As most of you were already aware, FOX Sports San Diego recently extended an offer that Padres Public couldn’t refuse – a chance to take over yesterday’s broadcast between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and San Diego Padres. FSSD’s social media reporter, Megan Olivi, bravely stood by as these pasty basement dwellers stumbled through a few innings of work, some better than others. I, like many others, have a normal job (not bitter) with adult responsibilities (totally calm) and was unable to attend. Anyway, “The Bloggers Take Over” segments were intended to give “viewers a fan’s perspective of the game, as well providing discussion on topics relating to the team and its local San Diego fan base.”
With that in mind, I did what most fans do – I waited until the game was available online, poured myself a tall beer,and plopped myself down on the couch for the MLB.tv replay with the sole purpose of judging their hard work.
David Rose (@VocalMinoritySD)
I’m starting with a cold reality: David could have graded out better had he regaled viewers with the tale of seeing Single-A standout, Mike Trout, during the 2010 Cal League playoffs at Lake Elsinore. Since he didn’t share it, let me take the time to give you a brief overview as it has all the pieces of a great baseball tale. David was sitting front row over the Storm dugout, Trout put up a monster game, and Allan Dykstra hit his last professional home run for the Padres. It’s equal parts history and humblebrag, plus it’s grounded by the simple reminder that he was also in attendance to watch the crowning achievement of yet another Padres first round bust (and a Padres loss).
Couldn’t have hurt, right? But I digress. Grading on a scale of 1 to 5 Vivacious Vasgersians, I’m comfortable giving David a 3 1/2. Having an “unhealthy” Chase Headley obsession is always a plus in my book and he added a #HONKBAL reference for good measure. I threw in the extra half-Vas because I couldn’t take my eyes off those Vibram FiveFinger shoes.
Brady Phelps (@LobShots)
Easily the wordiest of the bunch, Phelps brings an extra bit of swagger to the plate and what he lacks in brevity, he makes up for in his taste for hats. And shirts. Not only can Brady weave a tail, but his endurance during such grueling outdoor conditions was impressive, as he didn’t wilt under pressure or the high Arizona sun (a factor I’ll get to later). Following along using the #BloggersTakeOver, it was clear that his performance was the runaway hit with fans.
But let’s be real for a minute here [turns chair around backwards, straddles it bow-legged] – despite plus color commentating chops and a soothsayers smile, he lacks a good put-away pitch to nail down the story. Case in point, no story lasting 1 minute and 41 seconds can hinge on Jeff Cirillo. Do you want to know how I know it took 1 minute and 41 seconds? Because I timed it. With a stopwatch.
It felt longer. Anyway, I’ll give you a far more compelling story:
During his Padres playing days, my parents rented a house to Randy Ready. One day, John Kruk came over. I kicked him in the shin.
That’s three sentences and not one of them recalled the dark days of Jeff Cirillo. That said, Brady does get points for being the most prepared, seeing as he was able to lend pictures and a hand-written note from Headley to the broadcast. Plus, he’s credited with the Astute Observation of the Day when he reflected on Kyle Blanks’s pirouette, likening him to “a beautiful gazelle.” Truer words have never been spoken, but no Padres fan deserves to be reminded of Jeff Cirillo. Not. One.
Geoff Young (@ducksnorts)
I made a list of things I enjoyed when Geoff was on-air:
- While everybody else is complaining about the heat, Geoff is comfortably wearing jeans, a long-sleeve button-up dress shirt…with an undershirt! That’s a utilitarian look right there, ready for a day at the ball yard, a dinner at a place with a $$$ rating on Yelp, or a Friday board meeting. Plus, the guy still looks drier than the Arizona desert. The anti-Andy Ashby.
- Noted that Chase Headley “only needs 80-85 more games” to become the all-time leader in games started at 3B in Padres history. I double-checked: it was 87, and that’s still impressive.
- Wore a Portland Beavers hat.
- Turned a 1 minute, 41 second Jeff Cirillo story into the Joe Randa no-hitter story we all know and love.
As for the negatives:
- I forgot to ask him where you buy date shakes when you drive to Peoria using Interstate 8.
Rick Romero (@RJsFro)
Rick got off to a rocky start, bumbling his introduction and confusing hashtags and Twitter handles. He claims this was due to an errant baseball, but it proved to be costly in his overall projection as the greatest make no excuses for their failure to take care of business on the big stage. Then there was the nervous chattering of teeth and chewing gum.
Mike Trout love or not, his defense looked less like the AL Rookie of the Year and more closely resembled a fully-outstretched, flailing Chris Denorfia; after all, Rick didn’t show a lot of range on that foul ball off the bat of the Angels’ Mark Trumbo.
But we’re not here to dwell on the negatives, like all player evaluations we want something to dream on. As Padres Public’s resident bobblehead expert (he leads our team of them), I did like that he was able recite the differences between the Headley doll we get this year compared and the old one that’s broken and collecting dust at my desk at work. And Rick showed heart.
If you watch the tape closely, you can actually watch him blister, or – as was pointed out during the broadcast – “lobster.” It takes a strong will to sit through that heat and look like this on camera:
…although I guess you could say this raises an equal number of questions about whether his body type is better suited for a basement than the harsh environments encountered by an on-field reporter. A rough outing, but I wouldn’t hold it against anybody suffering from heat stroke.
Mike Metzger (@Padres_Trail)
Like Geoff, he was able to casually rattle off Nick Hundley’s 2011 second-half batting average of .365 (it was actually .367), and I’m a sucker for that sort of thing. Mike also used the word “knucklehead” and seemed genuinely apologetic about the underscore in his Twitter handle, which gives him extra points in my book. More than anything, though, if you follow Mike on Twitter you know that he went through travel hell all for a few short innings on-air, and he seemed as well-prepared and composed as anybody there. That’s #want and #grace like you’d never believe, and with a heaping side dish of #humility (I’m not sure that’s a real hashtag):
Unbelievable. All a nobody could ask for. #bloggerstakeover
— Padres_Trail (@Padres_Trail) March 13, 2013
A strong showing from the game’s all-star.
While I’m sure the bloggers that participated in this event will share more about their experiences at a later date, it was great to see the FOX Sports San Diego team really go out on a limb. Perhaps FSSD repeats the mad experiment and sends Megan Olivi in to herd cats once more. Maybe they give Brady a full-time job as the wacky sidekick to some poor soul. Possibly, next time the shoe is on the other foot, and Rick gets a chance to judge me (I selfishly hogged that task for myself previously).
If given another chance, I know I’ll be champing at the bit to see how these bloggers have developed. Think about it, guys – that game is forever entombed in the MLB.tv archives. And hey, if not, there’s always a chance to embarrass ourselves on Padres & Pints.
UPDATE (8:47am): Geoff Young sent me the link for the date shakes place. It’s called Dateland and it looks glorious. He’s left me no choice but to update his previous rating by a half-Vas accordingly:
Geoff Young’s Revised Rating: