Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:

  • Contact Quality: Excessive Ground-Ball Pullers, 2014 NL (FanGraphs) – This one from Tony Blengino is a little old, but Matt Kemp shows up on the list, which probably helps explain why Kemp, Yangervis Solarte, and Cory Spangenberg all have nearly identical batting lines. Speaking of Blengino, he recently discussed the “most authoritative hitters” of all-time. One such hitter, not surprisingly, is San Diego’s own Ted Williams.
  • The Ironic Jersey Omnibus Lives (Hardball Times) – Patrick Dubuque’s long-running NotGraphs series has found a new home. This installment includes the Padres (yay!) and Giants (boo!). Dubuque was kind enough to ask for my input, which I gladly provided. Nate Colbert makes an appearance, as do Enzo Hernandez and eight other players. Fun stuff.
  • Anatomy of a Murder: The Federal League and the Courts (Our Game) – In the department of super-long reads, this is the first part of an article written by Gary Hailey in the mid-’80s for SABR and reproduced now by John Thorn. To blatantly name drop, Hailey and I played in a Scoresheet league together for many years. He’s an interesting guy and an excellent writer, and you should read this. See also Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
  • On Derek Norris’ Surprising Strength (Padres Public) – Dustin observes that the Padres catcher is much harder to run on than he used to be. Note that this does not hold true when the Tyson Ross Track Meet™ is in effect.
  • Inside a Beanball War: How One Play Turned into Three Days of Royals, A’s Rage (Bleacher Report) – Scott Miller does some nice investigative reporting on a series of brawls that took place earlier this season. Miller digs into the psychology behind such incidents and highlights some famous wars of the past, including the Carlos Quentin/Zack Greinke affair of 2013 and the Padres/Braves ugliness of 1984.

Monday, the Padres announced that Trevor Hoffman would be inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame before the game against the Dodgers on August 30th.

A couple of thoughts crossed my mind.

  • They retired his number in 2011.  You would think that would have been a more opportune time to do it, what with everyone already being there for that ceremony and all.
  • Everyone else (with the exceptions of Steve Garvey – who isn’t in the Padres Hall of Fame, and Nate Colbert – who hasn’t had his number retired) has been named to the Padres Hall of Fame first or at least had their number retired at the same time.

Then I had one more thought.

Why don’t the Padres do an Alumni Weekend every year?

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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…

Friday night the Ted Williams (San Diego) Chapter of SABR hosted the Padres Memorable Moments event at the Scripps Ranch Library.  As you may remember from reading about it here and here, Bob Chandler was to call the memorable moments in the old-style of sound effects and ticker tape.

In the library auditorium a stage was set up. On the left was a desk with all the special effects Chandler would use – a pillow, bat, and wood block, an a microphone to broadcast the action. To the right, three sofa chairs were set up, where Chandler conducted interviews with participants in each event chronicled. Before the game started, Joe Rathburn warmed the crowd up with a medley of baseball songs, culminating with Centerfield (which happens to be a personal favorite).


Rathburn leading the ‘pregame’ (photo courtesy @Padres360)

Then the National Anthem was sung, and we were off.

Bob reprised nine events in Padres history (pictures and video):

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Chase Headley is making history this year. On July 24, in Milwaukee, he played his 552nd career game at third base for the Padres. This pushed him past Luis Salazar as the franchise leader in games played at the hot corner.

Did you know that Salazar had been the leader? I did, but I’m weird that way.

Now Headley is chasing another record. Nate Colbert has the most strikeouts (773) in Padres history. However, his lead over second-place Headley–who has already passed Phil Nevin and Garry Templeton this season–is far from safe.

The question isn’t if Headley will break the record, but when. It could happen in 2013. He currently has 104 strikeouts in 100 games and needs 41 more in the final 48 games. Assuming he stays healthy, I like those odds. Read More…

The Padres will finish up their series with the Giants this weekend and then, mercifully, head into the All-Star Break. With any luck they will enter that All-Star Break with a decent taste in their mouth assuming the series against the free-falling Giants goes well. But in either event the Padres could use a break after recently losing 10-games in a row.

However, I’m not here today to dwell on the recent struggles. Today we look back, with the All-Star Game as our guide, and attempt to assemble the Padres All-Time, All-Stars, All-Star Team. Wow, that was a mouthful.

The basic premise is this. Throughout the Padres history they have had at least one player from every position make the All-Star Game. Based on a variety of requirements, some of which are objective some subjective, I’ve assembled what I think is that team.

Ok, the requirements. On the objective side I’m looking at the players overall season that they made the All-Star team. I’m using the entire season though obviously half of those numbers happened after the All-Star Game. In the event of ties (or close calls) I’ll use how that player may have done in the All-Star Game that year. And in one case, I simply picked a player I like more than another, objectivity be damned. So, without further ado, let’s assemble an All-Star team!

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Last week I examined the disappointing 2013 Padres Promotional Schedule. To put it nicely, fans were underwhelmed by the lack of giveaways and the quality of those giveaways and the promotional events left a lot to be desired.

Often times fans in general are quick to trash something but sometimes aren’t realistic (“ARGHHH Y U NO TRADE FOR STANTON PADRES!!!”) or don’t provide any ideas to solving the problem (“ARGGGHHHHH THE PADRES NEED TO SIGN A PREMIERE SS! Y THEY NO GET ONE!!! Oh, what is that? There wasn’t one available? Oh….well I’m still going to yell because I have NO ANSWERS…ARGHHHH”). I plan to be both realistic and give some new ideas to spice up this bland schedule. I won’t come up with outlandish stuff like Turn Ahead the Clock Night (That’s for you Wayne), giveaways every day of the week or have an absurd bobblehead set* of past owners (I’m looking at you Ghost). I will use the Padres current schedule, use the nights that they have already assigned (PCL, 80’s, ’98) and work with what I have been given. Hopefully I come through for the fans!

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