Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This Infield For This Year

By Nick McCAnn

I think I am starting to fall in love with the Padres infield, but only because I know it won’t, and can’t, last. Adrian Gonzalez, Khalil Greene, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Tadahito Iguchi are all at similar parts of their career, but they are all at different sub-stages within that career: Adrian is the most consistent, Kouz doesn’t know he is good yet, Khalil doesn’t know what being good means, and Tadahito doesn’t know where he fits in the long term plans of the club.

Tadahito is a decent hitter, and a decent fielder, but he doesn’t possess a talent at his age that teams lock up for years. He is 33, and young for the MLB game, but the rest of the Padres infield are “real Padres”. Even though San Diego usually doesn’t put much time into perceiving players in that way, the feeling is there and it has a lot to do with Padre Nation’s unhealthy affection Mark Loretta.

In this off-season, it was widely agreed with in the San Diego Media that Mark Loretta should be a Padre again. After the Marcus Giles debacle, we were told that Mark Loretta would be the perfect veteran solidifier to a young and talented infield that was right on the cusp of maturation. This was because Mark Loretta arguably had his best years as a pro with the Padres, and he gave really nice San Diego professional athlete interviews. This didn’t happen, but it will eventually. Mark Loretta is lurking in the shadows and Tadahito plays like he knows it. And even if he could express that concern to his fans, he will never get the chance, because he doesn’t speak good English, and that sadly is a problem for most local media in this town. (That’s another blog all together).

The situation has me thinking a lot about The Red Hot Chili Peppers and their lineup for their overly trashed album, One Hot Minute. John Frusciante had left the band after Blood Sugar Sex Magik to go to Europe and shoot heroin into his eye balls. The band then replaced him with ex-Janis Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro to record the important follow up to the group’s most successful album. The recording took forever, the songs were not as good, or as popular, as the ones on Sex Magik, and the band never made another album with the same group. The split was very clean and both parties just chalked it up to the situation never feeling like it had the right chemistry. However, looking back at the Chili Peppers’ career, you could easily make the argument that the two singles from One Hot Minute (Aeroplane and My Friends), are better than anything the band has done since. Dave Navarro didn’t feel right, but neither has John Frusciante since his sobered up, yoga-inspired return.

In the next few years, when Iguchi has made his way to another team, and the Padres sign Loretta to a modest “let’s end a swell guy’s career in San Diego” contract, we will be a better team than we are now, even though it feels right to have Mark Loretta back?

If you hear The Red Hot Chili Peppers now in interviews they can never stop talking about how great it is to be in a band together. They often brag about how the lineup is perfect and they love working in the studio at a disciplined and steady pace. This was made evident by their last album, Stadium Arcadium’s length. But it sucks in the same way that Mark Loretta sucks in interviews on Mighty 1090am.

Tadahito feels wrong, but he won’t when he leaves.


reeveoliver said...

And "Warped" was a better album opener than "All Around The World" or whatever nonsense they are up to now. I think One Hot Minute is the only listenable RHCP album. Who is Mark Loretta?

Red said...

I'm loving the infield. I hope they don't bring back Loretta.

tkf said...

get back loretta. HA HA HA! I should never write about music.