A few weeks ago Rick and I drove out to the Phoenix area with our buddy Marshall for our annual Spring Training baseball trip. As has become tradition I have opinions about things, hopefully you’re here to read them because here we go!

Peoria Sports Complex

There’s a lot to like about the Padres and Mariners’ complex, built in 1994 and the first shared complex of its kind. We’ll start here: the craft beer selection is the best I’ve seen. While the surrounding neighborhood gets flak from some Spring Training veterans for being so suburban, there are much better options here compared to other stadiums we’ve visited. Peoria has lots of hotels in walking distance, though the “quality” can vary.

Here there’s a decent selection of chain restaurants and sports bars. The epicenter is the Moon Saloon, a bar across the street from the PSC full of sports fans and if you’re lucky, some sports employees. There’s also Salty Señorita, which admittedly has an awful beer selection and is generally kind of gross, but you know what Rick it’s outside, literally part of the complex, and you can see Padres minor leaguers practicing so it can’t be all that bad because sun baseball beer.

peoria sports complex outfieldSadly the Peoria Sports Complex stadium does have one fatal flaw: it was built before panoramic concourses with shaded standing room to watch the game were commonplace. At the PSC the main concourse for buying concessions and walking around doesn’t have a view of the game. Meaning there’s almost no standing and watching from anywhere in the main seating bowl. There is one interior walkway visible on the right side of the panoramic photo below, it just isn’t meant for hanging out. If you try, you get (to be fair, politely) asked by an usher to move from the concourse to your seat. And because there’s no raised press box or upper level, shade isn’t easy to come by either.

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An old friend returns.

In a very special episode of Padres and Pints: The Podcast! Rick and Chris are joined by an old friend. They discuss just what in holy hell that old friend has been up to that could be better than podcasting with Rick and Chris. They talk about being a Padres fan away from San Diego, Trevor Hoffman’s HOF induction, and more.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them down below or e-mail us.

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Chase Headley – Photo by Keith Allison

I know, I know. I know. You might not want to believe Chase Headley is the most productive Padres third baseman of all time when Ken Caminiti exists. I know. Hear me out.

Ken Caminiti is the safe pick for the most memorable Padres third baseman of all time. He put together a monster 1996 season, the second greatest Padres season from any position player by fWAR (7.5) while also leading the team to its first divisional victory in 12 years.

You know who ties Caminiti for the second greatest Padre position player season? Current Padre Chase Headley, whose defense and underrated bat boosted his 2012 campaign to 7.5 fWAR to match.

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My first impression of the Eric Hosmer deal was meh. I’m admittedly not a fan of him as a player. He has been an inconsistent contributor to the Royals over the last seven years. 9.9 fWAR over 7 full seasons is just okay. However, putting up 4.1 fWAR  in one season (2017) is really good. So who is Hosmer? Is he the zero fWAR player of 2014, or 3.5 fWAR player of the World Champion 2015 team? The weird thing is he isn’t the average of the two. His entire career has been boom or bust, Replacement Player or Good Player. And he alternates seasons too. Next year if he plays above replacement player it will be the first even year of his entire career to do so. And with his defense being a bit sub-par, he is really going to have to hit next year at Petco and the NL West to break the streak.

So why am I just meh instead of against it? Well first,  the Padres paid a decent price for him. 5 years at $105MM is a pretty fair contract for a 28 year old hitting free agency. And then 3 years $39MM is great. I’m not too thrilled about the Padres front office touting his leadership skills as it looks like they bought what Hosmer’s agent Scott Boras was selling. Prestige Value (PV) is a difficult metric to quantify. That’s because it’s made up. There is no such thing as PV. Clubhouses have leaders, sure. But if you go 0-4 with 3 weak ground-outs to 2B and a K, no one wants to hear your shit anyway. Besides, most leaders of a young group tend to be a home grown guy. Someone who has risen up the ranks and earned it. Someone who knew everyone back when they were lava. Knew them when they were just a twinkle in the volcano’s eye. Sure, Eric can lead the guys like Wil Myers. Or maybe just Wil Myers. Wait, did the Padres just spend $144MM just so Wil Myers is happy?

Another reason I’m fine with this is because the Padres added another player with the ability to put up good numbers. And they need this. Every World Series champion over the last forever has had guys put up good seasons, combined with guys who put up great seasons. That Kansas City team of 2015 had Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Wade Davis, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Hosmer have solid seasons. And they also had Lorenzo Cain have a fantastic season. The 2016 Cubs had extremely productive years from Kris Bryant, Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo, supported by solid years from Ben Zobrist, Addison Russel, Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and even Wilson Contreras. And recently the ’17 Astros supported the huge seasons from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa with a big season from  George Springer, Marwin Gonzalez, Alex Bregman, Brad Peacock, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers. Then they added Justin Verlander to all that talent.

So what I mean is it takes a ton of talent to win the whole thing. The Padres added talent. Hopefully this guy stops with the Jekyll and Hyde seasons and is just rock solid. In turn Wil Myers can move to the outfield and progress from last year and also be a big contributor. The huge seasons will have to come from the young guys. Whether they are playing up the middle or pitching, someone or two has got to step up big and throw up a 6+ WAR season. It probably won’t be Eric Hosmer. And that is just fine.

 

Follow me on Twitter – @Lybargerbrewery

David Lee Owen, portraying as Santa Claus, throws out the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game between the Florida Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, July 18, 2008, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. The Marlins were celebrating "Christmas in July." (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The holiday season. A season of kindness. A season of giving.

A season of endless Star Shower Laser Light commercials.

It’s been 4 years since I first wrote lyrics parodying the song The 12 Days of Christmas. Then, 2 years later, I rewrote and updated it. And it’s popularity with you, the adoring public, has brought it back yet again.

This year, I made it a wish list. None of this stuff has happened…yet.

As always, my heartfelt apologies to Weird Al Yankovic and Bob Rivers, who both do this sort of stuff better than I ever could.

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Today I’m launching a new project, The Sacrifice Bunt Newsletter, and you can find all of the pertinent details inside that link. It’s basically a Padres-focused e-mail newsletter that you can subscribe to for a (hopefully) reasonable price.

I’ve greatly enjoyed writing here at Padres Public, a stretch that has included nearly 250 (!) articles in ~3.5 years. It’s been a ridiculous amount of fun for me, and I’m especially grateful to you, the reader, for reading and commenting and helping to make the whole thing an enjoyable experience. A big thanks to Sac Bunt Chris for inviting me to join him and for always giving me good advice, as well as to Rick and the rest of the gang for giving me a decent parking space at headquarters and just generally putting up with me. This isn’t necessarily goodbye, because I’ll still be hanging around this site, but a lot of my focus will be redirected toward this new venture.

If you’ve enjoyed my writing over the past few years, I hope you’ll consider subscribing. I’m not a great salesman, but I promise it’s going to be good.

—Sac Bunt Dustin