Let me begin by making the following statement, so there can be no confusion:

I like Mark Sweeney. The few occasions that I’ve met him, he was personable and pleasant. He seems to be a really nice guy to everyone he meets, no matter what.

Now, having gotten that out of the way, Fox Sports San Diego needs to stop putting Sweeney in the play-by-play booth. Like, immediately and forever.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Sweeney does a halfway decent job as a studio analyst. He should keep doing that.

However, when he shows up for those three innings during home games as the third wheel in the booth between Don Orsillo and Mark Grant, the life gets sucked right out of the broadcast. Whenever he’s in the broadcast booth, I find myself tuning out of the action of the game and doing other things while the TV stays on as background noise. When he subs for Mud on occasion, I find myself wishing that there wasn’t a delay between the radio and TV feeds.

Now that Dick Enberg and his Dickisms have retired from everyday play-by-play life, Sweeney has taken up the mantle of driving some Friars’ fans to drink.

Here are the guidelines for the Sweenalysis drinking game.

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

The Padres (68-91) scored fewer runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (91-68), 9-4, in the Padres’ final game of 2016 at Petco Park. The Padres ended with a losing record at home in 2016 at 39-42.

Christian Friedrich (5-12, 4.66) gave up five runs in five and two-thirds innings on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Joc Pederson‘s double in the fifth inning drove in Rob Segedin and put the Dodgers on the board. A single by Justin Turner in the sixth inning scored Charlie Culberson, Turner scored on a wild pitch by Jose Torres, and Yasiel Puig and Segedin scored on a Pederson double. Carlos Ruiz‘ two-run double in the seventh inning scored Turner and Puig. Andrew Toles scored on a Andre Ethier single in the eighth inning. And Toles’ single in the ninth inning drove in Micah Johnson

Julio Urias (5-2, 3.39) was pulled after three innings — to help keep him fresh for the postseason — while giving up one hit and three walks and striking out five. Jesse Chavez pitched the fourth inning and gave up two runs. Carlos Asuaje drove in Hunter Renfroe with a single and Derek Norris scored on Luis Sardinas single. Three Dodger pitchers shutout the Padres until the ninth inning, when Jon Jay‘s single scored Manuel Margot and a Yangervis Solarte double drove Jay in.

The Padres wrap up the season with three games at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks (66-93). Edwin Jackson (5-6, 5.77) gets the start tonight at 6:40pm PDT against Braden Shipley (4-5. 5.26).

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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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There it goes … deep fly ball, way back in left field … aaaaand it falls harmlessly into the waiting glove of Scott Hairston on the edge of the warning path, and the Padres escape further damage.”

Perhaps you’ve heard that call — or one like it — from Dick Enberg, who has been announcing Padres games for the past five years. Enberg will call 60 or so games next year, then give way to Don Orsillo and call it a career. It’s been a brilliant run, mind you, but his late-career send-off in San Diego has come with mixed reviews. Sure, he’s still got that good, big game voice, and he calls a fine game for the most part, but the strange quirks — the warning paths, the hubba-hubbas (oh my, the hubba-hubbas), the occasional mispronounced name — seem to annoy more than they endear. I’d argue Enberg has actually improved a great deal throughout his gig with the Padres, particularly in his on-air chemistry with partner Mark Grant, a major credit to a man who has been in broadcasting for nearly 60 years. Forget that, though, we’re here for one reason.

What’s the deal with warning path?

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On the surface, the Padres’ hiring of now former Red Sox announcer Don Orsillo, a move San Diego made official last Wednesday, looks like a Mike Dee-led familiarity play. In fact, it probably is. Dee worked for the Red Sox from 2002 through 2009, mostly as COO, and Orsillo was Boston’s lead play-by-play guy — teaming in the booth with Jerry Remy — since 2001. It’s hard to imagine Dee’s familiarity with Orsillo didn’t have something to do with the hiring.

Maybe that’s unfortunate. Maybe Jesse Agler, who will be transitioning to the radio side from his all-around role this year, was the right person for the job. Maybe someone else — some relative unknown — should have gotten the nod, helping the Padres build a true identity of their own. If there’s any criticism of the deal — and there is some, mind you — it’s that Orsillo represents Boston, and, well, this ain’t Boston.

It’s true, mostly. Orsillo, 46, was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, a (Vladimir Guerrero) stone’s throw from Boston, and he grew up in New England, although he did graduate from high school in California. He returned east for college, though, and interned with the Red Sox while attending Northeastern. Further, nearly his entire announcing career comes from within the Red Sox organization (I’m Wikipedia-ing here) — the internship, five years calling Pawtucket Red Sox games on the radio from 1996-2000, and, of course, the lead role at NESN for the past 15 years.

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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.

Here it is! All of the Padres bobbleheads that I own, in one single post! 57  168 (!!!!) different Padres, Chihuahuas, Beavers, Stars, BayBears, Quakes, Storm, Wizards, TinCaps, Emeralds, managers, announcers, mascots, dreamboats, skaters and sleepy voiced ex-owners. I’ve written in depth about many of these already, so if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below and I’ll fill you in on them.

Some Additional Notes:

-The Tony Gwynn set of 5 was not a Padres affiliated giveaway and was reportedly a set that Alicia Gwynn teamed up with another company on. I can’t recall the year, or if they were given away somewhere or sold, but I’m about 99.9% sure that it was in 2001.

-I found out that the set that features Trevor Hoffman, Ryan Klesko, Mark Kotsay and Phil Nevin was indeed given away at a game on August 4th, 2002, but was for kids only. You could also go to Carl’s Jr. every Saturday for 5 consecutive weeks and purchase a combo meal to buy a different bobblehead for $4.99 though, which is what I did. My cholesterol levels have never been the same.

-The Jerry Coleman bobblehead was a San Diego National Bank item from 2001 and was given away to “special friends of the bank” only.

-A HUGE thank you to the Fort Wayne TinCaps for providing the Rymer Liriano, Mat Latos, Matt Wisler, Josh Van Meter & Burt Hooton bobbleheads to the collection!!

-Another HUGE thank you to the El Paso Chihuahuas for providing the Manuel Margot & Austin Hedges bobbleheads!

-For more info on the Chris Denorfia unreleased bobblehead, go here.

-I’ve never seen the 1980’s Twin Enterprises bobblehead before, but I scooped it up. It’s in the 1985-1990 uniform, however I have never seen any of these holding a baseball. Perhaps it was a custom one?

If you have any bobbleheads that aren’t listed here, that you’d like to contribute to my sickness the cause, then shoot me an e-mail.

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As I woke up this morning, I scanned Twitter and spotted this tweet.

I feel that it’s safe to say that Hacksaw may stretch the truth a bit on Twitter from time to time.

However, in this case, I can confirm that the news is indeed sadly true.

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
My only question is: Who are “they”?

If a picture is valued at a thousand words, then a series of combined pictures depicting motion into a looping format must be valued at a gajillion* words!

*Pretty sure that’s not an actual number. I was told there would be no math when I was asked to join Padres Public.

Last night during the Padres game in Philadelphia, the Phillie Phanatic paid a visit to the Fox Sports San Diego booth to visit with Dick Enberg and Mark “Mud” Grant.

Let’s just say the results were both expected and surprising. And hilarious.

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