Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dallas' Running Diary of the Padres v. Giants Game 4/21

As I sit down for my first of hopefully many running diaries this year there are a few things you should know:

1)    I haven’t had a drink yet.

2)    I’m wearing my Tony Gwynn shirt. It might be the greatest Gywnn shirt of all time and is in the running for the greatest shirt of all time. 

3)    This year, long time Padre TV broadcaster Matt Vasgersian left the Padres to take the helm of the MLB Network. He was one of my favorite broadcaster’s of all time and is friggin’ great on the MLB Network. He was fast becoming a beloved media figure in San Diego and like all famous sports figures in San Diego they leave right before they get really good. So, let’s put him the same book as Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith and Jason Bay. He is sorely missed and Mark Grant sounds more and more lost with every pitch thrown.

4)    I just got down watching Episode 3 of Season 1 of the Sopranos.

Game time 7:15pm


Matt Cain is pitching for the Giants and just gave lead off man Jody Gerut 2 balls in a row. Can we just talk about the Gerut hustle please? He’s 33 and moves better than most 22 year olds. Cain on the other hand is a crafty right-hander that works very slowly. Watching him pitch is like watching two girls eating salads talking about weddings.

Single Gerut.

Eckstein is up. Oh sweet little boy. Honestly David Eckstein has been the sparkplug that the Padres needed this year. It’s fun to have someone care about what their doing. Win or lose it actually makes you have fun watching the game. I mean it was always fun watching Khalil Green struggle but in the words of Kevin Towers: “After three seasons, we just won’t put up with that anymore.”

Cain delivers a wild pitch and Gerut moves to second. Cain looks rattled, because Eckstein is up and he is my little golden boy. Seriously, that kid takes pitches like Paul O’Neill in the 90’s!

Eckstein takes 2 pitches, lays down a bunt on the 3rd pitch to move Gerut to 3rd base. Eckstein of course hustles. He’s beautiful. I can definitely see why NAMBLA was formed.

Brian Giles singles on an odd chopper to the Giants Jap 1st baseman. Gerut scores. Remember Pearl Harbor!

Padres up by one.



Peavy is pitching for the Pads. He’s considered our ace. It’s true, but let’s not be stupid – the WBC fucked up his arm, just like it did last time. I’m all for the WBC, but it’s going to ruin some people’s careers.

Fred Lewis singles off Peavy. See what I’m saying? No way Peavy gives up a lead off single last season. Now I hate the WBC. Bud Selig is a retard.

Peavy strikes out one Randy Winn. Hey, remember when The Devil Rays traded Randy Winn to the Mariners for Lou Pinella? That was a weird trade then and it’s even weirder now. If you’re Winn, are you bummed you left the Devil Rays to be on a last place Mariners squad then move to a miserable Bochy squad in the bay area? Or are you happy to leave a terrible baseball city that cares more about a shitty football team? It’s a toss up.

End of the first, Padres still up one to nil.



Kouzmanoff singles to left. Cain seriously works so slow my brain is trying to eat itself.

Blanco strikes out. It’s ok though. He’s got to be in the Mexican mafia. He has to be. So, that means no matter what he does it’s good. I’m not getting my throat slit for a joke.

Luis Rodriguez strikes out. Even though he looked better in the first week of the season, I still like him. He takes pitches, hustles and is an average fielder. I know he doesn’t have Khalil’s defense but he also doesn’t swing at the same outside slider three times in a row!

Peavy pops out. He’s a pitcher.



Pablo Sandoval is up. He’s the Giants 3rd baseman but looks like Prince Fielder. I see an issue arising at some point.

They just showed Bochy for the first time. I’ve made a couple observations about Bochy over the past year with the Giants. 1) He seems way more animated with this team than he ever did with the Padres. I remember him sitting in the dugout sometimes just sleeping. 2) Like when he was with the Padres he seems like he doesn’t care that his team is sucking balls! I think he’s a lame duck coach. If he was a Bond he’d be George Lazenby.



Gerut pops up.

Eckstein watches two pitches, singles on the 3rd through the whole into left field. I want to hold him in my arms and feed him.

Giles grounds into a double play. My loyal support of Brian Giles is starting to waiver. What happened to his eye? He used to be Mr. Pitch Count. Now, it’s like since Eckstein is in front of him he feels like he doesn’t have to take pitches, when the exact opposite is true!



Edgar “Remember When I Was A World Series Hero” Renteria singles and moves over on a Matt Cain bunt who is also safe cause A-Gonz decided to be a bonehead for five seconds.

Peavy walks the bases loaded with nobody out…um…WORLD…BASEBALL…CLASSIC.

Renteria scores on a double play. Tie ball game.

Winn pops up. Inning over. Seriously, do you think Winn thinks about what would have happened of he stayed with the Rays? Even if he stayed with the Mariners. I mean going to the Giants? Why? So he could play with Bonds? Doesn’t make any sense.




A-Gonz singles to Right.

My roommate Travis just walked in with $5 footlongs! Perfect timing, Cain is working so slow I bet I can eat the whole thing before he records another out. By the way, who doesn’t love the $5 footlong? It’s a genius move. Have you gone to a Subway without a line in the last month? That song fucking sucks, but they are laughing all the way to the friggin' bank.

Chase Headley singles up the middle. A-Gonz moves to 2nd.

Kouz lines one off the wall in Right. A-Gonz slowly running home with Headley right on his heels, literally. The throw home beats both of them but Molina misses the tag on A-Gonz who is safe and Headley, who tries to hurdle over Molina, gets tagged out in mid-air! What the hell just happened? Bochy out to complain!? He woke up? Amazingly, the ump got it right! That doesn’t happen often. As Travis just said: “That’s why Baseball is so great, cause you see something new almost every game.” He’s right and as I’m typing this Mark Neely on the broadcast is saying the same thing. That was friggin' strange. I’m starting a petition to get Travis hired at Channel 4.

Luis Rodriguez pops out. Kouz is stranded on 3rd base.

Padres back up one!



Peavy is getting mothereffin squeezed! The ump is giving him nothing right now although he is clearly pitching on the black.

Well, shit. Peavy hangs one over the middle and Renteria hits a grand slam. Again I say if Jake never pitched this winter he does not hang that breaking ball. He’s smarter than that but his arm is not listening to his brain.

End of the inning




They just announced Peavy just gave up his first career grand slam. Peavy is up; Cain is still pitching at a grandmother’s pace. I need a drink.


What’s the only thing that could make me happier right now? Oh, Eckstein hitting a single on his 5th pitch of his at bat. He has rosy cheeks. He really does.

Giles pops up again and strands Davey. Which reminds me of something I yelled when I saw the same thing happen live at a game a couple weeks ago: GET USED TO THAT ECKSTEIN! YOU MIGHT AS WELL BRING YOUR GLOVE WITH YOU EVERY TIME YOU HIT A SINGLE!



Peavy walks one, but gets out of the inning with no harm done. Seriously, I’m pretty bummed about that slam. Seriously bro.




A-Gonz singles to center.

Has anyone noticed that Chase Headley looks like the child of Mike Darr (RIP) and Mark Kotsay? He struck out.

You know, Mark Grant is surprisingly holding his own without Matty in the booth. His pitching insight is actually informative and he’s laying off the corny jokes.

Blanco flies out. Viva Blanco! Good at bat.



Aaron Rowand pops up. I have a theory for some reason that Aaron Rowand and Turk Wendell hang out together. Like really hang out together. Like do some blow, beat up gay people and surf. When I look at both of them I see all three of those things happening, and usually in a row.

The Giants have a female stadium announcer. It sounds odd. They shouldn’t ever have a woman in that capacity. I know San Francisco is a progressive city, but when a woman says ‘now batting Edgar RENTERIA!” It just sounds like she’s yelling at me to get my life together.

By the way, Renteria just singled in another run and was tagged out trying to stretch it into a double.




Luis Rodriguez singles to right.

Edgar “Older Little Brother” Gonzalez pinch hits for Peavy and pops out.

Bochy makes an inexplicable pitching change. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt in with an ERA over 5. I’m turning my hat inside out right now.

Hairston hitting for Gerut. Not a bad move. Never thought I’d be thinking that let alone writing it down for other people to see.

Hairston singles up the middle. Rodriguez to second.

Wally Cleaver up to bat. He grounds with a force on Hairston. Runners at the corners with two outs.


I may or may not have just yelled that out my window. Giles, first pitch swinging grounds out.

In the immortal words of my roommate Travis “I hate Brian Giles.” I doubt the channel 4 broadcast team will be echoing his comments this time, but they should.



Luis Perdomo on the mound for the Friars. Not only does his arm look sweet, he has quite the swagger. He’s walking around the mound like Doughboy from Boyz in the Hood.

Perdomo sets down the side. He looks good. Where was he the other day when Moreno lost the game against the Phils?

End of the inning.




Headley hits a single to center. Nice placement.

Pitching change to Bob Howry who has always been a pretty good pitcher and I thought actually was the subject matter for the movie ‘The Rookie’. I was wrong, it was about Dennis Quaid.

Howry sits them down. This is all coming apart. I’m stating it right now: I BLAME MORENO IF THE PADRES HAVE A LOSING SEASON. I hope I’m not right.



Perdomo continues to impress.

You know who Perdomo reminds me of? A more talented Brian Lawrence.

Ahshit. I spoke way too soon. I’m retarded. He might be terrible.

A bunch of dudes just showed up because it’s out friend Jon’s 21st birthday. We’re going to Effins and McMurphy’s up the street from my house. He’s young and might end up dead tonight.

Ok, I was right the second time. Perdomo sucks.


Frankie De La Cruz in to pitch. Who?

He just got the last out, that’s who.

Inning over. Thank God.


Viagra commercial. Don’t you kind of want to try it? I really do. I might get some. If I do I’ll definitely do a running diary about what happens with that.



Justin Miller in to close out the romp for the Giants.

Rodriguez gets a walk.

The newest Friar Chris Burke is up. He wears high socks. You can never hate a ballplayer who wears high socks. He pops up and walks his high socks back to the dugout.

Mark Grant is talking about Justin Miller’s tattoos. You know we're heading for a loss.

Hairston singles pass the 3rd baseman Sandoval.

The Beav is up.  He pops up. It doesn’t really matter since he is my golden boy.

Bochy again making an inexplicable pitching change so a lefty can face Giles to get the last out in a 6-run ballgame. Is anyone really that upset that Boch left?

Giles singles in a run! Bochy is a really great manager.

A-Gonz grounds out. Game over.



14 hits. The Padres got 14 hits in that game and only scored 3 times. This looks a lot like the Padres team that lost 99 games last year. Eckstein literally looks like he’s going to cry. That actually makes me kinda happy. You see the biggest difference I’ve noticed in these first 14 games is that the Padres are playing fundamental baseball; which is way more fun to watch as a fan. They know they don’t have power so they’re moving runners over instead of just striking out going for the long ball. And I know chicks dig the long ball but season ticket holders dig the W. Eckstein getting emotional on a loss three weeks in gives me hope that although we might not contend for much longer let alone the whole season, we will be fun to watch again. I’m getting exactly what I thought I would this season: An okay team playing hard. It’s kind of like watching Korea and Japan in the WBC. They played fundamentals and were a joy to watch, and they beat the US team easily. My hope is that these guys don’t get too full of themselves and frustrated. I need this feeling to last like I need to lower my blood pressure.


See ya next week.

On This Date in Padres History

1970: Tom Seaver strikes out 19 Padres including the last 10 he faced.

Note: Picture not from 1970. Editors felt that pictures of Padres striking out are timeless. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Game Over?

We hope it isn't true.

Conversation with an AL East Fan

Everyone once in a while, The Kept Faith likes to check in with someone who’s life is so foreign to that of the average Padre fan, they might as well live on a different planet: A fan of a team in the American League East. We’ll keep which team they root for secret, because really, does it even matter?

TKF: So, a new baseball season is starting. You must be excited.

ALEF: Oh yeah you have no idea! April games don’t really matter – you can’t win a championship in April, as they say – but the buzz around the new team is so much fun, and it’s great seeing the ballpark packed every night. I just hope I can get some tickets this year. You know how hard it is to get baseball tickets.

TKF: Ah, yeah. Sure. April games matter though. You can’t win a championship in April, but you can lose one.

ALEF: I don’t get it.

TKF: You know, like if your team loses half its April games, you can get so far behind you’ll miss the playoffs.

ALEF: [crickets]

TKF: Anyway … The AL East has always been a tough division, but its gotten more so in the last few years with the rise of the Rays. Does that make you nervous, or is it more fun this way?

ALEF: It’s fun man. I mean, yeah, does it mean my team might not win a World Series, or even make it the World Series this year? Yeah, and that sucks. But there’s always next year. There is literally ALWAYS next year. And plus, from what I gather from national sports media, the whole country loves our rivalries. It’s great when the whole country can rally around something.

TKF: Well, to be honest with you, some of us who support teams outside of the AL East get a little tired of your rivalries. We have our own you know.

ALEF: There’s other rivalries besides the Yankees/Red Sox, Yankees/Rays and Red Sox/Rays?

TKF: Yeah. The Padres have a big rivalry with the Dodgers.

ALEF: I thought the Dodgers’ big rival was the Giants?

TFK: [crickets]

ALEF: Well regardless of who you root for, the beginning of the baseball season is always an exhilarating time. You have the whole season ahead of you where anything can happen. And if things aren’t working out, you can always go out and make some blockbuster deal at the trade deadline. After all, there’s always some small market team that’s ready to dump payroll and give up its Cy Young candidate pitcher, or a 40 home run a year guy for two prospects and a bag of balls. Am I right?

TKF: Or as we like to say in the NL West, only five months ‘til football, only five months ‘til football …

Monday, April 13, 2009


Q: How long can this last?

A: It's not really happening. Go back to sleep. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Lost Faith

by Sean O'Donnell

In the summer of 1987, i traded a kid four Bo Jackson Rookie Football cards for a '62 Willie Mays. Things were simpler then. I was a juvenile card shark, and i was a Giants fan.

Then Dad left Mom. Mom remarried. We moved. Moving is hard. I left a school where i was the fastest kid in class, and found myself in a school where i was the slowest kid in class. This reality was a tough pill to swallow. Even tougher than dealing with the fact that we were living with a new guy that i barely knew who had a shotgun and a mustache.

I also left behind:

Bob Brenly
Chris Brown
Will Clark
Chili Davis
Mike Krukow
Jeffrey Leonard
Candy Maldonado
Robby Thompson
Jose Uribe

This was the starting lineup for the 1987 Giants. They weren't a flashy team, but they found a way to win 90 games that year and make it all the way to the NLCS, and all the way into my heart. Candy Maldanado had the best name in baseball and Will Clark was a stud. I love this era of the Giants so much that Nick McCann at one point prompted me to devise a recipe for "Chili Davis 'Chili'". My team was great, and they were winners. And then all the sudden i wasn't in the bay area. I was in San Diego.

It wasn't hard to warm to the Padres (they had John Kruk), just as it wasn't that hard to warm to the guy with a mustache (he had a truck). But to be honest, nothing would ever seem as fresh and new as it was. My world had been shattered, and like any other 8 year old would, I put on my Tony Gwynn shirt, went numb, and watched my love for baseball go on autopilot.

Flash forward a few presidential terms, I find myself rekindling my love for the game. Why has it taken me so long? I'm not exactly sure. Blame puberty, blame Kurt Cobain. BLAME THE PADRES. Looking back on the last 10 years, what have they really given us? Peavy. Hells Bells. Tony Gwynn's 3,000th hit(and 3,000th Double-Double). And that is it. Petco Park? The Pad Squad? I'm done. I can't stand around any more and pretend to be excited about a team that pretends to be exciting. I'm just not that good at pretending.

I have tickets for Sunday's game. But i won't be rooting for the home team. Taking the field that day is a team i CAN be excited about. They aren't amazing. They probably won't have a shot at the pennant. But they do have excitement. Upside. And with me, they have history. They also have Bochy, a proper city skyline, and the singer of the Beach Boys closing games. What else do you want? Me, I don't want anything else. I'm ready for the healing process to begin.

Willie McCoven, I'm home. Welcome me.


Oh and Nick, here is my recipe for Chili Davis Chili.

2 lb. Ground Beef
1 8 oz can Chili Beans
1 8 oz can Tomato Sauce

Combine and stir over medium heat.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


By Nick McCann

The first series against LA is over and the Padres are 2-2.

Three things I learned:

1. Heath Bell can be great in the first week of the season. This is important, especially this year. Our new closer had the most pressure of any Padre going into this season, and he has shown so far that he can handle it while throwing gas. However, I’m still skeptical of this guy because during spring training I heard him jokingly attribute his sudden weight loss to playing the Nintendo Wii in the off-season. It sounded like a guy trying really hard to sound cool. Trev never had to do that on the radio. It’s great that Bell is taking this opportunity seriously, but shouldn’t he have taken being a major freaking leaguer seriously last season? I know it is stupid, but I kind of want him to be an asshole. I want the Padres to be great, but I want him to fail because I will always be a Trevor guy. These are things that I am not proud of. Denver Broncos fans probably felt the same way in 2000.

2. I will never care what uniform Manny Ramirez wears. I don’t care if he quits on the Red Sox, beats my team, or melts down on the Dodgers and takes a bat to Joe Torre’s kneecaps, Manny will always be the man to me because he doesn't try to sound cool like Heath Bell; he is too cool to make a sound.

3. Listening to day games with Jerry Coleman and Ted Leitner on the radio is still like listening to your grandpa and your douchebag uncle tell the same story for the 10, 000th time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Forgetting Trevor Hoffman

by Joe Chandler

 Tonight at approximately 10:00 pm, the Padres got their first win of the season. Coupled with this, Heath Bell got his 3rd career save and his first official save as Trevor's replacement. I was watching the Dodger feed. Vin Scully said out loud what I was already thinking.  Heath throws hard. Trevor didn't throw hard. Trevor threw soft. 

Things are going to be different from here on out.
It's a new era in San Diego. The stadium was empty, the Cubs are holding a spot in their rotation for Jake and Tony Gwynn is across town coaching a pitcher who will be starting for the Nationals by September. 
Still, tonight offered a lot. Heath's curve ball was nasty and even Vin Scully was impressed with the weight he lost. Chase Headley hit a huge two out double down the left field line to take back the lead on behalf of Chris Young and Edwin Moreno in his first ever major league appearance walked two batters and then got Manny to pop out.  These moments all helped me forget that I've lost my job and that my rec league basketball team lost on a ridiculous last minute buzzer beater that was shot well after time expired.

By the end of the year, I'm sure we'll be mired in last place, we'll be annoyed that Chase always swings at the first pitch (he Chases it LOL!), Heath Bell will have gained a  few pounds and we'll be longing for the old kind of bells (hells) and Edwin Moreno's walks will no longer be amusing.  We're supposed to finish in last place and we probably will.  But tonight, we beat the Dodgers and life was good.  

Note: I've been reading SI's compilation "Great Baseball Writing." Upon rereading this, I realize I probably need to stop. 

Predicting Peavy

By Nick McCann

"When I take the mound, I know there's not going to be a margin for error," San Diego Padre ace Jake Peavy said after getting no run support in the opening day game at Petco Park against the hated Dodgers. "Today's game was nothing new. I'm not knocking the hitters we've had before or the ones we have now. We're just going to play low-scoring games."

Jake Peavy’s statement is the kind of statement that the best player on a team has the right to make. After experiencing his offseason and coming up short yesterday to Manny’s Dodgers (and the LA Crips in the stands), the most decorated current Padre in his prime deserves to say in the least controversial way possible I’m aware of the fact that I can’t suck right now because the level of offensive talent on this team is not the type that scores runs. I didn’t pitch well in our first game and it was predictable that I couldn’t afford to do that.

I switched back and fourth from the Padres and the NCAA Mens Basketball Final last night and then caught part of the game later on the Channel 4 replay. These two viewings sandwiched about 6 times of seeing the highlights on ESPN. During the sixth inning of the replay I got bored and started googling the San Diego Mission. I don’t know why this happened, but that’s right, I was bored enough to rewatch a 2009 San Diego Padres game that I had already seen, and then got bored enough with that to look up facts on the first San Diego Padres.

It seems like the first incarnation of the Padres were a badass group. Father Junipero Serra started a mission that overlooked the bay and filled it with soldiers and priests with the intention of building the first Catholic Church in California (he also started a few others up the coast). If any natives tried to fight them, or openly refused to convert to the Mission’s religious purpose, the Padres would have them destroyed. That is basically the story of the first five years. Eventually, the natives saw that the Europeans were not going anywhere and realized that they had a choice (A) fight and die or (B) become Catholic. Regardless, the native San Diegans knew that the San Diego Padres would beat them the way LA beat the 2009 Friars in the first game of the season: there would be no surprises.

I can always tell when somebody has been exposed to nuns or priests as a child. Most Catholics I know have a deep rooted fear in themselves that they are bad at being Catholic. Even if they claim that they don’t practice much, or claim to worship Satan, it is usually very clear that they think that mean nun that told them they were evil when they were in school could be right. Catholics that are very serious about being catholic are convinced that they are fundamentally bad and that they should do good things because God is a terrifying dude who is on top of "it" and them. On the other hand, Catholics that claim to not take their faith too seriously seem to usually display this same negative sense of self awareness in the most self-deprecating sides of their personality. These people are usually excellent drinkers.

Where does this all come from? The answer is obvious. You have to look at Peter, the most earnest disciple of Jesus, and the father of Catholicism. During the ministry of Jesus’ life he walked around with twelve guys and a hooker. The most loyal of the group was a guy named Peter. Up until the last supper, Peter was considered with in the group to be the strongest and most clear cut example of how a Jesus freak should be. Then right before Jesus gets captured he turns to Peter and basically says You are going to be asked if you know me, but you are going to lie and say you don’t because you will be afraid that an association with me will get you killed. Don’t worry, its cool Pete. Then Peter swears he would never do that to his lord. Then when it comes down to it a few days later, he does exactly what Jesus said he was going to do. Peter wasn’t clutch.

It is amazing to think how horrible Peter must have felt at that moment in his life. He spent a few years loving a guy because he believed he was the son of God and then he pretended to not know him when it really mattered. On top of that, the guy he denied knowing predicted it would happen exactly the way it did. This must of have felt like shit. And it seems-considering the stakes involved- that it would make sense for an individual in Peter’s position to create a religion where feeling like shit is basically the whole point.

Jake Peavy felt like shit yesterday and it makes sense. He knows he is on a team that is doomed to fail and he knows how his team is going to do it. I think he, like most religious authority figures, blames himself for the shortcomings of the people around him. He knows his teammates are predictably bad and he knows he isn’t perfect either.

There are no mysteries with these 2009 San Diego Padres, at least not yet. All we can do is wait for Jake’s next start…even if he knows exactly how it will be.