Exercise Josh Johnson‘s 2015 option? Exercise it now when there’s news that he’s on his way to see Dr. James Andrews, likely putting an end to his 2014 season?

Before you dismiss this suggestion as the ravings of a lunatic (and it is lunacy for no other reason than options don’t get picked up until the season ends and performance thresholds are met or missed), resist for but a moment. It was just the other night that I jokingly offered the following:

This was a joke without a punchline. Here’s the punchline . . .

There it is! A Caddy Shack reference! Yes! No? Sorry.

I was not serious in any way. Instead, I chose to use twitter for its intended purpose:  To be a facetious jerkface.

But I’ve been thinking about this and if you’ll indulge me I would like to make a case for keeping Josh Johnson around in 2015.

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Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton announced earlier today that he would be taking over the Pregame and Postgame show for 2014 on the Padres flagship station, The Mighty 1090. This news may interest those wondering what 1090 would do with Hamilton after it had replaced him with Dan Sileo but I find it interesting* for another reason: Baseball fans will now get even less of Craig Elsten.

*Where I define “interesting” as “disappointing”.

Last season, Elsten’s primary duties included hosting the Pregame and Postgame shows on the weekend as well as filling in for Jack Cronin or Coach Kentera during the week when needed. All told, Elsten worked about half of last season’s games,  partnering with former Padres announcer Bob Chandler. The combination of Elsten and Chandler made for a great mix of something old and something new. This is now gone.

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As opening day nears and you prepare for the first fight between the Padres and Dodgers,  I have the perfect recipe for you . . .

Back in November, as a defiant alternative to the Pork Belly Nachos offered at Petco Park, Geoff Young wrote a glowing scouting report on Kalua Pork Nachos grading them as a versatile dish. In his own words, Young commented:

OFP Grade: 60+; first-division appetizer that can also serve as an entree

This is all well and good but an organization cannot thrive on the opinion of just one man. A diversity of expert culinary opinions are warranted when reviewing the potential of a dish. After the initial report is filed by an area scout (GY) it is incumbent upon the man with the final say to come in and present his evaluation – in scouting parlance this man is referred to as the cross-checker (ME).

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Yesterday the U-T’s Dennis Lin reported the following information about Sunday’s Opener:

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from Sunday’s start against the Padres because of an inflamed back muscle.

The loss of the defending CY Young winner can be viewed by Padres fans in a multitude of ways but let’s start with these two basic visceral reactions:

1. Nooooooooooo!

  • A fantastic September 2013 start at Petco Park not withstanding, the Padres had some success against the NL’s best pitcher. Some fans want to see the Padres face Kershaw for this reason alone.
  • There’s always a chance that Kershaw’s performance could be sabotaged by explosive diarrhea. Some fans think diarrhea is funny. I’m one of them. However, I also respect the effectiveness of diarrhea on a starting pitcher’s performance. And I respect that it could happen again.

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Andrew Cashner. He has a beard and throws a baseball 100 mph. And he also kills things with a bow.

During the month of March, have-nots, underachievers, and the down right terrible organizations generally have something in common: a sense of optimism. Their fans have it too. Even if these fans don’t think their team really has a chance there’s still an elemental need to look at things with a glass-half-full perspective. Without some sense of optimism, why bother?

At Padres Public this spring we’ve come together and made bold win predictions, thrown obscure names in the hat for an unlikely (some more likely) Spring Training Hero, and just yesterday Oscar tried to get a handle on what would constitute a successful Padres season. A lot of different opinions, some grounded in realism, others in optimism.

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It’s weird how some people gauge success. For example, if I manage to not ruin my clothes while doing laundry I’m patting myself on the back for a job well done.

I think the best way to determine success is by managing expectations. As Padres fans, we haven’t had much to look forward to the last several years. Sure, there are always a few players on the roster who genuinely bring excitement (looking at you, Chase <3), but for the most part it’s a collection of talent that leaves much to be desired.

This year’s different, or so we’re being told. There’s legitimacy all over the Padres roster, enough for many baseball writers I respect and read regularly to call them this year’s “sleeper team”. They’re good, or at least have the upside to be really good. Many of us here at Padres Public think they could be an 85-90 win team… if they can stay healthy (sorry).

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, what should we consider a successful Padres season?

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Yesterday morning Ervin Santana signed a 1-year contract for $14.1MM with the Atlanta Braves. It’s a good deal for Ervin Santana. He didn’t have a job before yesterday. It’s a good deal for the Braves who have seen injuries to pitchers Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, the latter of which, may require Tommy John surgery. Ervin Santana has a contract and the Braves filled a hole in their rotation, and everyone wins. Or do they?

Ervin Santana didn’t want a 1-year contract. Ervin Santana wanted a Many-year contract. This is an understandable desire. Averaging 210 IP over each of the previous 4 seasons, Ervin Santana has shown himself to be a reliable starter, and at 31 years of age, was seeking what could be his last chance to get a big payday. But because the Kansas City Royals gave Santana a Qualifying Offer at the end of the 2013 season for 1 year at $14.1MM there were restrictions to the right-hander’s impending free-agency. Santana could either accept the offer or seek a multi-year offer elsewhere. Once he rejected the Qualifying Offer any team that signed him would be required to forfeit its first pick in the 2014 June Amateur Draft. This caveat to signing Santana appears to have scared off a good many suitors but when teams get desperate they make deals happen – and along came the Atlanta Braves. By signing Santana the Braves will add payroll and forfeit their 28th pick in the 2014 June Amateur Draft (Don’t feel too bad for the Braves – they have a pick at #31 as compensation for the loss of Brian McCann).

It took more than 200 words but we’ve finally arrived to Chase Headley. He of the expiring contract at the end of 2014, Chase Headley. Is a Qualifying Offer in Chase Headley’s future?

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Let’s get this out of the way: The Padres aren’t firing Bud Black.

First, they (unnecessarily) exercised the club options on his contract for 2014 and 2015. He’s safe through at least this season. You’re excited, I can tell. Second, there’s no obvious replacement already on the coaching staff. Third, that’s baseball.

With that said, let’s have some fun with hypotheticals.

Let’s say the Padres get off to a bad start. I don’t mean just a terrible record (we’ve seen that), I’m talking shit body language and players openly questioning Bud’s leadership. Everybody loves Bud, so the latter may be a stretch*.

* It’s a hypothetical – let’s get crazy!

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A little over a year ago I wrote that The Padres Are Blowing it. That statement feels vague. I was speaking specifically about marketing the team to the casual fans of San Diego:

Fortunately, I have a solution! The Padres need to take a portion of the windfall they received from Fox and start advertising the f*ck out of this team. I’m talking about commercials, people. The funny ones that say, “Hey! We’re a bunch of good dudes and you need to get yourself to Petco Park to support us. Dammit!”

It took over a year but the Padres have finally produced a commercial to promote the team rather than a give-away. Yesterday Wayne Partello tweeted a link to this gem advertising the opening series against the Dodgers:

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