On October 10th, Philip Jia and his roommates were going on with their night, just like it was any other normal evening. Little did they realize that their world would be flipped upside down and their lives would never be the same again.

They were about to be #norf’d

While they were at their University City condo, they saw a white Chevy Suburban, heard a loud noise and then saw the vehicle take off. It never looked back.

What they found was roughly 600 Chris Denorfia bobbbleheads, still in their boxes, 2 empty bottles of Vodka and a half empty jug of wallpaper peeler, just sitting there in their parking lot.

Read More…

The Padres have made a trade. Small trade, though, so new rules: I get 140 words—words, not characters!—on each player.  Let’s not waste anymore time.

Padres get Jose Pirela

Pirela’s logged over 3,100 minor league innings at shortstop, but he hasn’t spent significant time there since 2011, when he made 37 errors in 965 frames. Pirela’s inability to find a defensive home has perhaps inadvertently morphed him into a versatile player, at least—he’s logged 50-plus innings at every position outside of catcher during his professional career. Watch out Amarista.

Pirela’s bat is where the intrigue begins, but once his .276/.342/.393 line is read aloud you realize what class of player you’re dealing with here. The good news is that his offensive game has been trending in the right direction; he struggled early in his pro career with the bat, but his OPS has hovered near .800 since 2013 as he’s continued to improve his contact ability. Maybe he’s a Yangervis Solarte clone, and hey, those guys aren’t so bad. Then again, maybe he’s just fodder for the A.J. Preller Trade Machine.

Yankees get Ronald Herrera

Picked up as a PTBNL (that’s one word) in 2014 as part of the Kyle Blanks deal with Oakland, Herrera is both young and underwhelming. He pitched 145 and 2/3 innings last year, the final 43 and 2/3 of which came at Double-A San Antonio. The line: 6.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, .6 HR/9, 4.08 ERA. That sounds entirely unexciting until you realize he’s just 20 years old, and no other pitcher on San Antonio’s roster last year with more than five innings pitched was under 23. Herrera is young and polished and probably very nice, but his size (5-foot-11, 185) and lackluster stuff have kept his name far away from the prospect headlines, despite the positive age-to-league numbers.

Herrera still holds the ultimate trump card in that he has appeared in 90 percent of his games as a starter, so there’s a decent chance he’s a shutdown closer in disguise. The Yankees seem to hoard late-inning relief pitchers as a sort of post-Mariano coping mechanism, so don’t be surprised if they try to turn him into one if the whole starter thing hits any speed bumps. As a bonus, the move clears needed roster space on the Yanks’ 40-man.

Alright, for those of you counting at home, yes, I’ve exceeded my self-imposed word limit on each player. But it was pretty darn close!

The Fielding Bible Awards highlight the best defensive players across both leagues in Major League Baseball. They’re voted on by a panel of experts, and the results of the voting are made public.

This year’s awards were the most decisive ever with three unanimous decisions at. The winners headlined Tampa Bay centerfield prodigy Kevin Kiermaier who established a new record for defensive runs saved in a season at 42. Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward were other unanimous selections.

Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso finished fifth. Once thought of as a defensive liability, Alonso garnered strong support from Bill James, the Baseball Info Solutions video scouts, and Hal Richman among others. Left fielder Justin Upton received high votes from the BIS video scouts, writer Joe Posnanski, and defensive data analyst John Dewan, among others. Derek Norris and Odrisamer Despaigne also received votes.

Ahh, the good ol’ qualifying offer. Of the 34 players that have received a qualifying offer since new rules were implemented in 2012, not a single one has accepted the deal.

There are incentives for teams to send qualifying offers to good departing players, first because those teams get draft pick compensation if the player elects free agency and second because, even if the player accepts, it’s usually not a bad thing: $15 or $16 million for–let’s say–Justin Upton, that ain’t so bad. In fact, it’d be a terrific one-year, low-risk deal for a star player.

That’s why the Padres will skip and jump down to the qualifying offer office next month and file one for Upton, who will almost certainly counter by rejecting it while skipping and jumping to the land of free agency. The Padres, however, will happily accept their draft pick and use it to start restocking the farm system. Everybody wins–sort of, anyway.

But what about Ian Kennedy? Should the Padres offer him a QO? They’d probably like to, if only they knew Kennedy would reject it, which would allow the Padres to add another draft pick to the stockpile for next June.

Read More…

The 2015 season was unlike any other in Padres history. There are a lot of words to say about it, many of which involve a stream of obscenities. To avoid that for now, inspired by this post by good buddy jbox over at Gaslamp Ball I thought I’d try to learn something by looking at fans’ response to the season in a general sense. How has fan turnout changed as Padres seasons progress?

That stems from some bigger questions: What determines a team that fans are willing to pay for? What makes fans want to attend game? The answer is likely that fans are looking for some combination of things, including:

  •  Players fans recognize and like
  •  An expectation of the team winning
  •  An enjoyable experience at the ballpark in some other way

While all these things matter to fans, what’s important is which of them matters most.

For this exercise, I’m going to tell you right now that just looking at historical attendance won’t provide enough information to find an answer. For example: the Padres won a lot of games in 2007 and attendance was high. But Petco Park was also only in its fourth season, and new ballparks often see a spike in attendance for the first few years. How much attendance is due to each thing isn’t something we’re capable of knowing.

So instead, I’ll be writing a clickbaity headline and making some wild, unsubstantiated claims. Sound good? Sweet.

Read More…

When looking back at the disaster that was the 2015 season for the San Diego Padres, there will be some goodness to be found as well. Why a disaster?  Maybe hearing Craig Elsten and John Gennaro’s podcast reviewing the season could influence the posit, however when winning winter seemed to be quite an accomplishment in AJ Preller’s young tenure, winning only 74 games and losing two managers in the process does require an evaluation. The quick and dirty eval would be bad. Probably very bad. And you should feel bad too.

Read More…