Today we’re going to discuss Bud Black in great detahahahahahahahaha no we’re not. Let’s ramble:

  • Jedd Gyorko needs to be playing every day. I can’t believe this is even a discussion. The offense has been absolute dog shit this month, and Gyorko, who’s hitting .277/.358/.489 with a 178 OPS+ in May, can’t get regular at-bats because of trash baseball player Will Middlebrooks and good-looking but meh baseball player Cory Spangenberg. Neither of those two guys should be playing over Gyorko. I don’t care which one sits, though at this point I’d be happy to see Middlebrooks gone altogether. Gyorko’s also the best defender of the group, which should seem like more of a priority considering the albatross this team’s been in the field. I’m worried that at this point Gyorko’s best chance for regular playing time this season is with another team.
  • Look at Will Venable, playing as spry as the 25-year-old he was when we first saw him almost 39 years ago. Time flies waiting for someone to reach their ceiling, or continue being a massive dick tease. His hitting and defense have been a godsend. Holy shit that’s a disgusting sentence, but it’s the truth. All hail Will Venable, grandfather to us all.
  • OK fine, since no one wants to do it, I’ll go ahead and say it: Justin Upton’s good.
  • Speaking of Uptons, what of one Melvin Upton? Could he still be a useful player? Let’s take a look at his Baseball-Reference pag- OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOO. I’m not gonna pile on Melvin. I’m sure he’s gotten a lot of shit from a lot people since he signed that contract. I hope he comes back healthy and we see some semblance of the player he once was. But for now he’s in the Josh Johnson/Corey Luebke/Brandon Morrow group. Not gonna expect much from his this year, and possibly ever.
  • Matt Kemp’s looked like a real baseball player the last couple games, which is nice to see.
  • It’s funny how nobody talks about how much run support, or lack thereof, the starters get except when Andrew Cashner pitches. Here’s an idea, stop bringing that meaningless shit up. Nobody judges a pitcher’s performance based on his win-loss record, and if they do then you should ignore them. I had no idea what Cashner’s record was until I looked it, and then I hated myself for wasting the time it took looking up a meaningless stat when I could have been thinking about Fury Road or Huston Street. “Cashner’s snakebitten!” Why? Because he doesn’t get any wins? Fuck off. Join the rest of us in 2015.
  • Speaking of Fury Road, FURY ROAD!!!!!!!
  • I’m ready for Yonder and Myers to come back, or really anyone to displace Solarte at first base.
  • Does Tyson Ross have the sexiest pitch on the staff? At first I would think Kimbrel’s fastball, but he’s been shit for most of the year. Cashner’s slider is sexy, but not in the way you want to invite it over to hang out; more like a backup. Ian Kennedy’s stuff has been so on-and-off, you can’t really trust it to be sexy when you need it to be. Sorry, Despaigne’s not welcome in this conversation.
  • OK one very quick thing on Buddy: he’s gotta get thrown out the next time a bullshit call goes against his guys. It sounds totally stupid and unproductive, but I think it matters when the manager’s as pissed off about a bad call as his player is.

I haven’t been able to write this post the last two weeks due to a hectic schedule and for that I apologize. I realize this is a huge part of your day, no wait, your week, and I couldn’t be more disappointed in letting you down. Cry on my shoulder, it’s OK. The worst is past, and we can now move on to criticizing the shit out of professionals. Let’s Ramble.

  • Something I’ve been thinking about a lot in recent days, especially with how poorly the Padres have been playing, is what exactly Bud’s role is on the team. Yes, he’s the manager, but what does he do? I don’t know, and I doubt most fans know. He’s obviously in charge of handling the clubhouse and its personalities, a job nobody can quantify. Is he good at handling people? I guess, but I don’t really know. I do know that his lineups can be confusing and infuriating. I’ve seen him cost the Padres scoring opportunities and entire games with his penchant for giving away outs and bullpen mismanagement. I’ve seen that. I don’t think firing him will accomplish much, because the person that replaces him could be worse. I do love how the narrative’s shifted to “whoa hey chill guys Bud’s not the one giving up dingers.” If nothing is his fault, why the fuck even have a manager? If you’re gonna go the “it’s all the players!” route, then spare me your “look at the job Buddy’s doing!” sentiments. You don’t want to blame him for the team’s shortcomings? Fine. But don’t give him the credit if/when they turn it around.
  • As bad as Byrne’s tenure was, it could’ve been a lot worse had Andrew Cashner signed that extension. The Padres dodged a huge bullet. Preller’s probably a little disappointed. I’m sure he would’ve loved the challenge of trying to trade a number four starter with a terrible contract.
  • Justin Upton is a goddamn Sentinel. Ron Fowler’s scourging through old pants trying to find any extra food stamps he can cash in. Does 7 years, $210 million get it done? Sheeeeeeiiiiiitt, we can only hope.
  • Jedd Gyorko, once buried and left for dead at a cemetery where shady heroin deals go down, has scratched and clawed his way back into our lives, like Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill 2. He asked for a glass of water, and in return he’s delivered a .351/.400/.622 slash line in May, with a nifty 211 OPS+. JEDD FUCKING GYORKO.
  • The Padres buried Will Middlebrooks’ carcass in the grave Gyorko escaped from. Middlebrooks *looks* really good. I mean, goddamn, he can pull off a uniform better than most. But it’s all for show, like a Porsche that dies if you go past 40 miles per hour. It was an experiment worth trying. Now let’s Spang and Gyork the rest of the season.
  • Wil Myers :(
  • The whole point of taking Melvin Upton’s albatross contract and giving up Cam Maybin and a good prospect and some other shit for Craig Kimbrel was that he was supposed to be automatic. Like, fools weren’t even supposed to get on base against him, much less knock him around like he was goddamn Clayton Richard. At this point I don’t trust him to close my garage door. Here’s hoping Balsley could fix him, lol.
  • I miss Yonder.
  • Anybody who doesn’t want Tulo is a hater and not a real Padres fan.
  • I graduate college today. Don’t bother me.
  • HEDGES!!!!!!! oh my god oh my god oh my god it’s happening. .345/.415/.586 THREE FORTY FIVE FOUR FIFTEEN FIVE EIGHTY SIX. More walks (7) than strikeouts (6). “But it’s only been 65 plate appearances,” said the joyless sap. Fuck off. “Small sample size.” Eat me. I bet you give away toothbrushes on Halloween too. Did anybody ever question why they got a king-sized Snickers on Halloween with the rest of their shitty candy? Fuck no! You put your balls on the table and bragged about having the best candy to your friends. You didn’t question its validity or return it to the person who gave it to you. You saved it for last, then ate it while regretting your life choices. That is unless you were AJ Preller. In that case you probably traded it for two king sized Kit-Kats and a handful of fun-sized Mr. Goodbars. Austin Hedges is our king-sized Snickers. Is this all a fluke? Shit, I don’t know. I just know it’s a lot more fun this way.
  • BTW if you didn’t like the previous analogy, well, too fucking bad.
  • Justin Upton’s walkup music should be Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money.” If Kemp were really a good teammate, he’d understand.
  • Here lies Jedd Gyorko’s Bandwagon (2013-2015). It lived a short but meaningful life, and only the strong allowed it to live as long as it did. The cause of death has not yet been determined, but it is believed to be a violent and graphic passing. It is survived by Haha1721 and RJ’s Fro. RIP.
  • Glenn Hoffman’s getting exposed. It’s like he’s seen never seen base runners before. Holy fuck has he had some tragic moments this year. I’m gonna give him a break because I don’t know his role in the clubhouse and his brother works for the organization so he’s totes not getting fired no matter what.
  • What the fuck’s up with all the dipshit base running. It’s amazing the Padres have one of the best offenses in baseball considering how many runs and scoring opportunities they’ve cost themselves with TOOTBLAN after TOOTBLAN. This isn’t a team that needs to be aggressive on the base paths. Trying to move into scoring position with your home run hitters at the plate isn’t aggressive, it’s fucking stupid and needs to end now. And for fuck’s sake someone tell Spang he’s got a history of concussions and sliding head first might not be conducive to his long-term health.
  • Hey guys did you know that this year is not last year. Real shit. I just found out. It is not last year. This year is THIS year and different from last year. We get it, the team’s better and totally nothing like last year’s and that’s good. When April ends, we’ll bury this storyline next to the Gyorko Bandwagon’s grave.
  • Is it too soon to say the pitchers hate Derek Norris? Because I think they hate Derek Norris.
  • As long as Yonder hits for a high average and gets on base, I’ll live with it. It’ll be an empty high average, with lots of bloopers juuuuuuuuust over the shortstop’s head. His 138 OPS+ is really encouraging, and I’ve been very impressed with his approach. But his defense has been shit. Maybe this is just me, but I’ve noticed he’s not putting much effort in trying to save poor throws from the infielders. Kinda lazy.
  • The Middlebrooks crowd scurried off in a fucking hurry, didn’t it?
  • Wil Myers is your incredibly intelligent and wonderful cousin who has a meth problem.

Since last week’s post garnered such a positive response, I decided to make this a weekly thing. I’ll just call it ‘Ramblings’ for now until I can think of something better. Suggestions are welcome! Let’s get into it.

  • Geez I didn’t think Gyorko would be phased out so early in the season, but here we are. Maybe if he were being benched in favor of a significantly better alternative I would understand, but it’s Yangervis fucking Solarte. If the Padres want to force Solarte into the lineup so badly then they should give him a shot at shortstop. It’s not like he’d be any worse than the goddamn stop sign they throw out there every night. Let Gyorko play everyday and leave him alone. “But he’s slumping!” Fuck you. Will Middlebrooks hasn’t been much better and people love that asshole. Gyorko’s also one of the Padres best defenders, but ssshhhhhhhhhh. Bat him seventh or whatever, but don’t bury him because he’s not an all-star yet.
  • Dale Thayer has something on his face I can only describe as regret and sorrow. He’s going for the Stan Rizzo look, and it’s just not working. That goes for all the mountain men wannabes. Show some decency for mankind and shave the facial pubes.
  • For as much as I trashed Cashner, he pitched really well against Arizona.
  • Speaking of Cashner, how much should we criticize him considering the personal (and very serious) issues he’s dealing with? David from Vocal Minority got me thinking about this, and I think being easier on Cashner (or at least not going nuclear when he does something stupid) is a good way to go. The same could be said for Dick Enberg. Sweeney is always fair game, though.
  • Justin Upton’s swing is pure sex. It’s like Prince and Baseball Jesus decided to bang and out came this miracle bestowed upon us. He’s hitting 50 this year. Write that shit in stone
  • Derek Norris is secretly a billionaire who kills people for sport in the offseason. That’s where his speed comes from. You think it’s easy playing The Most Dangerous Game? Fuck outta here.
  • Petco Park is a better pitching coach than Darren Balsley.
  • Bud Black knows less than Jon Snow.
  • Apparently there was some sort of rave or laser show at Petco Park last Saturday night after the win over the Giants. Padres ownership cashed in their food stamps and went to fucking town. Fowler strikes me as the eager one. The party’s not going anywhere, but he needs to take his shirt off RIGHT NOW. Dee is the wingman in charge of keeping everyone alive. Preller’s the weed guy. Seidler’s in bed watching Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Blocking anyone and everyone who puts the team’s record next to their name. Charger fans do that shit, and they’re the worst. Find another way to show your loyalty or whatever the hell you’re trying to prove.

I went to my first (of hopefully many) Padres game of the season last night at Dodger Stadium. It was a pretty damn entertaining game, and I had a lot of thoughts I wanted to get out of my head. Since I’m too lazy to try and organize it in a coherent post, I figured I’d just write it all out in bullet points or something. So here goes.

  • I said this on Twitter yesterday, but Wil Myers can fill out a fucking uniform. He wears a jersey like Don Draper wears a suit. TV does not do him justice. Between him, Kemp, Justin and Middlebrooks, the Padres have some serious beef cake. It’s too bad they traded Maybin, otherwise I wouldn’t have made to July.
  • Derek Norris is fast? Derek Norris is fast! Who knew! I mean, I’m sure some people knew and for whatever reason didn’t tell us. My friend initially noticed Norris’ speed when he grounded out to third, and hot damn that dude can get down the line. He also threw out a runner and had a huge double, but that speed, man.
  • Yonder had three (!!!) hits, and they were the most Yonder base hits ever. If he hangs onto the first base job he’s gonna have more singles than a stripper. I’ve grown fond of Yonder. Everything he does is hilarious. I imagine he fist bumps himself every time he successfully pours cereal.
  • That Yasiel Puig throw. THAT FUCKING YASIEL PUIG THROW ARE YOU KIDDING ME. My jaw literally dropped when that shit happened. How is that throw even possible. I was beside myself and didn’t know what to do. Should I have become a Dodgers fan out of principle? I felt like I owed him that much. “I feel so spoiled because he does that every game,” my friend said as I struggled to find the right words to describe what just happened. Dick.
  • Not sure how I got this far without mentioning Tyson Ross. He makes awkward look graceful, like a jump shooter with a terrible form but who’s actually pretty good. I’m not sure how concerned I should be about him laboring the third time through the lineup, but things got away from him quick. I know the umpire sucked, but Ross got away with a some really bad pitches. Still, if that’s his worst or him being sub-par, I’ll take it.
  • I’ve completely changed my mind on the Kimbrel trade, mostly because I’m a whore for stuff and velocity. My god, it was like watching a Terminator fight an algebra teacher. Poor Joc Pederson did not deserve that. Ethier probably did, though.
  • Gyorko’s a really solid defender and I think he’ll be fine offensively.
  • Bud crosses his arms like a guy ready to get a full refund on some shady light bulbs he bought at Home Depot.
  • Either Cashner’s hair goes or he does. This can no longer be tolerated.
  • Dodger fans were whistling during Kemp’s at-bats, which was annoying as shit. I didn’t really get the reference, if there was one at all. At one point, some middle-aged dude began screaming Rihanna lyrics during his at-bats. I’m not talking just chorus, though, I’m talking full on entire Ri-Ri songs.
  • Fuck blue. Fuck these uniforms. Bring back the brown.

The last post from the Avenging Jack Murphy blog on Padres Public was from me in late June. At the time I was on vacation in Mexico visiting family when the Padres had the fucking nerve to fire Josh Byrnes. I mean, they couldn’t fire him before I left the country? Assholes. My Wi-Fi sucked, and I missed out on the chance to chime in on social media with my all-important opinion.

I still managed to scribble out a few words on Byrnes and why I thought his firing was justified. The opportunity for endless jokes and retweets was lost, however, and my vacation was ruined.

The impact of Byrnes’ firing went far beyond the Padres organization. As you all know, Padres Public had a preeeeeeetty comfortable relationship with the Padres and their front office. They told us shit, like, real important stuff that ordinary peasants would never hear. We got free tickets whenever we wanted, and they even let some us go on TV and be media whores for 15 minutes.

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On Sunday the Padres fired their general manager Josh Byrnes. Since his firing, a lot of important details have come to light that paint ownership in a much worse picture than Byrnes. He (like Bud) was a problem, but not the biggest problem. Still firing him was absolutely the right move.

Two and a half years usually isn’t long enough to evaluate a GM’s performance. But that doesn’t mean Byrnes’ firing was unjustified. Byrnes inherited a loaded farm system which, at the time he was hired, was rated among the best by ESPN, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. Things have deteriorated quickly, as injuries and the alarming inability to develop young players have led the system toward a downward spiral (the system’s still got some pretty damn good players).

But player development has always been an issue here (how Randy Smith is still employed I’ll never know), so putting the blame solely on Byrnes isn’t fair. His drafts were generally well received both by experts and fans, so the acquisition of amateur talent wasn’t necessarily a problem.

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What follows is an exclusive conversation between Josh Byrnes, Mike Dee and Johnny Manziel. Don’t ask how I got it. This is all 100% true. Promise.

*Mike Dee enters Josh Byrnes’ office*

Mike Dee: “Jesus Christ you’re playing Playstation again? Turn that off I want to talk to you about something.”

Josh Byrnes: “Geez, dad, let me just finish this game of Madden.”

*Byrnes loses 49-21*

Byrnes: “What do you want.”

Dee: “Ok, so I was up late last night and came up with this crazy idea. It’s a little out of the box, but I think you’re gonna dig it.”

Byrnes: “If this is about the uniforms I told you I don’t fucking care.”

Dee: “Dude I know. It’s not that. Chill.”

Byrnes: “Ok what’s your idea.”

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We’ve come to that special time of the season when the Chicago Cubs visit San Diego and we Padres fans get to travel back in time to a quaint little year called 1984. A special time in our collective memories. A time when the Padres were good and Chevy Chase was still funny. How time changes everything. Despite the Padres woeful offensive performance of late, fans still have 1984 to hold on to for a small piece of sanity.

The Cubs arrive for a four game visit beginning today and it marks the 30th anniversary of the historic season in which the Padres finally climbed out of the cellar. For those of you old enough to remember, 1984 is perhaps one of the few moments of grace present in your fanhood.

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