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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The San Diego Padres ended their 2015 season by telling interim manager Pat Murphy he would not be returning as full-time manager in 2016. And they waited slightly more than an hour after the last out of the season to tell him.

There has been plenty of speculation already on who the Padres are going to hire for the manager’s job. Most of it is just that, speculation. There aren’t many details other than a few reports on people being granted permission to interview. Which is better than no news, I suppose.

Let’s take a look at the candidates, no matter how ridiculous their candidacy seems, shall we?

It’s time to play Whack-a-Manager!

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I promise I’ll stop writing about second basemen. But not yet. Presented here mostly without comment, are the combined wRC+ and WAR totals for Padres second baseman the last 15 or so years. You might notice a light shining from the heavens on Mark Loretta. The worst mark came last year thanks to the awful start to Jace Peterson‘s career, and my boy Jedd Gyorko not exactly picking up Jace’s slack.

I’ll leave the analysis for elsewhere. For now there’s just context.

wRC+ WAR
2015 89 0.8
2014 60 -0.7
2013 98 2.3
2012 88 1.5
2011 74 1.1
2010 82 3
2009 78 -0.4
2008 80 -0.1
2007 76 0.1
2006 97 3.4
2005 94 3.1
2004 137 5.8
2003 118 4.8
2002 81 1.8
2001 77 -0.3
2000 92 3.1

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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Here it is. All of the Padres bobbleheads, that I own, in one single post. 57  114 (!!!!) 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, arguably 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 bobbleheads to the collection.

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

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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Except when it doesn’t.

So, Huston Street and Tyson Ross are your San Diego Padres 2014 All-Stars, although Ross will not play having started on Sunday.  Street was named to replace Ross on the active All-Star roster.

allstarplea

The Padres wanted us to write-in Seth Smith on our All-Star ballots this year. Because his name wasn’t on the ballot and everyone else sucked.

Last week, I explored possible replacements for Ross on the All-Star roster this year.  Seeing as how Smith was denied not chosen, that got me thinking:  When was the last time a position player from the Padres started an All-Star game?

The last time a position player actually started the All-Star Game was 1998 at Coors Field in Denver, when Tony Gwynn was voted in by the fans.  Andy Ashby, Kevin Brown, Trevor Hoffman, and Greg Vaughn joined Gwynn as All-Star reserves.

1998?  That long ago?  Have the Padres really sucked that bad?  Well, yes and no.  Part of the problem with having the fans vote is players that get national attention tend to get the most votes.  And the Padres have rarely gotten national attention since 1998.  Not for anything positive, that is.

Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, just that’s the way it is.

So, what happened between 1998 and today?  How many players have been All-Stars since?

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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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Jedd Gyorko led the 2013 Padres with 63 RBI. That’s a sad number, and this is a sad table:

Year Player RBI
2013 Jedd Gyorko 63
2011 Ryan Ludwick 64
1969 Nate Colbert 66
1988 Tony Gwynn 70
2003 Mark Loretta 72

Excluding the strike-shortened 1981 campaign, these are the lowest totals by single-season RBI leaders in Padres history. The numbers are almost as sad as being reminded of Ludwick.

You know what else is sad? Last year, Elvis Andrus hit .271/.328/.331 (81 OPS+) for the Rangers and had 67 RBI.

You know what’s sadder? Since 2000, Julio Lugo, Deivi Cruz, Neifi Perez, Rod Barajas, Juan Uribe, Yuniesky Betancourt (three times!), Joe Randa, and both Alex Gonzalezes have had more RBI in a season than Gyorko had last year. Read More…