It is hard to argue that, through the month of May (and a bit of June) the Padres season has been disappointing. We can argue over the severity of that disappointment (put me in the mild category so far). But below .500 at this stage isn’t what many people had in mind. Despite the mediocre play of the team, however, the Padres remain 3 back of the wild card and 4.5 back in the West. One need only look as far back as one year ago to see a team below .500 at this same stage of the season that went on to make the playoffs. The Kansas City Royals, them of 90 ft from tying Game 7 fame, were 4 games below .500 on June 1 (26-30) and didn’t get back to .500 until June 10th thanks to a 10-game winning streak during that time frame. Even after that the Royals still dipped below .500 on July 20th before saying good-bye to mediocrity forever en route to a World Series appearance.

Are the Padres the Kansas City Royals? No. They are not.

Can the Padres put together a 19-10 month like the 2014 Royals did in August? Yes. Yes they can.

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You can sense it now, can’t you? How tantalizingly close we are to Opening Day; how in little more than a week games will be played that count. First pitch at Dodger Stadium on April 6 is scheduled for 1:10pm, a game that had plenty of storylines already before this weeks article describing locker room strife between the pitching rotation of San Diego and former Padre backstop Yasmani Grandal.

With the start of the season will come the end of discussing A.J. Preller’s grand experiment in the abstract. It will no longer matter what projection models say, it will only matter what actually occurs on the field. Speaking of those projections, the Padres are projected, depending on where you look, to be within a game or so of a Wild Card and finish 2nd in the NL West. Most of these projections rightfully have the Nationals and Dodgers as runaway favorites and plug in 3 NL Central teams into the playoffs. Looking at Fangraphs predictions, the Padres will miss the playoffs by 1 game to the Cubs, a team that will likely be without one of (if not the) best player on their roster for the first few weeks. It remains to be seen whether the Cubs will regret that decision though it is worth noting that the Cubs play 10 of their 22 April games against playoff teams from a year ago, plus 3 against the Padres and includes a week long road trip to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

All of this is to say that the Padres can ill afford to get off to a slow start to the season. Let me preface this by saying that it is a bit of a fallacy to put any more weight on April vs any other month. The fact of the matter is, one bad month, regardless of where it comes from, is a disaster. For example, the last time the Padres started off above .500 in the month of April was 2010 (15-8). That season they won 90 games which, with the new Wild Card rules and based on this years projections, would easily make the playoffs. They of course didn’t, thanks in part to a sub .500 September.

Nevertheless, winning consistently over 162 games begins in April. Winning can be contagious. It helps if you catch it early.

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Joe Versus The Volcano is my favorite movie. I know it’s not a great movie, and I know that in terms of Tom Hanks’ career, it’s considered a bit of a joke and a disappointment, but I love it.  The San Diego Padres are my favorite baseball team. I know that in terms of  Major League Baseball teams, they are considered a bit of a joke and are always disappointing, but I love them.

The movie is now 24 years old, and if you haven’t seen it you should stop everything and watch it (a former girlfriend bought me the DVD 12 years ago, so I watch it a lot), or you should just realize that explaining the plot and even the ending of things in print doesn’t really spoil the experience of watching things. I guess this is a spoiler alert, but whatever.

In the movie, Joe Banks, played by Tom Hanks, is stuck in a rut. He was once a brave firefighter, but a traumatic experience caused him to quit and get a desk job at a gross factory, which he’s worked at for 8 years, and where he’s developed depression and hypochondria and been forced to work for a hilariously bad boss played by the brilliant Dan Hedaya. On his lunch break, he sees a specialist because he doesn’t feel good, and the specialist explains to him that he has a “brain cloud,” a fatal condition that has no symptoms, but will kill him in 6 months.

Other than the brain cloud, that sounds a lot to me like the Padres, who once made the playoffs 2 years in a row and had a winning record 4 years in a row, but that was 7 years ago, and a ton of depressing shit has happened since then, without the benefit of Dan Hedaya for comic relief. Read More…

The Padres last made the post-season in 2006, losing in the divisional round to the St. Louis Cardinals. There was of course Game 163 which was technically a regular season game but certainly felt like a post-season game. That was 2007.

Since then? Not too much in the way of October baseball. But that could all change if Buster Olney and Peter Gammons are right. Olney was more confident, outright saying that the Padres would snag that second wild card and citing the Padres relative bad luck regarding injuries in 2013 as a primary reason. The Olney article is subscription only however the U-T excerpted the article here.

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This is where we gather from time to time to talk about something big in the Padres world or just the Padres or just baseball. It’s a roundtable discussion. Except, you know, no round tables. This is a Public House . . . so we’re at the bar.

Old-Fashioned-Bar

When the NLCS contestants were decided a couple of days ago our buddy BP tweeted the following:

This is an interesting quandary for Padres fans. On the one hand you’ve got the guys from the middle of the country who always seem to knock the Padres out of the playoffs and on the other hand you’ve got the jerks from up the street. So I proposed the following question to my Padres Public mates:

If you were forced to go out and purchase a Dodgers or Cardinals hat to wear for the next week which one would you buy and why? In short, who are you pulling for, if anyone at all?

Let’s settle this nonsense at the Bar . . .

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“Dana, I’m what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man, and I’ve failed much more than I’ve succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, “Where are we going?” And it starts to get better.” – Calvin Traeger, Sports Night

Towards the end of the second and last season of the great, short-lived Aaron Sorkin dramedy Sports Night, fictional sports network CSC is bought out by a holding company named Quo Vadimus, owned by the character quoted above. Quo Vadimus is Latin for “where are we going?”, a question Padres fans should be starting to ask themselves as we wind down the 2013 season and start looking ahead. In a series of posts, I will ask that question and hope to provide some answers. I’ve already discussed the outfield and infield. This installment will focus on who should stay, go, and be added to the Padres starting rotation.

The Current State Of The Padres Rotation

You can’t really talk about the current state of the rotation without first discussing where it was to start the season. Three of the five members of the opening day rotation are gone; Clayton Richard and Jason Marquis to injury and Edinson Volquez to the Dodgers after the Padres designated him for assignment. Only one member of the rotation has stayed in it from beginning to end: the team’s most reliable starter, and at times its stopper, Eric Stults. Read More…

Dana, I’m what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man, and I’ve failed much more than I’ve succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, “Where are we going?” And it starts to get better.” – Calvin Traeger, Sports Night

Towards the end of the second and last season of the great, short-lived Aaron Sorkin dramedy Sports Night, fictional sports network CSC is bought out by a holding company named Quo Vadimus, owned by the character quoted above. Quo Vadimus is Latin for “where are we going?”, a question Padres fans should be asking themselves as we wind down the 2013 season and start looking ahead. In a series of posts, I will ask that question and hope to provide some answers. The first installment on the outfield is available here. Today, I will focus on who should stay, go, and be added to the Padres infield, excluding catcher.

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“Dana, I’m what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man, and I’ve failed much more than I’ve succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, “Where are we going?” And it starts to get better.” – Calvin Traeger, Sports Night

Towards the end of the second and last season of the great, short-lived Aaron Sorkin dramedy Sports Night, fictional sports network CSC is bought out by a holding company named Quo Vadimus, owned by the character quoted above. Quo Vadimus is Latin for “where are we going?”, a question Padres fans should be starting to ask themselves as we wind down the 2013 season and start looking ahead. In a series of posts, I will ask that question and hope to provide some answers. This first installment will focus on who should stay, go, and be added to the Padres outfield. Read More…

This is where we gather from time to time to talk about something big in the Padres world or just the Padres or just baseball. It’s a roundtable discussion. Except, you know, no round tables. This is a Public House…so we’re at the bar.

The list of teams yet to win a World Series is pretty short.  The list of teams to never play in a World Series is even shorter (Hellooo, Washington and Seattle!).  Thank God we’re not a member of that club.  Including the Mariners and Nationals, 8 teams haven’t yet won the big one.  Only the Texas Rangers and us have had more than one shot at the Title.

It’s painful to make it to two World Series and only win one game.  Seeing as, for some, this is the Lenten season and a time for sacrifice, the thought came up on what we might go without if it meant immortal glory for the Swinging Friar.  And so, at The Bar, it was asked:

What Would You Give Up For A Guaranteed World Series Win?

 

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This week is Fan Fest preview/reminisce week here.  I’d like to regale you with my favorite stories about the event … except I can’t, because I’ve never actually been to Friar Fest.

Ut Oh.  Finding something to write about just got that much harder.

I thought about detailing how long I’ve been a Padres fan, some of the fun moments I’ve experienced at the ball park, to validate my bona fides.  It’s a long list; maybe I’ll tackle it someday.  However whenever I get to thinking about the Padres, I find myself fishing around for that one moment – that one super cool baseball moment – that’s burned into all our memories, that everybody can relate to.  Do the Padres even have one like that?

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