Monday, June 16, 2008

Hail Headley

By Josh Elwell

As the Padres go into “The House that Ruth Built” for one last series, it’s time to get caught up on what happened over the weekend. Underneath the fracas of the Indians, a Kouz grand slam, and a faulty bullpen -- the Headley era unofficially began. What this era will be defined as will begin to take light on Tuesday, when top prospect Chase Headley will most likely be in the starting lineup against the Yankees. No pressure, right? It’s only baseball’s biggest stage.

Before I get ahead of myself, I want to recap the last series of the official pre-Headley era.

Friday the 13th – Game 1

Headley’s still a Portland Beaver. Kevin Kouzmanoff’s no longer a Cleveland Indian.

Kouz made that very clear when he punished his former team to the tune of 3 hits and 3 runs produced. Adrian Gonzalez added on 4 RBI’s to keep his NL lead.

The great thing about the Padres is that when our pitching is lights out, our offense disappears. And when our offense begins to crush balls, we send out 4 different pitchers out who each give up at least 2 runs a piece, which happened on Friday. Wait? Did I say that’s the great thing about the Padres? Because what I meant to say is that it makes me want to cry.

June 14th – Game 2

The brown and orange. So refreshing. So magical. Seeing the Padres wear their vintage brown and orange jerseys sealed our win from the beginning. I knew it from the start. That jersey has the powers of Zeus and, by God, Bud Black unlocked those powers on Saturday afternoon. Too bad Poseidon screwed around with yesterday’s rain delay. Today, though, today would be different.

Before the game even started, it was leaked that Headley was in Cleveland. He left the yesteryears of AAA, and, therefore, the hopeful answer to continue the recent turnaround was here.

Speculation was that he’d be in uniform by Sunday. Today, he’d be experiencing the big league atmosphere for the second time in as many years. Let’s hope this time lasts longer than ‘07’s 3-day experiment.

Unless Scott Hairston’s elbow puts him on the DL, Headley’s entrance means the final days for Paul McAnulty or Justin Huber are drawing near. One of those three won’t be seeing the field for Yankee Stadium’s final season. My meaningless guess: Huber. Even after his homerun this weekend.

Okay, back to the game. After Kouzmanoff’s grand slam, Cha Seung Baek sailing through innings 2-7, and Huber & Jody Gerut smacking solo shots out of Jacobs Field, the Padres took the middle game of the series.

Not that any of that mattered, because it had everything to do with the magical ’78 jerseys on their backs. Thanks, Zeus, you’re the best.

Game 3 – June 15th

Any surprise we lost? Better not be, because that’s what we get after going back to the bleige jerseys that I’ve already ranted enough about.

Still no Headley either. Black said he’d be with the team by Tuesday. Today, he’ll be getting some at-bats in the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, New York. When Tuesday comes, he’ll most likely get his first swings of the season from DH; it will be a nice place for him to warm up. He can take to the outfield after getting batting practice during these interleague games.

Fine, I’ll stop avoiding it, Carsten Charles Sabathia owned the Padres today. That’s the only recap needed.

So, the pre-Headley era ends with a couple of losses and a single win due only to the retro jerseys. If Headley can live up to the hype and produce numbers close to what he’s done in Portland this season -- not even our shitty jerseys can hold the team back, and our outfield will have some stability.

No pressure, though. It’s just Yankee Stadium -- “The House that Babe ‘Greatest Player Ever’ Ruth Built.” Can you handle that, Chase? I hope so, because a whole city is counting on you, after this last losing weekend.

1 comment:

Red said...

I hope they drop McAnulty for Headley, but I think you are right about Huber. Goodbye dreamy Australian one...