Four years ago, I started a project out of, quite frankly, spite and disappointment.

I now feel a responsibility to maintain this thing I started.

Because the Padres Twittersphere is an ever-evolving entity. Players and people leave, sometimes even of their own accord. Some who have stayed have changed their Twitter usage to not be all that interesting of a follow anymore. Still others just seem to have given up the medium altogether.

Some do a bit of all of that, sailing off into the distance in silence, like a sailboat in the night.

So, here we are. The fourth iteration of my “Padres Must-Follow” Twitter list.

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padrestwitterIt’s that time of year again. Two years ago, I published what I considered to be the most comprehensive list of Padres-related Twitter accounts that I thought every Padres fan should be following. I updated it as needed as players were traded or people changed jobs, but that just got time-consuming and monotonous.

I redid the entire thing exactly one year later, with new accounts added and others removed, mostly due to repetitiveness or just no longer existing.

I revisited it this month, and what follows are the results.

Some are informative follows. Some are humorous. Some are both. But all of them, I guarantee*, will improve your Padres Twitter experience.

*Guarantee void in Tennessee. And everywhere else, for that matter. I guarantee nothing except eventual death.
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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after spending an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (74-86) scored fewer runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (90-70), 6-2, last night in the first of three games at Dodger Stadium.

Casey Kelly (0-2, 7.94) gave up six runs (three earned) in four and a third innings on eight hits and two walk while striking out three. The Dodgers scored five runs in the third inning, and it looked like this:

The Dodgers added one more in the fifth inning on a Justin Turner single to score Howie Kendrick.

Alex Wood (12-12, 3.84) pitched seven innings while allowing two runs on five hits, one walk, and striking out four. Jedd Gyorko led off the seventh inning with a single and Melvin Upton Jr. followed with a double. Alexi Amarista‘s ground out scored Gyorko, and Cody Decker, getting his first start in the Major Leagues, hit a sacrifice fly to score Upton Jr for his first Major League RBI.

Robbie Erlin (1-1, 6.30) gets the start tonight against Zack Greinke (18-3, 1.68) in the second to last game of the 2015 season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10pm PDT.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after spending an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (68-77) scored more runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (68-76) last night, 10-3, in the first of three from Chase Field.

James Shields (12-6, 3.80) pitched seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walk with six strikeouts. Shields now has 200 strikeouts for the season. In the first inning, A.J. Pollock hit a leadoff double, advanced to third on a groundball out, and scored on a Paul Goldschmidt double. Jay Jackson made his Major League debut in the ninth inning, and the Diamondbacks scored two runs off him. Jake Lamb hit a ground-rule double and scored on Phil Gosselin’s single. Gosselin took second on defensive indifference and scored on Brandon Drury‘s double.

Jeremy Hellickson (9-9, 4.78) lasted just one inning, giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits, two walks, and a strikeout. Wil Myers led off the game with a home run to right field. The Padres loaded the bases with no outs and a Jedd Gyorko sacrifice fly and Cory Spangenberg single plated two runs. A throwing error by Hellickson on an attempted pick-off move allowed Spangenberg to get to third base and Justin Upton to score. Derek Norris then singled to score Spangenberg. The Padres loaded the bases with no outs again in the fifth inning and Spangenberg doubled to score two more runs. After a Norris walk and two strikeouts, Myers hit a bases-clearing double. In the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Cody Decker popped out to first base in his first Major League at-bat.

Tyson Ross (10-10, 3.24) gets the start tonight at 6:40pm PDT against Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 2.70) in the second game of the series.

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Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:

  • The Commissioner Speaks: Imagining a Redefined Strike Zone (Hardball Times) – Jon Roegele takes a closer look at balls and strikes. This is a long read, with many fascinating tidbits, including the fact that the strike zone is now larger and lower than it was 5 years ago. In a bizarre coincidence, strikeouts are up and scoring is down. Another finding that will disappoint those who would embrace our robot ump overlords is that plate umpires have improved their accuracy over that same period. There’s lots more in here; it’s well worth your time.
  • Jumpsteady (Wax Pack) – Brad Balukjian has started his road trip that will end with a book being written about the experience. The linked article focuses on San Marcos resident and recent Padres Hall of Fame inductee Garry Templeton. The Tempy experience continues here. Former Padres Gary Pettis and Randy Ready also make appearances. (Click the names, this is the Internet.)
  • Cody Decker of the El Paso Chihuahuas is an all-star on and off the field (El Paso Times) – Chihuahuas’ General Manager Brad Taylor has high praise for the young man, who is arguably a better option than Matt Kemp at this point: “I’ve never seen, in my 21 years in Minor League Baseball, a player connect to the community and the community connect to the player — two-way street — like Cody has to El Paso and El Paso has to Cody.” [h/t Keith Olbermann, via Steve Kaplowitz]
  • GM Preller expects better baseball ahead (Padres.com) – Bully for him. Failing that, he can try moving some guys, although maybe we’re not there yet. The difference between last year’s team and this year’s is that now the players are much more expensive. Good luck finding someone to take Kemp or the lousy Upton. This is why my vision of the future is bleak. And while it’s nice to hear that Ron Fowler and the Padres remain “committed to winning,” right now their level of commitment is less of a concern than their level of competence. Could the “spend money, hope something good happens” approach work? Sure, but that doesn’t make it the optimal strategy or even a smart idea.
  • The Most Productive Low-Authority Hitters of All Time (FanGraphs) – Building on previous work, Tony Blengino identifies the ten hitters who were most productive despite not hitting the ball particularly hard. Former Padres players (and current staffers) Mark Kotsay and Mark Loretta crack the top five. Max Bishop, a personal favorite I wrote about in Best of Baseball Prospectus: 1996-2011, Vol. 1, appears farther down the list. Sorry kids, no Alexi Amarista.

Exactly 364 days ago, I compiled a list of all of the Twitter accounts that Padres’ fans should be following. It did not come without controversy, as I had complaints from people who thought they should be on it throughout the course of the year.

I updated it in January, adding some and removing others. Since then the Padres made moves on and off the field, changing who should and shouldn’t be on the list.

I have updated it once again. Some accounts are gone, others have been added. Some are still not on it.

To be honest, some of these accounts I don’t follow. On @GhostofRAK, that is. However, I’ve included them because they have some connection to the Padres or Padres’ fans that might interest you.

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Sometimes letters never reach their intended targets, instead becoming lost, abandoned, or otherwise discarded amongst the abundance of flyers and coupons in the mailperson’s sack. Sometimes those letters end up at the doorstep of the Padres Public headquarters, where we promptly publish them. Here are some of those letters.

Mr. Mike Dee,
CEO, San Diego Padres Baseball Club.
August 28, 2014

Mr. Dee — I am writing to compliment you on the latest addition to Petco Park, the Bud Selig Plaza. It is my understanding that a few rabble rousers have pitched a fit over this development. Please, pay them no attention. There is no better way to honor someone like Bud Selig, a commissioner who has accomplished so much good for not only baseball in general but for the San Diego Padres, than to name a piece of Petco Park after him. In fact, Selig has done so much good for San Diego during his tenure that it almost becomes impossible to recite what – exactly — he has done. Don’t worry, you don’t have to expound to me. It’s more than apparent that Selig was instrumental in the creation of Petco Park and, perhaps more importantly, in orchestrating the purchase of the Padres by the current O’Malley/Fowler ownership group.

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twitterpadresI’ve noticed a lot of links to “Top XX Twitter Accounts Padres Fans Should Be Following” popping up here and there.  I think all of these lists I’ve seen have been severely lacking.  They seem to leave out some of the major accounts associated with the Padres, some of the best accounts in terms of  interaction, and some accounts that are just good follows.  Quite frankly, I’m not sure who would want to follow some of the accounts suggested by the lists I’ve seen.

I’m including myself in that.  I’m still amazed that I have managed to get 900+ 1000+ followers.  You people must be bored out of your skulls.

So, I decided to compile my own list.  The difference between my list and all these other ones that have popped up:  I didn’t limit how many.  You should be following most of them — if not all — if you consider yourself a fan and want to get all the news, information, and opinions that are out there.

I follow just about all of these people/accounts because they put forth some great, honest information and/or opinions on the Padres.  From the Padres front office to the lowly fan in the cheap seats and from San Diego, CA to Seattle, WA to Washington, D.C. and everywhere in between.

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Forgive the extended absence. Between writing the Padres chapter for Baseball Prospectus 2014 and editing BP’s Futures Guide 2014, I’ve been busy.

That didn’t stop me from watching a few spring training games. I saw two in person and three or four on MLB.tv, depending on whether you count the parts where I fell asleep.

I also saw some backfield practice sessions, although not as many as I’d have liked. If you ever go to spring training, be sure to hit those and watch the prospects do drill after drill as they hone their craft. For me, the practices are better than the games.

Anyway, I took notes:

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