Thursday, December 30, 2010

Open Letter to BBWAA Writers Voting for Hall of Fame Induction

Thursday December 30, 2010

This started as a response to ESPN's Jim Caples article on Baseball Hall of Fame voting rules.

In his article Caples says that steroids were not against the rules of baseball so he is going to vote for people that used steroids. Caples is completely wrong about that and that worries me. How many otyher baseball writers are unaware of the facts on steroid rules in baseball.

The rest of this post is as I wrote it to Caples:

Steroids were expressly against the official rules in major league baseball since 1991 and implicitly since 1971. That is something you SHOULD know as a baseball writer and a voter for the the Baseball Hall of Fame. That you don't worries me.

You say you will be voting for people that knowingly broke express rules forbidding the use of anabolic steroids and other banned substances and you are using the specious argument that the use was not against the rules.

In 1971 Bowie Kuhn put in place a rule that said baseball personnel must comply with all federal and state statutes and steroid possession and use has been a crime without a prescription since the 1960's.

In 1991 Fay Vincent prohibited steroid use and possession specifically and in 1997 Bud Selig spelled it out the prohibition against steroid use as well.

What they didnt have was drug testing. So unless they caught a player in possession of Steroids, there was little they could do to punish them. The USE and POSSESSION of steroids was still prohibited, so to say there were no rules prohibiting steroid use is just plain false.

Those men that used steroids like Palmiero, McGwire, Clemens & Bonds knowingly broke the rules of the game and they do not meet the character rules for voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. They do not deserve to be enshrined in Cooperstown regardless of their performance on the field because they failed to play by the rules.


If you will sleep better at night by lying to yourself and the public, so be it, but the facts are the facts.

As a journalist you should really do more research into the facts of the case before you cause permanent harm to the game of baseball and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Belated Merry Christmas to Padres Fans

Monday December 27, 2010

Wooooo Hooooo!

After nearly two months of constant travel, this weary Padres fan is I am finally home for an extended stay!

A brutal work schedule that saw me in 27 cities in October & November followed by an extended trip to watch Caribbean beisbol in the Winter Leagues & then back to Albuquerque for Christmas with my extended family in December has left me fulfilled and plain old tuckered out.

But I am back home in sunny San Diego, energized with enthusiasm for baseball in general and ready to start filling your head with useless trivia and opinions about the San Diego Padres and major league baseball.

I will have a post up in the next couple of days recapping my trip to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico for Beisbol Caribe. This year we spent more time, made more flights to more cities and saw more games than in any year in the past. Mostly fun watching some great baseball and more than a few Padres prospects, some work (there it is again, the dreaded W word) and ALL baseball. It was a blast.

Glad to be home & ready to talk some Padres baseball. How about you?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Websoulsurfer's Picks - 2010 BBA Walter Johnson NL Pitcher of the Year Award Award

Thursday October 21, 2010

2010 BBA Walter Johnson NL Pitcher of the Year Award Award

This award was a no brainer for me.

Roy "Doc" Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies in a landslide.

Even before his no hitter in playoffs he has been dominant for the Phillies this season.

Halladay racked up an NL Leading 21 wins, with 9 of his 33 starts resulting in complete games. Only three TEAMS other than the Phillies had more complete games thrown. He also had a MLB leading 4 shutouts.

His 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 219 SO were 2nd best among NL pitchers with 30 starts (2nd in ERA to the Cardinals Adam Wainwright, in WHIP to teammate Roy Oswalt, and in SO to the Giant's Tim Lincecum). And he walked the fewest batters per 9 innings at an astounding 1.08 BB/9. That is nearly HALF as many as the next nearest player at 2.04.

In the advanced stats he led the NL in xFIP (a fielding independent pitching stat) with a 2.92! His WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was an unconscious 6.6!

In a word Halladay was DOMINANT! No one else even came close.

Since they ask me to give both a 2nd and third place finisher, I will list the two unlucky saps who finished behind Halladay. Let me start by saying that I dont even consider pitchers with less than 30 starts.

2nd - Adam Wainwright - He faded down the stretch but still managed 20 wins and a 2.42 ERA as well as a 6.1 WAR and 3.15 xFIP. A VERY nice season. Just no where near as dominant as Halladay

3rd - Mat Latos - On the basis of his MLB record 15 games with 2 runs or less given up and 3.36 xFIP.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010 BBA Goose Gossage NL Reliever of the Year Award.

Tuesday October 19, 2010

I had a difficult decision with this award and the choices that had me pulling my hair out were only between Padres pitchers.

Brian Wilson of the Giants had 3 more save opportunities to get only 1 more save than the Padres Heath Bell AND Bell gave up only 1 home run. 5 blown saves for Wilson vs 3 for Bell. No contest there.

The real choice was between the Padres' Bell, Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson.

Bell notched 47 saves with a 1.93 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and a 2.05 FIP. His 11.09 K/9 was in the top 10 in baseball.

Adams was also outstanding with 38 holds, an ERA of 1.76, a WHIP of 1.07 and a 2.31 FIP. He was invaluable to the Padres. He was part of an almost unbeatable trio. He also provided leadership in the pen.

Gregerson turned in a MLB record 40 holds. His WHIP was baseball leading 0.83 for any pitcher with at least 65 IP. His FIP was an outstanding 2.86. He posted an awesome 10.23 K/9. The only thing that kept me from choosing him immediately was a 3.22 ERA overall and a bad stretch in September where he posted an ERA over 6.00.

What tipped the balance for me was something they don't measure in stats. It was leadership in the pen. This player designed the bullpen's popular t-shirt, mentored many of the young pitchers and turned in an outstanding performance for the year.

The Websoulsurfer pick for the 2010 Goose Gossage NL Reliever of the Year goes to the San Diego Padres Mike Adams.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BBA Connie Mack Manager of the Year Award

Tuesday October 12, 2010

Well here it is. My first installment of the Annual BBA Awards.

As usual we start with the Manager of the Year Award. This season the BBA has named it the Connie Mack Award in honor of the 5 time World Series Champion Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Athletics.

The Websoulsurfer pick for the Connie Mack Manager of the Year Award is:

Drum roll please...

Bud Black of the San Diego Padres.

Widely thought to be the worst team in the NL prior to the season, after leading the NL & NL West for most of the year, the Padres finished with 90 wins. Only one game out of 1st place.

Bud Black pulled a rabbit out of his hat with this Padres season and deserves to be named Manager of the Year, and maybe the 21st Century.

So there it is.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Do you find yourself not caring much about the playoffs?

Yeah. I am watching the games. But I just don't have the enthusiasm for playoff baseball that I had in years past.

Is it the fact that my team isn't there? No. The Padres have only been to the playoffs a handful of times since I became a season ticket holder.

Is it that the games are mostly teams I have no real emotional tie with for good or bad? No. I hate the Yankees. I dislike the Giants. I admire the Phillies. It would even be nice to see Cox go out with a WS run.

But I still watch the playoff games with a lackadaisical attitude.

I just don't care all that much.

So why?

I think it was the Padres complete collapse down the stretch. I think the players on the team I am a rabid fan of not seeming to care down the stretch rubbed off on me and now I don't care much about these playoff games one way or another. 

I sure hope I get some of my passion for baseball back by the World Series.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Looking Ahead - Your 2011 Padres

Tuesday October 5th, 2010

The 2010 season is over and all we have left as Padres fans is to look forward to 2011.

So lets set the table.

The Ownership Situation -

With the Moores divorce nearing a final resolution after more than 2 years and with Moorad's group near 50% ownership, the Padres in 2011 will have both a solid core of good young players and more money for payroll to work with.

What we can be fairly certain of -

The Padres will pick up his ridiculously low option and Adrian Gonzalez will be the central figure in the 2011 Padres lineup. No, the Padres are not going to trade Gonzalez in the offseason. He is too good and too cheap to trade. Gonzalez back at 1B for the Padres in 2011.

Kevin Correia will be a FA at the end of the season and will not be back as a starter. He has struggled since his brothers death and likely needs a change of scenery from his home town San Diego.

The Hairston boys were a nice story and Jerry Jr had a decent season before the injury in late August, but at $2 million plus each its unlikely that the Padres sign either for 2011.

Tejada is a FA and likely won't be back unless he is willing to take a huge cut in pay from the $5 million he earned in 2010 AND agrees to platoon with Cabrera. I don't see Tejada accepting a $1-$2 million contract or being a bit player and .269/.312 is not worth much more than $1 million , so he is gone.

The Padres will not pick up the $8.5 million option on Chris Young. They may decline the option and still resign him for a lower price. Hoyer said yesterday that he would like to see Young back with Padres in 2011.

Matt Stairs will be coaching hockey where he belongs in 2011. 

Latos will be back and will top the starting rotation. At 23 he is arguably the best young pitcher in baseball.

The Starting pitching led by Latos & Richard and the bullpen with nearly everone back will still be a force to be reckoned with.

There are ALOT of good young players under team control for cheap in 2011.

Bell, Adams, Mujica and Ludwick will be looking at big raises in arbitration for the 2011 season.

The question marks are -
  • Are the Padres going to pick up the options on Garland and Torrealba?
  • Will they resign Eckstein?
  • Will Bell be back at the more than $7 million he will command in final year of arbitration?
  • Will the Padres invite Ludwick back for his final year of arbitration if it means a raise over the $5.45 million he is earning this year?
  • Will Padres pickup the option of Chris Young? Or resign him at a lower price?
  • An even more important question is will the Padres be players in the free agent market?
To me the Padres picking up Garlands $6.75 million option should be a no brainer. He was 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA over 200.0 IP. The team went 18-15 in games he started. On the FA market I don't see a better pitcher for less money.

Remember though, Garland can opt out of the contract, too. Its not just the Padres choice. If he wants more money, he can leave. Still I think he is back in a Padres uniform in 2011.

Torrealba is a tougher choice. He has been nothing short of great for Padres this season. Hitting .271 while handling the young pitching staff incredibly well, being a mentor for Nick Hundley and throwing in awesome defense. But, and its a big but, his contract calls for a $3.5 million salary in 2011. That is a lot of money for a platoon catcher.

The Padres don't have a great catching prospect knocking on the door, with Stewart and Ryan being the only real candidates, so in my eye the Padres pick up Torrealba's option.

The other hole in the Padres lineup in 2011 is middle infield. While I except the Padres to resign Eckstein, I don't expect Tejada to be back. Everth Cabrera is still well thought of in the organization and Tejada will likely price himself out of the Padres picture. That is unless he is willing to take an Eckstein-like contract.

The top 2B and SS prospects in the system fall short of being ML ready.

Ludwick will likely NOT be back. He hit .211 as a Padre with less power than Eckstein. .631 OPS in RF? As an arbitration eligible player he is looking at a raise over his $5.45 million salary in 2010 and that just isn't going to happen with the Padres.

Barring any free agent acquisitions or trades, the lineup will likely be -

Starting 8
1B - Adrian Gonzalez - $5.5 million
2B - David Eckstein - $1 million
SS - Everth Cabrera - $430k
3B - Chase Headley - $430k
LF - Aaron Cunningham - $430k
CF - Chris Denorfia - This is a platoon position at this point. $430k
RF - Will Venable  - $430k  (or Ryan Ludwick if cheap enough)
C  - Nick Hundley - $430k

Bench -
Yorvit Torrealba - $3.5 million
Venable - IF Ludwick returns - $430K
Gwynn - If Ludwick DOESN'T return - $430k
Kyle Blanks - LF/RF/1B - $430k
Utilty Player - ???

Starting Rotation -
RHP - Mat Latos - $430k
RHP - Jon Garland - $6.75 million
LHP - Clayton Richard - $430k
RHP - Tim Stauffer - $430k
LHP - Wade LeBlanc - $430k

CL - Heath Bell - Due a huge raise in arbitration - $7-8 million
RH - Mike Adams - Due a huge raise in arbitration - $2.5-3.5 million
RH - Luke Gregerson - $430k
RH - Edward Mujica - $1 million
RH - Ryan Webb - $430k
LH - Joe Thatcher - $430k
RH - Ernesto Frieri $430k (or)
LH - Aaron Poreda or Cesar Ramos

That lineup puts the Padres salaries at just under $40 million in 2011 or about the same as 2010.

Which begs the question, what other moves can the Padres make?

The Padres can resign Ludwick.
Ludwick will be in his last year of arbitration eligibility and will be looking at a raise over the $5.45 million he made in 2010, but his .251 with 17 home runs is really no better than the Padres could expect from Venable or Blanks. He won't be back if he expects to even make as much as 2010.

The Padres can go after Carl Crawford
The 28 year old Crawford is really the only free agent outfielder worth making a run at. He will be looking at a long term contract worth $12-15 million/year. A little rich for the Padres blood. He will probably end up being a Yankee or a Red Sox.

The Padres can go after a FA pitcher.
Cliff Lee, Ted Lilly, & Brandon Webb are all names that will be mentioned often. All will be asking for $10 million plus with Lee likely looking at $16 plus million per season. Maybe Webb will be willing to take a Padres discount to prove he still has it after missing all of 2010, but I don't see the pitching rich Padres going after any of these guys.

The Padres can trade Heath Bell. 
They could likely get a good young OF prospect for Bell and let Adams or Gregerson take over the closer duties. I don't think that will happen though. Bell will still be a relative bargain in 2011 at $7-8 million.

The Padres could go after a 2B, SS or 3B in free agency or trade.
These are the FA options - with thanks to Cots Baseball Contracts

Second Basemen

Willie Bloomquist CIN
Mark Ellis OAK *
Akinori Iwamura PIT
Jose Lopez SEA *
Kaz Matsui COL
Aaron Miles STL

Alex Gonzalez ATL
Cristian Guzman TEX
J.J. Hardy MIN
Omar Infante ATL *
Cesar Izturis BAL
Derek Jeter NYY
Julio Lugo BAL
Jhonny Peralta DET *
Edgar Renteria SF *
Jose Reyes NYM *
Jimmy Rollins PHI *
Ramon Vazquez HOU

Third Basemen
Garrett Atkins FA
Adrian Beltre BOS *
Jorge Cantu TEX
Eric Chavez OAK *
Pedro Feliz STL
Bill Hall BOS *
Brandon Inge DET
Maicer Izturis LAA
Mike Lowell BOS
Melvin Mora COL
Nick Punto MIN *
Ty Wigginton BAL

The guys with the asterisks have an option for 2011. The rest of them are not a very attractive lot. I don't see a single one that is a big improvement in performance for the Padres, but they would be a big increase in salary.

Guys like Beltre, Reyes, and Rollins will have their options picked up and their salaries would be rich for Padres blood even if they could trade for them. Omar Infante would be the only one that has an affordable salary (by Padres standards) but its highly unlikely Atlanta lets him go.

So there it is.
The Padres 2011 team with a payroll very similar to 2010. Hoyer and Moorad have already said the Padres will increase payroll for 2011. Of course they also said the Padres would spend more money in 2010 and they didn't so take that for what its worth.

As eternally hopeful fans we can always hope that the Padres make a big splash on a good young player like Crawford or make a trade for a promising prospect, but likely this is the team we will see on the field in 2011 with some minor changes and additions.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

Monday, October 04, 2010

2010 Padres Predictions - So how did I do?

Monday October 4th

Now that the Padres season is over I thought I would see how I did with my pre-season predictions of the Padres players performance.

if you want to take a look at the original post from March 31st . Many said I was crazy to be so optimistic about the team and especially about the performance of the pitchers. So you tell me, how do you think I did as a prognosticator?

Here were my pre-season predictions and in Red, how they actually did in 2010.

2010 Padres Projections

Pitching Staff
Starting Pitchers (This will add up to more than 162 starts)

Chris Young - Traded in July after
- 16 starts 97.1 IP 7-3 3.52 era 1.18 whip
4 starts 20.0 IP 2-0 0.90 ERA 1.050 WHIP Injured most of season

Jon Garland
- 33 starts 201.2 IP 14-11 3.83 ERA 1.28 Whip
33 starts 200.0 IP 14-12 3.47 ERA 1.315 WHIP

Kevin Correia
- 31 starts 189.1 IP 12-10 3.89 ERA 1.29 Whip
26 starts 145.0 IP 10-10 5.40 ERA 1.490 WHIP (removed from Starting rotation in August)

Clayton Richard
- 30 starts 169.2 IP 12-6 3.82 ERA 1.38 Whip
33 starts 201.2 IP 14-9 3.75 ERA 1.408 WHIP

Mat Latos
- 22 starts 141.2 IP 6-5 4.03 ERA 1.39 Whip
31 starts 184.2 IP 14-10 2.92 ERA 1.083 WHIP (Faded down stretch)

Tim Stauffer (Starts the season in Bullpen)
- 14 starts 82.1 IP 5-5 3.74 ERA 1.44 Whip
7 starts (32 appearances) 82.2 IP 6-5 1.85 ERA 1.077 WHIP
As a Starter – 3-2 39.1 IP 1.83 ERA 1.042 WHIP

Sean Gallagher (Starts the season in Bullpen)
- 12 starts 67.2 IP 3-4 4.26 ERA 1.37 Whip
Gone at end of June. No Starts as Padre 15 appearances 5.40 ERA

Wade LeBlanc (Starts season in AAA)
- 8 starts 48.2 IP 2-1 3.48 ERA 1.29 Whip
25 starts 146.0 IP 4.25 ERA 1.425 WHIP
Faded down stretch. ERA was 3.48 at end of July. Did not make start in Sept/Oct

Heath Bell - traded in July
- 21 saves 2.77 ERA 1.05 Whip
Not traded 67 appearances 70 IP 47 saves 1.200 WHIP

Mike Adams
- 65 appearances 2.55 ERA 1.08 WHIP
70 Appearances 66.2 IP 1.76 ERA 1.065 WHIP

Luke Gregerson
- 65 appearances 3.30 ERA 1.26 WHIP
80 appearances 78.1 IP 3.22 ERA 0.830 Overused and it showed down stretch
Performance will likely decline in 2011

Edward Mujica
- 62 appearances 3.88 ERA 1.22 WHIP
59 appearances 69.2 IP 3.62 ERA 0.933 WHIP

Adam Russell
- 56 appearances 3.79 ERA 1.44 WHIP
12 Appearances 15.2 IP 4.02 ERA 1.213 WHIP - Spent much of the season in AAA and had 14 SV there

Joe Thatcher - (Starts Season on DL)
- 49 appearances 3.18 ERA 1.27 WHIP
65 appearances 35.0 IP 1.29 ERA 0.857 WHIP

Aaron Poreda (Starts season in AAA - Reliever)
- 2 starts, 22 appearances 23.1 IP 0-2 2.78 ERA 1.55 WHIP
Spent entire season in Minors – AA & AAA

Starting 8 (With platoon in CF - 9)
Adrian Gonzalez - Traded in July
- 332 AB .277/.391 24 HR
Not Traded – 591 AB .298/.393 31 HR - TEAM record IBB – 35 of 93 total BB = R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

David Eckstein
- 455 AB .272/.354
442 AB .267 .321

Everth Cabrera
- 570 AB .260/.350 35 SB
212 AB .208 .279 Injured most of season, Miguel Tejada in place when came off DL

Chase Headley
- 550 AB .275/.365 18 HR
610 AB .264/.327 11 HR – he regressed instead of progressing. Fell off face of earth in Sept.

Kyle Blanks
- 530 AB .265/.335 26 HR
102 AB .157 .283 3 HR Injured all season, on DL to stay in May

Tony Gwynn
- 380 AB .275/.355 21 SB
289 AB .204/.304 He stunk at plate, only reason he played as much as he did is outstanding Defense

Scott Hairston
- 425 AB .255/.315 17 HR
295 AB .210/.295 10 HR Only 83 AB after All Star break

Will Venable
- 500 AB .255/.330 22 HR 12 SB
392 AB .245/.324 13 HR 29 SB Ludwick trade & prolonged slumps limited playing time

Nick Hundley
- 405 AB .245/.315 14 HR
273 AB .249/.308 8 HR Hot Torrealba limited playing time

Jerry Hairston Jr
- 400 AB .257/.317 8 HR 10 SB
430 AB .244/.299 10 HR 9 SB

Oscar Salazar
- 240 AB .284/.344 10 hr
On DL much of season 131 AB .237/.318 3 HR

Matt Stairs
- 210 AB .242/.342 6 Hr
99 AB .232/.306 6 HR

Yorvit Torrealba
- 310 AB .235/.295 5 hr
325 AB .271/.343 7 HR Slumped mightily late, was hitting .300 on Aug 19

So come on folks, pick my picks apart. Let me know how you think I did!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Padres complete swoon with shutout loss to Giants

Sunday October 3, 2010

The San Diego Padres completed their month plus long swoon by rolling over in the final game of the season to hand the NL West title to the San Francisco Giants.

The Padres managed just 4 hits in the shutout loss.

With this final loss they proved all the pundits right. They did not belong on the same field as the good teams that are going to the playoffs.

The gave up about a month ago thanks to piss poor play down the stretch from Ludwick, Torrealba, Headley, Gregerson, and Latos amongst others.

Only Adrian Gonzalez, Will Venable, Miguel Tejada, Tim Stauffer and the bullpen can really hold their heads high after the lack of performance in September and October.

It was a sad end to a promising season.

I will be glad to see several non performers like Ludwick, Gwynn and Scott Hairston leave the organization in the coming weeks.

I am pretty sure Torrealba will not have his option picked up either.

Obviously Correia will not be back.

During this off season the Padres will have some huge decisions to make about the direction of the team and which of the core players will be back.

I will have an article coming on the outlook for 2011 soon.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Padres wimp out. Season over after dropping 3 of 4 to Cubs

Thursday September 30, 2010

The Padres wimped out and dropped 3 of 4 to the sad sack Cubs at Petco this week to effectively seal their fate for 2010.

Your only chance is to sweep FOUR games from the Giants. Yes I know there are only 3 games left in the season, but if by some miracle the Padres were able to sweep 3 from the streaking Giants IN San Francisco there would be a 163rd game to decide the division winner.

Clean up your golf clubs guys, because that is the only game you are going to be playing next week.

You gave up on yourselves. You stopped trying. All of you in every aspect of the game!
As a team:
You had your only losing month of the season.
You had the highest ERA and runs allowed of any month.
You had the lowest batting average and lowest OBP of the season.
You had the fewest XBH of any month.
You had the fewest BB of any month.
You had the fewest runs scored of any month (BY 25%!).
You had the lowest # of balls put in play.
You had the lowest number of SB of any month.
You had more errors in September than any other month.
You had the lowest % of DP turned.

And then in this series against the Cubs, the worthless, 86 loss Cubs, you got shut out TWICE! You only scored 5 runs in 4 games.

It was awful to watch your collapse. You mailed it in and it showed.

You don't deserve to be in the playoffs.

Good riddance to those of you that were a big part of that collapse.

Ryan Ludwick - You completely gave up after the trade to the Padres. You were the biggest part of the Padres collapse at the plate down the stretch hitting just .220 as a Padre. You are a disgrace to the Padres uniform.

Luke Gregerson - You had a 7.00+ ERA and that does not even count the inherited runners you allowed to score. You were pathetic in September. Maybe Black overused you early, but that is no excuse. You stunk when it counted most.

Chase Headley - .191 BA. .255 OBP. .150 with men on base. REALLY? And you claim to be a major league hitter? WTF? Worse yet you drove in only 4 baserunners. FOUR for an entire month. Pathetic.

Not going to bag on LeBlanc or Latos. They are rookies who just plain tired out.

That is the coaching staff's fault. That means you Bud Black.

All we can do now is think about next year.

Many questions come up, but that is for another post.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pathetic Team Performance, Pathetic Fans

Tuesday September 28, 2010

In the middle of a pennant race with their team only 1 game out of first place, only 27,000 tickets were sold to tonights game. Now I dont mean that there were that many fans in the stands, because it wasnt nearly that high of a number.

San Diego fans, especially season ticket holders seem to have given up on the Padres. They have not shown up all season and did not show up to support a very good team in the middle of a battle to make the playoffs.

San Diego sports fans, you do not deserve a winner. You are not supporting a winning team now. You do not deserve playoff baseball. So many on the boards and in comments on this blog whine about the Padres haven't won a World Series. When are the owners going to give me a WS winner.

Well the answer you whiny biotches is maybe when you actually show up to support a playoff caliber team like the one we have been privileged to see play all year.

Ok, enough about the fans.

Now about the team.

Lets start with the manager.

Can I ask you a question Bud Black?. In the middle of a playoff run in arguably the most important games of the year, WHY THE HECK has Matt Stairs had 2 straight starts? Is every other possible outfielder DEAD? That is the only reason I can think of for starting a guy that is hitting .227 with a.303 OBP.

I know Venable has a sore back, but are Cunningham and Gwynn deceased? Tonight having the defense of Denorfia or Cunningham in LF would have saved two runs and extended Latos stay in the game.

An observation and a question. Lead Dick Ludwick is hitting .221/.315/.332/.647 since joining the Padres AND playing below average defensively. Lead Dick is not hitting for average, not hitting for power, not walking and playing poorly defensively. So why isn't he seeing more time on the bench?

Chris Denorfia hit .303/.379/.513/.892 in August and then when the games REALLY start to count he is suddenly a bench player? WTF?

Aaron Cunningham is hitting .294 on the season and .271 since his call up and he is sitting on the bench so the .227 hitting, awful fielding Stairs can start? WTF?

On to the players performance

3 errors committed, only 2 runs scored.

Enough said.

Well, there is always next season.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time for Ludwick to Sit?

Monday August 30, 2010

.227/.306/.361/.667  Is that good enough to be a starter in the major leagues? Whose numbers are those anyway? They sound decidedly Tony Gwynn Jr-like don't they?

Well they are the numbers of Padres "Big Bat" Ryan Ludwick. You remember him, the guy that was supposed to protect Adrian Gonzalez in the lineup.

Well now he is hitting like, well, a AAA player.

And its not just batting average, because his ISO has dropped 70 points since he became a Padre and his wOBA has dropped 60 points to .294.

So is he tired? Is he hurt? Has he lost his batting stroke?

Regardless of the cause, its time to sit Ludwick for at least a couple of  days.

Padres should give Cunningham a few starts to allow Ludwick to get his body healed, to get his head on straight or his swing on straight. Whatever it takes to get Ludwick rested and ready to play like he did in St Louis.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pathetic Padres Fans

Saturday August 28, 2010

I have to say that baseball fans in San Diego are absolutely pathetic. To be more specific I should say PADRES fans are pathetic.

A FIRST place Padres team playing a playoff contender on a Saturday and all they could attract is 37,000. to make matters worse close to half of the fans at the game were Phillies fans. I sat in a sea of red.

The Padres fans that sat at home and watched on TV deserved what they saw, a loss.

The fans who sat at home should be ashamed of their lack of faith in the team.

Maybe, just maybe if the team heard more of lets go Padres from a sold out house instead of a constant chorus of Lets Go Phillies from a 3/4 full ballpark they would had a little more motivation.

As it is I really don't blame the Padres players for not caring enough to battle against the Phillies.

I mean you fans don't care. Why should the team?

I am ashamed to be a Padres fan because so many so called fans chose to sit home today and worse, to sell their tickets to Phillies fans.

You are pathetic. Truly pathetic.

Padres waste another good outing by Latos

Friday August 27, 2010

Tonight the San Diego Padres wasted another good outing by Mat Latos to fall 3-2 in 12 innings to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Latos went 7 full innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits (all singles) & 2 BB while striking out 6 . Another dominant outing. the result. A no decision & a team loss.

Latos has not given up more than 2 runs in a start since since the All Star break and has 3 wins, 3 no decisions and 1 loss to show for it in 7 starts.

The Padres just are not giving the kid much run support.

And from a purely subjective standpoint, it sure seems that alot of Padres aces (Yes I do consider Latos an Ace) have not had very good run support.

That got me to thinking. If that is objectively true, why is it that the Ace get so little run support? 

I would guess the 1st reason is that they face the other teams ace more often than not. Two aces on the hill = less runs scored. That is why they are aces.

And that brought another thought to mind. I guess that is why Wins are not such a great indicator of how good a pitcher is performing. You can be lights out game after game like Latos has been since the All Star break and still only win 43% of your starts (3 for 7).

I guess the bottom line is, its sure nice to have a 23 year old Ace isn't it?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fair Warning

Friday August 27, 2010

I have been to 9 Padres games so far this season where I sat in a seat other than my season ticket seat.

The Padres are 0-9.

On Saturday I will be at the game, but not sitting in my season ticket seats.

Yeah I know I am supposed to be a stat guy and shouldn't believe in jinxes, but 0 & 9?

Just thought you all deserved fair warning.

Lee showing not worth what Rangers paid

Thursday August 26, 2010

I caught a lot of flack on the boards for my July 9th post here saying that the Rangers overpaid for Lee. For saying he would not do as well for Texas as he had for Seattle.

This is an I told you so.

Since the trade Lee is 2-5 in 76 innings over 10 starts and has an ERA of 4.50. The Rangers are 3-7 over Lee's 10 starts. In August Lee has been even worse with an ERA around 6.00. Not exactly a world beater that will lead your team to a World Series.

So what happened?

2 things.

  • Lee has given up more than twice as many home runs per 9 innings with the Rangers as he did as a Mariner. 9 hr in 10 games vs 5 in 13. Obviously, part of that is due to playing in the Rangers launching pad and parks like Camden Yards.

  • Lee depends on making the other team put the ball in play for an out.

    The Rangers best infielder by far this season is now a Mariner. Otherwise they are league average or below. Andrus & Kinsler at 0.2 UZR are basically league average and they go down from there to Young at -5.7

    The Mariners have a better infield defense.The Mariners have 1B Kotchman,, 3B Lopez, SS Josh Wilson and Jack Wilson and 2B Figgins who combined for a 1.9 UZR over the 1st half of the season.

    So some of what used to be outs and DP in Seattle are hits or at least a lack of an out for Texas now. Lee's batting average against is up 16 points.

Unless Lee can significantly turn things around in September or the Rangers infield defense can improve somehow, this may become one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Welcome Back Jody Gerut

Welcome back into the Padres fold Jody Gerut.

You did a good job for this team when it stunk in 2008 and now you will provide veteran depth at the minor league level in case there is another injury at the ML level. With Gwynn likely out for the season with a broken hamate bone in his hand, both the defense and offense you are capable of providing will be important for the Padres down the stretch.

The season you platooned with Scott Hairston in CF was an outstanding year for you and hopefully returning to the Padres system can reinvigorate you as a player.

While I hope the Padres stay healthy and have no need for you on the active roster before September 1st, I would feel comfortable with you patrolling center field against RHP.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guess Padres won't be trading for DeJesus

Thursday July 22, 2010

Today the Kansas City Royals David DeJesus slid into the wall attempting to make a play on a Derek Jeter fly ball and injured his right thumb. According to a tweet by Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, DeJesus is scheduled to see a hand specialist Friday, never a good sign, and may be out for a while.

If DeJesus hits the DL he will be effectively off the trade wire.

The Padres have reportedly been actively in the hunt for DeJesus, they will find out Friday if there is still anything to trade for.

Trade Bait or Padres Top 20+ Prospects

Thursday July 22, 2010

Padres Top 20+ Prospects

All the talk of trades recently got me to thinking about who the top prospects are in the Padres system.  The pundits are saying no one in the Padres system was untouchable so who exactly are the prospects they are talking about and how good are they?

How would I rank them as of today. Who would be in my top 10? My top 20?

My 1st two picks would be real easy.
Both I would consider an A or an A- on John Sickels type of scale. Then it gets more difficult and they start to come in clumps.

#1 - Simon Castro -
The best pitcher in the Padres farm system. Power and control. September call up?

#2 - Jaff Decker
.405 BA last 10. .327/.444/.564/1.009 in 101 ABs since All Star Break. He is a Professional hitter.

Then 3 guys that I think are extremely close All would be B to B+ on Sickels scale.
#3 - James Darnell

#4 - Logan Forsythe

#5 - Keyvius Sampson
Surprised he is still at Eugene. Dominating there.

Then come 5 more that are pretty close, but not quite as good in my mind as the players above.
C+ to B- on the Sickels scale

#6 - Cory Luebke
He is the complete package. Power, control, goes deep in games.

#7 - Wynn Pelzer
Needs to go back to high leg kick, especially from stretch. Stuff better than record.

#8 - Aaron Poreda
7 hits allowed in 18.2 IP @ AAA  25 in 43.2 IP overall 2.68 ERA 23 years old LHP 98 mph FB

#9 - Drew Cumberland
After play this season would have been in 3-5 group if not for injury.

#10 - Everett Williams
On Tools alone. He is hitting .237 at Ft Wayne with 96 SO.

Then I come to a group that could fall anywhere from 11-15 (or even higher)
#11 - Donavan Tate
Hasn't played enough to know what kind of professional baseball player he can be
#12 - Cedric Hunter
Finally showing signs of why he was perennial top 10 Padres prospect. Still only 22.
#13 - Blake Tekotte
Hunter with a little more power. Moved up to SA when Hunter called up to Portland
#14 -  Edinson Rincon
19 years old in Ft Wayne. Hitting .302/.358 in 96 abs since AS Break
#15 -   Lance Zawadski
No one skill is spectacular, all are good. Has made steady progress up ladder. Future MLB utility?

Then we get a pack of about 20 that you could make a good argument of belonging in the 15-20 spots or even higher. In no particular order, other than the order they came into my fevered brain.

Rymer Liriano, Adys Portillo, Jerry Sullivan, Jedd Gyorko, Jeremy Hefner, Evan Scribner, Juan Oramas, Jeremy McBryde, Jason Hagerty, Nate Frieman, Craig Italiano, Cole Figueroa, Jerry Sullivan, Michael Watt, Chris Tremblay, Matt Lollis, Jonathan Galvez, Sawyer Carroll, Kellen Kulbacki, Anthony Bass.

Lots of C to B- prospects in that 11-20 group. Even a possible A prospect or two if Tate can ever stay healthy more than a week at a time or Portillo lives up to the hype or Gyorko continues to hit like he has to date as he moves up to LE and SA.

If he had signed already, Karsten Whitson would be in that group too.

Certainly enough good talent there for Hoyer & Moorad to go after any Bat or Pitcher the Padres decide to pursue at the trade deadline.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Padres sign Wily Mo Pena to minor league deal

Monday July 19, 2010

Dan Hayes of the North County Times is reporting that the Padres have signed Worthless Wily Mo Pena to a minor league deal.

Why is an entirely different subject.

Worthless Wily has been out of the ML since 2008 and has been playing in the independent Atlantic League this year.

He hit .253/.307 with a strike out every 3rd at bat (520 SO vs 106 BB with only 402 HITS) over parts of 7 ML seasons with Cincinnati, Boston and Washington.

Who he will displace in AAA is a whole other story. The Beavers outfield consists of Hunter, Cooper and Durango. Denorfia or Cunningham will likely join that group when Venable is ready to come off the DL.

The only way Worthless Wily gets much playing time down there is if someone gets traded.

That brings up the next question. Have the Padres agreed to a trade that has not been released yet?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Facebook is a joke

Friday July 16, 2010

My Websoulsurfer Facebook account got locked because I attempted to confirm more than 100 friend requests.

They said this is prohibited activity. WTF? I was answering OTHER PEOPLES REQUESTS!

Has anyone else had this problem with Facebook?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An Open Letter to Tim Sullivan of the UT

Wednesday July 14, 2010


The San Diego Padres have NOT spoken with Dye nor will they. If you think that after everything Hoyer and Moorad have said recently and have done since last seasons end to build a great fielding team,  that they are going to go out and sign a guy that wont even be able hit effectively for at least 4 weeks while he has his "spring training" in August, who will NOT be nearly as good of hitter he was in US Cellular Field AND who was amongst the worst fielding outfielders in baseball his last couple of seasons, then you really need to get another job that doesn't involve fact checking.

According to many in the media, the Padres have already had discussions with teams about some pretty high priced talent.Werth, Lee (albeit short talks), Berkman, Oswalt, and several others.

The Padres are probably NOT considering Bautista because A) He is having a career year which means his price in arbitration will be sky high next season B) his numbers will likely decline SHARPLY in Petco C) he is a horrible outfielder (horrible fielder period).

A SMALL piece (meaning a bat) won't help the team much. A SMALL piece might add a few runs, but not enough wins to make it worth making a trade and possibly upsetting the chemistry. The Padres are NOT going to make a trade simply to be able to say they made a trade. They are ONLY going to do it if they get better now and in the future and that means an impact player(pitcher or hitter or both) or an impact ML ready prospect.

The Padres FO have said they prefer a pitcher who will be a Free Agent after the season. A) they believe a pitcher will give them a discount like Garland did and B) if they are unable to sign the pitcher they will get some draft pick compensation (Two 1st round picks for a Type A Free Agent and 1 for Type B)

It isn't about HAVING to go after cheaper talent, its about getting a deal that will benefit the club both short term and long term.

You have been doing this long enough that you should know that.

Oh. Castro may very well get a call up at some point this season and if not, certainly next June.

Cumberland's only knock is injuries. He very well could be a Padre now if he had not spent so much time on the DL over the past 3 seasons. I would expect to see him in a Padres uniform sometime next season.

- Web

Friday, July 09, 2010

Rangers over pay for Lee rental

Friday July 9, 2010

I guess the Padres were not willing to rape their farm system to get Cliff Lee.

Today the Texas Rangers agreed to a deal that will send 4 of their top prospects including Uber-prospect Justin Smoak to the Seattle Mariners for Lee and middle reliever Mark Lowe and about $2.5 million to help the bankrupt Rangers pay the balance of Lee's 2010 salary.

To beat out the New York Yankees for a 3 month rental of Cliff Lee, the Rangers have essentially given up their starting catcher of the future and 3 of the top 20 prospects in their system, all of whom were at AA this season.

They mortgaged the future on the hopes of making a deep run in the playoffs this season.

Was it a mistake?

In my eyes, yes.

Over his 7 starts in Rangers Ballpark, Lee has a miserable 7.62 ERA and a .311 BAA. Not exactly comforting numbers for the Rangers faithful. He has not exactly been lights out in Oakland Coliseum or Angels Stadium either, turning in an ERA over 4.30.

And for 3 months of Lee, or more specifically to keep the Yankees from getting 3 months of Lee's pitching, the Rangers sent the Mariners their 2007 (Blake Beavan) and 2008 (Smoak) 1st round picks plus 2 other promising prospects in fireball throwing LHP Josh Lueke and 2B Matt Lawson.

How good is the package the Rangers sent to the Mariners?
  • Smoak will step into the Mariners roster immediately, forcing out Casey Kotchman.
  • Lueke can likely step in to replace Lowe in the Mariners bullpen immediately. He has been very good at AA Frisco this season. 
  • Beavan is just 21 years old and is considered one of the top prospects in the Rangers system and is one of the youngest pitchers in the AA Texas League.
  • Lawson is a power hitting 2B that will likely be fighting with Dustin Ackley for playing time in the Mariners infield next season, especially if Jose Lopez's option is not picked up.

All I can say is that the Rangers better make it to the World Series or this trade could come back to haunt them for years to come.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Tuesday July 6th, 2010

Edward Mujica has a new name - Pussjica.

Against the Nationals tonight he threw ZERO pitches on the inside half of the plate. ZERO. NONE.

He throws a 95 MPH fastball and he is too much of a wimp to throw even TRY to throw a single pitch inside. THAT is why he gets crushed when he does give up a hit.

An effective pitcher takes command of the inner third and keeps the hitter from leaning out over the plate. Even soft tossers like LeBlanc are not afraid to put one on the batters hands or brush someone back. Pussjica throws everything on the outer stripe, so when he accidentally allows a pitch to stray back over the plate, the batter takes it for a ride.  That = 2.3 HR/9

The next worst on the team is 1.13 HR/9 Mujica gives up DOUBLE the number of home runs of the next worst pitcher on the team. Of the 533 pitchers that have thrown a pitch in the majors this season, only 35 give up more HR/9.

I guess I should say he didn't INTENTIONALLY throw any pitches inside. One floated out over the plate and was crushed to the gap for a double.

His percentage of inherited runners that scored is 33%! 3 of 9.  
He has entered 10 games with a lead and was only able to hold 4 of them.

His aLI is under 1.0 meaning he comes in for mostly low pressure situations.
His FIP is 4.80.  Only Gallagher and Ramos are worse among Padres relievers. Notice that neither are with the Padres now?

So what IS his value? I can't seem to find much unless its eating innings when the Padres are up (or down) by 5 or more runs.. Hopefully some other team does and the Padres can ship him out while his ERA is still low.

Ok, my rant is done. Back to watching my NL leading Padres.

- Web

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Time for Hoyer to make a move

Tuesday June 29, 2010

Its time for Jed Hoyer to make his first in season trade and I think its going to be a doozy.

There were scouts for 5 teams were in the stands for Correia's last two starts. Now they may have been there to see other players also, but I would think they were also there to see Correia.

Correia has been on a 6 game slide since his brother died and the talk I am hearing is that a change of scenery, SD is his home, may be good for him. His velocity is down on his FB and up on his change up and slider. Exactly the opposite of what you want to see.

So at this point I would guess most of you are asking "who would Correia go to and what could the Padres get in return?"

To that I say, not so fast & hold your horses. I am just getting warmed up.

We are not talking about a 1-1 or 1-2 trade.

The scuttlebutt is a 4-5 player trade with the Padres sending Correia and a minor league pitcher that will make some people stand up and say "WHOA, why him?" for a good young ML bat that the Padres can control and another top prospect that is a few years further away from the ML..

Catcher Wilson Ramos wields a bat that is being mentioned often. The Padres have little depth at catcher and Ramos would be pushing for playing time this season. But the Padres really need a bat that can also patrol the outfield.

Alot of the trade rumors centers around Kevin Correia who has not been able to maintain his early season form since the untimely death of his brother. The logic is a change of scenery would do him good. In my opinion he just needs to keep his left foot planted on his follow through. He tends to spin his foot towards first and when he does, he cannot repeat his mechanics.

There have even been rumors of the discussion of a trade of Correia and Closer Heath Bell for Ramos, OF Delmon Young, RP Alex Burnett and AA RHP Carlos Gutierrez of the Twins.

Not sure I like that one. With Gallagher and Mujica out of options and playing poorly, I would much rather see either of them (or both together) moved than Bell. Package one of them up with Correia and see if there are any takers. Then trade a couple of decent, but not top prospects for Lee.

Its time for Hoyer to start getting serious about making a trade and from all I am hearing when he does its going to be a doozy.


Padres looking for top line pitching

Monday June 28, 2010

The San Diego Padres have the best pitching staff in baseball. They have been winning on a combination of pitching and defense. Everyone that is anyone says the Padres should go get a bat to ensure they are still in the playoff hunt come September.

So what are the Padres going to do as trade deadline approaches?
From the rumors floating around it appears that the Padres are looking for top line pitchers. Most teams want players in trade that they can control for at least one more season. So what are the Padres brass saying? They want pitchers that will be FA after the season because they believe the FA pitchers will want to resign in San Diego.

Why are they looking at Pitchers?
Jed Hoyer and the Padres brain trust are looking down the road as well as at the remainder of this year. They want to keep their good young pitching core healthy for the long run and bring on board a pitcher to take Young &/or Correia's place in the rotation next season.

All of theeir good young pitchers are on a tight IP count. The FO staff has been pretty clear that they are not going to overwork Mat Latos, Clayton Richard, Wade LeBlanc.

Chris Young is not expected to be back next season, at least not at anything close to the team option of $8.5 million, and even if he does come back the team cannot count on him for much after these injuries and his age (32) in 2011.

So a pitcher that will be a FA at the end of 2010 is of little value to a losing team, but would help the Padres win now and be a nice signing for 2011 if the Padres can pull the trigger.

Who are they looking at?

Cliff Lee.
Yes Cliff Lee. He is only earning $9 million this season which means the Padres would only be on the hook for about $3.6-4.5 million for the final 2+ months of the season. The Padres believe that they can sign a great pitcher for less than he might sign for elsewhere because he would be pitching in Petco and this would give them 3 months to negotiate a deal before Lee ( or the others listed here) becomes a free agent after the World Series.

Jeremy Guthrie
Guthrie is the lone consistent pitcher on the Orioles staff and has maintained an ERA under 4 in a decided hitters park. Guthrie is only making $3 million this season so the Padres can certainly afford to take on the balance of that contract.

Ted Lilly
The Cubs are strapped with $142 million payroll with several big dollar contracts, like Soriano and Zambrano, that they are not going to be able to shed. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for teams looking for pitching, they are going to have to dump payroll somewhere and Lilly is a FA at the end of the season and could still bring back a decent prospect. The $4.8-6.0 million balance of Lilly's $12 million contract for 2010 is an affordable addition for the Padres.

In the end I believe the Padres are still going to go out and trade for a decent power bat in the outfield.

But their main focus coming into the deadline seems to be pitching.

- Vic Power

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Web's All Star Votes

Thursday June 24, 2010

Web's All Star Votes

American League
Catcher: Victor Martinez
First: Miguel Cabrera.
Second: Robinson Cano
ThirdAdrian Beltre.
Short: Derek Jeter
Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Ichiro Suzuki, Magglio Ordonez
DH: Vladimir Guerrero
Starting Pitcher: Cliff Lee

National League
Catcher: Nick Hundley - Wish I could just vote for Padres platoon.
First: Adrian Gonzalez - .315 playing half your games at Petco? INCREDIBLE!
Second: Martin Prado - Incredible D and great hitting.
Third: Scott Rolen
Short: Troy Tulowitzki.
Outfield: Andre Ethier, Ryan Braun, Marlon Byrd
Starting Pitcher: Ubaldo Jimenez. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What is Black Thinking?

Saturday June 19, 2010

I really do not understand what Bud Black is thinking.

Why is Eckstein leading off and Headley hitting 2nd?

Eckstein is hitting .296 with men on base this season and .297 career. He is the prototypical #2 hitter. He hits 24 points lower career with bases empty. So WTF is he doing hitting leadoff?

Headley is hitting under the Mendoza line with RISP this season (.253 career) and just .216 with men on base at all. That is the exact opposite of what you need for a batter in the #2 slot.Headley simply cannot get the job done when it counts this year. So why is he there?

Doesn't Black pay attention to situational stats?

Guess not.

From this point on I am only going to refer to Tony Gwynn as Jr. I was sitting in section 102 tonight and when I yelled "Tooonnnnyyyy" early in the game he struck out or hit a lazy fly ball and then when I yelled Junior, he got a hit. From now on he is simply Jr. until he proves he can consistently hit over .275.

The Orioles are the worst team in baseball. They win about one game a week. If the Padres struggle against them, and they have two straight games, then they don't deserve to win the pennant.

Tonight was Millwood's first win in the past 8 decisions. If the Padres can't beat him, they don't deserve to win the pennant. They had a chance to win the game tonight, but Headley did what he has done with men on base all year. He looked over matched and struck out on a pitch a foot off the plate.

The Kouzmanoff trade is looking worse and worse.Kouzmanoff is playing better defense, hitting better AND for more power right now. Maybe the Padres should have traded Headley.

Ok the rant is over and it time to go to bed with the Padres still in 1st place..

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dodgers are a surprise success? WTH is Tim Brown talking about?

Monday June 14, 2010


I'm ticked. (Because I had to stop blogging and tweeting due to my work situation AND because the people that committed to writing for this blog in my absence have not been sending in articles)

And I am going to start taking on some of the people in the media that get paid to talk to us about baseball.

Lets start with Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.

Tim Brown predicted that the Dodgers would win the West prior to the season and then writes an article on 6/11 saying its a surprise that the Dodgers are doing so well?


Tim, your bias is showing.

The Dodgers are NOT doing so well. They are 4 games back of their pace last year and only a 12-2 run from 5/9- 5/23 has kept them even near the lead.  They play that stretch at their current .571 pace instead of .857 and they are in 4th place at 31-32.

The only surprise you should be talking about is that the Padres are in 1st place in the NL West, the best division in the NL, and that the Padres have the best record in the NL.

The Dodgers are the defending NL West champions and they spent $2 million MORE than 2009 on season starting payroll this season ($102 million in 2010 according to Cots MLB Contracts).
"New post-nuptial budget" my fat behind . The Dodgers started this season with a BIGGER payroll than last. Maybe you should actually try looking this stuff up. There are lots of great online resources and its not like you have to write so many articles that you don't have time

The Dodgers are SUPPOSED to do well with a $100 million payroll!

The Padres are spending $38 million on player payroll and according to you were going to be in last place.

So maybe you ought to be talking about why the Dodgers are NOT in the lead.
Why the Dodgers are doing poorly compared to expectations.
Why they are 4 games behind their pace last season.
Why their vaunted bullpen has collapsed despite Broxton's incredible ERA.

Maybe you should be talking about why the Padres ARE in 1st place.
Why the Padres ARE leading the NL in win %.
Why the Padres with Young, Cabrera and Blanks on the DL and with Gwynn, Venable and both Hairston's performing below expectations with the bat are still winning at this pace.
Why the Padres ARE for real after going 37-25 in their last 62 games last season and going 37-25 to start this season.

Instead you are writing whiney ass crap defending the Dodgers.

Give us all a break. 

The Padres were not supposed to win, so THAT should have been what you are writing about instead of being a Dodger apologist.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why Padres are being patient with Poreda

Sunday May 23, 2010

Why are the Padres still waiting on Aaron Poreda?

36 base runners but only 4 earned runs in 18 IP. A 2.0 ERA with a 1.775 WHIP for the San Antonio Missions, the Padres AA affiliate.

At age 23, Poreda has such filthy stuff that he has given up 15 hits, 17 walks, and 4 HBP in 18.0 IP, but has only given up 4 earned runs.

AA hitters cannot get hits off him at all and with runners in scoring position they are hitting under .100 off him.

That is why the Padres are patiently waiting to see if he can gain more control.

If he walked even 3 per 9 innings instead of 8.5, he could be a devastating reliever. A top notch closer. Maybe even a great starter.

Left hand pitchers that throw high 96-100 MPH are few and far between. Those that can throw that hard with movement are even rarer. Poreda is one.

Padres have a few more years before they need to make a call on him, and he is still good trade material at 23 years old.

Patience could pay off big time with this one.

- Vic Power

Oswalt wants out of Houston. Good Fit for Padres?

Sunday May 232, 2010

How nice would Roy Oswalt look in a Padres uniform?

Yesterday Roy Oswalt, the Houston Astros star pitcher asked for a trade. Oswalt, 32, is the ace of their staff and one of the top pitchers in the NL.

This season he is sporting a 2.66 ERA/3.28 xFIP with a 1.07 WHIP and .217 BAA and still has a 2-6 record over 8 starts. The team is a hearty 14-27 and has lost 6 of their last 10.  No wonder he wants out of Houston.

Oswalt has a full trade clause, so we don't know if he has given Ed Wade a list of teams he would accept a trade to or if he just wants out period. I would bet he just wants out.

So how nice would he look in a Padres uniform for the rest of the year?
Yes, I realize that he makes Peavy money, but just think about this rotation:


I like that. In fact, that looks like a playoff rotation to me.

So how has Oswalt done at Petco?

2.51 ERA .347 slg .653 ops in 5 starts.|SAN02|oswalro01|pitch|AB|

In a word. Exceptional.

Next question. Can the Padres afford him?

Right now the short answer is no. The Moores' divorce is not final and the payroll is still locked at $40 million.

The good news is that the two sides have come to an agreement on terms and all that remains is for the judge to agree and the papers to be signed.

It’s been 3 months now since the agreement was reached after 2 years of acrimonious arbitration and divorce proceedings, so I hesitate to say when the divorce order may actually be signed and the Padres pursestrings unstrung. If the Moores' divorce is finalized by the end of June, then the Padres may have the payroll flexibility to go after Oswalt.

Adding $7-8 million for the balance of Oswalt's 2010 salary puts the Padres at only $45-46 million in payroll. Even a 2 home game playoff run would earn the team $15+ million. Great pitching and plus defense will win you games even with a mediocre offense.

The Padres would also be on the hook for $16 million next season and at least the $2 million buyout on 2012.

What would Padres have to give up to get Oswalt?

That depends on what the Astros are willing to pay of his remaining salary. The more they pick up, the better the package they will get in return.

Regardless of the money the Astros pay, its going to take a lot of good prospects to get Oswalt. Oswalt is a premier pitcher. A Stopper.

What are the Astros needs?

Houston is a very old team on the field with, as often as not, every player in the starting infield being 30+ years old. The only infielder under 30 that has any considerable tim on the field is SS Tommy Manzella,  who has played in 31 games, but Manzella is only hitting .196 in 97 ABs.

Berkman,34, is already talking about retirement at 1B and Pedro Feliz at 3B is older than Berkman at 35.

They have a couple of highly regarded prospects in the middle infield, but the Astros really need corner infielder prospects to fill the holes in years to come.

The middle to back end of the Astros starting rotation is also hurting and they really don’t have any great prospects coming any time soon. Felipe Paulino (0-6) has a 5.36 ERA in 8 starts and Bud Norris is at a robust 6.75 ERA in 8 starts. Opposing batters are hitting .300 against the 25 year old righty.

Back of the rotation pitchers is something the Padres are pretty deep in.

As a Padres fan, I would like to see the Padres only have to send a ML or ML ready starting pitcher and a couple of A ball prospects for Oswalt.

Something like Kevin Correia, Edinson Rincon and either a pitcher like Cesar Carrillo or another corner infielder like Craig Cooper.

I would even be up for sweetening the pot by throwing in Aaron Poreda for a 4-1, but I tend to think it’s going to take a bigger name.

A major league pitcher like Correia plus a Forsythe or a Darnell plus at least one other good pitching prospect like Castro or Pelzer. A three for one trade with the Astros picking up $5+ million of the $25 million left on Oswalt's contract.

Are you willing to make that trade? Would KT have done it?

For me the answer is yes. A legitimate run at the playoffs and a legitimate top of the rotation pitcher means a lot more than the promise of prospects.

Correia is an eminently replaceable pitcher. Stauffer will be back by July and can take a spot at the back of the rotation for 2010.

Forsythe or Darnell are great prospects, but they are still prospects. No prospect is a sure thing. Oswalt is a known quantity and what is known is awesome.

So yes. Make that trade.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Time to fish or cut bait. Better yet cut Stairs.

Friday May 14, 2010

Its official. Matt Stairs is worthless. Time for him to retire.

Actually its probably a couple of years past time for him to retire, but he is not contributing anything to the success of this Padres team right now.

Stairs is hitting .167 after tonight's game and his OPS is under .500. The "close-your-eyes-and-swing-as-hard-as-you-can" routine is just not working anymore.

The Padres have a guy in Chris Denorfia that was once very highly regarded before succumbing to years of injuries, that is doing very well in AAA. .321/..382/.527/.909  with 15 xbh and 7 sb. I would really like to see him get a shot at playing OF in a Padres uniform. He reminds me alot of Jody Gerut who also spent many years injured then did very well in a Padres uniform.

So Jed, cut Stairs, send Blanks to AAA to find his confidence again and bring up Denorfia and Baxter or Cooper. Denorfia becomes the 4th OF and Baxter/Cooper becomes the bat off the bench and backup at 1B.

They certainly can't do any worse than the .167 Stairs is contributing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Padres and Yankees

Thursday May 13, 2010

I wonder how many people would have been willing to bet on April 1st that the $38 million Padres would have the same record as the $213 million Yankees on May 13th?

The Yankees huge payroll gives them depth the Padres could only dream about, but at this point and with all the Padres injuries and misfortune, the teams records are still the same.


Reasons Dodgers will not win the West - part deux

Thursday May 13, 2010 

 Reasons the Dodgers will not win the NL West part deux

The Dodgers have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games and have been playing well. Manny just came off the DL. Ethier is in the lead in all Triple Crown categories. So maybe some of you are thinking that the Dodgers poor play to begin the year was an aberration. That they are on a winning streak and will soon take the NL West lead back.

As Web would say - Braaaaaaak! Sorry wrong answer. Please Play again.
(Yes. The guy did watch way too many game shows while on the road.)

The very fact that the Dodgers have key offensive players doing so much better than they have in any other season is more of a reason to believe that those players will slump towards their career averages and then the Dodgers will not be able to sustain their current winning ways.
  1. Ethier's line - .390/.446/.729/1.175 with 10 hr in 31 games with a BABIP of .391 & an ISO of .339. Look for Ethier's BABIP to drop 60-100 points before seasons end and along with it his batting average, OBP and OPS.  His career ISO is .207 and his best season so far was last year with a .237 ISO and 31 hr, so look for his power numbers to drop drastically as well.
  2.  Manny's line - .396/.507/.585/1.085 in 17 games with a BABIP of .380 Manny WILL hit .300-.330 for the season, but his batting average will drop 60 - 90 points along with a big drop in his OBP and OPS.

    Wait for it...the list of overachieving players on a losing team continues...
  3. Loney 's line - .326/.361/.474/.835 with a BABIP of .376. His power numbers are right on his career averages, but he has been lucky to the tune of 57 points. Even if this is a career year, his BA and OBP will drop 25-30 points. Its more likely we will see a 40+ point drop.

    Web would probably call this "regression towards the mean".
  4. The Pitching Staff is performing right now about the same pace we expected they would for the year. The noted exceptions are:
  • Kurodi will probably see a slight rise in his ERA. There have been a lot of errors committed behind him so his Earned Runs are down, but his Runs Allowed is at almost exactly the same rate we saw from him last season.
  • Billingsley will likely have a 30 point drop in his 4.85 ERA to closer to his 4.56 xFIP. Still not good pitching from the guy that was supposed to be an ace.
Replacing Randy Wolf and Jon Garland with Vicente Padilla and Charlie Haeger was a failed experiment early. John Ely has pitched well, but when/if Padilla returns what you have seen this season is the real Padilla. Its what the Rangers saw from him in 2007, 2008 and 2009.  The Dodgers have shown they really don't have much depth of pitching.

Other than Sherrill, no one in the pen is doing substantially worse than most people were expecting from them, especially the relievers whose arms were tasked with and taxed by 70 appearances last season.

What does that all end up to mean? The Dodgers current 8-3 win streak is not sustainable. .500 is a good goal for them to shoot for over the course of the season. If the Padres are going to be caught in the NL West, its not going to be by the Dodgers.

- Vic Power

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Can you build a team to win in Petco?


Wednesday May 5, 2010

This is another of those answers to questions Web posed to me along the way before I started writing for his blog. I thought it might be of interest, especially since the Padres are showing they can win both at home and on the road so far this season.

Can Hoyer Build a Team Designed to Win at Petco with Speed, Defense and Pitching ?

I don't think the question has ever been can you build a team designed to win in Petco around speed, defense and pitching. It has been can you build a team that can win consistently in Petco's unique circumstances and still win elsewhere.

In the past 3 years the Padres have been a very good hitting team on the road and sat in the middle of the pack in runs scored on the road.

It was when that team returned home that they struggled to score runs. Every one else also struggled to score runs in Petco, but the Padres were slightly worse than their competition at scoring runs in San Diego even though although they do have a winning record at home.

So what do you have to do to both win at Petco AND win on the road?

I think the Padres are taking a lesson from Bud Black's old team in Anaheim and building a team that can play both small ball, be patient at the plate/bunt/steal a base/put pressure on the basepaths/hit to the opposite field; AND play for  a "walk and a dong" when the situation presents itself.

They have the right kind of power players for Petco, RHB with pull power like Kyle Blanks and Scott Hairston and LHB that have opposite field AND pull power like Adrian Gonzalez and Will Venable.

In the past they have had mediocre to good pitching at home and poor pitching results on the road. Their defense has left something to be desired. Not horrible, just not good.

Now with Headley at 3B and Blanks/Scott Hairston patrolling LF, with Gwynn/Scott Hairston in CF and with Venable playing RF regularly, the Padres outfield defense is well above average. The infield has improved with the addition of Jerry Hairston and moving Headley to third, while adding a few errors, has not added many runs scoring on hits to 3B. Overall the defense is much improved.

With just a few judicious moves and a change in attitude, Hoyer has created a team that can win in Petco with speed, defense and pitching and win on the road.

- Vic Power

The Effect of the McCourts Divorce on the Dodgers

Wednesday May 5, 2010

Do you think the Moores divorce had a huge effect on the Padres payroll?

The McCourts divorce has resulted in a drop from their season ending payroll of  $131,507,197.00 in 2009 to an estimated $83.0 million to begin the 2010 season.

That is a $48.5 million drop in payroll. A 36.9% drop.

While the Padres had a larger percentage drop of 40.6% in going from $73.677 million in 2008 to $43.734 million in 2009, a $29.937 million drop, the dollar figure of the Dodgers drop is $18.5 million or 38.3% larger.

Think about it, the Dodgers drop in payroll from the end of the 2009 season to the start of the 2010 season is larger than the Padres, Pirates or Marlins entire 2010 payroll.

And remember, no team has won the World Series since the advent of salary arbitration in 1973 with one player making more than 16% of the payroll. Manny Ramirez $20 million salary is nearly 25% of the Dodgers $83 million payroll for 2010.

The future for the Dodgers?

While the Padres were adding scouts and crosscheckers, the Dodgers were firing them.

Peter Gammons said - "The Dodgers have an $83M payroll. They couldn't offer salary arbitration to Jon Garland and Randy Wolf because ownership didn't want to pay for additional Draft picks, and have spent the least money on Draft and international signings of any of the 30 teams the last two years"

Their once loaded farm system has seen the best prospects graduate or be traded away and are now ranked 24th by Baseball America.

Prior to the season I wrote to Web that I thought Kershaw would have trouble this season and that Billingley could very well show his true colors as a middle to back of the rotation type.

My reasoning at the time?

"Kershaw - His xFIP of 3.90 and his BABIP of .274 point towards a regression in 2010. Look for his ERA to rise about a point from his 2.79 over 30 starts if he stays healthy.

Billingsley - His xFIP of 4.04 and BABIP of .294 say his ERA of 4.02 was a pretty true indication of his value. In other words average."

How prescient was I?

Kershaw has a 3.07 ERA through 5 starts and 29.1 innings, but has walked 22 and his WHIP is 1.53 which is much more in line with his 4.77 xFIP.

Billinglsley has a 4.85 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP through 5 starts and 26 IP. Taken along with his 4.32 xFIP they combine to paint a picture very much inline with my preseason take.

These two are the future of the Dodgers pitching and represent what were thought by most in the organization to both be future top of the rotation pitchers. They are looking more and more like 2-4 types.

Beyond Ethier and Kemp there are no young position players of All Star caliber in the system above High A. In other words 2-3 years away. Even amongst pitchers, only Scott Elbert is thought to be anything more than a back of the rotation type.

In the field Ramirez and Furcal are both injured and the team itself is filled with journeymen such as Casey Blake, Ronnie Belliard, Jamey Carrol, and Reed Johnson; AARP card carriers in Garrett Anderson and Brad Ausmus; and mediocre youngsters such as Xavier Paul and Blake Dewitt.

After the 2010 season Ramirez, Kuroda, Padilla, Ortiz, Belliard, Johnson, Weaver, Ausmus and Anderson will all be free agents. 9 of the 25 players on the roster.

Sherrill, Martin, Billingsley, Loney, Kuo and possibly Kershaw will be eligible for arbitration.

After 2010, the Dodgers are in serious need of a transfusion of big league talent without the capital to go after it either in trade chips or in dinero.

Is a return to the mediocrity we saw after the 1988 WS championship headed to Chavez Ravine? If the McCourts divorce is not settled soon and payroll AND money for signings of amateur talent is not freed up, then the Dodgers will have a hard time competing in the years to come.

- Vic Power

Monday, May 03, 2010

Hecklers Corner - the Muskrat Edition

Monday May 3, 2010

Hecklers Corner - The Muskrat Edition

Tonight the Padres matchup against the hot Ubaldo Jimenez. Due to his 5-0 start with a no hitter already, this game sure looks bleak for the home town team.

Jimenez seems to be the "real deal" and is an early favorite for the CY Young.

This is a game where hecklers have a little say in the outcome. If you have seats that allow verbal access to the pitcher Jimenez, then you have a prime time opportunity to effect the game.

So get after him!

  • Straight in straight out Jimenez. Straight in Straight out.
  • 3 balls for a dollar. Yuck yuck yuck yuck.
  • When a man gets on base - There he goes! 
  • Holy Jimenez

Anything to get in his head.

Or just talk about his bizarre 1st name. Ubaldo, Waldo.

Next home stand I will have much, much more for you and my buddy the 'stache will have his say too.

Aloha - Muskrat

5 Reasons Why the Padres will be Better in 2010

Monday May 3, 2010

Web gave me a couple of subjects he had wanted to cover and asked me to take a stab at them in his absence.

Today I chose to cover a subject that most people were saying was not possible. From what we have seen from the first month of baseball is not only possible, Its happening.

5 Reasons Why the Padres will be Better in 2010

#1 - The Padres had a .284 babip in 2009 - the 2nd lowest in baseball.

They were unlucky to the tune of 15 points. As Web would say, they are due for a regression towards the mean.

#2 - The Padres had a 96 OPS+ in 2009. Good for 8th best in NL.  While all the "experts" on ESPN, MLB Networks and the other sports media were saying the Padres were the worst offensive team in NL, they went out and ranked right in the middle of the pack in park adjusted offense. Park Factors are still beyond the understanding of many in the media.

#3 - The Padres hit 141 hr in 2009. This was good for 13th in NL even though they play home games in Petco. Petco Park depresses HR totals 30% overall. Even playing in Petco, the Padres total was much closer to the league average of 155 than the 16th worst in NL of 95 hr. With Blanks and Venable playing a full season and the return of Scott Hairston, the Padres should produce better power numbers in 2010.

#4 - WPA - the Padres were 5th in the NL at 1.96. WPA is the measure of how well you do in high leverage situations. The Padres obviously did well despite playing half their games in Petco.

#5 - The Padres had a 16.1 WAR in 2009, which ranked 9th in the NL. WAR, or wins above replacement, measures how well a team does offensively and defensively compared to how a AAA player being called up would do. In 2010 the Padres will see improvements in offense for the reasons covered above and will improve on defense to an even greater degree just by having Venable start regularly in RF and having Blanks play in LF instead of the defensively challanged Headley.

What does all that add up to?

The Padres were unlucky offensively last season, play in the toughest park in baseball to hit in and still ended up being a league average team in almost every category.

A little luck, a litle improvement and some young players getting to play every day and for a full seasoin will = a better offensive team.

Defensively the improvement will be even greater with some talented defensive players getting to be on the field daily and Chase Headley being moved to his natural position at 3B from Lf where every ball was an adventure for him.

The Ancillary to the Padres being better?

Why these teams in the NL West will not improve in 2010.

They had a team 88 OPS+ with a .299 babip in 2009. They were neither lucky nor unlucky and they stunk with the bat. This season they added 2 players in Kelly Johnson who has an 83 OPS+ and Adam LaRoche who had among the highest Babip in the league amongst 1B at .328 and among the lowest wOBA combined with consistently below average defense for his career, that is a step backwards from a misearable 2009 campaign.

Yes I realize that Johnson has 9 HR right now, but regression towards the mean is a bitch. Expect a .240 average with 15-20 HR by the end of the season after he gets hurt again. He has already missed some games with injuries and there is no reason to believe that trend wont continue.

Los Angeles Dodgers
In 2009 they had a team 104 OPS+ with a .309 BABIP about 10 points toward lucky. They lost a boatload of position players including several starters. For Example they replaced a OPS+ 109 from Orlando Hudson with a 68 from Blake Dewitt at 2B. Their backup in the oufield went from OPS+ 105 Juan Pierre to OPS+ 89 Reed Johnson. Manny Ramirez is a shadow of his steroid self and has already hit the DL once. Same old Manny. Now they have the punch and judy Xavier Paul starting in LF and AJ Ellis backing up at catcher.

Their pitching staff is in even more trouble. They lost inning eating middle of the rotation starters Randy Wolf and Jon Garland and replaced them with Charlie Haeger and Vicente Padilla (who is already on the DL).

San Francisco
They had a team 81 OPS+ and NL worst .305 wOBA in 2009. To remedy that incredibly bad offense they added Aubrey Huff and his .297 wOBA and 81 OPS+ to bat cleanup? This guy could barely secure a starting position on the Orioles roster in 2009. The 35 year old Mark DeRosa and his below league average 97 OPS+ and .327 wOBA is the offensive savior that is giving Giants fans hope? Give me a break. He is a #6 hitter even on the Giants.

The bottom line in ATT Park? They can't hit, they can't run and they are not very good defensively. They are an old club and do not have much depth. Even with the best pitching staff in baseball, the Giants cannot afford even a single injury if they want to compete. I expect them to compete early and then fade as injuries to an old club take their toll.

- Vic Power

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Cowboy Joe West Taunting Padres Players

Here is a photo of Cowboy Joe West taunting Padres players that are in the dugout. He went over to the dugout TWICE to yell at players.

West also placed his hand on Chase Headley's chest to keep him from walking away. West needs to be suspended. Rob Drake needs to be fired. Angel Hernandez needs to be sent down to the minors to learn the strike zone.

This umpiring crew is a total joke.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The pitch that got Gonzalez thrown out.

Here is the pitch that got Gonzalez thrown out tonight. The ball is off his right hip.

Here is Strike? Three to Tony Gwynn

This was a 94 mph fastball. No break. And the umpire called it a strike.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Introducing the Hecklers Corner

Thursday  April, 2010

The Hecklers Corner

Welcome to our first column.

Today's issue is a collaboration of Hecklers from Left and Right Field.  Each home stand you are going to be privileged to hear from a couple of the most dedicated hecklers in Padredom. For today their names have been withheld to protect the guilty and I will let them introduce themselves in articles to come.

Without further ado,  please welcome - The Muskrat and The Mustache.

The Fine Art of Heckling

Heckling is about getting in the players head. To get them thinking of what you are saying instead of the game at hand.

Humor generally works best. If the player is laughing at you, he is listening to you and not paying as much attention to the game.

Do your homework on players. A comment about his 3rd grade teacher is much more effective than a simple you suck. Something like "Mrs Moreland from 3rd grade throws better than you do!" or "did you learn how to hit from Mrs Moreland in 3rd grade" will get the players attention every time.

What you simply cannot do is cuss at the players, regardless of language. Baseball is a family sport and there are kids in the stands all around you. While we may be giving the player a hard time, it is never worth it to cuss.

For my first post I want to start with a few chants that all hecklers should know and then go on to give you more information about the players you will be seeing, especially the outfielders.

Every home stand we are going to try to give you a few more heckles and tips, maybe even a page you can print out and take to the games with you.

Lets start with the chants.

This one is a standard that takes a chorus of fans.
It starts with a one or more persons chanting:

What the matter with Ryan/Carlos/Corey?
(With the Brewers the OF will be Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and Corey Hart)

The chorus answers:

Hes a bum!

Repeat this series 3 or more times.

If your tastes run to the Politically incorrect, maybe you end that chant with:

He likes boys! (instead of hes a bum!)

A couple of good chants for rookies and platoon players:

Back on the Bus, you're one of us. (repeat 3 times)
Hope you like batteries, cause you're on your way to triple A!

Another chant to use when a player is struggling with the bat against the Padres and has not had a hit is:

Ryan's on the collar, Ryan's on the collar.

Here are a few decent heckles for outfielders:
Get Ryan Onstar! He looked lost on that play!
Hey Ryan, I've seen better hoses in a garden!
Hey Ryan, Bozo Called. He wants his shoes back!
Rag Arm (Not real funny, but effective after a bad throw and best done while shaking your throwing arm like a rag)
Hey Ryan, you couldn't make that play in the video game!

You may have noticed that I am using the players first name. We tend to notice when our first name is called out, so use their first name whenever you have the chance.

If its a quiet night and the opposing team brings in a reliever a good chant to use is:

Bullpen Bozo, Bullpen Bozo, Bullpen Bozo.

This Home Stand

The Padres will be facing the Milwaukee Brewersto begin tonight.

Their starting outfielders are LF - Ryan Braun, CF - Carlos Gomez, RF - Corey Hart.

Left Fielder Ryan Braun is from Southern California and he went to college in Miami. So questions about missing Southern Cal or warmth are good.

Hey Ryan, do you miss Carne Asada?
Where do you go to get good Mexican food in Milwaukee?
Hey Ryan, what did you do the first time you saw snow in Milwaukee.

Braun went 2 for 13 in 3 games at Petco last season with no walks and just 2 singles. That is a .154 average. For his career Braun has hit just .242, 70 points lower than career average against the Padres. His average is fair game to a heckler.

We may also see former Padres Jody Gerut and Jim Edmonds.

Edmonds used to be called Superman, so a good heckle for him might be:
Hey Superman, what happened to your cape? or
Hey Jim, San Diego must be your Kryptonite. You only hit .169 here.

Following the Brewers, the Padres will be hosting NL West division foes, the Colorado Rockies.

Our writers will start chiming in for this column for the Colorado Series. Keep an eye out for more.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So who can afford to trade for Adrian Gonzalez?

Wednesday April 28, 2010

The bar has been set, the writing is on the wall and an Adrian Gonzalez trade is inevitable.

The question now isn't whether he will be traded or whether the Padres will get a massive haul of prospects for him, the question is who could sign Gonzalez if they trade for him.

No team is going to trade away 4 or 5 of their top 10 prospects, the future of their franchise, unless they are extremely certain that they can sign Gonzalez to a long term deal.

He has to give them mucho value to offset the loss of the prospects they have to give up to get him and two pennant drives at a cheap price is not enough.

So who can afford Gonzalez long term?

The obvious teams are the Yankees and the Red Sox. Both teams have shown both the financial ability and the predilection to sign players to contracts with huge annual sums & for long terms.

Will they be in the mix for Gonzalez?

The Yankees can be dismissed from the discussion before it even begins.

They already have Gonzalez-lite in Mark Teixeira, a gold glove winning, 40 home run hitting 1B who is under contract for 6 more years after 2010 and $135 million. They really have no pressing need for Gonzalez and the team that signs him will have a pressing need.

So at the top of our list we have the Red Sox. They have the Prospects, the money and a desire to trade for Gonzalez that has been well documented in the media.

Who else?

The Mets. The Mets are one of the top 2-3 revenue earning ballclubs in baseball. They can certainly afford Gonzalez.  They have some intriguing, if not exceptional, prospects they can send back in return for Gonzalez including Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mej√≠a. A package built around those 3 with couple of other good prospects that are further away from competing in the major leagues would probably get the job done.

The Cubs. The Cubs are a top 5 team in revenue, have a new ownership group that will be looking to make a splash, and with Derrek Lee being a free agent at the end of the 2010 season, they would certainly be a team that would be in the mix for Gonzalez. The Cubs would have to give up two of a group of 4 players they really have not been willing to part with so far in Starlin Castro or Hak-Ju Lee and Andrew Cashner or Jeff Samardzija.

The Giants. The Giants are a top 10 team in revenue and play in the 6th largest market in baseball. They can afford to maintain a $100 payroll that would be needed to sign a player like Gonzalez. The bigger question is whether they would be willing to part with either Posey or Bumgarner, because other than those 2 guys they really do not have the depth in the top 10 or so prospects to interest the Padres without one of them at the top of the trade package.

The White Sox. Kenny Williams LOVES to make a big splash with his personnel moves. Without including Beckham the White Sox don't have the high ceiling prospects that will be needed to make the trade happen, but that does not mean that Kenny won't just ship off a coveted player like closer Bobby Jenks to a third team to come up with enough to satisfy the Padres asking price.

The Mariners. They have the money, the pitching and the outfield defense, now all they need is a big banger. Gonzalez fits the bill. And the Mariners also have the prospects even without including Ackley. Saunders, Triunfel, Mores and two out of a group including of Noriega, Pineda, Cortes, and Franklin. A definite possiblity there.

The Astros. The Astros? Yes. A $100 million payroll is right in line with their $190 million in revenue. But don't they have Berkman at 1B? Berkman threatened to retire if the Astros dont get an extension signed before this season started so buying out his 2011 option for $2 million and bringing in Gonzalez makes sense. Shift Berkman back to the OF for half a season and make a run at the playoffs this year. Berkman is gone after the season as well as Matsui, Feliz, Myers, and several other veteran bandaids. The Astros top prospect is at a position, catcher, the Padres are hurting for and he is ML ready. Do not count them out of the running.

The biggest surprise on this list?

The Nationals. The Nationals are aching to get some identity as something other than the biggest losers in the game. They have been in the running for several big name FA who chose winning over money in signing elsewhere. They are not going to resign Dunn and several other bad contracts for
Guzman, Taveras and Willingham are coming off the books. They have a catcher near the top of their prospects list and a couple of other good looking prospects in Storen and Espinosa that may interest the Padres. In order to get a trade done without including Strasburg, they may have to include a third team.

Well there it is. If the ration I got from Web is any indication, I am sure there will be many of you who will disagree with me on this. So bring it on! Tell me who you think will be in the running for Gonzalez and why.

 - Vic Power