In the ongoing buildup to the 2016 All-Star Game in July at Petco Park, the Padres have been adding and updating parts of the ballpark.

Last week the Padres announced the Beachers would be removed and a new group section would be replacing it. This followed an earlier announcement that the entire lighting system would be upgraded to LED. They also mentioned upgrading the seats in the Lexus Home Plate Club sections and upgraded and expanded backstop netting.

Yesterday, Bill Center wrote an article on Padres.com about the changes to the retired numbers currently located on the Batter’s Eye along with changes related to the new Padres Hall of Fame. I was out doing other stuff and didn’t really have a chance to look at any of it until today.

So let’s do that, shall we?

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There has been a (nearly) total lack of any interesting Padres news coming out of the Winter Meetings this year. Unless you count Dick Enberg receiving the Ford C. Frick Award or A.J. Preller’s broken computer. Which I don’t, obviously.  Quite frankly, everyone else on Padres Public has done a much better job of analyzing nothing this week than I ever could.

So let’s have a bit of mindless fun, shall we?


This past year saw Alesmith Brewing releasing a collaboration with the late Tony Gwynn on a new beer, .394 San Diego Pale Ale.  If you haven’t had a chance to try it yet, I recommend you get to Alesmith’s Miramar tasting room and do so at your earliest convenience.  It is a mighty tasty beer.

This brought up an interesting topic to examine:

What could local breweries do to honor other Padres players with their own beer?

Well, maybe not interesting, per se.  But what else are we supposed to talk about?

*My only rule:  You won’t see anything about Eric Show or Alan Wiggins or anyone else that ever publicly had a problem with substance abuse.  That’s a line that I won’t cross.

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Thanks to johlac66, I got to see my second Padres game of 2014 on Saturday night. Mrs. Ducksnorts and I hung with him and Gaslamp Ball‘s jbox for the evening in a packed Petco Park.

We caught the tail end of Padres batting practice. Dave Roberts was pitching. Andrew Cashner and Cameron Maybin chatted with fans. Maybin, who would later make a ridiculous catch in right-center during the game to rob Junior Lake of extra bases, looks like he’s having fun even in warmups.

Then the Cubs batted. Lake and Mike Olt put on serious power displays. Former Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo worked on hitting the ball to left field, then took some grounders at shortstop for fun. Manager Rick Renteria got a nice round of applause from those who remember his days as a Padres coach and perhaps even as skipper of the Lake Elsinore Storm.

Food: Tri-tip sandwich. Drink: Alesemith Speedway Stout, served on tap at Ryan Bros. Coffee stand. That a 12% ABV beer is poured at Petco Park borders on irresponsible, but I’m not complaining.

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One of the better Padres promotions for this season will happen on 24 May, as part of the 1984 NL Championship team celebrations (and, appropriately, against the vanquished Cubs).  Replica Retro Jersey Night motivated me to buy tickets and bring the family. During Media Preview Night, a couple of the jerseys were on display (from the Padres website, via Gaslamp Ball):

24 May 14 retro jersey night

Word on the street is Garvey and Whitson jerseys will also be available.  This is tough – who do you choose?  Let’s break it down.

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I originally intended to post this last week, but with the chaos of a Spring Training trip quickly approaching, I had a ton of stuff to get done before leaving.

Last year the San Diego chapter of SABR (also known as the Ted Williams Chapter) had their first Garage Sale at the Hall of Champions. I was there that day, bought a few things and posted about it here. So when Met from Padres Trail announced that it would be returning this year AND that it was at the Randy Jones All-American Sports Grill, I knew that I had to go once again. This time I had home field advantage.

I got there a little early and ran into some other collectors and ItsDis. As the doors opened, they all ate my dust though, as I was the first to rush in. There was considerably less items this year, but there was still some awesome stuff to be had.

I got a few things to add to my crazy collection:

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Last week, Steve Garvey was listed as one of 12 candidates on the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Expansion Era” ballot. A 16-member committee comprised of existing Hall of Famers, executives, and a mix of baseball writers and historians will select some or none of the men on the list to be enshrined in Cooperstown in 2014. If Garvey is selected, he would go in as a Los Angeles Dodger. This sparked another round of the time-honored debate amongst Padres fans about the number 6 on the batter’s eye at Petco Park. It’s tired, but let’s talk about it anyway!

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Normally I come up with some sort of theme for these posts. But today I felt like going all over the place so try and keep up.

Steve Garvey is easily the first person you think of when someone mentions the Padres and Dodgers. Here he is in face-on-a-stick form. I’ve talked about the face-on-a-stick a couple times before. The first in Part 1 of my version of a better Promotional Schedule (Part II to post tomorrow) and then when I recently purchased a Chicken version at the SABR garage sale. This particular item was most likely given away in stores to promote Padre’s ticket sales. It is sponsored by both Yago Sant’Gria and TeleSeat. There is no date on it so I’m not 100% sure when it was given away, but looking at the mustard and brown hat and knowing that Garvey signed with the Padres in 1983, then that only leaves 2 years that it could have been: 1983 or 1984.

400_Garv400_GarvBack

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I’m going to be honest. I collect a ton of stuff, but autographs are not on the list. I see the autograph hounds in Spring Training every year and I kind of get a dirty feeling just looking at them, as these grown men are slobbering all over these ball players for their signature. Pushing down small kids to catch their 40th foul ball of the day on the backfields. 5 Baseball card albums filled to the brim with cards. I will never be that guy. If you are that guy, please stop.

That’s not to say I don’t have any autographs though. There are certain situations where I don’t feel like a slime ball and might ask a player to sign something. I have a bunch of Tony Gwynn autographs that I got when I was a kid mainly because I just wanted to go and see my favorite player and have a conversation with him (which he always did, despite sometimes the lines being rather long). I also have a Will Venable autographed ball that my sister got for me at a silent auction for my birthday 2 years ago. I will cherish that ball forever. I also got a Rollie Fingers autograph at FanFest a few years back (2010?) because he’s a legend. Then I have my pride and joy. The Padres retired numbers ball.

IMG_1774

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Jonah Keri, author of The Extra 2%, wrote a piece on Grantland.com titled The New Springfield Nine. In it, Keri recasts, as it were, the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team from the classic third season Simpsons episode, “Homer At The Bat.”

If you don’t recall what that episode was about, here’s the summary from IMDB:

Homer and his co-workers qualify the plant’s softball team for the league final, but Mr. Burns hires 9 professional MLB players to win a $1 million bet.

HomeratBat

The nine MLB players Mr. Burns gets were Roger Clemens, Mike Scioscia, Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, Wade Boggs, Jose Canseco, Ken Griffey Jr. and Darryl Strawberry, all of whom guest-starred as themselves.

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