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.

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The Padres had a day off after playing 20 games in 20 days in 4 cities and 3 time zones. It was a stretch that ended with a 10-game road trip that the Friars managed to get 4 wins out of. Could have been better.

Padres off-days have an unexpected side effect, however. And yesterday was pretty bad. Or good, depending on how you look at it.

Some of the fans get a little crazy with no baseball to distract them.

Even high-profile Padres fans were not immune to the off-day insanity. Major Garrett, the CBS White House correspondent, went on a Twitter rant to end all Twitter rants about his hometown team.*

*On a personal note, I’d like to welcome one of my newest followers on Twitter, Major Garrett.

Some even called for people to lose their coaching jobs. Specifically, Padres’ hitting coaches Phil Plantier and Alonzo Powell.

So let’s look at the Padres batting stats so far this season and see if a firing is deserved:

Tm R/G G R H HR RBI SO BA OPS TB LOB
SDP 2.66 29 77 206 15 70 238 .217 .596 310 178
LgAvg 4.02 28 113 239 26 108 232 .247 .699 374 198
4.02 423 1702 3580 387 1616 3475 .247 .699 5606 2969
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/2/2014.

Pretty bad, right? But that’s a really small sample size. Let’s see how the last couple of full seasons have gone for Phil and Alonzo.

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Fresh off a trip to Peoria, Arizona to watch the Padres maneuver their way through spring, our very own Geoff Young hooked up with Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus to preview the 2014 season.

The format of the Effectively Wild podcast previews is to talk about the team with one person who had a hand in the writing of the Baseball Prospectus 2014 annual (Geoff Young) as well as another person covering the team, such as a beat-writer or broadcaster. As such, the latter half of the podcast includes mlb.com’s Corey Brock who has spent the last two weeks in Peoria with the team.

Unfortunately the preview comes on the heels of the Cameron Maybin shoulder strain Sunday afternoon, so the discussion includes the customary injury talk that has become all too familiar with the Padres.

But it’s not just doom and gloom during this fifty minute preview!

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The sounds of spring are finite within my world. They consist of the crack of a bat, a pop of the glove, and the delicate linguistic maneuverings of baseball men to journalists in such a way that the connotations could never be received in a negative or controversial manner. That was a mouthful but hey, it’s during spring when we are treated to some of the best cliches in baseball.

I didn’t find an “I’m in the best shape of my life”, but I did come across some other quotes that stood out this week.

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Man, this one hurts.

Earlier this evening, Padres beat writer Corey Brock tweeted that Cory Luebke would undergo his second Tommy John surgery, ending his 2014 season.

Ugh. What a gut-punch to a team that had such a productive (on-field) off-season. And poor Cory Luebke. As Mel from The Sac Bunt tweeted , I don’t know who or what to be mad at. There’s nothing you can blame for this, other than bad luck.

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In his last two games Chase Headley is 3 for 9 with 2 walks and 1 strikeout, a marked improvement over the previous few weeks. But two decent games does not signify a slump, busted.

A Padres Public reader asked the following last weekend:

This is a great question, Clayton, and I think it’s one that we’ve all been trying to wrap our minds around this last month. Geoff had a few other things on his plate so he offered the topic to the team – since I had already been digging through the numbers I grabbed it – hope you don’t mind.

Let’s begin with a few observations:

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What is the Burch Smith Society, you ask? ‘Tis a clever play on words offered up by Nate of the Vocal Minority for the first Padres Public post on Burch Smith since his call up from Double-A San Antonio.

Here’s my effort to put a little something extra behind the name, though.

The Burch Smith Society is a collection of fans who desire to see youth served. The BSS would prefer to see talented individuals who are recognized as the future of the organization playing now rather than washed-up re-treads who require hyphens to describe their inadequacies. If the Padres are going to float along accidental-like on the wind, then let’s do it with the promise of tomorrow. Burch Smith represents tomorrow and I’m excited that he’ll be making his MLB debut on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Does that work? It is neither here nor there. Here are some encouraging words about Burch Smith . . .

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From April of 2005 until November of 2008 there existed a blog called Fire Joe Morgan. The writers at FJM were funny (some would eventually write for NBC’s The Office and Parks and Recreation), insightful, and statistically inclined. They were progressive baseball fans.

The title of their blog was a reference to the eponymous Hall of Fame 2nd baseman whose retirement consisted of a career as a play-by-play analyst for ESPN. Joe Morgan drew the ire of FJM’s writers because of his outdated thinking and refusal to accept that there were new, exciting, and transformative ways to view the game of baseball. He also thought Billy Beane wrote the book Moneyball. And if nothing else, Joe Morgan hated Moneyball. Even though he had never read Moneyball. Which, again, Billy Beane did not write. FJM wasn’t just about Joe Morgan though. It was about all crappy efforts put forth by those who cover baseball.

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In case you weren’t paying attention. And we know a lot of you weren’t.

Here at Padres Public, we’re all about the Padres. And beer. But mostly the Padres. When we’re not drinking beer, that is.
So, here’s a weekly feature to whet your appetites: All of the week’s posts in one convenient location. Enjoy!

And always enjoy responsibly. Don’t read and drive.

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CB Banner

By Corey Brock

So you’re going to FanFest on Saturday and feeling a little overwhelmed by it all – garage sale, stopping by the autograph stations, the forums and the real fear that you might run into someone from this blog, Padres Public?

Well, that last one is a valid concern. Good luck with that.

Well, have no fear because I’ve gone over the schedule and have devised a no-lose plan for the day that will satisfy your appetite for baseball – as well as breakfast and beer.

Let’s get to it:

–  Start with breakfast, as it’s the most important meal of the day. I’m going to send you to what is my favorite spot for breakfast in town – Snooze, in Hillcrest. Trust me on this. What’s good? Just about everything. Feel free to mix-and-match, go sweet and savory.

– Head down to Petco Park. There’s free parking and the general public is allowed entry at 10 a.m.

– Your first stop should be the Padres’ garage sale to benefit the Padres Foundation. Wednesday, I told you about some of the items for sale. Go early while the getting is good. You’ve been saving those pennies for an Orlando Hudson jersey. Now is your chance!

– At 10:30, head to section 113 where pitchers Cory Luebke and Nick Vincent are signing. You can (should) ask Cory about his left elbow and if he can miraculously be ready for Opening Day. Vincent is from Ramona. So, you know, you can ask him about the hot spots there.

– Hustle over to the home dugout at 11:30 for the player forum that features Chase Headley, Chris Denorfia and Clayton Richard. Just for fun, ignore Headley and badger Denorfia with questions of playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic. And what his favorite pizza and gelato are.

– At 12:30, head to section 110 where Nick Hundley and Joe Thatcher are signing. Both are good guys. Ask Nick about the final score of the Oregon-Arizona football game this year. And Joe just got married, so feel free to ask him what his best wedding present was. Hope he got a Keurig.

– You’re free from 1:30-2:00. Wander the stadium, get your face painted, ask Tom Garfinkel if the ballpark will have more craft beer carts this season.

– Head back to the sale at 2:00 and try to pick through the leftovers for a treat or two –game-worn pants that don’t fit, a Carlos Guevara BP jersey, a signed photo of Paul McAnulty.

– Around 2:30, head back to the home dugout where assistant GM A.J. Hinch and manager Bud Black will give a presentation on Japanese steak knives. Kidding. This should be a fun forum as both guys are naturally funny, smart and genuine.

– That’s about it. FanFest ends at 4:00 and by this time, you’ll be pretty thirsty. This is where the beer comes in. Head over to Mission Brewery for a pint(s) and compare notes and treats from the day while rubbing elbows with the Padres Public folks. Just don’t let them stick you with the bill.

Here’s the link to FanFest if you want to create your own agenda that won’t come close to matching this one.
http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/sd/fan_forum/fanfest.jsp

Enjoy! Corey

@FollowthePadres
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