5 million dollars but can’t handle the pressure that is placed on him to hit the outside slider.

    Man this sure seems like another amazing deal by Kevin Towers.

    Oh but reportedly the Cardinals are considering filing a greivence against he Padres becasue the Padres knew Greene had issues and didn’t tell the Cardinals when they traded him.

    Um? Did the Cardinals ever watch any of Greene’s games or post game interviews?

    wow.

  75. L. Hudgins said,

    SAD he couldn’t lay off the outside slider.

  76. danielbalc said,

    Anybody take note of the Padres draft?

    Probably not but let me throw out a couple of nifty little nuggets…

    Three of the first four players the Padres drafted were highschoolers…

    Those three were Aflac All-Americans. Meanings they were three of the best 38 high school player in the country!

    1. Donavan Tate is stud outfielder with all 5 tools. The scouts say his biggest weakness is his bat but the kid hit over .500 so I am guessing they are referring to his ability to hit major league breaking pitches (which you probably don’t see in HS very often). Here is some video of the kid hitting home runs off chubby HS pitchers…
    http://itmightbedangerous.blogspot.com/2009/06/tate-video.html

    The only real question is if he will sign with the Padres or go to UNC and play both football and Baseball. I have a hard time believing he will pass up the money because it’s not like in three years he can go much higher than number 3.

    2. Everett Williams is allegedly the second best HS outfielder. The reason he dropped to the Padres is because so many first round selections were pitchers and college guys. Basically the Padres got two of the top 5 position HS players in the country with their top 2 picks. Of course this is all contingent on how much these guys mature, learn, grow and develop (all words that mean the same thing) but by getting two of them you have a pretty good feeling that at least one can be starring in spacious Petco park within 4 years.

    4. Keyvius Sampson is my favorite pick. He’s a dominating HS pitcher who has hit 96 on the gun. Baseball America had him ranked 47 on the top 100 amateurs. We got him at 114! Why? Probably because a year and a half ago he got expelled from school for driving around some friends with a loaded gun but seriously what else is there to do in Florida?

    I think the Diamond in Lake Elisnore will be rocking when these guys show up with Sampson throwing major heat and Williams and Tate covering a lot of ground.

    Ahhhh it’s sweet to dream isn’t it?

  77. danielbalc said,

    BTW for those of you who can remember wayyyyyy back to June 22, 2002 when Jake Peavy started his first Major league game. It was a pretty amazing day as I recall because it was a Saturday day game against the NY Yankees. Back then the Padres were playing in qualcomm stadium and over 60,000 people were in attendance as Jake (who had never pitched above AA) pitched a brilliant game going 6 innings giving up just 1 run on hits and 2 walks.

    Anyways… Little did we know that would be the start of a career which would put him at the brink of being the Padres all time wins leader (I think he’s just 6 wins away).

    The reason I bring that up is because we will probably be seeing the debut of Matt Latos as a full time starter sometime within the next month. (Not his Major League Debut which happened last year but still it will be like his professional debut because he won’t go back to minors after this one).

    Latos is tearing up the minors (48 innings, 23 hits, 3ER, 49 K and 11 BB) and I think the Padres were planning on having him take Peavy’s spot once Jake got traded, but since it’s looking less and less likely that Jake will get moved this season we could see Latos taking Geer’s spot in the rotation.

    In my earlier prediction I had a mystery starter being acquired for Giles (I also had Baek actually not being injured all season). I guess the mystery starter is going to be Latos and the numbers I was giving to Baek can go to Correia.

    So expect by next month the rotation to be Peavy, Young, Correia, Gaudin, Latos.

    Also expect to see Giles dumped in some way or another so a lineup that goes…
    Thin Gwynn
    Eck
    A-Gone
    Hairston
    Kouz
    Headley
    Hundley/Blanco
    Rodriguez/Evereth
    Pitcher

    Within 30 days. mark it!

  78. danielbalc said,

    With Peavy being hurt I would have expected Matt Latos to get that call up I predicted.

    Instead I heard Bud Black on the radio this morning talking about Walter Silva and Wade LeBlanc.

    Clearly they are waiting on Latos because they want to keep him under control without having to pay him so July is a much more likely call up date but personally if I’m buying a ticket to a Padre game I would much rather see a young guy with good stuff and potential than an old guy with mediocre stuff.

    speaking of mediocre stuff… What and awful starting pitching performance in Anaheim this past weekend. I had no idea Young, Gaudin and Geer could be so bad.

    Young- 2.1, 5 ER including a point where he walked 4 straight batters with 2 outs!
    Geer- 5.2, 7ER, 3 Home runs allowed.
    Gaudin- 3, 8ER, He faced 18 batters in 3 innings!

    11 innings pitched 20 earned runs. YUCK!

  79. L Hudgins said,

    Young is the only one that surprised me. Losing all 3…no surprise.

  80. Bruce S. said,

    Just like last year, when the Pads went up against the, then, worst team in the AL, the Mariners, and got swept, (how’s that for a lot of commas?) we saw how bad they were.

  81. danielbalc said,

    Terrific article by Scott Miller about Tony and Anthony Gwynn…
    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/11862419

    No matter how poor the Padres play we can always console ourselves by being the team of Tony Gwynn and Ken Caminiti. Er Tony Gwynn.

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