Thanksgiving, still my favorite holiday of the year.
Also, the time of year where everyone’s “[XX] Reasons For [insert team name] Fans To Be Thankful” pieces come out. And I do mean EVERYONE’S.
Two years ago I wrote about the things I was thankful for as it relates to the Padres. I thought it would be fun to go back and look at how those things worked out then give a new reason to be thankful.
“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”
Spring Training is upon us once again. A time for optimism. A time for learning. A time for critiquing.
The Padres front office has recently been doing interviews where Mike Dee, Ron Fowler, and Peter Seidler all declare their belief in being big believers in belief, despite all apparent evidence to the contrary.
In other words, they have Great Expectations for this season.
What follows is my Padres brain dump for this spring, using select quotes from Charles Dickens’ classic novel, Great Expectations.
Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:
- The Mets Are Throwing the Dan Warthen Slider (FanGraphs) – Warthen, a former Padres pitching coach, is teaching a “different kind of slider” to his current Mets pitchers. Sounds a bit like a cutter, but he insists otherwise. Whatever the name, as Eno Sarris notes, it’s working well for Warthen’s pitchers. If talk of velocity, movement, and spin rate get you all hot and bothered, read this.
- ASG or not, Padres plan to contend (Union-Tribune) – Earlier this week I discussed the Padres’ plan of hope, which hasn’t yet borne fruit. Team officials are still talking a good game. As lead investor Peter Seidler says, “It’s not in our DNA to have a fire sale and to tear down. It is in our DNA to make good business moves and good baseball moves.” Yeah, good baseball moves might help. As Seidler said back in 2013, “It’s much more fun to go to baseball games when the club’s winning.” He’s probably right, but for now, we’ll have to take his word on that.
- The Savant of Spray Charts: Meet the New Star of Baseball Analytics (Rolling Stone) – The talented Daren Willman, of Baseball Savant fame, is profiled. If you haven’t visited Willman’s site, it’s all kinds of fun. You can do things like see how much harder Matt Kemp hit the ball during the week of June 15 than he did during the week of June 8, and compare that with, say, how hard Justin Upton hit the ball over those same periods. There’s a lot more to the site than just that, but you’ll figure it out. [h/t SABR; click through for additional great links]
- Don’t Be Fooled By Baseball’s Small-Budget Success Stories (FiveThirtyEight) – Noah Davis and Michael Lopez note that “the relationship between money and winning is as strong now as it’s been any time in the free-agency era” and that “fans of teams that win frequently expect them to continue winning, and management pays more to do so.” If you felt all warm and fuzzy after reading Moneyball, you may now return to a more cynical, enlightened view of the world. [h/t Tangotiger; click through for additional discussion]
- Moyer (9-3) secures win for Seattle (ESPN) – A recent tweet from Jeff O’Meara caught my eye. Fifteen years ago this week, in an early Vedder Cup matchup, John Olerud doubled against the Padres to tie the game. The double was disallowed because first base umpire Jim Wolf (brother of former Padres pitcher Randy Wolf) had called time. Seattle manager Lou Piniella threw a fit before Olerud homered off Brian Meadows to give the Mariners the lead for good. Ruben Rivera, who went 1-for-4 in the game, is still knocking cuadrangulars in Mexico. Meanwhile, then-Padres skipper Bruce Bochy has been recently identified as the best manager in baseball.
Two weeks ago I wrote a piece about possible targets for the Padres at the trade deadline. The Padres were looking to buy, and I was looking for ways they could spend. At the time, the Padres were 40-42. They’d lost two in a row and things hadn’t been great for a week or so, but hey, no big deal.
At the end of the post, I decided to throw in a small caveat:
“Of course, all this could be moot by the All-Star Break. If they play poorly the next two weeks, they could potentially go from buyers to sellers. If they’re going to buy, maybe they shouldn’t wait that long to make their moves.”
I had no idea. Read More…
I just read a short blog from Ben Higgins this morning about the Garfinkel resignation and he ended it with this:
Everything Tom Garfinkel touched didn’t turn to gold, but I liked his ideas and what he stood for. I still have no idea what the Fowler/Seidler/O’Malley group is all about.
Great question, Ben. Who are these guys?
I’m going to try to help Ben, because I think I may know the answer.
Okay, so the Padres apparently don’t believe bobblehead giveaways sell tickets.
But some of us here at Padres Public think they just need to show a little creativity to get people out to the ballpark with bobbleheads. And by some of us, I mean me. Because Avenging Jack Murphy wasn’t nearly as creative as he thinks.
Oh, great! Another bobblehead post? Where’s the analysis? Where’s the reports on the farm system? Where’s the counter-response to that one Bleacher Report article that no one read?
You haven’t been “reading” my stuff for very long, have you?