Here it is. All of the Padres bobbleheads, that I own, in one single post. 57  120 (!!!!) 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’m can’t recall the year, or if they were given away or sold, but I’m pretty sure 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 I am uncertain if it was a giveaway or sold there it was given away to “special friends of the bank” only.

-With that said, the two biggest icons in Padres history, Gwynn and Coleman, have still never had a Padres bobblehead giveaway.

-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.

-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 the 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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This edition of “Questions You Were Too Afraid To Ask” focuses on the finalization of the Kyle Blanks trade and the Nick Hundley-Troy Patton swap.

The Padres received Ronald Herrera last week from the Oakland A’s to complete the Kyle Blanks trade. He’s just 19 years old and currently boasts a 3.30 ERA in the Midwest League. Is it okay to be excited about this pickup?

We discussed the Blanks trade two weeks ago, noting that the player to be named later set to come the Padres way might be something of value:

While PTBNLs are often just bit pieces, it seems possible, if not likely, that the Padres will get something decent back here, if only because Blanks has plenty more value than Goebbert as far as role players go.

By PTBNL standards, Herrera seems like a pretty nice acquisition. Signed out of Venezuela for $20K in 2011, Herrera has progressed nicely through Oakland’s system, rolling through the Dominican Summer League and Arizona Rookie League in 2012 and 2013, respectively. He’s currently stationed in Single-A Fort Wayne, sporting a 3.30 ERA in 57 1/3 innings, along with a 3.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio and just under a home run allowed per nine innings. (Most of that work was done in Oakland’s system, of course.)

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Kyle Blanks’ long, mostly enigmatic San Diego Padres career came crashing to an end last week, as he was dealt to the Oakland A’s for outfielder Jake Goebbert and a player to be named later or cash considerations.

A draft-and-follow from the 42nd round of the 2004 draft, Blanks raked at every level in the Padres minor league system. Blanks’ prospect breakout came in 2007 when he hit .301/.380/.540 and popped 20 home runs in High-A Lake Elsinore. He solidified that performance in 2008 when, as a 21-year-old, he hit .325/.404/.514 in pitcher-friendly Double-A San Antonio. By 2009, Baseball America rated him as the No. 1 prospect in the Padres system and 50th in all of baseball.

At that point, the only thing blocking Blanks from a full-time job in San Diego was Adrian Gonzalez, who just so happened to play Blanks’ natural position of first base. Even that wasn’t much of a roadblock, as the nimble-for-his-size Blanks, who stands at 6’6’’ and weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 275 pounds, was able to make a largely (no pun intended) seamless transition to the outfield, splitting time between left and right field for the Padres in 2009. He also hit .250/.355/.514 that year as a 22-year-old rookie, smashing 10 home runs in just 172 plate appearances. Season-ending plantar fasciitis in September both put an end to Blanks’ fantastic rookie season and foreshadowed an injury-plagued future.

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Kyle Blanks’ demotion to Triple-A El Paso and subsequent trade to the A’s after going 2-for-10 in a cameo with the Padres triggered a couple of unrelated events. First, it deprived the world of once again seeing a man listed at 6’6”, 265 pounds rock a uniform emblazoned with a cartoon version of the world’s smallest dog.

Second, it gave the Free Kyle Blanks Club a reason to reconvene after having suspended operations only a week earlier when Blanks was summoned to replace Xavier Nady. Then, after the May 15 trade for Triple-A outfielder Jake Goebbert and a PTBNL or cash, it gave FKBC a reason to celebrate.

Blanks was free at last. Or at least in Oakland.

He was hitting .265/.354/.651 for the Chihuahuas at the time of his May 5 recall. He had more strikeouts than hits, but his nine homers were three times as many as the Padres’ team leader, the DFA’d Nady. Scoring 2.63 runs per game, the Padres desperately needed offense. The theory was that Blanks would help. And although the team averaged 4.57 runs per game during his brief stay, he had precious little to do with that. Read More…

Early yesterday afternoon the Padres announced the call-up of Kyle Blanks.  To make room for him, Xavier Nady was Designated for Assignment.

Initially I couldn’t figure out why a team that dragged Mark Kotsay‘s rotting carcass around for a full season would DFA X. But, Nady isn’t hitting (.135/.238/.405).  Why he isn’t hitting is harder to answer. He did get thrust into a more prominent role than he probably expected.  He was never intended to start regularly, which became something of a requirement thanks to Carlos Quentin‘s seemingly unending rehab, Tommy Medica‘s sudden inability to hit Major League pitching, and Cameron Maybin‘s injury.  Nady played the full 9 in 5 of his first 17 games.  In contrast, Kotsay played a full game in only two of his first 17 appearances last year.  Nady got more work early; it didn’t help.

Another factor might be as simple the timing of his slump.  X was off to a horrid start, as the slash line above shows.  Kotsay, in his first 42 PA last year, hit .333/.381/.359.  Big contributor, got out of the chute hot.  Of course, for the rest of the season Kotsay hit .147/.181/.392, leaving him plenty of time on the bench to perfect his taco recipe.  But that hot start may have cemented his value to the team in the eyes of management, no matter how bad his later performance was.

Xavier seemed to have two things still going for him:  he is the current team leader tied for the team lead in HR (3), and he still terrorizes LHP (SSS, but .200/.368/.667 in 12 PA).  His current OPS+ is 82.  Here’s a complete list of current Padres not meeting that lofty standard.

All of those guys start regularly (except Jace, who’s here until Headley comes back).  On this team, Nady’s an above average hitter.  Hard to part with that, but the offense is struggling.  Who else should get shipped out?  What other hitter is going to get sent down to bring Blanks up?

There’s no question Blanks should have been brought up.  As the above list demonstrates this team is STARVING for offense.  Blanks has been tearing it up in AAA.  The problem is, as I will try to show next, Blanks isn’t a real good answer.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after sitting through a 3-hour in game infomercial for the On Deck Suite that you will likely never be able to afford buying tickets to for even one game.  Then, when that was finally done, there was still another hour left.  So here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking and screaming at the television trying to get them to get back to the game.

The Padres (15-18) pulled out an extra-inning win over the Kansas City Royals (14-17) in the bottom of the 12th with a 2-run walk-off single by Will Venable.  Jedd Gyorko tied up the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the 9th with his third home run.  Yasmani Grandal got the Friars on the board in the sixth with a 3-run home run, also his third of the season, to tie the game up at 3.

Padres’ starter Eric Stults was hit hard early by singles, lasting just 4 2/3 innings while giving up 3 runs (all earned) on 11 hits and no walks with only 2 strikeouts.  Royals’ starter Yordano Ventura was impressive, pitching 6 innings with 3 runs (all earned) on 5 hits, no walks, and 11 strikeouts.

By the time the 12th inning started, Bud Black had used all of his position players after Rene Rivera came in to pinch hit for Joaquin Benoit in the bottom of the 11th.

Tonight, the Padres will send out Robbie Erlin (1-4) against Jeremy Guthrie (2-2) at 7:10 pm PDT.  No word yet on what the Padres will try the entire game to sell us at the time of publishing.

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It’s May 5th. In Spanish, that translates to Cinco De Mayo, an unofficial holiday in the United States, celebrated throughout America by white people dressing up in racist outfits, drinking crappy Mexican lagers and watered down Margaritas, and eating tacos. That’s a fact. Here are some other facts:

The Padres have played 32 games. 32 games is roughly 20% of the season.

The Padres have won 14 games, which puts them on a pace for approximately 71 wins.

The Padres are dead last in Major League Baseball in runs scored, with 84. They are averaging 2.6 runs scored per game. They have scored more than 3 runs in just 10 games.

In the 10 games in which the Padres have scored at least 4 runs, their record is 9-1. If you’d allow me to editorialize for a moment, it seems like they might be better off scoring more runs.

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Alternate title: 7 Crazy Arbitration Avoiding Numbers That Will SHOCK You To The Core

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again! The Padres recently came to terms on one year deals with 5 players, which means all their arbitration eligible guys are signed save starter Andrew Cashner.

Economist Matt Swartz developed a system for projecting arbitration salaries and interestingly, there seems to be a pattern of Padre players receiving more money in deals to avoid arbitration than they were expected to be awarded. Printed on the internet here for your reading pleasure are the projected, actual, and how much more or less than projected dollars each arbitration eligible Padre received. Numbers are in millions.

Projected in arbitration Actual Difference
Chase Headley $10.00 $10.53 $0.53
Ian Kennedy $5.80 $6.10 $0.30
Eric Stults $3.00 $2.75 -$0.25
Andrew Cashner $2.40 ??? $0.00
Everth Cabrera $2.20 $2.45 $0.25
Tyson Ross $1.30 $1.98 $0.68
Tim Stauffer $1.20 $1.60 $0.40
Kyle Blanks $1.00 $0.99 -$0.01
Total $1.89

It’s worth keeping in mind that these salaries are negotiated between the team and the player based on expected arbitration awards. That means years of service is considered, plus all the weird stats that arbitration panels value for some reason. The Padres aren’t simply handing out raises that are arrived at, (ahem) arbitrarily.

And the increase isn’t likely to be Padres specific. I’m guessing higher revenues in the sport through cable television deals and the salary cap on amatuer players are the cause behind these bigger salary numbers, as we’ve seen increased costs per win on the free agent market as well.