Saturday, October 24, 2009
The rumors are that Jed Hoyer has been hired by the Padres as their new GM.
Peter Gammons Twittered that that the Red Sox had a going away party for Hoyer several days ago and Bernie Wilson is reporting that Hoyer has already been hired. but no word from PadreVille.
The North County Times is saying that Hoyer has been hired and there will be a press conference Monday afternoon to confirm it, but the Padres have not yet officially called a press conference.
They have until Tuesday to announce it, as major league baseball won't allow announcements during the World Series.
As of Wednesday October 21st Moorad was saying "I'm doing some phone follow-ups and close to making a decision."
I have started to distrust the Padres new CEO Jeff Moorad, and its not just the lies about ticket prices. Moorad said on October 3rd, that he had interviewed 3 candidates and was close to making a decision. He didn't interview Hoyer until Thursday October 15th after the Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs. He interviewed Ng two days later.
Moorad said he wanted someone with better organizational leadership skills and that was strategic planner.
Hoyer is known as a sabremetric wiz kid and has worked in the major league player personnel and contract negotiation, but has no experience with managing subordinates or with player development. Hoyer has never run a department of his own.
Ben Cherington handled the draft and player development for the Red Sox and oversaw all minor league scouting.
All those things point to the fact that Moorad was either been turned down by one of his earlier candidates or by the commissioners office.
What I find most interesting is that in his time as the CEO of two different clubs, Jeff Moorad has already chosen one guy who learned from Epstein and is now rumored to have hired another, while Epstein himself learned his craft from Kevin Towers.
That is kind of like hiring the assistant coach of a guy that used to be the assistant coach for John Wooden, when you have John Wooden on your staff already.
If Hoyer was hired by the Padres, and it appears from the consistent rumors that he was, then we will see how he does on a team with a low budget. His entire career he has helped negotiate contracts for a team that had nearly an unlimited payroll.
Now he will be working for a small market team with a $40 million payroll in 2010 and a payroll that has averaged in the bottom third in baseball over the past 15 years.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
In a twitter post tonight, Corey Brock of MLB.com says that the San Diego Padres have interviewed Los Angeles Dodgers Assistant General Manager Kim Ng.
Ng is one of two women to hold an Assistant GM position in MLB and the first to interview for a general manager position.
In her official BIO on the Dodgers website, Ng's primary responsibilities are to assist General Manager Ned Colletti in player acquisitions and contract negotiation.
She oversees the Dodger's arbitration efforts, player development, and professional scouting departments and manages the day-to-day operations of the baseball department.
Is she the strategic planner with leadership skills that Moorad is looking for?
As of yesterday, Moorad was saying he had interviewed four candidates and would most likely interview one more.
Ng was interviewed today so Moorad's interviewing process is complete. Now we will have to wait and see who he picks and who the other candidates were.
Additional sources on Yahoo Sports confirm Corey Brock's Twitter post from earlier this evening regarding NG's interviewing with the Padres.
Friday, October 16, 2009
What in the name of Steve Sax is going on?
After committing just 4 throwing errors in 155 games during the regular season and none in 4 postseason games against the Rockies in the NLDS this year, Philadelphia Phillies 2nd baseman Chase Utley now has two throwing errors in 2 games in Chavez Ravine.
Has Utley succumbed to Sax Disease? Has he caught the dreaded Knoblauch flu?
On two routine double plays, Utley has thrown in the ball away. Only a great play by Howard saved him from having his another throwing error in the first game. Tonight's error ultimately cost his team the game.
Call the CDC, bring on the men in the spacesuits. Chase Utley has caught Sax disease in Chavez Ravine.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
According to an article from Adam Kilgore and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe on Tuesday October 13th, now that the Boston Red Sox have been eliminated from the playoffs the Padres have finally received permission to interview Jed Hoyer of the Boston Red Sox.
While there have been rumors up to now that he was a candidate, Tuesday was the first time it became a reality.
The Red Sox had been adamant that no one would be interviewed during the playoffs. Most thought that was in response to the Indians interest in pitching coach John Farrell, but it obviously also extended to Hoyer and other staff.
Whether Hoyer has been interviewed in the past 2 days is still in question, but Jeff Moorad has been quoted as saying that he has now interviewed four candidates and may still interview a 5th.
Is Jed Hoyer the next Padres General Manager? Only time will tell.
NL Rookie of the Year Award
As I spoke about earlier this week, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance is doing their own version of the BBWAA end of season awards.
We have chosen as a community of bloggers to vote using the same criteria as the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). The BBWAA has two writers for each team vote on the awards. We want to give the fans of the teams we represent an alternative voice on these awards while holding ourselves to the same standards and criteria for voting. Websoulsurfer is one of the blogs that gets an opportunity to vote.
The San Diego Padres chapter of the BBA elected to have all 5 members vote and have the combined votes count for both votes. Votes were counted on a first place-3 points, second place-2 points, third place-1 point system.
For Rookie of the Year Award, the San Diego Padres chapter votes were:
First Place: Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
Second Place: Tommy Hanson (ATL)
Third Place: Chris Coghlan (FLA)
The Websoulsurfer Votes:
NL Rookie of the Year
Normally pitchers get no love for Rookie of the year and my picks are no exception for 2009. I do feel that two rookie pitchers deserve at least a mention here.
J.A. Happ of the Phillies and Tommy Hanson of the Braves.
Happ went 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 23 starts for the defending World Champion Phillies while filling in ably for Brett Myers and an ineffective Moyers on an injury decimated staff.
Hanson was a #5 for a strong staff led by Lowe, Vasquez, Kawakami and Jurrjens and went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 21 starts. While he was not asked to step in and fill big shoes, Hanson still had an exceptional rookie season.
Now counting down my picks:
- 3 - Everth Cabrera – My Homer Vote – Jumped from Low A to the majors after being the Padres Rule V draft pick and hit .255 with 25 SB. His defense was erratic, he was spectacular when ranging far but often blew the routine play, but the promise of exceptional D is there.
- 2 - Andrew McCutchen - .286/.365/.471/.836 with 12 HR and Gold Glove quality defense in CF. McCutchen came up in Early June to take McClouth's place in the lineup and never looked back. So who will he be playing for in 2012?
- 1 - Chris Coghlan - 321/.390/.460/.850 with 9 HR playing LF. Coghlan got absolutely no love from the media. This was mostly because they never got to see him play. His team was never on TV. Left coast or Marlins. Either way you are pretty much invisible.
The rest of the Chapter voted as follows:
The Sacrifice Bunt
First Place: Andrew McCutchen
Second Place: Tommy Hanson
Third Place: Garrett Jones
First Place: Andrew McCutchen
Second Place: Tommy Hanson
Third Place: Colby Rasmus
Monday, October 12, 2009
It’s an honor to be included in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance voting on the major awards in baseball.
Acording to the BBA website at baseballbloggersalliance.com, "The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 to foster communication and collaboration between bloggers across baseball."
"The BBA has, as a secondary aim, the goal of producing year-end awards in a similar fashion to the Baseball Writers Association of America. These awards can be found here in October with links back to the voters, ensuring transparency and, most likely, the onset of some good baseball arguments."
To find a complete list of links to the member BBA Blogs, click here
We have chosen as a group to vote using the same criteria as the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). The BBWAA has two writers for each team vote on the awards. We want to give the fans of the teams we represent an alternative voice on these awards while holding ourselves to the same standards and criteria for voting.
The San Diego chapter of the BBA elected to have all 5 members vote and have the combined votes count for both votes. Votes were aggregated on a first place-3 points, second place-2 points, third place-1 point system.
The Padres chapter assigned both of our votes for 2009 National League Manager of the Year in the following manner:
- First Place - Jim Tracy
- Second Place - Tony LaRussa
- Third Place - Joe Torre
Because I blog mostly about the San Diego Padres and the NL West, I have limited the explanations of my voting to the National League, the league I get to watch on a regular basis and the league I feel like I have more of a voice on.
Over the coming days I will be posting my picks for the NL Manager of the Year, NL Rookie of the Year, NL Cy Young and the NL MVP.
I hope you enjoy reading my take or at least are prompted to send me a nasty note asking why your favorite was not included.
You can look forward to the San Diego BBA members voting on -
Manager of the Year: Monday, October 12
Rookie of the Year: Thursday, October 15
Cy Young Award: Monday, October 19
Most Valuable Player: Monday, October 26
2009 NL Manager of the Year
Manager of the year was perhaps the easiest award for me to vote on. To start the year I watched a terrible Rockies team struggle against division foes with a 6-9 record in April. Then Tracy took over and the team almost immediately changed their character and they started winning. No other manager had as much of an impact on a team.
Honorable Mention – Fredi Gonzalez – Marlins
Directed the lowest budget team in baseball to an 87-75 record. Good enough for 2nd place in the NL East and just 5 games out in the Wild Card.
3 - Bud Black - Padres
For not losing 100 with this group.
2 - Tony LaRussa - Cardinals
LaRussa once again took a team that was projected to be middle of the pack and with the addition of 1 player is in the playoffs.
1 - Jim Tracy -
Took over an 18-28 team and got them to play some of the best
baseball in the NL from that point on and win the NL Wild Card
Friday, October 09, 2009
I wish I could say I wrote it, but this article about Mike Adams points out something not even the biggest Padres honk has pointed out yet.
Namely that Mike Adams has had a historically great season.
In 37 innings pitched over 37 appearances Adams had a 0.73 ERA, a 0.59 WHIP, 45 K (10.95 K/9) and a .111 BAA.
Yes you read that right.
That is the 8th best ERA in history and the best WHIP EVER for a pitcher with 35+ innings pitched.
As Padres fans this season we were privileged to witness two of the greatest performances in history from Adams and Kouzmanoff. How many do you think realize it even now?
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Today the San Diego Padres announced that they have waived Pitchers Cha Seung Baek, Shawn Hill and Outfielder/Pinch Hitter Cliff Floyd.
All three players spent most if not all of the 2009 season on the DL.
Baek injured his forearm in Spring Training and injured his elbow during a rehab assignment in July. He never pitched for the Padres during the 2009 regular season.
The oft injured Hill was signed by the Padres on March 23rd and made just 3 starts before injuring his elbow against Pittsburgh on April 25th. He went under the knife for his 2nd Tommy John procedure and 5th over all surgery in June and was lost for the season.
Floyd was signed by the Padres to be a left handed power bat off the bench and to be the DH in interleague play they have been missing in recent years. Instead he injured his leg in spring training and was on the big league roster for just 18 days and 16 at bats before tearing the labrum in his right shoulder and going back on the DL for the rest of the 2009 season on June 18th.
This move was certainly not unexpected as none were expected to return in 2010. Baek and Hill will likely still be rehabbing from surgery next season and an injury plagued 36 year old Floyd may have seen his last days in a major league uniform.
The move cleared room on the 40 man roster which the Padres used to add Eulogio De La Cruz.
In other Padres news reliever Greg Burke underwent debridement surgery on his right (throwing) shoulder to remove dead or damaged tissue in the hopes that would allow healthy tissue to heal faster.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Congratulations Kevin Kouzmanoff!
San Diego Padres Third Baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff set two MLB record for fielding by a 3B.
Kouzmanoff's committed just 3 errors in 309 total chances and had a .990 fielding percentage.
The MLB record for fewest errors by a 3B with 300+ chances was previously 5.
In the AL Don Money for Milwaukee in 1974 and Eric Chavez for the Oakland Athletics in 2006. In the NL the record was 7 by Mike Lowell of the Florida Marlins in 2004.
The record for fielding percentage in the NL had been held by former Padre Vinny Castilla during his 2004 season with the Colorado Rockies and the MLB record was was held by Don Money at .989.
I had read that someone had a .990 fielding percentage in the AL, but I can't seem to find it.
The bottom line is Kouzmanoff had one of the best defensive seasons in major league history.
Congratulations and I hope to see you back in a Padres uniform in 2010 to continue your overall improvement as a player.
David Eckstein knocked in all three Padres runs on 2 run home run, his 2nd of the year, and a sac fly to 3B. Both were improbably plays.
Eckstein is not known for his power, but stroked a home run in the 6th inning off the Giants Jonathan Sanchez, the last pitcher to throw a no hitter against the Padres.
Then in the 8th he popped up a ball to the 3B side that Pablo Sandoval caught and then fell over the railing into the dugout. Ground rules say runners can advance one base and Nick Hundley scored to tie the game.
But the Padres lost the game on a Pablo Sandoval home run to lead off the 10th. The Giants offensive MVP swung at a fat first pitch fastball from Webb and crushed the ball to straight away center field.
The Padres season is over and now we start to look forward to next season.
Losing the last series is not how I would have liked to see the season end, but the Padres showed alot of promise in the 2nd half.
Unfortunately all the progression by the organization was cut short with the firing of Kevin Towers on Friday. Next season is now in limbo instead of being something to look forward to.
Pitchers and catchers report February 17th, 2010
See you in Peoria.
Tonight the Padres Wade Leblanc did something I never thought he could, he threw 87-88 mph fastballs consistently and with control.
He also threw 7 innings of 2 hit, shutout ball while striking out 8 Giants in the Padres 2-0 victory at Petco Park. A dominant performance from the 25 year old lefty.
The bullpen came in and shutdown the Giants to complete the shutout capped by Heath Bells 42nd save of the season. It was the Padres 6th shutout in September and 9th on the season.
LeBlanc finished the season 3-1 with a 3.69 ERA in 9 starts. Considering how bad he looked earlier in the season, LeBlanc rebounded exceptionally well and finished the season on a high note. He certainly gave notice that he wants a spot in the 2010 Padres rotation by giving up a total of just 8 runs in his last 6 starts.
Adrian Gonzalez went 3 for 4 and drove in his 99 rbi of the season and Chase Headley drove in a run with a 1st inning single.
Matt Cain took the loss for the Giants. Cain ended the season with 14-8 record and a 2.89 ERA.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
We are starting to see some of the columnists chiming in on their thoughts on the Towers firing by Padres owner and CEO Jeff Moorad.
It has been pretty consistent.
Buster Olney of ESPN says - "A "Major League" move by the Padres"
As in Major League the movie, not as in big league. In other words, bush league.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is not as nice - "GM Towers is better off out of San Diego"
I loved this line from his article, "
"Yes, we've turned around our season, going 36-24 since July 28. Yes, this is arguably Kevin's finest job in 14 years as GM. Yes, we might actually contend in 2010.
"But it is time for a change."
Scott Miller of CBS Sports said - "Amateur Hour again in San Diego"
None of these guys seem to understand why Towers was cut loose. All of them question Moorad's rationale.
"If the guy is so good and he has put the team in the position to contend in the future, why are you firing him?" seems to be the overriding question.
I gave myself a night to sleep on the firing of San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers and VP of Player Personnel Grady Fuson and now I would like to throw in a little more well thought out version of my two cents on the matter.
First let me start by giving you a little background.
After moving to San Diego too late in the 1985 season to buy season tickets, I bought my first Padres season tickets in 1986. Section F16 Row 21.
I returned as a season ticket holder in 1995 after a one year hiatus following the firesale and purchased front row outfield seats. I sat in my seats at Qualcomm and Petco through Towers entire tenure.
As a fan one thing I could always count on from the Padres was Kevin Towers being honest with us.
The team wasn't always going to contend with the low budget constraints the team dealt with. As a Padres fan we already knew that, but we also knew Towers was a straight shooter and we could count on him to do all he could to give us a fun team to watch.
Moorad has shown that he plays everything close to the vest and cannot always be trusted to be honest if it does not give him an advantage. You can never seem to get a straight answer from him. He doesn't say "this is the way it is"
Maybe that is because he is a lawyer, not a baseball person. That means he is trained to hedge what he is saying and say whatever he can to obfuscate what is really happening.
I think many season ticket holders that were beginning to get excited about this team and now will be holding back to see what will happen under the new admin. We have our season ticket renewal packages in hand and we are waiting on your next move Mr. Moorad.
The garbage from Moorad in the Tim Sullivan article in the UT about taking a few weeks to interview candidates does not ring true. Moorad doesn't have much time to make his call on a new GM. He has to already have a guy not only in mind, but ready to step in.
Fans won't wait. Moorad has until October 23rd to impress the season ticket base here in San Diego with his choice for a new GM (and a new VP of Player Personnel) or we will simply take our entertainment dollars elsewhere.
If he hesitates to act, it will cost him more of his season ticket fan base after the team already lost a huge percentage in 2009. I do not think Moorad is that stupid.
Jerry Dipoto is a known quantity for Moorad so he makes perfect sense.
Yahoo said they have heard rumors of Pat Gillick.
At this point we know two things.
Moorad cannot have interviewed anyone under contract with a team or we would have heard about it. That means id he has done interviews, they are not currently with a team.
No one in the Padres organization will be the next GM.
I will update this post after the News Conference
Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said among other things that:
It was an organizational decision to fire Towers
He wanted a GM more involved in the draft and player development
He wanted more planning and discipline in scouting & player development
He wanted a GM that would do more "strategic" planning
(Just curious how that was possible in the ever changing and low budget environment that was the Padres organization?)
No internal candidates were/will be considered.
(he actually made both comments were and will be at different points.)
Then he hmmmed and hawed before answering the question about how many candidates he had already interviewed before saying "Three"
Pretty simple question. Should have been a simple answer. Sounded to me like he was not telling the entire truth. What did you think?
If he did interview anyone, it means they are not currently in baseball. That leaves a small group of people. Pat Gillick could be on that list, but at 72 years old he would be a short term fix. Hard to be doing strategic planning when you are only going to be there a couple of years at most.
The last time Moorad had a chance to interview people for a GM position, he chose a young (35 years old) and relatively inexperienced person in Josh Byrnes. Towers at 44 was the oldest and most experienced person interviewed for the Diamondbacks position in 2005.
Moorad's MO points to DiPoto or another Player Personnel person or an assistant GM that was tasked with player development.
As for Kevin Towers, I doubt he will be unemployed long.
With today's firing of Ricciardi in Toronto and the impending firing of Hendry in Cubs land, I can see two high profile jobs that Towers could fill.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Sources within the Padres are now saying that Jerry DiPoto, VP of Player Personnel for the Diamondbacks, is to take Kevin Towers place as GM of the San Diego Padres.
As of Friday morning the Padres had not been given permission by the Diamondbacks to talk to DiPoto, who is still under contract, about the job , but several people within the Padres organization have said that it is just a formality.
Dipoto, 41, a former major league relief pitcher with the Indians, Mets and Rockies, was a scout with the Boston Red Sox in 2003 & 2004 and became the head of scouting for the Colorado Rockies in 2006. When Josh Byrnes was hired as the GM of the Diamondbacks in 2007, he brought long time friend Dipoto along with him as the Director of Scouting and Player Personnel.
Dipoto will take over a farm system and major league team stocked well with young talent by outgoing GM Kevin Towers and Director of Player Personnel Grady Fuson.
The Padres have called a press conference for tomorrow to announce the firing of General Manager Kevin Towers.
According to Corey Brock on Twitter,
@ FollowThePadres The #Padres will have a press conference on Saturday with CEO Jeff Moorad. No reference to Towers in the press advisory. Still not officialand earlier Brock said on Twitter,
@ FollowThePadres No official announcement from the team yet, but #Padres GM Kevin Towers is out. He was the longest tenured GM in the Major Leagues. #MLBAfter spending 14 seasons with the Padres, Towers was the longest tenured front office person in baseball. He presided over the winningest stretch in Padres franchise history.
During Towers tenure with the team, the Padres won four NL West titles and reached the 1998 World Series.
Not many GM's that can say they have four division titles and a World Series appearance on a low - mid revenue team. KT will be missed.
I am certain that he will not be unemployed long.