Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:
- 2015 Lake Elsinore Pre-Season Preview (MadFriars) – I missed this last week on account of being lame, but you’ll want to read John Conniff’s look at the Padres’ High-A affiliate, as well as his previews of the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low-A), San Antonio Missions (Double-A), and El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A). Then get out there and watch some games if you can, because Minor League Baseball is the best. You can see some of the brightest prospects before they become stars, and if you’re real lucky, you can see a manager completely lose it.
- Examining Potential MLB Expansion Cities, Part 1 (Hardball Times) – Chris Mitchell wonders where MLB might expand next should it choose to do so. Part 1 sets up the framework for his discussion, while Part 2 has names of actual cities. Many of the usual suspects appear (including Portland, one of my favorite non-San Diego places in the world), although some curiosities also make the list (Riverside?). Good food for thought here.
- A Story About Baseball and a Father and Son I’ve Never Met (Baseball Prospectus) – As someone who recently lost his estranged father, I was touched by Sam Miller’s anecdote. The book inscription mentioned contains perhaps the most accurate description of baseball I have ever seen: “It is something which enraptures even as it saddens. It is something which uplifts even as it frustrates.”
- Trevor Hoffman makes dramatic speech addressed to fans to start Padres season (Gaslamp Ball) – Having a Padres legend pump up a home crowd that has been revivified thanks to A.J. Preller’s build from outside the organization approach is a savvy marketing move. Sure, it’s cheesy as hell, but who cares? Also from GLB comes news that Dick Enberg has joined Twitter. Not everyone is a fan of Enberg or of Twitter, but when he posts things like photos of his scorebook, maybe it’s time to rethink that stance.
- Nieves’ heroics key Padres’ victory (San Diego Union-Tribune) – This might end up being one 2015’s coolest stories. At age 37, some 13 years after first reaching the big leagues, Padres backup catcher Wil Nieves launched a grand slam against Jake Peavy at Petco Park. It was the first grand slam of Nieves’ career, and it came off the guy he caught in his debut just down the road at Qualcomm Stadium (Peavy notched the win in that one, with Hoffman getting the save). Not bad for a former 47th-round pick taken 1,284 slots after the more heralded Ben Davis in a miserable 1995 draft.