In 2003 I left the sweltering heat of Tucson, AZ with my degree from the University of Arizona in hand, a car filled to the brim with all of my possessions and no future plans except one. I was moving to Chicago. Mrs. Left Coast Bias, then Ms. Left Coast Bias, was a resident of Chicago and love being an intoxicating drug (and a degree in Creative Writing not opening a ton of doors), giving it a go in the big city seemed like just the thing. So off I went.
In 2003, the Cubs were entering the season after coming off a dismal 5th place finish in 2002. But there was reason for hope in 2003. Two years prior, the Cubs had signed the largest draft pick contract on a USC Golden Spikes Award winner. He was considered as can’t miss as a young arm could possibly be. Prior to the 2001 draft, Baseball America had this to say:
“All the superlatives come out when Prior’s name is mentioned in coaching and scouting circles. He dominated hitters with a 94-97 mph fastball with exquisite location on both sides of the plate, and outstanding command of his quality breaking ball. And it all happens with a free, easy, effortless delivery.”
The “free, easy, effortless delivery” was in part what made Mark Prior so coveted. And seem so safe. Of course, we know better know.
(Or the coffee, either…)
It’s been almost 3 weeks since the Padres signed Josh Johnson. Most observers gave the signing a ‘thumbs-up’, for some very good reasons. Eight million for one year of a recovering pitcher, with the option of a second year at $4M should he spectacularly break down again, sounds pretty good. It probably is good.
Cue the pessimist. I’m having trouble wrapping my head around this as a good deal. Mostly because I keep seeing Mark Mulder, Brandon Webb, and Mark Prior in my mind’s eye. Let’s talk about this.
A quick recap of these three former major league pitchers.
By Corey Brock
One of the highlights of the Padres’ FanFest each year (well, in my opinion at least) is the Garage Sale – specifically the Garage Sale that benefits the Padres Foundation for Children.
The Padres Foundation is the primary source of funding for the organization’s outreach initiatives in the areas of children’s health, education, fitness and youth baseball/softball.
A year ago, the goodies sold at the Garage Sale raised over $80,000. This year, the Padres are hoping to reach six figures. Good for them!
So can they do it?
You bet they will, or my name isn’t Dewon Brazelton.
(Editor’s note: My name isn’t Dewon Brazelton, though this becomes relevant in the next paragraph).