Prior to the season, there was a lot of discussion about what kind of weird, outside-the-box ideas the Padres could unveil on the field in 2017. So far, outside of carrying three Rule 5 players through the middle of July and shifting frequently, none of them have really come to fruition. There’s a vast gravitational pull that draws major-league teams back toward the ordinary, and these Padres haven’t yet found the antidote to its force.

It got me thinking, though. What kind of weird, outside-the-box ideas could the Padres try off the field for the rest of the season? After all, it is only July, so there’s still time left for a change of pace. After racking my brain a bit, I had one thing I really wanted to write about. There were other ideas that I considered (lowering concessions, coming up with better giveaways), but they’re super obvious, and others here at this site and across the Padres blogosphere could write about them with more familiarity than I could. So I decided to just write about that one thing.

That one thing is Giants Outsiders, a “live 30-minute multi-platform and fan-interactive show” recently created by NBC Sports Bay Area. It airs on NBC Sports Bay Area at 11 PM after every 7 PM Giants game, and it features longtime baseball writer Grant Brisbee and Therese Viñal. I’ve only caught a couple of shows, including one last Friday after a Padres-Giants game, but it’s really good. It’s kind of a more casual postgame show with a bunch of fan interaction through social media, but it also features the sort of off-beat analysis that you can only get from someone like Brisbee.

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Before we get to Ron Fowler’s comments, let’s briefly discuss Jered Weaver‘s start to 2017. It’s been bad.

Weaver seems like a really good guy, with a sort of self-effacing sense of humor and candor that doesn’t often show in athletes, specifically when they’re down on their luck. But he’s been really bad. I’m not sure why anyone is particularly surprised by it, though, and maybe they aren’t. Last year Weaver posted a 7.50 DRA, worst in the whole darn league, and a full run worse than James freakin’ Shields. By Baseball Prospectus’ WARP calculation, he was worth negative (read: negative) 4.4 wins, a level of ineptitude rarely broached by WAR-based metrics.

Along with declining numbers across the board, Weaver’s fastball velocity has been in a much-publicized nosedive, dropping from the high 80s/low 90s a few years ago all the way down to the low-to-mid 80s now. There’s a good shot Joe Righthander, down at the local D3 Juco, throws harder than the 34-year-old Weaver does right now.

There was a very small chance that Weaver was going to be good this year, and slightly larger chance that he’d be okay, and a good chance he’d stink. I’m still convinced that the Padres signed him in part because he’s a good dude and in part because he wouldn’t impede the tank. And maybe, just maybe, he’d eat some innings and turn out to have a hint of trade value by July. But I’d be surprised if anyone in the baseball operations department had high expectations, given what we know about Weaver’s declining ability to get major-league hitters out.

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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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From a chili patio in Peoria, Arizona at Zero Dark Thirty, the Mighty 1090’s Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton discussed baseball with SB Nation’s Rob Neyer. With icicles dangling from his ample mustache, Hacksaw and Neyer talked about topics ranging from the Biogenesis clinic in south Florida to the Angels, Dodgers, and Padres.

On PEDs . . .

  • Neyer doesn’t think  that everyone connected to the South Florida clinic is innocent. But not everyone is guilty either. There’s little context for what some of the guys purchased and for some there is nothing listed at all.
  • There are so many guys on the list that a lot of the guys will eventually be forgotten. If there aren’t big names ( e.g. Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, et al) they’ll be forgotten by the media and people won’t really care.
  • Biogenesis founder, Anthony Bosch, does not appear to be a stable person. And he’s the interesting story. He’s shady!

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From April of 2005 until November of 2008 there existed a blog called Fire Joe Morgan. The writers at FJM were funny (some would eventually write for NBC’s The Office and Parks and Recreation), insightful, and statistically inclined. They were progressive baseball fans.

The title of their blog was a reference to the eponymous Hall of Fame 2nd baseman whose retirement consisted of a career as a play-by-play analyst for ESPN. Joe Morgan drew the ire of FJM’s writers because of his outdated thinking and refusal to accept that there were new, exciting, and transformative ways to view the game of baseball. He also thought Billy Beane wrote the book Moneyball. And if nothing else, Joe Morgan hated Moneyball. Even though he had never read Moneyball. Which, again, Billy Beane did not write. FJM wasn’t just about Joe Morgan though. It was about all crappy efforts put forth by those who cover baseball.

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