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:
In 1973′s Magnum Force, Clint Eastwood uttered this memorable line as inspector Harry Callahan:
Man’s got to know his limitations.
I don’t think Cameron Maybin is familiar with this quote. Or maybe he is familiar with the film but he doesn’t believe the sentiment on account of his supreme athleticism. I tend to lean towards the latter.
Cameron Maybin probably doesn’t believe in limitations of any sort as it pertains to his feats on the baseball diamond. Oh, I know he said that he would limit his reckless abandon when he spoke to Darren Smith last week but did anyone honestly believe him? It’s very difficult to just turn things off when you are endowed with amazing abilities and possess a determination to shine. Cameron Maybin wants to shine, wants to be the guy in San Diego. Unfortunately Cameron Maybin doesn’t know his limitations and he now finds himself sidelined for the next few months with a ruptured left biceps tendon.
I witnessed the injury first hand during the split squad game at Camelback Ranch against the Dodgers on Sunday. Four things immediately flashed through my mind when the ball flew off Juan Uribe‘s bat:
Last January Baseball Prospectus rated Rymer Liriano as the number 2 prospect in the Padres system behind Austin Hedges. He was described as a player with all 5 tools and the potential to become a first division player.
Shortly after the BP ranking, Liriano tore his elbow while throwing, had Tommy John surgery, and consequently missed the 2013 season. It was a disappointing piece of news for fans who follow the farm system closely and even more so for fans who may have witnessed Rymer Liriano play in Peoria, Fort Wayne, Lake Elsinore, or San Antonio. Rymer Liriano is physical and the young Dominican stands out to even the most casual observer.
Today while listening to Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes speak with Darren Smith on the Mighty 1090 the conversation bounced from a weird type of ball game played by front office personnel, then to Chase Headley‘s calf, before finally settling in to my main concern this spring – Max Fried‘s tender forearm.
Darren asked Byrnes about his initial reaction to news from the trainers that something was up with Fried’s forearm/elbow and the GM said this:
“Yeah, I mean it’s been a lot the last few years and you kinda just keep waiting for the worm to turn and obviously, ya know, we’ve changed a few things with how we train and how we treat but . . .”
Wait, wait, wait. That’s gold right there.
The sounds of spring are finite within my world. They consist of the crack of a bat, a pop of the glove, and the delicate linguistic maneuverings of baseball men to journalists in such a way that the connotations could never be received in a negative or controversial manner. That was a mouthful but hey, it’s during spring when we are treated to some of the best cliches in baseball.
I didn’t find an “I’m in the best shape of my life”, but I did come across some other quotes that stood out this week.
It’s Valentine’s Day and instead of racing home to bend my knee and offer flowers to the lovely Mrs. AJM I called an audible – I designed a floral bonanza of love on the counter during the afternoon, wrote something witty in a card, made reservations for TOMORROW* along the water in a fine Coronado eatery and joined Craig Elsten for a discussion on the Chase Headley contract situation.
*Seriously . . . going to a restaurant ON Valentine’s Day is for complete amateurs.
It was awesome. We debated the idea of trading Chase now or extending him during Spring Training. We also discussed the merits of bringing home Chase Headley to date your daughters. Not my daughters . . . yours. We also discussed King Joffrey, an individual Craig and I both agreed would be a terrible suitor. Good times.
Give it a go [here]
On Monday, Nate took a look at the Michael Sam news and wondered when the time would come for baseball to welcome its first openly gay player. Nate finished with this:
Maybe it will be a member of the Padres. You never know. Why not?
The factors that would go into the decision to be the first openly gay player in your professional sport seem innumerable – but the scenario got me thinking nonetheless. Why not the Padres?
Last week we found out Cory Luebke was set to have his second Tommy John surgery, ending his 2014 season. We grieved, we cursed, and now we’ve moved on (shhh . . . just repeat it . . . it’ll make things easier).
I went over the best and worst case scenarios for Luebke in last week’s post. The success rate for a pitcher coming back after a second TJ surgery is 60 percent, and he’ll most likely be a reliever. What’s the success rate for pitchers who’ve had THREE TJ surgeries? I have no idea, mainly because I just assumed a third Tommy John effectively ends a pitcher’s career.
A few days ago Ben Badler of Baseball America wrote an article about the international spending by each major league team. Like free-agency, and the Rule 4 Amateur draft, the signing of international amateurs is a vital component to talent acquisition. Similar to the Rule 4 amateur draft, the signing of international free-agents is a cheap avenue to explore when adding talent to an organization.
Young players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Columbia, Nicaragua and other baseball hotbeds cover the landscape of each MLB affiliate as well as the 40 man rosters of MLB teams. How many of these international free agents are on the Padres roster right now? Everth Cabrera was signed in 2004 (Nicaragua – Rockies), Alexi Amarista signed in 2007 (Venezuela – Angels), as well as the recently acquired Joaquin Benoit (Dominican Republic – Rangers) and Alex Torres (Venezuela – Angels) signed in 1996 and 2005 respectively.
But not every organization invests equally in places such as the Dominican Republic. However, if done correctly these signings can be game-changing.
The article came to my attention via David Marver. He and I had a discussion that began with snark but ultimately became rewarding as it pushed me to delve a little deeper into the murkiness that surrounds the signing of international amateur baseball players.
What I discovered is that looking at a rank list of spending estimates does not paint a very accurate picture when it comes to international amateurs. How are the Padres doing in this area of talent procurement? Let’s see . . .
Man, this one hurts.
Earlier this evening, Padres beat writer Corey Brock tweeted that Cory Luebke would undergo his second Tommy John surgery, ending his 2014 season.
Ugh. What a gut-punch to a team that had such a productive (on-field) off-season. And poor Cory Luebke. As Mel from The Sac Bunt tweeted , I don’t know who or what to be mad at. There’s nothing you can blame for this, other than bad luck.