In the spirit of not picking anything in the “B” range, I’m going with an A-.

I know, I know, maybe that’s aggressive, but I’ve been inching closer and closer to the front of the A.J. Preller bandwagon since the pains of 2015 have worn away. There are dings, of course—Yasmani Grandal-for-Matt Kemp was always terrible, the Wil MyersTrea Turner trade didn’t look good then or now, and last year’s medical records snafu wasn’t a good look.

The positive marks are overflowing, however, and you can spot most of them somewhere at a Padres minor-league affiliate. MacKenzie Gore, for instance, looks like a steal, even though he was the third pick in this year’s draft. Fernando Tatis Jr. looks like a legit candidate for baseball’s best prospect come next season, perhaps flanked by the aforementioned Gore. And there are intriguing players littered throughout the system, many of whom were acquired to little or no fanfare, like Michel Baez, Hansel Rodriguez, Pedro Avila, and on and on.

Sometimes it seems really easy to build a good farm system—after all, a team like the Chicago White Sox built a super system in the blink of an eye. But the Padres haven’t had many Chris Sales or Jose Quintanas sitting around to deal, so it’s something of an accomplishment that they went from a middling system to a top one in a year or two. Players like Tatis and Esteury Ruiz were plucked in lopsided trades; Gore was a savvy (if obvious) draft pick; Baez, a 6-foot-8 flamethrower, was somehow snagged for a cool $3 million last winter.

In short, Preller & Co. have been great at finding good young talent. That alone is an exciting development, and we haven’t even touched on the solid work they’ve done scraping the bargain bin for big-league contributors (Drew Pomeranz, Trevor Cahill, Brad Hand, Jose Pirela, etc). They still have to prove they can put a winner together, but we’ll find out about that soon enough. I’m a big fan.

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Here it is. All of the Padres bobbleheads, that I own, in one single post. 57  120 (!!!!) different Padres, Chihuahuas, Beavers, Stars, BayBears, Quakes, Storm, Wizards, TinCaps, Emeralds, managers, announcers, mascots, dreamboats, skaters and sleepy voiced ex-owners. I’ve written in depth about many of these already, so if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below and I’ll fill you in on them.

Some Additional Notes:

-The Tony Gwynn set of 5 was not a Padres affiliated giveaway and was reportedly a set that Alicia Gwynn teamed up with another company on. I’m can’t recall the year, or if they were given away or sold, but I’m pretty sure it was in 2001.

-I found out that the set that features Trevor Hoffman, Ryan Klesko, Mark Kotsay and Phil Nevin was indeed given away at a game on August 4th, 2002, but was for kids only. You could also go to Carl’s Jr. every Saturday for 5 consecutive weeks and purchase a combo meal to buy a different bobblehead for $4.99 though, which is what I did. My cholesterol levels have never been the same.

-The Jerry Coleman bobblehead was a San Diego National Bank item from 2001 and I am uncertain if it was a giveaway or sold there it was given away to “special friends of the bank” only.

-With that said, the two biggest icons in Padres history, Gwynn and Coleman, have still never had a Padres bobblehead giveaway.

-A HUGE thank you to the Fort Wayne TinCaps for providing the Rymer Liriano, Mat Latos, Matt Wisler, Josh Van Meter & Burt Hooton bobbleheads to the collection.

-For more info on the Chris Denorfia unreleased bobblehead, go here.

-I’ve never seen the 1980’s Twin Enterprises bobblehead before but I scooped it up. It’s in the 1985-1990 uniform, however I have never seen any of these holding the baseball. Perhaps it was a custom one?

If you have any bobbleheads that aren’t listed here, that you’d like to contribute to my sickness the cause, then shoot me an e-mail.

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Yonder Alonso may not look or hit like a big-league first baseman, but that’s what the cigar-shaped kid from Havana is. Most nights, despite possessing the power of a hotel hair dryer, the man who runs with a Steinway on his back can be found in the heart of Bud Black’s lineup.

And oh, what a piano! One year, he knocked 150 hits and scored 47 runs. That’s not a record, but it puts him in the company of Bengie Molina, Terry Kennedy, and a handful of guys nobody ever called “Scooter” or “Wheels.”

Of course, Molina and Kennedy hit one out of the yard once in a while. Alonso doesn’t do that. He’s big and strong, but lets teammates share the burden. He’s no glory hog. You won’t see him launching baseballs into the San Diego night like Adrián González used to do, or Ryan Klesko before him.

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In what hopes to be a series documenting Padr-oh, fuck it…Kevin Towers trade deadline failures, I bring you the story of the 2004 trading deadline. Earlier today, Avenging Jack Murphy brought you the tale of the 2005 non-waiver trading deadline blockbuster which brought Joe Randa to the Padres, created a legend. To me, however, the bellwether of awful deadline deals is that which brought brought about Dave Hansen‘s second stint with the San Diego Padres.

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On January 4th, the Cleveland Indians signed Brett Myers to a 1 year, $7 million contract. Among pretty much every Padres fan the reaction was a collective sigh of relief. Because while the Padres were (and are) in desperate need of veteran pitching, and despite the fact that pretty much every free agent pitcher (including Brett Myers) was rumored to be a possibility for San Diego (yet none ended up here), Brett Myers sucks.

Not in talent mind you. He’s fine there. But in 2006 he was arrested for punching his wife in the face. In an effort to remain fair here it is important to note that these charges were ultimately dropped at the behest of his wife.

Either way, no one wanted him here and I don’t blame them. It also got me thinking. Despite my unflinching fandom, there have been players throughout the years I haven’t enjoyed. So, presented here (though let’s view this as a living document as I’m sure we can add and amend this list later) is the San Diego Padres All-Time Least Likable List.

Some rules and notes before we get started.

1) No amount of playing time was required. In fact, in one case, the player never played for the MLB team;

2) As I’m 32 there is a very clear focus on the team over the past 15 years or so. This is in part due to the fact that, as a kid I didn’t “hate” anyone on the team and these players are fresher in my mind;

3) “Least Likable” in this instance is a fluid definition. Someone makes this list by either being a colossal underachiever (which required substantial expectations) or for having a terrible personality.

On to the list! Read More…