The Tony Gwynn Museum at AleSmith has an update.

The 5,000 square foot museum will be the home to more than 300 items from the baseball Hall of Famers career, spanning from his early days in Little League, his time playing and coaching at SDSU and, of course, his entire Padres career, and will be occasionally rotated out to keep things fresh and new.

They are planning to complete the project by the 2016 MLB All-Star game, that will be hosted right here in San Diego at Petco Park on July 12th. To accomplish their goal, they are going to attempt to raise some funds.

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The one-time crown jewel of the Padres Dominican program, Rymer Liriano, was traded to the Brewers yesterday after being DFA’ed last week. Liriano ranked as the 39th-best prospect in all of baseball, by Baseball Prospectusthree years ago, but a lost season due to Tommy John surgery combined with major-league struggles and a roster crunch left him expendable and, ultimately, a Brewer.

Jason Parks summed up Liriano’s prospects back in 2013:

Liriano will return to the Texas League, where the weaknesses in his swing were exposed in 2012, leading to weaker contact and swings and misses. If he can find his swing rhythm and stay consistent, the power is going to emerge, and it might be bigger than projected. The strength is there, the bat speed is there, but so far, the total offensive package hasn’t come together. If it does, Liriano is a monster. But even if it doesn’t arrive, he still has enough to play at the highest level.

If you’re at least mildly surprised that Liriano was cast aside this quickly, well . . . you’re not alone. While his prospect star has undoubtedly dimmed in recent years, he’s still just 24, he hit .292/.383/.460 last season in Triple-A, and he’s clearly more interesting than a number of players on the current 40-man roster, like, say, Carlos Villanueva or Josh Martin or Alex Dickerson. (Plus, Rhyming Liriano.)

While there’s a decent shot Liriano doesn’t develop into anything more than organizational filler—he’s got major strikeout issues, and most of the projections systems don’t love him—it’s disappointing that a team in the Padres situation, a team that’s maybe, kinda, sorta *shhhh* rebuilding, couldn’t at least hold onto him for another year or two. In the end, it was the Padres strange short-term push—the signings of Villanueva and Alexei Ramirez, and the trade for Jon Jay, for example—that pushed Liriano out, not to mention their Rule 5 draft extravaganza. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a young-ish post-hype outfield prospect around over a 31-year-old relief pitcher with a 4.18 career ERA (Villanueva) or a minor-league reliever (Martin).

In exchange for Liriano, the Padres picked up Trevor Seidenberger, who immediately fills Marc Rzepczynski‘s role as hard-to-spell left-handed pitcher. In fact, Seidenberger has more in common with Rzepahhforgetit than just a long last name:

Pitcher ERA HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
Rzep 3.96 0.8 3.8 8.5 2.24
Seid 4.38 0.9 4.0 8.5 2.14

Of course, one guy did that in the major leagues while the other did it primarily below Double-A ball, but, well, ya know. Still. That’s something, right?

The Lake Elsinore Storm announced today that the SDSU Aztecs and USD Toreros will play a baseball game at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore on Thursday, February 25th at 6:00pm.

“I am proud to have the Lake Elsinore Storm and their beautiful ballpark involved in the inaugural Tony Gwynn Week events. The spectacular job the Storm staff did hosting the 2015 NCAA Regionals makes this venue an immediate player in the world of college baseball.”
Jack Murray, Tony Gwynn Classic founder and director

The game will act as a tuneup game for the inaugural Tony Gwynn Classic — a tournament featuring SDSU, Bryant University, University of Kentucky, UC Santa Barbara, USD, University of Nebraska, Tulane University, and Arizona University — being held February 26-28 at both schools. The teams will be split into two four-team brackets and the winners will meet in the championship game on Sunday, February 28 at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Tickets for the Tony Gwynn Classic can be purchased at their website.

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Padres STI sure did have my hopes up for some new Padres Spring Training gear.  #BringBackTheYellow was in full effect with the new Home “All-Star” jerseys and of course the new Brown alternates.  This was the #Padres chance to be bold and make some money this Spring.   FAIL.

MLB announced the new 2016 Spring Training uniforms today and there were some bold choices in the lot.  Check out this post over at Sportslogos.net summarizing the new uniforms.  My focus was on our Padres and what they decided to go with for 2016.  Brown?  No.  Yellow?  Of course not.  Plain Blue & White?  YOU BETCHA!   Basically they, took our ST/BP hat from last year and took out the sand outline on the “SD”.  And then, they took our current road alternate blue jersey and called it a day.   Well, they did slap the “AZ” patch, but all the teams get that.  MLB and the Padres missed a “golden” opportunity to increase merch sales and strengthen the new “alleged” rebrand.  I give these new Padres uniforms an F for effort, marketing, and creativity.

 

Back in December, at the Padres Social Summit, I met the guys from The Kept Faith. After helping to break up their fight with the Padres And Pints crew (by pointing out that no one from Gwynntelligence was even invited) we sat around talking about all sorts of stuff. A few days later, they asked me if I would come on the podcast as a guest.

Unfortunately, I came down with a really bad cold just a few days before I was supposed to record with them, so I had to take a rain check.

This week, that rain check came due.

We talk about our predictions for the Padres this year, the All-Star Game, how the O’Fowdler Group is doing as Padres owners, and the horrible movie from 1996, The Fan.

You can download and listen to the podcast here.

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Looking for something to do next weekend? Sad we are still 3 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting? Come on down to Petco Park and talk a little baseball.

The San Diego SABR Chapter will hold their Winter Meeting this Saturday, 30 Jan 16, in the Petco Park Auditorium. The meeting will start at 0915 and run until 1 pm or so. There will be signs directing you to the appropriate entrance; anticipate it will be on the Park Avenue side of the stadium. Doors open at 0900 and will close at 0930. Admission is free for both SABR and non-SABR members.

Parking is also free if you use the Lexus Premier Lot (any non-marked stall). The Chapter has five presentations on Saturday’s agenda.

  • Norman Macht will give a short talk about Connie Mack, then take questions. Mr. Macht has written a 3-volume book on the life of the legendary A’s manager. If you own a copy of his masterwork, feel free to bring it with you for the author to sign. From a Philadelphia Inquirer review of his work: “For three decades, Macht immersed himself in the man who managed and owned the Philadelphia Athletics for a half-century. He traveled everywhere Mack had been. He found people who had played for him, worked for him, lived with him. He uncovered minutes of long-forgotten meetings and pored over team records that were discovered, a half-century after Mack’s 1965 death, in an Oakland trash bin.”
  • Carlos Bauer will give a presentation on the Bill Weiss Collection entitled, “How Good Are Minor League Statistics?” Mr. Weiss is widely acknowledged as having assembled one of the best collections of Minor League statistical archives ever, however his influence does not just extend to researchers. Mr. Bauer will discuss how Mr. Weiss changed the rigor with which statistics were compiled in both the major and minor leagues once he became a league statistician.
  • San Diego Padres Assistant General Manager Josh Stein will give a short presentation, followed by a question and answer period. Mr. Stein last met with the Chapter in 2011, and the discussion that day was quite lively and interesting.
  • Andy McCue will highlight some alternate ways of looking at Bill Veeck. Mr. Veeck at various times owned the Cleveland Indians, St Louis Browns, and Chicago White Sox. He also is credited with developing many unique marketing schemes to promote his clubs. Some didn’t work out so well (see: Disco Night at Comiskey Stadium).
  • Andy Strasberg will brief the membership on Chapter plans during All-Star Game Weekend.

Download a parking pass here.

Should you find yourself running late, please reach out via @SDSABR to let us know so we can make arrangements.

Hope to see you this Saturday.

Late last night, the San Diego Padres gave 3 fans (including our own Sac Bunt Chris OMG!!!) the opportunity to release some of the promotional items being given away during the 2016 season.

 

And then things went radio silent.

Until this afternoon when the Padres released the whole Baseball Night in San Diego schedule.

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Let me start by talking a little bit about where I come from. I grew up in a small house built in the 1950’s (which means no AC or insulation) in southwest Poway, in one of the neighborhoods off of Pomerado Road that’s an easy walk to the elementary school, the middle school, and the 7/11 in-between. People often think of Poway as that place in North County with horse trails where the athletes live, but this part of town is where people go to get into a decent school district without paying too much of a premium. That’s why we moved there when I was 5, at least.

My dad (who I love very much) has a big personality. He loves to chat, can talk your ear off for hours on end, and he’s very well-liked, but growing up with his personality in such a small space, I always felt like I had a hard time expressing myself. Add in a bit of a speech impediment, an older brother (who I love very much) who had a tendency to not realize how loud he was speaking, and a younger sister (who I love very much) with a flair for the dramatic, and I ended up with a personality much more like my mother’s (who I love very much): soft-spoken and often choosing not to share my thoughts, even though I definitely had them.

When I spoke, and when I speak still, I tend to gravitate toward one-liners, whether it’s in a joke or, equally as likely, a passive-aggressive way of expressing my dissenting opinion or grievance disguised as a joke. Before I learned the art of essay writing in high school, these quick jabs were my main outlet, my way of expressing myself and letting people know that I was actually there in the room too, not just a sweaty ball of adolescent hormones stuck to the furniture.

To this day, I have a deep-seated love and appreciation for a quality passive-aggressive one-liner. One of the all-time greats is “is this it?” Those three tiny words, thrown like a jab, spoken with no angst of voice, just a hint of confusion, and a dash of deflation, hit their target like a hay-maker. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s a true knock-out punch when perfectly placed.

So today I say to my beloved San Diego Padres: is this it?

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Come here, take a seat next to me. It’s OK, it’s not your fault. The Padres have wasted an entire fucking offseason are you kidding me haven’t had the type of offseason we were expecting after having another miserable fucking season these guys are literally trash a disappointing 2015 season, a year many thought they would contend for the playoffs after the flurry of high-profile acquisitions. Obviously those moves didn’t translate to success because we are terrible people who don’t deserve nice things like we were hoping for, but I want to be optimistic and look at a few players on the roster who I’m legitimately excited to watch because I’m a fucking idiot abandon all hope.

First, there’s Wil Myers, he of former prospect glory and form-fitting uniforms. The man fills out pants like Jim Irsay fills out a prescription for Oxy. He can also hit. I’m not talking about Yonder Alonso’s Better Suited for Petco Than Anthony Rizzo hit. I’m talking Make You Get off Your Couch and Vine That Swing hit. I’m a firm believer that Myers will be a legit all-star this year if he stays healthy which he definitely won’t because we can never catch a fucking break. I’m all in on Wil Myers.

The best thing about Spangin’ is there is no set definition for it. It is many things, and you should not hesitate to use it. The Padres traded Jedd Gyorko to St. Louis where he’ll definitely become an all-star and hit 40 home runs oh god I hate everything for Jon Jay seriously just Jon Jay like not even a young pitcher fucking hell, clearing the way for Cory Spangenberg to take over second base. There’s a lot to like about Spang: good feel for hitting, great speed, solid on-base skills, and very good defense. If he puts it all together HE WON’T FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP you’ve got a really good young building block, and possibly an extension candidate *wanking motion*.

For some reason Melvin Upton Jr. gets a lot of shit from fans. David from Vocal Minority pointed it out Twitter; Upton Jr. was really solid in limited playing time (1.6 fWAR in 87 games). Can he sustain that over an entire season, or at least in an extended role? I don’t know, but at the very least there’s hope LOL that he can be a valuable contributor.

Let’s see, oh right the prospects that everyone thinks are garbage. Austin Hedges is probably a narc predictably struggled offensively when he was called up. But, my god, he plays defense like a honey badger on Adderall. He’s almost surely starting at Triple-A, where he’ll play every day and raise our expectations to an unreasonable levels only to kill us in our sleep continue developing offensively kind of like what should have happened last year had the Padres not been so fucking incompetent.

A few others: Travis Jankowski has less power than Peter Seidler was whatever last year, but people who I respect like him quite a bit. Hunter Renfroe is definitely a narc could be up by mid-season fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Josh Byrnes  and could take over left field permanently. I won’t discuss Javy Guerra and Manuel Margot until 2017 when they’ll be fully realized busts.

You see, it’s not that hard to look at the bright side.

<a rel=According to Fox 5 San Diego, there will be a new Tony Gwynn-themed bar opening at Jamul’s new Hollywood Casino, called “Tony Gwynn‘s Sports Pub”. It will showcase his Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers and various other pieces of memorabilia, as well as have Tony’s personal narration of his career highlights.

It’s scheduled to open sometime in mid-2016.

This brings up a good question though, what does that mean for the AleSmith Tony Gwynn museum? I thought they were also going to house many of those things mentioned? The Gwynn family is involved in both projects too.

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