Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2008 Padres Exit Post

By Nick McCann

About a year ago, the Padres played the Rockies in the 163rd game of the season and lost their chance to go to the World Series. I know they probably wouldn’t have made it that far, but a year ago tonight they could have at least started the all important journey to change San Diego sports forever.

Right now the White Sox and The Twins are playing for the same chance that the Padres had last year. There are many reasons why I am not watching. Mostly because (A) Rachel Maddow is a fucking fox and (B) because I don’t care about watching the reasons for whatever stupid thing Ozzie Guillen will say tomorrow. I will be as happy for both teams as I can possibly be. Right now, I want the Brewers or the Cubs to win it all, but I don’t really care about the post season. It isn’t my place to care. Part of me wants the Cubs to never win before I die, but I also think it would be fun to watch cars get lit on fire and turned over in one of America’s largest cities, so I could go either way.

Anyways, the Padres’ nightmare is over. This is The Kept Faith’s 100th post and I would like to thank people for reading. It wasn’t a fun season to follow, but I can honestly say that we were pretty much right about everything that was said on this site. At the beginning of the season we believed in the team and we were wrong to do so. Now it over and I feel at peace.

Should Moores sell the team? Sure, he is basically the owner that he replaced.

Should Sandy Aldrerson suddenly combust into flames? Sure, I could throw a copy of Moneyball on top of his burning corpse and not feel like a Nazi.

Should the Padres trade Jake Peavy? Sure, I feel bad for his talent.

Should you go support this team in the future? Sure, keep keeping the faith; it is still NICE to watch your team, right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Post Game Comment

By Nick McCann

"We fell behind early and couldn't recover," Padres manager Bud Black said after last night’s game against the Dodgers. After the season, can he just hold his final press conference of the on the Coronado Bridge, repeat the same sentence, and then jump? I don’t see the point of Bud Black. He didn't improve anything and he didn't replace anybody who really made a huge mark in the grand scheme of things.

Bruce Bochy was loved because he was a rock. And when your team loses most of the time, you think rocks are cool. If Bruce Bochy was Micheal Keaton in Multiplicity, Bud Black would be the quiet boring copy (was there one in that movie? I haven’t thought about Multiplicity in a very long time. That is probably a good thing).

However, I love that Sandy Alderson is dicking around with Bud Black's contract. We all know Bud is not the problem, but it feels like the only thing the front office can do at this point to make the Padres interesting is to make this contract non issue, an issue. I don't want Bud Black to jump off a bridge because I hate him; I want him to jump because he is just another rock, and watching a rock splash into water from a great height would be more entertaining than watching another team like the 2008 Padres.

Bring him back or don’t. I just want a major league team.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Night Football

By Nick McCann

Tonight’s game is going to suck. Not because of what ever the outcome is, but because the broadcast on ESPN will make you want to throw your shoe at your TV if you are a Charger fan. Brett Farve is unbelievably over rated. Is it is fault? Not really. Is it still annoying that he is in the NFL still after retiring and then coming back only to dominate the media that owns like putty in his hand? God yes!

The power that comes with being the quarterback of the team on top of the NFL is usually over the top and ridiculous and the myth that has grown around Farve since he won a ring is just that. Brett Farve would not be the symbol for all things right about America if the Packers hadn’t signed Reggie White in mid 90s. There, it needed to be said. And lets not forget about Dorsey fucking Levens. I mean, let's not forget. ANYWAYS, White was arguably the greatest defensive player of all time and he basically won them a Superbowl because he was unstoppable.

However, despite the truth about Brett, tonight’s game will lend itself to being great for drinking. Every time Tony Kornheiser reminds you that Brett Farve always wears blue jeans, drink! Every time Ron Jaworski says, “this is what I love about the old gunslinger…” drink! Every time Mike Tirico says, “Deana Favre is great strong lady,” and then hints that he wishes his wife was as obedient, drink!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shit Don't Work?

By Nick McCann

I generally don’t like to make excuses for the teams I love. I like to think if nothing else, I am a realistic sports fan. After all, I don’t root for a baseball team in the AL East or a college football team in Ohio. But the Chargers game in Denver struck me as a classic case of officials being terrified to piss off a crowd.

If a sport is set on making the best effort possible to make sure calls are made correctly-like the NFL does, and has been a leader in, for decades- wouldn’t it be able to take a time out to fix whatever device needs to be fixed? I would understand that if you are the home team, and you want to review a call, and the equipment breaks down, it would be fair to be penalized by not getting to use that option. But when a visiting team comes into your house, and the shit just doesn’t work, there is something fundamentally wrong.

They got the ball in the red zone and scored almost immediately. The human errors at the end of the game were horrendous and even though the officials were nice enough to apologize right after the fact, the technical stuff was inexcusable; especially when it ended up ultimately changing the momentum of the game.

There are a dozen reasons why San Diego should have lost that game regardless of the unfavorable calls. If your loud mouth All Pro corner predicts he will make 15 interceptions before the season, and then gets lit up for all most 200 yards and 18 catches by the guy he is supposed to shut down, you should probably lose on principle for the same reasons you should lose if your All Pro steroid freak defensive end does a stupid dance after a 2 yard tackle for a loss.

After 1/8 of the season, the Chargers don’t even have a winning percentage and they are actually making the Padres look good. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I don’t want to blame it on some ref or bad luck; I just want shit to work.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Dodger Game

By Nick McCann

On Wednesday, while looking up at the Tony Gwynn statue's butt, I decided that I hate Petco Park. I hate what it is, and more importantly, I hate what it means. The Padres have created a place that sells mediocrity at best. Petco is just always kind of a good time. It is a nice place to be. It doesn’t suck because it feels comfortable when the Padres lose. This is dangerous and wrong. The only thing true about Petco is that the statue of “the guy who built it” is accurate in the way it depicts his weight problem.

The Dodgers beat the Padres off of two homeruns by Manny Ramirez, a free agent that we never once thought we could get. There were three times as many Dodgers fans at the game than Padres fans. I wore a Boston hat because I wanted to feel invisible. One drunk Dodgers’ fan with a Manny wig on came up to me and said, “We’ll see you in the series!” My reply was lifeless and true. I said, “Sure, why not.”

Then I bought a ten dollar Sam Adams because I wanted to feel something else. There was no fire to put my hand in, so it went down smooth.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Get to know Jyles Tucker

by Joe Chandler

Here he is chest bumping. It's no "lights out," but he clearly knows how to celebrate:

Maybe he'll accidentally crush Norv Turner. Fingers crossed!

Oh and One

By Nick McCann

Essentially, reality does in fact bite. Usually when we describe reality, or something that reality has been revealed to, it means the negative has popped its head out to be realized. With reality comes pain. With reality, delusion and unabashed reckless hope for the future is forced to disappear. When something is real, it doesn’t lie-even when sadly we wish it could.

The build up to the Charger 2008 campaign got out of hand. The NFL media machine (that gives someone as useless as Keyshawn Johnson a job) started shortly after the 2007 season anointing the Chargers as being in the same class as the Colts and Patriots. The general opinion of the bolts was that they had Superbowl talent, but they needed to put it all together and get passed New England. However, apparently, nobody allowed the Carolina Panthers to watch cable television or read anything regarding football this summer, because they beat the 619ers (or the 858 Boys) like they were a team still trying to develop Ryan Leaf.

It is sad to think that the best thing that happened to San Diego on Sunday was that a player across the country tore his ACL. Hating Tom Brady is easy. His reality is that he is a person who-until Sunday-doesn’t have very many problems. His season is over, but Giselle Bunchen will be there to kiss it and she will make it better. Tom will be depressed at first, but then one day she will come home from her fall Victoria Secret shoot “tired” to see her man struggling with his own existence. She will ask, “How is my baby? And Tom will say, “I’m okay. I just miss the guys.” Then she will make him cookies good enough to end all war while wearing only an apron that is worth more than my car. Tom’s reality is that he has been reminded that he is not invincible. However, this season when he is rehabbing his knee, his reality will be better than my life will ever be. Tom wins, but he can not stop my team this year. That is why watching his injury initially didn’t seem real. Jake Delhomme and the Panthers’ performance showed us that it was, but that other forces could get in the way.

O-1 is not an ideal start to a “magical season”, but it doesn’t mean the Chargers won’t win the Superbowl. If they do win a title this year people like Keyshawn Johnson will probably look back at week one and label the loss as a good loss for the team. He will probably make this point by saying, “I’m just keeping IT real.” This debate happens every year about losing: does an embarrassing loss help an overly confident team come back to a healthy level of realistic self awareness? Well, maybe, but maybe not. The Panthers beat the Chargers in a very real way on Sunday and they did it in a fashion that suggested they were not intimidated at all. Tom Brady can’t make things worse, but in reality, who really cares?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Waiting For Next Season

By Nick McCann

For some reason I always find myself mid-week flipping my AM radio dial to Mighty 1090 at the exact moment when Sandy Alderson comes on for his scheduled weekly interview (I had the same thing happen in the 90s when I would always seem to flip on the same Saved By The Bell re-run where the whole gang does the sprain to win a dance competition at The Max). The conversation is always the same between the hosts (which varies because Sandy’s schedule of doing nothing to help the team changes week to week), but what I am always struck by is the pace and tone in which Alderson speaks. It almost feels like his slow monotone why am I stuck doing this fluff bullshit PR voice is an exact representation of how he operates the team.

The Padres will never be in a position to make quick fixes, and yes, they are doing the right thing with bringing up the kids under the current model for success they have chosen, but it feels like every response coming from the Anderson front office is that the fanbase is too impatient, and that we should just wait it out.

I’m not totally opposed to the Moneyball philosophy to running a small market team, but that is not what we are. It is always good for young players to develop the skill of getting on base by being selective at the plate, but it seems like after Moneyball became a well-known part of baseball, some mid market (San Diego) and big market (Dodgers under the new ownership) teams adopted it as a way to cut corners.

Moneyball Guru, Billy Beane might be a genius, but he also might have gotten lucky drafting Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson all around the same time. He has never won a World Series and he probably never will in Oakland because the Angels are going to be for real for a really longtime.

Sandy Alderson was hired to create the same semi-successful situation in San Diego. And if he weren’t operating in the worst division in baseball during his time here, he would be a complete failure. Sure, there are division titles that have been won in the recent years, but we all know somebody had to win those races and somebody had to get stomped by the Cardinals.

Right now, I’m sure there are fringe minor leaguers in America today standing around the water color, shooting HGH, and discussing how great it would be to be in the Padres system. They probably look at our roster and think Man, if was playing in Portland this summer; my miserable existence could be validated if only for a month. Half of the kids that are up should not be major league players ever. But the Padres are showing patience with them and letting them be who they are. I guess somebody has to, but I don’t think I can wait.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Jersey Exposed

By Nick McCann

The Chargers’ season is almost here and I can already tell that the community is getting ready. Last Saturday morning I went to Old Town for brunch, and as I was leaving, decided to buy an Antonio Gates home powder blue jersey. It felt like buying my new skin. Antonio Gates is a class guy, and I got a good deal.

The next morning after waking up in my jersey that I had worn all day at the Del Mar racetrack, I got up, and took out my trash to the alley behind my house wearing nothing but my jersey and my boxer shorts. I walked out half asleep, opened my trash can, deposited my waste, and turned to my left to be greeted by a stunned Mexican woman, whom I will call Marcel. She said nothing at first and only pointed down to my boxers. I looked down, and then said, “Oh shit, sorry”. Then she replied, “Go Chargers!” A lot happened to me in that alley: I accidentally exposed my dick to a woman somewhere between the age of my mother and my grandmother who was digging through garbage and I was reminded of the connection a football team can give to total strangers living in the same city.

Marcel seemed surprised, but not offended. I wondered (A) if she was planning on going to church later (B) what the probability would be of me seeing her again and (C) whether or not she knew Antonio Gates was a basketball player in college.

Can collectors in my neighborhood, University Heights (the only neighborhood that matters) are very territorial. I’m completely convinced that if I go out there around the same time this Sunday before the 1pm Charger game I will see her again. Usually when a woman sees my dick, I consider myself lucky. But Marcel was different. Hopefully this year’s talented Charger team will be that way too.