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

Prior to the season, there was a lot of discussion about what kind of weird, outside-the-box ideas the Padres could unveil on the field in 2017. So far, outside of carrying three Rule 5 players through the middle of July and shifting frequently, none of them have really come to fruition. There’s a vast gravitational pull that draws major-league teams back toward the ordinary, and these Padres haven’t yet found the antidote to its force.

It got me thinking, though. What kind of weird, outside-the-box ideas could the Padres try off the field for the rest of the season? After all, it is only July, so there’s still time left for a change of pace. After racking my brain a bit, I had one thing I really wanted to write about. There were other ideas that I considered (lowering concessions, coming up with better giveaways), but they’re super obvious, and others here at this site and across the Padres blogosphere could write about them with more familiarity than I could. So I decided to just write about that one thing.

That one thing is Giants Outsiders, a “live 30-minute multi-platform and fan-interactive show” recently created by NBC Sports Bay Area. It airs on NBC Sports Bay Area at 11 PM after every 7 PM Giants game, and it features longtime baseball writer Grant Brisbee and Therese Viñal. I’ve only caught a couple of shows, including one last Friday after a Padres-Giants game, but it’s really good. It’s kind of a more casual postgame show with a bunch of fan interaction through social media, but it also features the sort of off-beat analysis that you can only get from someone like Brisbee.

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Let me begin by making the following statement, so there can be no confusion:

I like Mark Sweeney. The few occasions that I’ve met him, he was personable and pleasant. He seems to be a really nice guy to everyone he meets, no matter what.

Now, having gotten that out of the way, Fox Sports San Diego needs to stop putting Sweeney in the play-by-play booth. Like, immediately and forever.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Sweeney does a halfway decent job as a studio analyst. He should keep doing that.

However, when he shows up for those three innings during home games as the third wheel in the booth between Don Orsillo and Mark Grant, the life gets sucked right out of the broadcast. Whenever he’s in the broadcast booth, I find myself tuning out of the action of the game and doing other things while the TV stays on as background noise. When he subs for Mud on occasion, I find myself wishing that there wasn’t a delay between the radio and TV feeds.

Now that Dick Enberg and his Dickisms have retired from everyday play-by-play life, Sweeney has taken up the mantle of driving some Friars’ fans to drink.

Here are the guidelines for the Sweenalysis drinking game.

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Four years ago, I started a project out of, quite frankly, spite and disappointment.

I now feel a responsibility to maintain this thing I started.

Because the Padres Twittersphere is an ever-evolving entity. Players and people leave, sometimes even of their own accord. Some who have stayed have changed their Twitter usage to not be all that interesting of a follow anymore. Still others just seem to have given up the medium altogether.

Some do a bit of all of that, sailing off into the distance in silence, like a sailboat in the night.

So, here we are. The fourth iteration of my “Padres Must-Follow” Twitter list.

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I was once again a guest on The Kept Faith podcast this week along with Chris Garcia. We discussed FS Investors vs SDSU, the signing of Jered Weaver, and finished off with some baseball movie talk.

Last year they had me on to talk about The Fan, which is arguably one of the worst movies involving baseball ever made. This time, to make it up to me, we talked about Eight Men Out, which is one of my favorite baseball movies.

You can find out where you can listen to it in The Kept Faith’s post. Do it.

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fssd1Fox Sports San Diego announced the San Diego Padres 2017 Spring Training broadcast schedule today, and it may surprise you how many games that FSSD is going to broadcast this spring.

This season, FSSD is going to carry 14 Spring Training games, all from Arizona. All but one game will be live, with the March 11 game against the Milwaukee Brewers being shown on tape delay. The Padres will also play the World Baseball Classic team from Mexico on March 7.

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It’s everybody’s favorite time of year – Hall of Fame voting season! Every year, we gnash our teeth and argue in circles over mostly stupid things. The most recent trend seems to center on excluding players who played during the “Steroid Era” (but not those who we perceive as being clean, because you can just tell…you know?), which completely avoids context and usually devolves into general shouting at clouds. And then there’s Curt Schilling, who deserves to be in, but is an all-around awful/racist/xenophobic human being…which was probably enough to keep him out (for now), but several writers have finally decided he was bad because he posted a picture a shirt implying journalists should be hanged. Which is awful, but that was the tipping point? Anyway, enough garbage – we’re here to talk about Trevor Hoffman’s candidacy.

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Last week I had the pleasure of touring some of Petco Park’s television production facilities. These aren’t the first photos I’ve published: in 2009 I posted photos from inside the Cox Channel 4 broadcast trailer back at the original Sacrifice Bunt. Hard to believe it’s been seven years.

This tour has more going for it: bigger, better photos, more locations, and a special, secret spot I’ve never seen of a tour visit. You’ll have to wait patiently to see what it is though. Or scroll to the bottom of this article, I guess.

First up is the trailer used by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) to cover the Orioles broadcast:

padres masn production trailer

This the MASN trailer that houses the producers who tell everyone what to do, and display graphics on screen. Behind this photo is a sign with a flamingo on it that says “No Flamingo’ing.” I thought “Flamingo’ing” was some sort of technical jargon, but it just means “Don’t lean with your foot on the wall.”

 

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Every so often I write something of substance. It’s not always embedded tweets and GIFs. So prepare to have your minds blown! Or not.

My copy of 100 Things Padres Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Kirk Kenney showed up a little over a week ago. I have read it. This is my review.

Kenney has been a sportswriter for the San Diego Union-Tribune since 1985. Triumph Books has published a series of books about sports teams’ histories and asked Kenney if he would write one about the Padres.

The title says it all. The book is 100 things in Padres history that fans — maybe not should — but perhaps would be interested to know. People, dates, numbers, and events that helped shape the Padres into what they are today.

First off, Randy Jones wrote the foreword. You know, the barbecue guy. Oh, Jones also won the 1976 Cy Young Award while pitching for the Padres. Oh, he was the first person inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame. Oh, and his number 35 was also retired by the Padres.

I can’t think of a better way to begin a book about the Padres than to have the Crafty Lefty get the start. So right off the bat (pun intended), the book has some credibility.

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Sometimes letters never reach their intended targets, instead becoming lost, abandoned, or otherwise discarded amongst the abundance of flyers and coupons in the mailperson’s sack. Sometimes those letters end up at the doorstep of the Padres Public headquarters, where we promptly publish them. Here are some of those letters.

Mr. Mike Dee
CEO, San Diego Padres Baseball Club.
April 20, 2016

Dear Mr. Dee—I just wanted to write to tell you how much I like the new Sycuan sign at Petco Park. What a beaut! It’s such a delight to be patrons of a team that cares so much about quality advertising, and that, my friend, is some quality advertising. I went to the game the other night with my boy and the first thing he asked me about was that glowing monstrosity looming over the batter’s eye, and we proceeded to have a wonderful conversation about my past tribulations with a game called blackjack . . . but I digress.

We marveled at the incandescent light shimmering off each letter, a gorgeously centered backdrop to the drubbing the home nine were taking on the field. It’s really a great location for such aesthetic mastery, boldly affixed atop the field of play. What a beaut!

Shoot, more I think about it, I can’t even remember what was there before. And now I’ve got an eight-year-old son who wants to hit the Vegas Strip. I just wanted to make sure you know how much we appreciate that sign, and for that matter, everything else you do—although I’m sure fans around the park are always telling you the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cheers,
Sam in Escondido

P.S.—Can any other team in the majors boast a one-two advertising punch like the Padres, with the aforementioned Sycuan sign and the now slightly overshadowed—but impressive in its own right, darn it—National University sign in left-center? That’s a heckuva combo. Keep up the good work.

***

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