This morning, the Padres interrupted a lengthy presentation by Padres chairman Ron Fowler, San Diego Mayor/Boltman booking agent Kevin Faulconer, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to unveil the official logo for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game. After rumors had swirled for the better part of the last year or so that the Padres were looking at making the 11th major uniform change in franchise history, many keyed in on this moment as the one to reveal which direction that change may head. Many (including myself) were hoping for a return to the team’s brown roots.

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One

He’s weighing those options now, working through some decisions.

He said he was 100 percent, he was fine.

Then just that freak incident on the steps.

He had the bat in his hand and he felt something in his forearm.

Two

We have to hope for the best in the future.

Three

He’s structurally intact.

He’s feeling better, and he’s doing fine.

It’s just been a slower recovery for him than most.

He just ran out of season.

Let’s get him as strong as possible.

Four

He was a soccer player and didn’t quite understand what he needed to do.

It was a great learning year for him in a lot of areas.

He wasn’t quite there yet.

Five

There were stretches of really good pitching.

Maybe he needed that bigger stage to totally focus.

Six

We wanted to err on the side of caution.

He came in and was quite honest.

Nip this in the bud instead of trying to push something.

Seven

His at-bats can be conducted a little bit better.

He’s got to be ready for the fastball, be ready in fastball counts.

Here, he’s let some good fastballs go without a swing.

We know he’s got the raw power.

Eight

He needs to gain experience, which takes time.

There is going to be a time where he’s no longer a secret.

He’ll have to make adjustments.

Nine

He showed determination through his time here.

It’s been great to witness him grow up.

Always could be counted on to do the right thing.

Let’s hope that it happens for him here.

Books evoke a time and place, although sometimes this can be misleading. For example, when I traveled to Seattle in June for the Vedder Cup, I bought a copy of Adam Gopnik’s Paris to the Moon. It’s a fascinating read that reminds me not of France or Earth’s satellite (neither of which I’ve visited), but of Bainbridge Island, where I bought the book.

Eagle Harbor Book Co. is a good old-fashioned bookstore, the likes of which once adorned San Diego–Burgett, Safari, Wahrenbrock’s, etc.–before yielding to an immense Seattle-based international online warehouse. On this day, a dog guarded the store (or at least the “used” section, which is accessed separately from the street-level “new” section) by sleeping in the hallway that leads downstairs.

Around the corner is a place to read rich words over rich clam chowder and local beer (3-T Rye Tripel, Troll Porter), with a serene view of the coast should you need a break from words, food, or drink. Harbour Public House even has a men’s restroom with signs on the wall like “We don’t serve women here, you have to bring your own.”

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As opening day nears and you prepare for the first fight between the Padres and Dodgers,  I have the perfect recipe for you . . .

Back in November, as a defiant alternative to the Pork Belly Nachos offered at Petco Park, Geoff Young wrote a glowing scouting report on Kalua Pork Nachos grading them as a versatile dish. In his own words, Young commented:

OFP Grade: 60+; first-division appetizer that can also serve as an entree

This is all well and good but an organization cannot thrive on the opinion of just one man. A diversity of expert culinary opinions are warranted when reviewing the potential of a dish. After the initial report is filed by an area scout (GY) it is incumbent upon the man with the final say to come in and present his evaluation – in scouting parlance this man is referred to as the cross-checker (ME).

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The batsman who can be most relied upon for a single-base hit is worth two of your home-run class of hitters. –Henry Chadwick, The Art of Batting

Chadwick wrote this in 1885, when baseball was different, as was our understanding of it and much else in the world. Thanks to the Internet, I am reading his words 128 years later on a device that did not exist then, in a large metal contraption that allows humans to soar eight miles above the once-uncrossable Pacific Ocean. (Albert Spalding’s world tour to promote our national pastime would have been so much easier with such technology.)

Kona is warm when we land–low 80s and humid. It’s the same when Mrs. Ducksnorts and I walk into Kailua the next morning to celebrate our 18th anniversary with a tour of Kona Brewing Company that includes several unique beers. After the tour we enjoy kalua pork nachos and a few more beers.

At one of the local shops that we visit and support faithfully each year, I buy a book of 400 songs for ‘ukulele to keep me occupied back home. Mrs. Ducksnorts has endured my version of Jeff Buckley’s “Eternal Life” long enough. If I want to celebrate a 19th anniversary–and Padres fans will recognize 19 as a sacred number–I’d best diversify my repertoire. Maybe I’ll really impress her and stop playing the instrument altogether. Read More…

In our Padres Public 2013 season review, I expressed my disappointment with the pork belly nachos served at Petco Park. Rather than just complain, as is my custom, I decided to make better nachos. Actually, Mrs. Ducksnorts made them because she is awesome. I ate them because I was hungry.

Some of the best nachos I’ve had are at Honolulu International Airport. Made with kalua pork, they’re available at Kona Brewing Co., near the exhibit honoring baseball pioneer Wally Yonamine.

If you can’t go there, or you just want to be reminded of how it feels to wait four hours for your connecting flight, make a big batch at home. You’ll thank me later.

The following is a full scouting report of said nachos. I’ve shamelessly stolen Jason Parks’ template for evaluating baseball prospects and applied to it food. As a scout, I make an excellent eater. Read More…

Last night, as Bud Black’s bench options dwindled, fans sat back and wondered: Is there any possible way that the injured Carlos Quentin and Everth Cabrera could pitch in to help the cause?

A legitimate piece of wonderment sparked an episode of genius when Josh Smith asked:

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In an effort to stay close to our roots, the staff at Padres Public, will offer-up a haiku each Monday to describe the previous week in Padres Baseball. Restricting our feelings to 3 lines and 17 syllables to describe a week of play is a massive undertaking, but (un) fortunately, we are more than up to the task.

The Padres finished the week 4-3, splitting 4 games with the Mariners and then winning a 3 game series with the Toronto Blue Jays. San Diego is slowly creeping towards .500 at 26-30, a full 6 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks who occupy first place in the NL West. The Padres meet the Dodgers (currently 2.5 games behind SD) in Los Angeles tonight for a 3 game series with last place on the line. Do the Dodgers think their own team is dead in the water? If so, is now the time to retaliate against Carlos Quentin? Are you tired of being asked questions?

Perfect! Let’s haiku . . .

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Today is Memorial Day, and whether you are a ravenous fan of war (I’m sure you exist) or a normal human being, we can all agree that it’s worthwhile to reflect on the lives lost in war. The waters have been muddied, however, as baseball pays tribute today to…something. They seem really confused about what today is all about.

Okay.

Okay.

This is what the Padres will be wearing today, with the rest of the league wearing pretty much the same style of jersey.

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