Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Web's 2010 Padres Projections

Wednesday March 31, 2010

2010 Padres Projections

Let me start by saying I am a homer. I am a San Diego Padres fan and my projections will undoubtedly be on the optimistic side. Probably not by a lot, but still on the optimistic side.

I am not going to apologize about being optimistic about this or any other Padres team. I will happily drink the kool-aid before the season starts and go into it expecting the best.

That said, here are my projections:

Pitching Staff

Starting Pitchers

Chris Young - Traded in July after
- 16 starts 97.1 IP 7-3 3.52 era 1.18 whip

Jon Garland
- 33 starts 201.2 IP 14-11 3.83 ERA 1.28 Whip

Kevin Correia
- 31 starts 189.1 IP 12-10 3.89 ERA 1.29 Whip

Clayton Richard
- 30 starts 169.2 IP 12-6 3.82 ERA 1.38 Whip

Mat Latos
- 22 starts 141.2 IP 6-5 4.03 ERA 1.39 Whip

Tim Stauffer (Starts the season in Bullpen)
- 14 starts 82.1 IP 5-5 3.74 ERA 1.44 Whip

Sean Gallagher (Starts the season in Bullpen)
- 12 starts 67.2 IP 3-4 4.26 ERA 1.37 Whip

Wade LeBlanc (Starts season in AAA)
- 8 starts 48.2 IP 2-1 3.48 ERA 1.29 Whip


Heath Bell - traded in July
- 21 saves 2.77 ERA 1.05 Whip

Mike Adams
- 65 appearances 2.55 ERA 1.08 WHIP

Luke Gregerson
- 65 appearances 3.30 ERA 1.26 WHIP

Edward Mujica
- 62 appearances 3.88 ERA 1.22 WHIP

Adam Russell
- 56 appearances 3.79 ERA 1.44 WHIP

Joe Thatcher - (Starts Season on DL)
- 49 appearances 3.18 ERA 1.27 WHIP

Aaron Poreda (Starts season in AAA - Reliever)
- 2 starts, 22 appearances 23.1 IP 0-2 2.78 ERA 1.55 WHIP

Starting 8 (With platoon in CF - 9)

Adrian Gonzalez - Traded in July
- 332 AB  .277/.391 24 HR

David Eckstein
- 455 AB  .272/.354

Everth Cabrera
- 570 AB  .260/.350 35 SB

Chase Headley
- 550 Abs .275/.365 18 HR

Kyle Blanks
- 530 AB  .265/.335 26 HR

Tony Gwynn
- 380 AB  .275/.355 21 SB

Scott Hairston
- 425 AB  .255/.315 17 HR

Will Venable
- 500 AB  .255/.330 22 HR 12 SB

Nick Hundley
- 405 AB  .245/.315 14 HR


Jerry Hairston Jr
- 400 AB  .257/.317 8 hr 10 SB

Oscar Salazar
- 240 AB  .284/.344 10 hr

Matt Stairs
- 210 AB  .242/.342 6 Hr

Yorvit Torrealba
- 310 AB  .235/.295 5 hr

So tell me what you think the Padres will do in 2010.
Send me your projections and I will post them here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Your Padres Starting Five

Friday March 26, 2010

Corey Brock of posted on his blog today that the Padres starting five will be, drum roll please -

Chris Young
Jon Garland
Kevin Correia
Clayton Richard
Mat Latos

About Latos, Brock had the following to say, "He's in the rotation, trust me on that".

He also posits that Tim Stauffer will be traded for a mid-level prospect. I for one am hoping he is wrong.

I think that Stauffer can give the Padres the same type of production that we saw from Correia in 2009 for much less money and that Correia will bring much more in trade than Stauffer could.

With Sean Gallagher sitting in the pen and Wade LeBlanc in AAA, the Padres can afford to take a chance on Stauffer and trade Correia while his value is highest.

What do you think the Padres will do?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Myth of the $42 million Padres Payroll.

Thursday March 25, 2010

The Myth of the $42 million Padres Payroll.

Lets start by explaining split contracts:

Who is eligible for split contracts?
From the MLBPA/MLB CBA - A player who signs a Major League Contract which sets forth a separate rate of pay for Minor League service.

So players who were signed to a minor league deal like Matt Stairs, Chris Denorfia, and Chris Stewart are not eligible.

What do they get paid?
60% of their combined earnings the previous year.

On a split contract, a player who was signed to a major league deal last season and then spend a portion or all of this season in the minor leagues are paid 60% of their total major and minor league earnings for the previous season while they are in the minors.

The major league minimum is $400,000.00 or $2,185.79 per day and the AAA minimum is $2150.00 per month or about $12,900.00/year.

The largest split contract for a Padres would be around $240,000.00 and the only ones who could earn that if they are sent to the minors are Luis Perdomo and Everth Cabrera who spent the entire year with the Padres.

They were both on Major league contracts last season because as Rule V draftees they must be kept on the major league team for the year.

Perdomo has already been sent down so we can assume he will earn a minimum of $240,000 in 2010. Cabrera will begin the season on the ML roster and with the dearth of ML quality shortstops in the system will likely spend the netire year in SD even if he struggles.

Next lets cover what can and cannot be counted towards the 2010 payroll
Corey Brock at said that Garland and Torrealba's combined buyout ($1.1 million) will be factored into the 2010 payroll, but according to the MLB/MLBPA CBA it is part of NEXT season's (2011) payroll.

Much of the agreement between the league and the players is based on the % of revenue dedicated to ML player payroll so how & when it is counted is spelled out in the CBA. The Padres don't have a choice as to what costs they can include for this season.   

Now the reality of the Padres 2010 Payroll                       
This list below is from the Union Tribune's Bill Center and includes 32 players so it is representative of the 2010 Padres Payroll for the 25 man roster + MLB minimum salary or more for any injury replacement players called up from the minor leagues during the season.  This is at an injury rate of 7 players per day or more than double the 2009 NL average for players on the DL.

The list also includes all the players who may be eligible for a split contract. Since all those players are included at the full major league payroll, we can completely disregard any effects of split contracts on payroll over and above the listed salaries.           
Chris Young - $6,250,000.00                    
Adrian Gonzalez - $4,750,000.00                    
Jon Garland - $4,700,000.00                    
Heath Bell - $4,000,000.00                    
Kevin Correia - $3,600,000.00                    
Scott Hairston - $2,450,000.00                    
Jerry Hairston - $2,125,000.00                    
David Eckstein - $1,000,000.00                    
Mike Adams - $1,000,000.00                    
Yorvit Torrealba - $750,000.00                    
Matt Stairs*- $700,000.00                    
Chase Headley - $427,700.00                    
Clayton Richard - $423,700.00                    
Edward Mujica - $419,800.00                    
Tony Gywnn Jr. - $419,800.00                    
Everth Cabrera - $418,800.00                    
Joe Thatcher - $417,700.00                    
Luke Gregerson - $416,500.00                    
Nick Hundley - $415,700.00                    
Tim Stauffer - $415,100.00                    
Sean Gallagher - $413,500.00                    
Will Venable - $412,800.00                    
Kyle Blanks - $410,600.00                    
Oscar Salazar - $408,500.00                    
Mat Latos - $407,800.00                    
Luis Perdomo - $405,100.00                    
Adam Russell - $405,000.00                    
Radhames Liz - $404,200.00                    
Ryan Webb - $402,400.00                    
Aaron Poreda - $401,200.00                    
Wade LeBlanc - $400,000.00                    
Cesar Ramos - $400,000.00                    
TOTAL 2010 PADRES PAYROLL - $39,970,900.00
Includes injury replacement players & any split contracts at             

* If Matt Stairs does not make the team his replacement will be at or near the major league minimum and the total payroll would be about $300,000.00 less or $39,670,900.00.
Conclusion -                        
Being extremely generous in salaries, the Padres are still under $40 million.

$2 million less than they tried to claim through's Corey Brock. 

That was for you JBOX.         

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Will the real David Eckstein please stand up

Tuesday March 23, 2010

David Eckstein has drawn alot of flack on the boards and blogs in recents months.

There is a mistaken idea that he is not a valuable addition to the San Diego Padres team and that even a replacement level player would be better. Let me dispel some of those notions.

I will start with what Eckstein irrefutably excelled at in 2009.

In 2009 Eckstein went .340/.387/.448/.835 when  it counts most for a #2 hitter, when men are on     base. I would say that is not only good, its exceptional.         (Photo by SD Dirk under Creative Commons License )

Of the past 5 years, for Eckstein only 2008 is anomalous in terms of hitting with men on base.
Eckstein hit at least .297 in each other year from 2005-2009 with men on base and has hit .297 for his career.

Looks like it is a repeatable skill. He does well at hitting with men on base almost every season.

Fangraphs has a stat called Clutch. (WPA / pLI – WPA/LI). It measures how a player does in high leverage situations. Eckstein had the highest clutch rating in MLB for a 2B.

In his first year at 2B, Eckstein only trailed Utley in the NL in WPA.(5th in MLB amongst 2B)
WPA is an important advanced metric because it establishes the contribution each player has made to his team's wins. Eckstein was doing something right last season to trail only Utley.

Eckstein made only two errors and was amongst the better 2B in the NL in PERCENTAGE of DP turned. As Bill James pointed out, NUMBER of DP may not be a good indicator of defense, but PERCENTAGE of DP turned most definitely is. Any supposed lack of arm strength should have shown up on % of DP turned. It didn't. He has an adequate arm at 2B.

There are at least two components of defense that UZR does not address: One, "arm", and two, skill at turning the double play. Both are important in measuring an infielders value to the team in wins.

The only part of UZR in which Eckstein was below average was range, which is still the most subjective of the fielding judgments. He was above average in the other 2 metrics.
0.9 DPR/-10.0 RngR/4.0 ErrR for a -5.1 UZR

Once Field FX from Sportvision has a full season of data, then we can say with some certainty if a player has great range or bad range. Great positioning or bad positioning. Until then, its all subjective since none of the metrics actually measures reaction times, or how far a player has to run to catch the ball from where he was positioned, or the speed of the batted ball (The soft, medium, hard ball speed as reported by stringers which is used in UZR is not objective data), or any of the things that would give us a true range metric.

I understand the desire for an All Star player at 2B for the Padres (or any other position than 1B for that matter), but Eckstein has not regressed much as a Padre nor is he a poor hitter when it counts or a poor fielder at 2B.

He is an average guy that brings fire and guts to the field while providing an example of the right way to approach the game from practice to the game.

If the Padres can go out and sign a Dan Uggla or Brandon Phillips or Ian Kinsler to a $1 or $2 or even $5 million contract, then I am all for sending Eckstein to the bench.

If Matt Antonelli can go to AAA Portland and hit anywhere near .387 (like he has so far in ST)  for 3 months or so, then bring him up and start him.

Until then, Eckstein (and his $1 million contract) fills an important role on the team and does it well enough that the Padres Front Office and Coaching staff apparently felt that players like Felipe Lopez  that signed relatively inexpensive free agent contracts (1 yr/$1 million + $1.2 million in bonuses based on # of PA) would not provide more value to the team.

If you see the math differently, take the time to explain your position and I will post it here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is Mauer's 8 year/$184 million contract good for baseball

Sunday March 21, 2010

In case you are the one baseball fan that has not heard yet, Joe Mauer signed an 8 year/$184 million extension with the Minnesota Twins today.

Many people are saying this contract is good for baseball because it proves that the small market teams can keep their big name talent.

1st let me say that I have an issue with calling Minnesota a small market team. Their DMA, or media market, is in the top 15 in baseball, unlike the Padres which is 29th according to Niellsen.

With their new stadium and new media contracts, the Twins revenues will rank in or near the top 10 teams.

Second, this sets a precedent that will make small market teams even less competitive.


Because no team can remain competitive for the long term with one player making such a large percentage of the ML payroll.

At $23 million, Mauer would make more than 33% of the Twins 2009 payroll of $65.299 million. Even at the $90-100 million that is being thrown around as their payroll of the future, 23 million is much more than 20%. With Mauer making $23 million, the Twins payroll has to be in the $115-$120 million range to make this contract tenable.

Otherwise it is still making up more than 20% of the MLB payroll for just one player and no team has been able to pay one player that much and stay competitive for more than one year.

According to Peter Gammons of ESPN, no team has ever made the World Series with one player making more than 20% of payroll and no team has won the World Series with one player making more than 16% of payroll.

To me the signing of Mauer will severely limit the Twins ability to contend in years to come.

To me this is not good for baseball. The Twins, long pointed to as a small market team that competes year in and year out, will likely not be able to compete after 2011.

Other small market teams forced to follow in the Twins footsteps by fan pressure to keep their top players, will not be able to compete either.

Today is a happy day for Twins fans and for the Mauer family, but a sad day for baseball as a whole.

Playing Pepper - Padres Predictions & Commentary

Sunday March 21, 2010

This article is reposted from the BBA Playing Pepper Series with a few small changes made for clarification such as adding the team name.

1) How was the Padres off-season?  What kind of grade would you give it?

The Padres had a relatively quiet, but still successful offseason. Jed Hoyer, the Padres new GM, filled positions of need with less than a handful of moves.
  • Hoyer traded Kevin Kouzmanoff to the Oakland Athletics for former Padres fan favorite Scott Hairston and top A's prospect Aaron Cunningham. Both are RH hitting outfielders. Hairston plays good defense in both CF and LF and hits LHP extremely well, plus has shown Petco power. A Rare commodity indeed.

    This trade helped the Padre more on a defensive side than offensively. Moving headley out of LF and moving Blanks into LF full time improves the Padres defense by at least 9 runs. Venable playing RF full time improves the defense by another 8-9 runs or more. And a platoon of Gwynn and Hairston gives the PAdres plus defense across the outfield in 2010.
  • Hoyer signed uber utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. Hairston Jr joined his little (but bigger) brother Scott on the Padres and brings all 4 of his gloves with him. Hairston Jr. can play all 8 positions in the field and provides plus defense at 2B and all three outfield positions. Along with his brother and Oscar Salazar, Hairston Jr. gives manager Bud Black one of the most versatile benches I have seen on a Padres team.
  • Hoyer signed Jon Garland, a very durable pitcher who has averaged over 190 IP for the past 8 seasons, for a rotation that has been decimated by injuries in recent years. Last season the Padres used 15 starting pitchers including 7 rookies.
  • Hoyer signed Yorvit Torrealba to a $750k contract to back up incumbent starter Nick Hundley. Torrealba had earlier turned down a 2 yr/5.6 million contract to return to the Rockies. He really does not have much power, but he calls a very good game and plays plus defense. He will likely start 50-70 games for the PAdres in 2010. A solid pickup for pennies on the dollar.
Overall I would give Hoyer a B- for his offseason moves.
While he failed to sign a big name FA or make a blockbuster trade that would make a splash, he did fill all the major holes on the roster and improve the team overall. Sometimes less is more.

2) What is the key to success for 2010?


Yes I know most people would say it is having the young players step up, but I believe all those young players have to do or the team to be successful is to stay healthy and do exactly as well as they did in 2009. After all, the bunch that will take the field in April are mostly the same ones that won 37 of their last 62 games in 2009.

So I say health.

The Padres have been among the most injured teams in baseball the past 3 seasons. They set the major league record for player days on the DL in succeeding years and would have broken their own record again if it was not for the hapless Mets. At one point in 2009, the Padres had 5 starting pitchers and 4 starting position players and the key bat off the bench all on the DL. 40% of the 25 man roster was on the DL. It is not a coincedence that that was the worst stretch in the season for win-loss record.

In 2010 they must stay healthy.

That starts with the pitching staff.
Chris young, the Padres Ace by default, has been snake-bitten for the past 3 seasons. He needs to make 30 or more starts and return to his pre-2008 form.

Mat Latos, the Padres budding ace, has never pitched more than 123 innings in a professional season due to injuries. While he has overpowering stuff, he must stay healthy.

Overall the Padres set a ML record by having 15 pitchers start games in 2009 and 15 players made their major league debut for the team.

3) What will be the Padres team strength?

The Bullpen.

The Padres had a great pen in 2009 ending up 7th in ERA and OPS allowed and they all return. Bell, Adams and Gregerson made up perhaps the toughet 7-8-9 combination in baseball.

In the Peavy and Hairston trades in 2009 the Padres added several good power pitchers for the bullpen in Adams and Russell, and they have two former 1st round picks  that may make the bullpen out of camp in Stauffer and Poreda plus a former top prospect in Sean Gallagher that is out of options.

And some of the Padres best pitching prospects are also relievers. Evan Scribner, Wynn Pelzer, Craig Italiano, among others.

4) What could be the Padres Achilles' heel?

Health and youth.

If the pitching staff cannot stay healthy and young players such as Cabrera, Blanks, Venable and Latos are not able to repeat the level of play they had in 2009, then the Padres are in for a long and disappointing season.

5) Who will be the Padres team MVP?

IF, and its a HUGE if, he is a Padres all season, Adrian Gonzalez will be the teams MVP.

If he is traded, my pick would be Kyle Blanks.

6) Will a rookie make a significant impact on the Padres in 2010, and if so, who?

Most of the top young players exhausted their eligibility as rookies in 2009. Everth Cabrera, Kyle Blanks, Clayton Richard, Mat Latos, Will Venable and Luke Gregerson all had enough IP or at bats to not qualify as a rookie in 2010.

In 2010 I do not see many rookies making the team. Possibly Matt Antonelli at mid-season if he finally gets it together at AAA or Lance Zawadzki if there are injuries on the Padres squad in the middle infield or possibly a reliever such as Evan Scribner if Heath Bell is traded away, but there just are not that many rookies who will make the major leagues youngest roster in 2010.

7) Who will be the breakout player for the Padres?

Kyle Blanks. I believe with a full year of at bats and getting to play just one position all season will give Blanks the confidence to excel. I predict "Gigantor" will explode in 2010, hitting 30+ hr and driving in 80+ runs.

8) Which player will drop off the most from 2009?

This is a very young team that should improve in 2010, but if I had to pick one player it would be Tony Gwynn Jr.

Jr. had never hit above .260 in parts of 3 ML seasons prior to joining the Padres and was on a high joining the team he grew up watching his father play for and getting to play in front of his hometown. He hit for a .270 or so average in the minors, so we know what kind of player he has been throughout his professional career. He may have a slight slump in 2010.

I am not predicting that will happen, mostly because he will be platooning with Scott Hairston in CF. He will have an opportunity to hit mainly against RHP and he has excelled at hitting RHP to this point in his career. Its LHP that have given him fits, so if he becomes the starter, he could struggle alot in that area.

9) Who is the most likely Padres player to be dangled as trade bait?

Adrian Gonzalez is the obvious choice here. Most people feel that a trade of Gonzalez is inevitable because the Padres just cannot afford the $20+ million salary he would command once his current contract is up after the 2011 season.

I also think that Heath Bell, Chris Young, Jon Garland, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Yorvit Torrealba could also be up for grabs if the Padres are struggling going into the All Star break.

10) What will be the Padres final record and divisional standing?

I am very optimistic going into this season. My prediction for 2010 is 81 wins and 3rd in the NL West.

How to get your comments published - A primer

Sunday March 21, 2010

Every blog wants to get comments. It means people are reading what we have to say and we welcome any comments you would like to send us.

It doesn't really matter to me or the other writers on this blog what the contents of the comments are as long as we are getting readership. Our readership is increasing (yesterday it was 217 of you) and we are very grateful for each an every person that takes the time to read our blog.

As Dale Earnhardt once said, ‘I learned a long time ago, as long as they’re making noise …’.

We write for this blog because we love baseball and want to get our ideas out there. We want to entertain, to provoke thought and to build a community of people who love baseball as much as we do.

Now that does not mean we are going to post every comment.

1st off, we almost never post anonymous comments. The instructions to the writers here is to delete them. If you want to see your post on the blog, put your name to the post.

Other things that will get you deleted are if you post something like "You are an idiot" or "buy this product" or even posts that contain profanity, vulgarity or other things we would not want our kids seeing. We will not post those comments.

If you have so little to say about baseball or what we are discussing that you have to stoop to insults or vulgar language, please do not expect it to be posted.

If you just want an advertisement on the site, contact us at and we will be happy to discuss ad placement.

If you post a thoughtful comment that does or does not agree with our points, you will see it on the comments section of that post. We welcome comments that agree with us :) and comments that don't. You learn from ideas outside of your own,

So please, keep the comments coming. We will answer what we can and we will post most.

Go Padres!

Getting to know the BBA - Websoulsurfer

(This is a repost from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance website. It is a series of question and answer articles designed to introduce the readership at the main BBA website,, to the blogs that are part of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

I hope you enjoy learning a little more about Websoulsurfer)

Sunday March 21, 2010

Start by telling us a little about yourself .

I am 48 and by profession I am a Marketing Consultant. I am still working in the game of baseball on occasion which is why you won't see my name on my blog yet. On the blog I also have occasional ghost authors that use the blog as a public outlet.

I have been blessed to have been married for 7 years to an absolutely wonderful woman.

1) How and why did you get into blogging?

On one of the boards I posted on often, one of the members there said that I posted long winded, information and link filled diatribes that were better suited to a blog and invited me to (leave the board) and start my own blog. So I did.

Baseball has always been one of the loves of my life, much to the chagrin of my wife. I have spent a lifetime in and around the game off baseball as a player through high school, college and the low minors, then as a coach and manager, and more recently working in other areas of the business of the game. IT was a natural for me to blog about baseball.

2) Do you have any blogging projects planned for the off-season?

I have started research on a top 5 Padres Prospects by position which I hope to have ready before the Padres break camp. I am also working on a preview of the NL West for the 2010 season. In the future I would like to do a recurring feature on forgotten players. The Carmelo Martinez's and Tom Pagnozzi's of the world.

I am looking forward to the simulation software the BBA may have access to and plan on reporting on the results of a full season simulation and series by series simulations.

3) What's been your most enjoyable experience as as blogger (particularly well-received post, a high-profile link, a connection you wouldn't have had otherwise, etc.)?

I have had several times where I have beaten the national media to reporting signings and injuries, but by far the one I enjoyed the most was having my articles about Kevin Kouzmanoff's fielding linked to
in the Washington Post online. They tried to shoot down my ideas, but it was exciting to see my name in a major daily.

4) How did you find out about the BBA and what attracted you to the group?

To tell the truth I don't remember how I found out about the BBA. I had been looking for a group to join, but many wanted me to give up the copyright to my material to join, which I was unwilling to do.

I liked the fact that the BBA was founded with the idea of fostering collaboration between the blogs.

5) What do you want to see out of the BBA in the coming year?

I would like to see more cross promotion and participation. It has been amazing to see the growth and amount of sharing of a largely informal group in just a few months so far. I am excited about the
future of the BBA.

6) What sets your blog apart from the numerous other Padres blogs?

I would say the in depth nature of the articles.

Along with my occasional ghost writers, I endeavor to put up well thought out and complete articles of a type you would have seen in the newspapers of my youth.

7) What are you most looking forward to in regards to the 2010 season?

Opening Day!

Every opening day is full of hope and every team has the same record.

I LOVE Opening Day.

8) Does it get boring living in a reported paradise such as San Diego?

I travel so much that I am only in San Diego about 6 months of each year and I never get bored with living in paradise.

San Diego's weather may be boring, but only if you consider perfect to be boring.

There is SO much to do that its a wonder that anyone ever attends a sporting event.

Do you want to know how perfect this place is? I have gone snow skiing and surfing on the same day. I have experienced 80 degree temperatures on Christmas day while watching girls skating on the
boardwalk in their bikinis. And while the rest of the world is sweltering in the August heat, we are in the 70's at the beach and sunny.

As for me I came out here for a vacation in 1985 and never left. Why would I leave paradise?

But traffic is already bad enough here, so don't let me convince you to move here. Its really a boring existence here in paradise. I am sure you would rather stay where there are 4 seasons and extreme cold and heat and humidity. LOL

9) Will the Padres ever tinker with Petco to make it more hitter-friendly?

The current Padres ownership and management believes that they can build a team that is optimized to win in Petco Park.

Much like the St Louis Cardinals teams of the 1980's, I think that building a team with good pitching, speed and great defense is a recipe that will work in bringing a winning team to Petco.
The Padres brass seems to be of a like mind on the subject.

If that proves to be true over the next few seasons then the walls will likely not be brought in. If it doesn't work, well they have already had a surveyor come in and lay out where the walls would be.

10) What is it about the Padres that makes so many people want to write about them?

I am not sure why others blog about the Padres, but for me the draw is a love of the game and the fact that the Padres are my home town team and the team I have held season tickets for since 1986.

The Padres have drawn some great writers into blogging including the dean of Padres blogs -  Geoff Young at Ducksnorts, Daniel Gettinger, Ben Davey and the crew at Friar Forecast, Peter Friberg of the Padres Rundown, Ray and Melvin at the Sacrifice Bunt among others.

There are several others that I enjoy reading such as Avenging Jack Murphy, and Friarhood.

It has also brought out some blogs that get lots of hits but add little to the discussion of the game.

What I find interesting is that there are so many blogs about the San Diego Padres by people that don't even live in San Diego.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jeff Passan - Doper's Apologist

Saturday March 20, 2010

Ready. Start. Rant.

Jeff Passan - Doper’s apologist.

Everytime there is an announcement of another player caught doping, Another player caught using a PED. Passan defends them.

Everytime the powers that be want to do more to get rid of cheaters and criminals in the game of baseball, Passan defends cheating.

You have to wonder why.

His positions are untenable at best. He is called out time and again. And he is always on the wrong side of what is right and good. He always come out on the side of the evil doers, the cheaters, the criminals.

And most of the time his facts are wrong. Its one thing to defend an action if your facts are straight, but Passan doesn’t do his due diligence before spouting off.

He just consistently says “its ok to dope, to cheat, to be a criminal and here are my specious reasons why”.

His latest article is entitled Pure Nonsense, which is exactly what his article is. Pure nonsense.

He tries to say that WADA is some obscure organization with no standing, even though they are the organization that polices virtually ALL other professional and sports world wide.

He tries to say that the Blood tests remain in question, even though there is 12 YEARS of evidence of their validity and efficacy. There are 12 years of lab testing that show that it works.  And the tests did not become commercially available until 2008, so there was no out of season testing or unannounced visits that use the test because of its great unavailability and expense prior to 2010.

He tries to say it never caught anyone at the Olympics so its obviously ineffective, because in Passan’s world we KNOW all Olympic athletes use HGH.

The more rational argument is that it was SO effective in testing that Olympic athletes have moved on to other kinds of doping or have become cleaner as a group. That is not the side of the argument Passan chose to take. In Passan's world ALL athletes cheat. That is a given to him.

At the recent Winter Olympics only 30 of 2600 athletes were denied competition for testing positive for ANY banned substance or for missing a test. Almost ALL of those positives were for cold medicine.

Did Passan the Doping Apologist stop to think that maybe the athletes have stopped doping as much because the tests are so good today?

NOPE! He took an illogical leap of faith and tried to say that because there were no positive results, that the testing is faulty.

Far from it. International athletes are tested year round on a random basis and without advance notice. They want to continue competing and they know the tests are very accurate so they have simply stopped doing doping that can be tested for, and HGH can be tested for and has been for 6 years.

Passan tries to say that money is the organizations only motivation even though they are a non profit that was in the red in 2009 because of the cost of administering a world wide anti doping testing program.

Once again, Passan gets his facts wrong, while defending athletes that are cheating the game and breaking the law.

Yes HGH is against the law without a DR’s prescription, just like steroids.

Yes HGH use is against the rules of the game of baseball.

But Passan pushes forward with some ridiculous idea that just because they are athletes that they have some inalienable right to cheat.

I’m sorry. Any company can demand that its employees take any type of drug testing they see fit. Either submit to the testing or work elsewhere.

The same stands for baseball players. They are employees of a company and they should have to take any test that does not endanger their health or ability to play the game to see that they are not breaking those rules.

A little pin prick is not career threatening and they are taking a blood sample is ALREADY required of all MLB athletes, so why should testing that blood for HGH be such an issue?

The fact is, unless you are in favor of cheating and criminal actions by your employees, there should be NO argument against it. Passan tried once again to make just such a spurious argument and once again he failed.

He should really get his priorities straight. Obviously he is against people who do things the right way and in favor of those who are cheating or he would not so consistently argue that doing anything to try to weed out the cheats and criminals is bad.

Passan is a joke. I guess that is why he writes for Yahoo and not The Globe or even ESPN.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Why Eckstein didn't decline in 2009 or Park Factors 101

Tuesday March 9, 2010

Why David Eckstein did not regress on offense in 2009
or Understanding Park Factors 101

Batting Average
David Eckstein 2001-2008

David Eckstein 2009

Park Factors for hitting in Petco for 2009

That means that playing in Petco will drain 19.5% off the home batting average of a player or about 9.75% overall over a league average ballpark.

.284 x 9.75% = 0.02769
.284 - .02769 = .25631

In other words, Eckstein actually outperformed his career averages while playing for the Padres last season.

In the time he played there, Angel Stadium of Anaheim ranged from an extreme hitters park to an extreme pitchers park. Overall it comes out to be about league average over the 4 years Eckstein was there. (2001 - 1.077, 2002 - 0.828, 2003 - 0.978, 2004 - 1.019)

Through the 2005 season the old Busch Stadium was a hitters paradise adding about 15% to a batters home batting average or about 7.5% overall.  In 2006 and 2007 the new Busch stadium was a league average ballpark.

Slugging Percentage
Petco has an even more devastating effect on a hitters power numbers with a .721 Park Factor for HR, .711 for 2B and .778 for triples.

Eckstein's slugging percentage dropped .027 from his career average while by the park factor numbers it should have dropped to about .317.

In other words, when adjusted for park factors, Eckstein outperformed his career power numbers in 2009.

Clutch Hitting
Add to the above improvements over his career numbers the fact that Eckstein had an awesome .340/.387/.448/.835 line in 248 PA with runners on base and a .311/.377/.412/.789 line with RISP for the Padres in 2009 and you have a very valuable member of the team.

Offensively, in 2009 Eckstein was a player who outperformed his career numbers when you adjust for park factors and provided clutch hitting at a high level.

Eckstein came into the 2009 season having turned down opportunities to earn more money because the Padres offered him a chance to play his natural position at 2B after a ML career at SS, a more demanding position.

Defensively the only thing people can even try to point to in 2009 is Eckstein's range, because he only committed 2 errors  which was the best in baseball by a long shot (Kaz Matsui was next best in the NL with 6 errors) and Eckstein was 2nd best in the NL at turning the double play (that while playing most of the season with a rookie at SS).

By comparison, Orlando Hudson, the Gold Glove winner in the NL had a -3.3 UZR, 8 errors and was below average at turning the DP.

I guess there is a reason that the Padres brass like him so much.

Milton Bradley sticks his foot in his mouth again

Tuesday March 9, 2009

Woe is me. I am misunderstood. Its all everyone else fault. I never do anything wrong.

That is Milton Bradley's refrain. Consistently. Everywhere he goes.

His latest interview continued the pattern. Its obvious this guy cannot control his anger or his mouth. Maybe its time someone cut the PC stuff and said to Bradley,  

"Hey buddy. go look in a mirror. You will see the man who is responsible for all of your problems".

What was once a promising season for the Seattle Mariners is looking more and more like another train wreck that happens to whatever team Bradley plays for. They should jettison him while they still have the chance, before he can become the inevitable cancer he has been in each of his previous stops.

There is a reason that the Rangers, a team that he played like an MVP for in 2008, would not take him back for what basically amounted to $1 million for 2010.

Bradley should just go back to the hole he crawled out of.  He is an embarrassment to the game of baseball.

Editors Note:

Today Jim Hendry, GM of the Chicago Cubs, came out and said exactly what Web said someone should say. Namely that Bradley's problems are self induced.

Here is the link:;_ylt=AmkrH0_syEffbEuWIYdsFnIRvLYF?slug=ap-cubs-bradley&prov=ap&type=lgns

Moores come to a settlement in divorce

Tuesday March 9, 2009

John and Becky Moores reached a settlement of their divorce case today according to an article in the San Diego Union Tribune.

Once the case is finalized in Superior Court in May, this should be the beginning of the Padres organization seeing a freeing up of financial resources to increase payroll.

The Padres payroll has been frozen since February of 2008 to a level that would ensure the team would not experience losses during the divorce.

25 months later we are seeing a settlement that will allow the team to move forward.

While the dissolution of a union that lasted 44 years is a sad thing on a personal level, for the Padres, today is a good day.

Good luck to both John and Becky Moores as they move forward in their personal and professional lives.
You brought San Diego something we had never known, a baseball team that consistently had a chance to compete. For that I thank you.

Now please move on so we can move on as fans of the San Diego Padres.

Young looks good, Blanks shows off speed

Tuesday March 9, 2010
Photo of my favorite meal in Peoria courtesy of Jorge Arangure of ESPN.

In the field:
Kyle Blanks continues to impress in ST, with a booming double and a legged out triple today. He is not just fast for a big guy, he is just flat out fast. Blanks is hitting .455 this spring, 5 for 11 with 2 doubles and a triple in 4 appearances.

Will Venable also added a double and triple today in a Padres loss.

Matt Antonelli continues to produce in a reserve role, going 1-1 and scoring a run to improve his spring totals to 4 for 9 or a .444 batting average in 5 appearances. What we have seen this spring from Antonelli was what the Padres expected in the past two years and didn't get from him.

As is typical early in camp, the guys that have already won their spots in the starting roster like Adrian Gonzalez and David Eckstein are not seeing much time yet.

Logan Forsythe got some time at 3B today, but still not seeing game time at 2B, although he did take some grounders there in practice.

I was surprised that there were not more home runs today as the jet stream blowing straight out to center.

On the bump:
Padres starting pitcher Chris Young looked good again today in his 2nd appearance of camp, only giving up a single hit over three innings while striking out 2. His fastball once again sat around 87-88 mph with good movement and his slider showed nice bite.

Radhames Liz gave up 2 hits and a walk in 2 scoreless innings. Many were saying he might not make it through camp after getting bombed in his first outing.

Back home to San Diego tonight. It has been nice to be in Phoenix this week, but I can't wait to get home and see my wife. Will Cotijas still be open for a shrimp burrito?

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Daily Friar - Whats being said in Friar Nation

Friday March 5, 2010 (WAY too early in the morning)

The Daily Friar - Links and more about what is being said in Friar Nation

Friar Forecast has a great 3 part series up about Padres prospects in their interview of John and Dennis from

Friar Trail has a nice article up comparing Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Teixeira.

Corey Brock (on his blog - Who's Your Padre) and Jim Street of have articles up about the Padres game today.

Brock has a post about Forsythe up as well:

Peavy pops off some more. Guy goes to the south side and loses any shred of class he used to have.
Dan Hayes of North County Times talks about it here.
Bob Scanlan takes a run at it too on his blog:

Matt Antonelli has put up three posts from Peoria in the last 3 days. Yesterday he talked about his first call up to the major leagues. Its refreshing to read a player that is so open and accessible.

Ray over at The Sacrifice Bunt has a new post up that explores a projected Padres batting order.

Friar Hood has an article up about projected offensive performance by some Padres players:

Geoff at Ducksnorts has a couple of posts up today including a pitch for you to buy the THT Forecasts. If you play fantasy baseball, you can't afford NOT to spend the 14.95

Planet Padres is back with a couple of posts in the last two weeks. Sorry I missed you PFF. You've been gone a long while.

And last and probably least, I have a post up earlier today on the Padres-Mariners game today. Well only about the Padres, but both teams did play.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Some Quick Padres Notes

Thursday March 4, 2010

Just a couple of quick notes.

Chris Young pitched today and looked very good. Velocity in his first outing of spring was as high as Padres fans have seen in 2 seasons. He consistently hit 86-88 mph and topped out on my gun at 89. Noticed most others were saying he topped out at 88. Nice movement on the fastball and more bite on his slider than I have seen from him in years (2007?) Threw 33 pitches and gave up 3 hits and 1 run in 1 inning pitched.

Correia looked good in his two perfect innings. Sitting 93-94. Used all his pitches and seemed to have added a 2 seamer, although he may have just been taking a little off his fastball. Heard one guy ask if it was a cutter. It was at about 87-88. Guess someone should ask him.

Radhames Liz looked bad.  Kid has stuff, but no game. Nibbling early and then up across the plate late. It could have been much worse than it was, but he kept giving up hits late in the count instead of walking people. if that is any indication, he won't make the team or even be retained in the minors.

Matt Stairs looks 10 years younger with all that weight off, both in appearance and his swing. He looked like he is enjoying himself and has not changed his grip it and rip style. All the weight loss did not seem to affect his power either as he hit a frozen rope to right for a home run in the 5th. I was as impressed as I can be by a 42 year old player.

Forsythe got a single in his only at bat, but played 3B, not 2B which was manned by Hairston and Antonelli.

Might have more tonight when I get back to the hotel. Sorry about no links. May fix that later tonight as well.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Zawadzki carted off field today

Tuesday March 2, 2010

Dan Hayes of the North County Times reported that the San Diego Padres top middle infield prospect Lance Zawadzki sprained his ankle today and had to leave the field on a cart.

Lets hope its not serious. Depending on how he responds in his first shot at AAA, Zawadzki may be first in line for a call up if David Eckstein or Jerry Hairston Jr. gets hurt this season.

The Padres signed Jesse Josh Barfield to a minor league deal to provide some depth at 2B and former top prospect Matt Antonelli is still in the Padres system (presumably at AAA Portland), but of late I have been hearing Zawadzki's name mentioned more when the conversation turns to the Padres future at 2B.

In related news, Dan Hayes tweeted that Logan Forsythe will see time at 2B in spring training.

Guillen says no Beckham, I say no Gonzalez

Tuesday March 2, 2010

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said in an interview with Mark Gonzalez published today in the Chicago Tribune that Gordon Beckham will not be part of any trades, be it for Adrian Gonzalez or anyone else.

"We plan to have Gordon for a long time," Guillen said. "I don't see why people talk about it." "Every trade the White Sox want to make, people think they're going to make with the White Sox," Guillen continued, "Gordon, Floyd and Danks, those names are going to come up. And we have to deal with that every time they talk about the White Sox trying to make a deal. We got to stay on our toes. There's nothing out there."
To that I say;

Kenny Williams, if you want to trade for Adrian Gonzalez you better get a 3rd team involved because without Beckham, you do not have what it takes to land Gonzalez. Not even close.

The Chicago White Sox system is bare of top level talent. After trades last season that stripped the top talent from the system including their 6 of their top 10 rated prospects, the cupboard is bare.

Only RHP Dan Hudson comes close to having a high upside and he is not considered ace material.

What is left other than Tyler Flowers is not only not even B level prospects, but really does not fit any needs in the Padres system.

The only packages for Adrian Gonzalez from the White Sox that make sense for the Padres would have to be topped by Gordon Beckham. And Guillen says that is not going to happen.

If I were a betting man I would say that Adrian Gonzalez is not going to be joining Jake Peavy in Chicago. At least not with the White Sox.

What do you think?