Friday, April 1, 2016

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Five Players I am Glad aren't Padres

I love baseball and I love most baseball players. Yes, most. Some are just total d-bags. There are some guys in the league, I do not care how talented they are and if they could turn the Padres into an instant contender, that I would not want donning the Padres navy blue and white/sand/whatever.

No, they have not done anything personal to me whatsoever, well besides making me view them on a diamond as an opposing player. In fact, they have done a lot for me. They have allowed me to bellow out in dislike if I ever get to witness them on the field in person. This is truly a priceless treasure and these five guys completely stand high on a pedestal as my most hated players in Major League Baseball.

5. Mark Texiera

I can't really explain my hatred for Mark Texiera, much like I am guessing most of you can't. Mark Texiera just looks like a d-bag. Straight up. Today, when I typed in "Mark Texiera D", Google autofilled "ouchebag". True story!

It might be the fact he plays for the Yankees that sets me off, but so do 23 other players that aren't on my list. There is something about Texiera that needs no explanation.
Low Quality. Deal with it.

4. Fernando Rodney

Two reasons for my hatred of this guy:

-Secondly, the stupid arrow thing. I don't know why it bothers me so much. I mean, I enjoy watching Papa Grande celebrate (almost as much as I love watching him blow saves), so I do not understand why it gets me so flustered. But it does, so I don't like him.

3. Brett Gardner

I admit this one is totally irrational. Brett Gardner actually seems like a pretty good guy and doesn't do anything that I have seen to warrant hatred. He visits kids in the hospital, he donates money and he hustles. So why? I don't know, but this is my list and he just bothers me. Maybe his stupid bald head or I wonder how he got an attractive wife (I guess he has 52 million reasons) or also the fact he plays for the Yankees that makes him relevant. If he was a Twin, I would probably enjoy him, but he isn't so booooooooo.

2. Bryce Harper

It is a clown question to even ask why I don't like this guy. Super phenom, awesome, super cool, fast young, sick haircut, bro, Bryce Harper. If it wasn't for guy #1 on my list, he would easily take the cake. I know he is still only 21 years old, but he acts like the biggest baby on the field almost always. When he got benched for his lack of hustle the other day, it made me smile because that means the golden boy did something wrong.

Or when this happened....

His frat boy persona makes me wonder if he missed going to Arizona State and joining the Sigma Whatevers for four years instead of going to The Show.

And his presence in the new Gatorade commercial bothers me.

And how he feels the need to complain when calls don't go his way

1. Hunter Pence

How can someone who lacks any coordination, look so goofy as if he is itching to get picked last in a middle school dodgeball game play in the MLB.

And he plays for the Giants (although, I did not like him prior to this).

And then this was made.

He has more World Series rings than the Padres, and that makes me sad. I want a World Series ring and the guy I hate most in baseball has one. Booooo Hunter Pence, boooooooooooooo.

April crash brings May bash?

One might ask themselves when the offense is going to start clicking. Tonight, the Padres were once again goose-egged by what they thought would be a great opportunity with Matt Cain skipping his start due to a knife accident.

But they didn't capitalize. Instead, they had three hits, including one from Donn Roach. Yes, the middle reliever, newly added to the bullpen this year, Donn Roach. Two hits from the starters? That is bad news.

So, what is the answer? I am not sure. I do like that Bud Black is starting to mix it up some. Alonso riding the pine to get Grandal in the game. That is good. Realizing #Norf is the Padres current best hitter so batting him third. That is good. Having Maybin back in the lineup and having Jace Peterson start at third. Both are good. It shows their is realization that the Padres are currently batting .219 and ranked 29th of 30 in that category.

The Padres cannot expect to get 5 RBIs out of Rene Rivera ever night, but it was nice to see someone produce for the Padres. Why can't this happen more often? The Padres get enough people into scoring position (excluding tonight). Why can't they get the big hit? WHY? WHY? WHY?

So many whys, so little answers. I feel like the Padres season is like seasons 4-6 of LOST in which there are more questions than answers and fans are left dumbfounded. It sure would be interesting if somehow polar bears turned up in the Padres locker room. That would make for some great ratings.

One may game up north and then the Padres come home to face the current 8-22, worst in the NL, D'backs. Can this be the start to rally some offense? I mean, the Diamondbacks currently have the worst ERA in baseball at 5.26, so surely this will allow the Padres to cross some Padres across the plate? A team that has reached 5 runs only thrice this season needs all the help they can get.

Since the Padres aren't allowed to use aluminum bats, which I am not sure how much help that would even be, they are going to have to make due. The pitching is there and keeping the Friars in games, but the offense needs to break out of this month long slump. Maybe it is an April thing and I'll take that excuse. If so, lets hit the ground running in May and start the hitting parade.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Twitter Says...Laugh Out Loud.

In my opinion, the #1 way to enjoy a game besides sitting at Petco Park is slumped up on the couch, computer open, and following my Twitter timeline. Hilarious doesn't even begin to describe how much Twitter makes the Padres games not only more bearable, but actually enjoyable. A 2-1 loss can still be a great game in my book from the comedy that comes out 140 characters at a time.

I'll admit, I am not always the best with my fingers and my jokes do not always hit the mark. To be honest, they mostly fall short of the mark, but I am trying so that is what counts, right?

So this morning, as I prep for my day at work, I wanted to see what the Twitter airwaves were saying about our Padres team by doing some simple searches. This is what I came up with:

Search: Padres hitting

Mr. Charity does have a point. Batting .333/.353/.485, #Norf is currently the Padres best all around hitter. I am no baseball strategist by any means, but do you not want your best hitters hitting higher in the order to get more at bats? Deno should be in the 2 hole every night. Gets on base, can hit with 2 strikes and has some pop now and agin.

It is suspicious why the Padres bats are starting off so cold. I would not say the Padres are a top notch lineup by any means, but they have been scrappy enough in years past and have a few batters capable of hitting close to .300. Currently, the Padres are hitting .223 which lands them at 27th overall. This got me thinking, how have then done in previous years? 2013: .245 (23rd), 2012: .247 (22nd), 2011: .237 (29th), and even in the mighty 2010: .246 (28th). Last in 2009. 28th in 2008. 28th in 2007. Every year, same concept. Padres can't hit. Padres have not cracked the top 20 for nearly 10 years!

Is this all Coach Plantier's fault? I don't know. The personnel hasn't exactly been there, but 23rd of worse since 2004. Yes, the last time the Padres were a top 20 hitting club, the Expos were still around.

Search: Padres Cashner

Last night, in the hilarity that was a Padres baseball game, Bud Black trotted star pitcher and savior, Andrew Cashner, out to left field. For one out. This led to a lot of people scratching their heads to why Bud Black wasted their best hitting pitcher in an extra inning game while Tommy Medica sat the bench. He subbed in after one out, later struck out, and in the extreme irony, Medica tripped in left field in the bottom of the 12th that allowed Bryce Harped to double.

Which of course led to all of these:

And my personal favorite:

OH! And for those who didn't see yesterday, Bud Black wrote his lineup on a piece of toilet paper. I mean, I know people think this team is crap, but that may be one step too far!

I guess all of this doesn't really have a point again beside I enjoy Twitter and I am allowed to say so in my blog. I encourage everyone to join the fun. It may be worth it just for the Amarista jokes. Go Padres!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

For .500!


Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

If the Padres win today, they will reach the magical .500 mark where people start talking about them as a winning team. Last year, it took the Padres until June 15 to reach the .500 mark at 34-34, so if you don't count 1-1, I would say 8-8 isn't that bad.

Again comparatively to last year, the Padres were 5-10 last year after 15, and 5-11 after 16, so already at least a two game improvement. Not much, but it definitely is a start considering the setbacks.

This season already showed its signs of the injury bug. Luebke gone. Josh Johnson gone. Maybin hurt. Quentin hurt. Headley bad?/hurt? To see a team with many problems looking to take their second straight series with potential to go 8-8 is a really good sign.

I most certainly cannot give credit to the hitters so far. I see they are coming around and starting to hit their stride, but hit 24th at .234 and 29th in OBP at .285, this is not the "hot start" Padres fans could have hoped for. Players need to get on base, and when they do, Padres have to hit them in. Again, the Padres are sitting at 29th with a .189 average with RISP. That is bad, really bad. When the only team that is below you is the Astros, Houston, we have a problem.

 I have to give much of the credit to the pitching. Unlike the hitting, the pitching is showing their stuff (namely a guy named Andrew Cashner).

Currently, the Padres rank 5th in ERA at 2.89, 12th in WHIP at 1.24 and 8th in opponent batting average, .234. The same .234 our hitters are hitting. No wonder these games are all so close.

Not all credit to just the starters, but the RP's are doing work. Huston Street is a perfect 5/5 in save opps, Benoit is finding his place nicely and earning his money, #ThayerTheSlayer, and the Pride of Romona, Nick Vincent have all contributed to the 3rd best bullpen ERA through 15. That being said, when they come in, they shut the game down.

Huston Street: Proven Closer.    photo: @619Sports

Complete opposite of last years bullpen, I have faith in this one (minus Tim Stauffer). They come in, they get outs, we get wins. It is how it should be and how it has been done.

So, what do I get from all of this? This team has promise. I really believe it.

So, what should you do from all of this?

WATCH THE GAMES AND SHOW SUPPORT. I know it is hard to swallow down some of the #Dickisms that are said. Yes, he calls bandana's pet devices. Yes, he does all of these, too.... get the picture. Basically, follow the games on twitter, they will make your life easier

And if watching isn't good enough. Come down to the game. Tonight will be my 10th MLB game this year and 6th Padres game. I don't expect super fans, but 14,XXX like we had Monday night after a series win isn't acceptable, even if it is the Rockies.

This season is young, but it has potential and as we reach Easter weekend with the theme of new birth, let the Padres start to show signs of life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Now, where did we leave off?

Last time I wrote something, it was with my finger hovering over the panic button and questioning what it was going to take to get the team together. This was after a mere 6 games.

People were talking. Fans were grumbling. It was all Bud Black's fault, right?

Flash forward one week, and what do you got?

A 6-7 team.
A team that took a series from many World Series favorites, the Detroit Tigers,
A team that has won 2 in a row and 4 of their last 5.
A team that suddenly is stringing hits together.
A team that is having their pitching (well, maybe not quite Stults yet...) hit their stride and potential.

A team that is finding identity.

One week ago, I was nervous for this team and beginning to lose much of my optimism that has been building since the end of last season, but there have been several bright spots lately.

-Cashner threw a 1-hittter, which featured a bloop single over Gyorko.
-Ross went toe to toe with Cy Young, Max Scherzer and gave him the backhand by outdueling him, while adding an RBI single to boot.
Turned down 6yr/$144M. Haha.
-An extension of Jedd Gyorko, which will keep him in Padre blue (brown??) until 2020 in a 6 yr/$35 million deal.
-Will Venable has strung a few solid games together with the bat and hopefully returning to his Team MVP status of last year.
-Seth Smith turning out to be quite the asset by getting on base and flashing the leather.
-Everth Cabrera not losing anything from his All-Star, steroid-interrupted 2013.

There are a lot of positives and the Padres are slowly starting to climb. Luckily for them, they are facing a weak-armed Rockies team in which I believe they have a good chance to take 3 of 4 games. Erlin, Cashner, and Kennedy. I have faith.

Overall, this team has become exciting to watch again. It was painful for the first few games, sans Opening [Day] Night, with a lack of offense that looked like they couldn't hit a piƱata at a ten-year olds birthday.

Last night was fun. A come from behind victory after being down 4-0 at home and scoring 2 runs in the 8th without even getting a hit.

They are now 6-7, and the talk isn't as painful as it was a week ago.

Will the hot streak continue? Let's hope, but I think so.  But whatever happens, just remember...

"That's baseball"

Monday, April 7, 2014

I know it is not the answer to all of our problems, but....

12 runs is 6 games is not much better.

 And when your RBI leaders are Seth Smith and Alexi Amarista, the lineup may be in a teeny, tiny slump. I appreciate the home run yesterday, but hopefully they aren't relying on late inning heroics from pinch hitters to get the Padres back in the game. Still, 6 games, 2 wins, and 3 very quality starts from pitchers. I could very well be worse and we could have lost the home opener as well. 

I know these guys can hit and maybe Alexi's home run was just what the Padres needed to wake them up. Baseball works in mysterious ways and my early season optimism is still here. We are going to need Quentin back, though. After Thursday's off day, the Padres play 20 games in a row. Using the law of Buddy Black averages, that means at least 7 starts for Amarista over that span. 

If the team slump continues, do they look to their AAA team and maybe call upon Ryan Jackson or Kyle Blanks or do they ride the way until Cameron Maybin gets back? I can never know in which direction this team is going though because all of the sudden they can win 6 of 7 and make it look like they are real contenders.

I know this post does not really have a point, but all I am asking is for the Padres to give us something to go off of. Even if we lose, score some runs, get some hits, make it exciting and give up hope. All we need is a little hope and we can run with that, but right now, I almost feel as my slow pitch softball lineup can compete as well as the Padres are.