There has been a (nearly) total lack of any interesting Padres news coming out of the Winter Meetings this year. Unless you count Dick Enberg receiving the Ford C. Frick Award or A.J. Preller’s broken computer. Which I don’t, obviously.  Quite frankly, everyone else on Padres Public has done a much better job of analyzing nothing this week than I ever could.

So let’s have a bit of mindless fun, shall we?

This past year saw Alesmith Brewing releasing a collaboration with the late Tony Gwynn on a new beer, .394 San Diego Pale Ale.  If you haven’t had a chance to try it yet, I recommend you get to Alesmith’s Miramar tasting room and do so at your earliest convenience.  It is a mighty tasty beer.

This brought up an interesting topic to examine:

What could local breweries do to honor other Padres players with their own beer?

Well, maybe not interesting, per se.  But what else are we supposed to talk about?

*My only rule:  You won’t see anything about Eric Show or Alan Wiggins or anyone else that ever publicly had a problem with substance abuse.  That’s a line that I won’t cross.

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The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBBA) was founded in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball.  The Alliance also votes on various awards at different times in the year, including end of season awards.

Award season.  That time-honored tradition of someone deciding who or what should get something for their performance.  Movies have the Academy Awards.  TV has the Emmy’s.  Baseball has the ESPY’s Baseball Writers Association of America‘s end of season awards.

None of the folks in the BBBA are likely members of the BBWAA.  At least I don’t think so.  I do know that no one in the San Diego chapter is.  So we get to make up our own awards.  Which is nice.

Last week, Padres Trail gave you the first category, Manager of the Year.  Today, I get the chance to show you who we selected for Reliever of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.

There are no Padres pitchers on our collective ballots for the Reliever of the Year or Pitcher of the Year, despite Padres Trail’s blatant attempts at homerism by putting Tyson Ross on his ballot.  Sorry.  That’s life.

This is my first year in the BBBA, which means that these are the first awards I’ve ever voted on.  And no, I don’t count the McRib Awards from last year.  No one should count those.  Ever.

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I originally intended to post this last week, but with the chaos of a Spring Training trip quickly approaching, I had a ton of stuff to get done before leaving.

Last year the San Diego chapter of SABR (also known as the Ted Williams Chapter) had their first Garage Sale at the Hall of Champions. I was there that day, bought a few things and posted about it here. So when Met from Padres Trail announced that it would be returning this year AND that it was at the Randy Jones All-American Sports Grill, I knew that I had to go once again. This time I had home field advantage.

I got there a little early and ran into some other collectors and ItsDis. As the doors opened, they all ate my dust though, as I was the first to rush in. There was considerably less items this year, but there was still some awesome stuff to be had.

I got a few things to add to my crazy collection:

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Baseball Prospectus recently republished Kevin Kerrane’s classic (ranked by Sports Illustrated as the 52nd best sports book of all time) on scouts and scouting, Dollar Sign on the Muscle. I was fortunate enough to help edit the new version and can tell you it is a fascinating read that has changed the way I think about baseball.

Although Kerrane wrote this about the Phillies scouts he shadowed during the 1981 season, his words touch on many with ties to the Padres, including Larry Bowa, Joe Carter, Mark Davis, Tony Gwynn, Mike Ivie, Chris James, Randy Jones, and Kevin McReynolds. The following excerpt features Rich “Goose” Gossage and Leon “Bip” Roberts.

To learn more about Dollar Sign on the Muscle, including what experts are saying, additional excerpts, and how to buy the book, click here.

In the Philadelphia scouting files I found an old report, dated May 27, 1970, and stamped WILBUR H. JOHNSON. It was Moose’s description of Richard Gossage who, before he became famous as “Goose,” had been a skinny high-schooler (6’2″ and 175 pounds) from Colorado Springs. The report read:

A tall, lanky RHP. Possesses a plus arm with a loose delivery off a good body. Delivers his FB off a low ¾ and also sidearm—with his CB from ¾ but will probably have to resort to a hard slider. His FB moves into RH-hitters and with a sinking effect. But with added weight of 20 pounds or so as he goes into manhood, he could develop a wicky FB with even more movement. His body can easily take the added weight. His potential is promising. Only a fair or borderline student—so should sign.

On Saturday and Sunday the scouts spent twelve hours discussing 175 more players who had been categorized as High A ($16,000 to $30,999), Mid A ($6,000 to $15,999), and Low A ($300 to $5,999). Another 77 players were listed on a sheet marked WNS, pronounced winnis, which stood for “Would Not Select.” Some were there because their skills didn’t match any known position on a baseball field. A high-school outfielder named Gregory Morhardt was described in Dick Lawlor’s reports as having “Pete Rose desire and a showcase arm.” But he was a bean, 6′ and 160 pounds, who lacked speed as well as power. Told that Morhardt’s best time at 60 yards was seven seconds flat, Jim Baumer said simply, “Winnis him.” Read More…

This week I’ll hit up a few items from the 70’s and early 80’s.

First up is a plastic McDonalds baseball card holder from 1974. 1974 was the first year for Ray Kroc owning the Padres so this promotion makes sense. The baseball cards are round and the players I have are Randy Jones, Dave Winfield, Bobby Tolan, Fred Kendall, Glenn Beckert, Johnny Grubb, John McNamara, a Padres Home Schedule for August and September and lastly a card with Ronald McDonald swinging a bat. On the back of the Ronald card it lists when cards were given away.

7/31-8/4: Willie McCovey and Bill Greif
8/5-8/11: Nate Colbert and Matty Alou
8/12-8/18: Dave Roberts and Johnny Grubb
8/19-8/24: Bobby Tolan and Dave Winfield

I don’t know if this was a McDonalds promotion or a Padres promotion but it’s pretty cool that each week the kids could get 2 new cards until they completed the collection. I’ll have to try and complete mine some day.



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