Here’s an photographic idea of a brown Padres jersey I made. I like the idea of keeping the current Padres marks in a switch to brown. The team needs all the consistency it can get, and the boring-ness of the script contrasts well with the uniqueness of the brown. The current SD is the most typographically pleasing of them all, and with the team’s focus on that logo keeping it around makes sense.
Yoan Moncada to Boston always made a lot of sense, considering the Red Sox collect position player talent like a millionaire collects stamps. They signed both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez this offseason, then promptly moved Ramirez to an outfield that already features Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Allen Craig, and Daniel Nava. With Xander Bogaerts at short, Dustin Pedroia at second, Pablo Sandoval at third, and some combination of Castillo, Betts, and Bradley in center field, the Red Sox then shelled out $63 million for Moncada ($31.5 to Moncada, the other half to MLB), the 19-year-old Cuban phenom expected to man one of those positions in the near future — at least after he makes an abbreviated tour of Boston’s minor league system.
Moncada to Boston made sense for other reasons, too. One, the Red Sox had already gone over their international amateur spending cap this year, which means they were already prepared to serve a two-year spending penalty on foreign amateurs. Going “all-in” on Moncada, so to speak, might serve a worthy investment for a Red Sox team that won’t be able to sign highly sought after youngsters internationally until — potentially — a worldwide draft is in place. Two, Moncada’s hefty bonus won’t count against the luxury cap, which means Moncada won’t make a serious dent in Boston’s major league payroll until his first or second year in arbitration. That gives the Red Sox plenty of payroll flexibility if Moncada proves to be the 3-4-plus WAR player many are anticipating.
Moncada to San Diego made sense, too, because which team doesn’t want — as Ben Badler once described — a Yasiel Puig type that can play on the dirt. The Padres general manager also happens to be the internationally-acclaimed AJ Preller, who in large part made a name for himself in foreign markets. They also have more money than we thought, perhaps, as evidenced by the four-year, $75 million contract recently handed to James Shields and the Matt Kemp acquisition. And unlike the Red Sox, the Padres have immediate needs at shortstop, third base/second base, and (potentially, at least) center field, with nobody in the minor league system emerging as likely short-term fixes.
Go ahead and set up your folding chair and enjoy our tailgate party. Here’s a .394 San Diego Pale Ale for you to enjoy. Good, isn’t it?
Oh, wait, you are 21, right? Oh, that’s good. No, no need to check ID. We’re on the honor system here.
So, you’re new to Petco Park, right? I mean, you’ve mostly been spending your hard-earned money on that other team with the lightning logo and that inane “BOLT UP” slogan, I’m guessing.
That’s okay, though! I’m glad you have come into the Padres fold. I’ve watched for far too long as Chargers fans looked down on Padres fans as lesser beings.
“How can you support those losers?”
“I prefer my money & support go to a winning organization. When was the last time the Padres made the playoffs?”
Now you guys will be coming over from the dark side in droves. But that’s okay. We don’t mind.
The smell of fresh-cut grass, the crack of the ball off of the bat, the cleats clapping on the sidewalk like a bizarre sort of show pony parade, and the warm (Arizona/Florida) sun beating down. Pitchers and catchers make their annual return to (city) today, the official start of Spring Training. For the (team) and 29 other clubs, hope once again springs eternal.
Having run out of Padres-related writing topics but still wanting to Cal Ripken my way through another article this week, I relied on Twitter to provide me questions to answer, and again, Twitter reluctantly obliged. Here we go.
— Ghost of Ray Kroc (@GhostofRAK) February 16, 2015
Deeply philosophical question, but I’ll cop out and say 361.9237001 cubic centimeters per day.
This does give me a chance to discuss the Padres current 25-man roster construction, which is something I’ve wanted to write about for a while (and maybe I have, I can’t remember). It’s a little rough around the edges, isn’t it? Both the lineup and the pitching staff are possibly too right-handed, the outfield has three spare parts combining to make $19-something million this season, and there’s still no legitimate shortstop or, to a slightly lesser extent, third baseman. The defense could be ugly and the pitch framing has gone from two of the league’s best (Rene Rivera and Yasmani Grandal) to the middling Derek Norris.
Amongst Padres fans, 2014, as a calendar year, was not one that any of us will likely want to remember. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with painful memories, it is also a year we are unlikely to ever forget.
Five days into the new year, mere hours after the Chargers had gone on the road to Cincinnati to win a playoff game, news came out of the passing of Jerry Coleman. At 89, the voice of the Padres for as long as anyone reading this can remember, had left us. Coleman’s death was a crushing blow to a team and a fanbase. What was unknown at the time was that it was merely a harbinger of things to come.
The on field product wasn’t much better. A 12-16 April began a season in which the Padres posted near historic offensive futility. Further injuries continued to mount. Casey Kelly returned to the 60 DL, Cashner hit the DL, Maybin, Gyorko, Alonso and so on and so on. And then came June 16th, 2014. The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre, had succumbed to cancer. That he is no longer with us is a fact that I still find hard to believe.
It’s been a great offseason for the San Diego Padres. That is, of course, unless you write for FanGraphs (I kid, I kid). For the most part, even the most critical fans are fully on board with the sweeping changes that have transpired in AJ Preller’s first offseason as general manager. You know the story — the Padres have added the star power of Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. They’ve added young, controllable talent like Derek Norris and Wil Myers. And, just this week, they signed one of the best free agents in this year’s class, James Shields, to a franchise-altering deal.
Even if you’re skeptical about some of the specific moves or the general path Preller’s taken to reshape the roster (and it’s a fair position to have), it’s hard not to be excited about the prospect of a legitimate playoff run in the near future. And it’s hard to argue against the idea that they’ve improved the team a significant amount compared to last year’s roster. The fact that ownership signed off on both taking on a big chunk of Matt Kemp’s contract and paying a record-breaking amount of money to James Shields through free agency is an added bonus.
But, but … there’s always a but. It’s also hard not to be just a liiiiitle bit skeptical about the long-term plan. Discerning readers have probably already noticed that both Kemp’s and Shields’ contracts are heavily backloaded, which has allowed the Padres to, so far, avoid breaking the $100 million mark for the 2015 Opening Day payroll. As I remarked on Twitter the other night:
FAN on FAN Action: Sermon from The Mission
by Corey Menotti
I am always struck by the manner in which American fans brand themselves with sporting swag. I myself wear Padres gear in some form everyday. I have some personal rules that I abide by; part style, part shibboleth, part superstition. For example; I do not purchase a jersey with a Friar’s name on it unless they have retired. But for the most part I don these togs because I identify with my club, my squad or my town in a very real and tangible way.
Recent discussions with similarly situated individuals have made me ponder the entire hierarchy of fandom and idolatry as it relates to the 2015 Season.
I get why we identify with players, teams and regions towards which we gravitate; proximity, admiration, even a dabble of mild envy i suspect. Like most humans we have a need to identify with champions, so we seek them out in our choice of teams or players.
But why do we also foster animosity towards other devotees of the same ilk?
What would posses us to look at other club fanatics and enthusiasts in a harsh or even disagreeable light? What is the purpose of fabricating a hierarchy amongst ourselves, the fanbase?
I am baffled.
Yoan Moncada was finally granted free agency by some combination of MLB/OFAC earlier this month, and the latest news on the Cuban phenom is that he’ll field offers from teams over the next few weeks with the hopes of entering the winning bidder’s spring training camp as soon as possible.
We’ve discussed Yoan Moncada quite a bit around these parts. What makes him so tantalizing is the combination of projectability and polish. He’s just 19 years old, but unlike domestic high schoolers, he already has significant experience both in international competition and in Cuba’s professional league, Serie de Nacional. He’s currently a switch-hitting shortstop, although there are whispers that he might give up switch-hitting and most scouts don’t see him sticking at short long-term. Either way, Moncada offers the kind of tool-set and upside that rarely enters the free agent market.
He’ll be pricey, and as we’ve discussed in the past, big-market teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers are expected to be major players in the Moncada sweepstakes. As Vocal Minority Nate discussed on Monday, since Moncada is under age-23 and hasn’t spent five years in a professional league, he’s subject to each team’s international bonus pool. That means that whatever figure he signs for — early estimates were in the $30-40 million range, but don’t be surprised if it goes higher — his new team will have to pay, essentially, a 100 percent tax on that number. If he signs for $40 million, he’s going to cost right around $80 million, once you figure in the tax. And since the winning bidder will exceed their international bonus pool by more than 15 percent, that team will have to forfeit the ability to sign any international amateur free agent for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods.