As opening day nears and you prepare for the first fight between the Padres and Dodgers,  I have the perfect recipe for you . . .

Back in November, as a defiant alternative to the Pork Belly Nachos offered at Petco Park, Geoff Young wrote a glowing scouting report on Kalua Pork Nachos grading them as a versatile dish. In his own words, Young commented:

OFP Grade: 60+; first-division appetizer that can also serve as an entree

This is all well and good but an organization cannot thrive on the opinion of just one man. A diversity of expert culinary opinions are warranted when reviewing the potential of a dish. After the initial report is filed by an area scout (GY) it is incumbent upon the man with the final say to come in and present his evaluation – in scouting parlance this man is referred to as the cross-checker (ME).

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In our Padres Public 2013 season review, I expressed my disappointment with the pork belly nachos served at Petco Park. Rather than just complain, as is my custom, I decided to make better nachos. Actually, Mrs. Ducksnorts made them because she is awesome. I ate them because I was hungry.

Some of the best nachos I’ve had are at Honolulu International Airport. Made with kalua pork, they’re available at Kona Brewing Co., near the exhibit honoring baseball pioneer Wally Yonamine.

If you can’t go there, or you just want to be reminded of how it feels to wait four hours for your connecting flight, make a big batch at home. You’ll thank me later.

The following is a full scouting report of said nachos. I’ve shamelessly stolen Jason Parks’ template for evaluating baseball prospects and applied to it food. As a scout, I make an excellent eater. Read More…

Baseball Prospectus recently republished Kevin Kerrane’s classic (ranked by Sports Illustrated as the 52nd best sports book of all time) on scouts and scouting, Dollar Sign on the Muscle. I was fortunate enough to help edit the new version and can tell you it is a fascinating read that has changed the way I think about baseball.

Although Kerrane wrote this about the Phillies scouts he shadowed during the 1981 season, his words touch on many with ties to the Padres, including Larry Bowa, Joe Carter, Mark Davis, Tony Gwynn, Mike Ivie, Chris James, Randy Jones, and Kevin McReynolds. The following excerpt features Rich “Goose” Gossage and Leon “Bip” Roberts.

To learn more about Dollar Sign on the Muscle, including what experts are saying, additional excerpts, and how to buy the book, click here.

In the Philadelphia scouting files I found an old report, dated May 27, 1970, and stamped WILBUR H. JOHNSON. It was Moose’s description of Richard Gossage who, before he became famous as “Goose,” had been a skinny high-schooler (6’2″ and 175 pounds) from Colorado Springs. The report read:

A tall, lanky RHP. Possesses a plus arm with a loose delivery off a good body. Delivers his FB off a low ¾ and also sidearm—with his CB from ¾ but will probably have to resort to a hard slider. His FB moves into RH-hitters and with a sinking effect. But with added weight of 20 pounds or so as he goes into manhood, he could develop a wicky FB with even more movement. His body can easily take the added weight. His potential is promising. Only a fair or borderline student—so should sign.

On Saturday and Sunday the scouts spent twelve hours discussing 175 more players who had been categorized as High A ($16,000 to $30,999), Mid A ($6,000 to $15,999), and Low A ($300 to $5,999). Another 77 players were listed on a sheet marked WNS, pronounced winnis, which stood for “Would Not Select.” Some were there because their skills didn’t match any known position on a baseball field. A high-school outfielder named Gregory Morhardt was described in Dick Lawlor’s reports as having “Pete Rose desire and a showcase arm.” But he was a bean, 6′ and 160 pounds, who lacked speed as well as power. Told that Morhardt’s best time at 60 yards was seven seconds flat, Jim Baumer said simply, “Winnis him.” Read More…

As most of you were already aware, FOX Sports San Diego recently extended an offer that Padres Public couldn’t refuse – a chance to take over yesterday’s broadcast between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and San Diego Padres. FSSD’s social media reporter, Megan Olivi, bravely stood by as these pasty basement dwellers stumbled through a few innings of work, some better than others. I, like many others, have a normal job (not bitter) with adult responsibilities (totally calm) and was unable to attend. Anyway, “The Bloggers Take Over” segments were intended to give “viewers a fan’s perspective of the game, as well providing discussion on topics relating to the team and its local San Diego fan base.”

With that in mind, I did what most fans do – I waited until the game was available online, poured myself a tall beer,and plopped myself down on the couch for the replay with the sole purpose of judging their hard work.

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