Tuesday, April 7, 2009

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.


red said...

The most telling predictor for Peavy's season this year was Rick Sutcliffe talking about how well Peavy would fill out the Cubs rotation during the Cubs game yesterday. He may be our best player for now, but not for long.

Nicholas said...

peavy wants to play for atlanta look for the braves to make a move close to the deadline if the nl east race gets tight