A few weeks ago Rick and I drove out to the Phoenix area with our buddy Marshall for our annual Spring Training baseball trip. As has become tradition I have opinions about things, hopefully you’re here to read them because here we go!
Peoria Sports Complex
There’s a lot to like about the Padres and Mariners’ complex, built in 1994 and the first shared complex of its kind. We’ll start here: the craft beer selection is the best I’ve seen. While the surrounding neighborhood gets flak from some Spring Training veterans for being so suburban, there are much better options here compared to other stadiums we’ve visited. Peoria has lots of hotels in walking distance, though the “quality” can vary.
Here there’s a decent selection of chain restaurants and sports bars. The epicenter is the Moon Saloon, a bar across the street from the PSC full of sports fans and if you’re lucky, some sports employees. There’s also Salty Señorita, which admittedly has an awful beer selection and is generally kind of gross, but you know what Rick it’s outside, literally part of the complex, and you can see Padres minor leaguers practicing so it can’t be all that bad because sun baseball beer.
Sadly the Peoria Sports Complex stadium does have one fatal flaw: it was built before panoramic concourses with shaded standing room to watch the game were commonplace. At the PSC the main concourse for buying concessions and walking around doesn’t have a view of the game. Meaning there’s almost no standing and watching from anywhere in the main seating bowl. There is one interior walkway visible on the right side of the panoramic photo below, it just isn’t meant for hanging out. If you try, you get (to be fair, politely) asked by an usher to move from the concourse to your seat. And because there’s no raised press box or upper level, shade isn’t easy to come by either.
I know, I know. I know. You might not want to believe Chase Headley is the most productive Padres third baseman of all time when Ken Caminiti exists. I know. Hear me out.
Ken Caminiti is the safe pick for the most memorable Padres third baseman of all time. He put together a monster 1996 season, the second greatest Padres season from any position player by fWAR (7.5) while also leading the team to its first divisional victory in 12 years.
You know who ties Caminiti for the second greatest Padre position player season? Current Padre Chase Headley, whose defense and underrated bat boosted his 2012 campaign to 7.5 fWAR to match.
Fox 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.
Last week, Padres Public’s resident workaholic Dustin, posted 16 Ridiculously Specific Predictions For Every Padres Position Player. I, being someone no one would call a workaholic, have but one sad prediction for but one Padres position player. When spring training concludes and the season begins, Padres utility man Alexi Amarista will make the Padres 25 man roster.
There’s been a lot of chatter this spring that the Padres may finally be able to rid themselves of La Cucarista, the diminutive infielder acquired from the Angels in the Ernesto Frieri trade of 2012. The littlest ninja has been stuck on the roster like gum on the under side of a school desk for the nearly 4 years since, despite having been the definition of a replacement level player during his time with the team.
Yes, non-roster invitee Jemile Weeks has had an amazing spring and has seen time at SS. Yes, Amarista has been terrible this spring after coming off his worst season yet, in which he posted a good-for-a-pitcher 49 wRC+. Yes, the Padres have brought in other options to create a competition that could have potentially ended Amarista’s time with the club. However, any rumors or suggestions that the Padres will either cut Amarista or trade him (for what?) are nothing more than wishful thinking. Read More…
I sure did have my hopes up for some new Padres Spring Training gear. #BringBackTheYellow was in full effect with the new Home “All-Star” jerseys and of course the new Brown alternates. This was the #Padres chance to be bold and make some money this Spring. FAIL.
MLB announced the new 2016 Spring Training uniforms today and there were some bold choices in the lot. Check out this post over at Sportslogos.net summarizing the new uniforms. My focus was on our Padres and what they decided to go with for 2016. Brown? No. Yellow? Of course not. Plain Blue & White? YOU BETCHA! Basically they, took our ST/BP hat from last year and took out the sand outline on the “SD”. And then, they took our current road alternate blue jersey and called it a day. Well, they did slap the “AZ” patch, but all the teams get that. MLB and the Padres missed a “golden” opportunity to increase merch sales and strengthen the new “alleged” rebrand. I give these new Padres uniforms an F for effort, marketing, and creativity.
This Saturday, April 4th, the Padres will host their annual FanFest at Petco Park. There will be the usual garage sale, catch in the outfield, interactive forums and at 2:00PM the Padres will take on the Diablos Rojos del Mexico in an exhibition game that will be on Fox Sports San Diego.
At some point during that game, Jeff Cirillo connoisseur Brady of Lobshots, Robot Umpire overlord Dex of Gaslamp Ball, and the dashingly handsome Rick from RJ’s Fro, will “take over” the booth alongside Fox Sports San Diego’s Mike Pomeranz.
It will be the 3rd year in a row (2014, 2013) for this event.
Opening day rosters don’t really matter.
Even for veteran players on minor league deals trying to re-ignite their careers or find that one last chance to make a team, if they’ve made it to the last week of camp, they’re going to keep playing and seeking the chance to play the game that’s given them their livelihood, whether it’s in El Paso or with some other organization’s AAA team. There’s even a chance this year that a player who doesn’t make this year’s Padres roster will still be in a major league uniform on opening day, even if he just got off the plane.
Two years ago, with Chase Headley hurt to start the year, the Padres started the year with 37 year old infielder Cody Ransom on the opening day roster. Ransom had just come off a career year in 2012, mostly notable in that it was the first time in his career, at 36, that he’d earned more than 100 at-bats in a big league season. He’d actually been valuable in 2012, posting 1.1 fWAR, and 2013 turned out to be his 2nd best season, but not with the Padres. He went 0-11 with 5 strikeouts in his short stint with the Padres, who then traded him to the Cubs for nothing.
Ransom didn’t see the bigs in 2014, spending the year in Japan. You’d think at 39 and with just 859 career plate appearances since his major league debut in 2001 he’d call it a career, but he signed a minor league deal without a big league camp invitation with the Diamondbacks in late February. If he was a catcher, they’d write an 80’s movie about him. If he were a catcher, it might actually make sense, as those guys seem to play forever.
Opening day rosters can be full of Cody Ransom’s, guys destined for the scrap heap or the DL, players who will have little to no impact on their team that season. For fans, though, opening day rosters are crack, and I’m an addict. Read More…
Corey Brock, writer entering his 9th season covering the Padres for MLB.com and self-described amateur beer snob stops by Padres & Pints to talk about the Padres’ crazy go-nuts offseason.
What was the Padres strategy behind hiring AJ Preller? Who was the team’s primary offseason target? What’s the latest on Corey’s Peoria, AZ nightlife? Listen to find out. And if you do the Twitters, follow him at @followthepadres.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them down below or e-mail us.
I didn’t make it out to Peoria this year, thanks to the ACL, but I have made roughly 8 trips out there in the last 5 years. So it’s safe to say that I’ve seen my fair share of Spring Training action. I’ve seen it all. The backfields, the main field, the batting cages, the clubhouse, the gym and the
Usually, there’s optimism among fans. The players spout the usual cliches that you hear every year. But in the past few years you could tell that they didn’t mean it. The clubhouse was dull. It was boring. You got the feeling that they were there just to collect their check and go on their way.
Just as I was starting to build up a crisp golden tan, thanks to finally emerging from my parents basement for the first time since 2007, I completely tear my ACL and get sucked back in with all these other nerds…..and Hacksaw’s plumber. Goodbye tan.
All of those plans that I had for this season are all of a sudden on the back burner, thanks to a fluke play in indoor soccer. So here I am blogging and trying to stay off my feet as much as possible until my surgery. C’est la vie.
There’s a lot to cover since I last posted on August 28th about #BSPlaza.
First of all, the Padres signed Clint Barmes guys! I kid, I’m not going back that far.
I’d like to dip into the battles for the number 5 spot in the rotation and the starting 3rd base spot first.