Wednesday, December 8, 2010

J.B. Smoove comes to San Diego.

Posted this last Friday: "While I'm on the topic of moves that seem inevitable, have we traded for Jason Bartlett yet?" Well, now we've got him. Our 2001 draft pick will finally play a game with the team that drafted him.


He's a slick fielder, his initials are J.B., it's all very obvious, I'm giving him the nickname of my favorite actor on Curb Your Enthusiasm -- J.B. Smoove. It feels good to have our SS and #2 hitter penciled in. And I'm obviously kidding about the slick fielder part, he's a butcher, so the nickname will have to be ironic, but it's too good not to use.

Jed Hoyer is continuing to take advantage of San Diego's great bullpen reputation in trades... by shipping off the guys who didn't really contribute to it being great. First with Mujica and Webb for Maybin. Now with Russell and Ramos for J.B. I like it. GAB is still in tact with Thatcher, Frieri and now Dustin Moseley backing them up.

Let's hope J.B.'s slash line in 2011 is more 2009 (320/389/490) than 2010 (254/324/350). And it's nice he's happy to be here. His quote: "It's something that if I could have chosen a team, that's definitely the team I would have chose."

Welcome to San Diego, Mr. Smoove. And thanks for bringing along a replacement for Mrs. Eckstein. Now if we can just get Mark Kotsay to replace Matt Stairs on the bench, the hot girlfriends and wives on the team gets a significant upgrade.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Kenny Powers Career Path: Feat. Scott Williamson.

He gave us 11 innings of relief with a 7.36 ERA in 2006, but now the man who "laughed and joked" his way out of Major League Baseball is attempting a comeback in Mexico. Here's hoping he gets the same chance Kenny Powers will probably be getting in Season 3 of Eastbound and Down.


Click here to read the outcome of Scott Williamson watching too much TV HBO and thinking "he's still got it."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Emergency Podcast Now Up!

We gathered over the internet to record an emergency Kept Faith podcast about the recent Adrian Gonzalez trade.


We welcome in regular TKF contributor Joseph Chandler to help make sense of things.

Also listen as Travis once again loses his cool and calls out Yellowcard's Sean O'Donnell.

It's an episode full of sadness, regret and slight hope for the 2011 roster!

Download now and subscribe as things are beginning to get all discounty in San Diego!

Love,

TKF

Friday, December 3, 2010

Here comes Aaron? Here goes Adrian?

After I came to grips yesterday (read the post below) with potentially signing Aaron Harang, Bill Center's now reporting that San Diego's close to a deal with the former Red. MSNBC picked up the story, too. Brock picked up on it last night. And the conversation is going strong at MLBTR.

I'm not saying I paved the way for Harang's suddenly much closer arrival as a Padre, and I'm not saying I'm the source Bill Center is quoting either. What I am saying is that Harang sure knows how to get crazy on Halloween:



Count me as a fan not worried by the aggressive off-seasons of the Dodgers, Giants and Rockies. By this point, we all know the Giants success in 2010 was completely and totally rooted in using steroids (there's no evidence proving otherwise that Guillen wasn't supplying the whole roster). So now that we can write off their "World Series winning" season, everyone knows the NL West belonged to the Padres. We're the ones these teams need to catch up to.

Harang may not be as sure of a thing as Garland, but he has the potential to be a lot better if he's healthy. Maybin will be an upgrade over Tony Gwynn (R.I.P.) and Denorfia. Now if we can just figure out what our middle infield will look like (I want Bartlett!) and if Ryan Ludwick can just figure out what his swing looked like in St. Louis, then there's no reason why we can't continue to compete.

I was optimistic going into 2010, and if Hoyer makes the same type of late additions he made last year (Garland, Torrealba, Hairston Jr., The Cunster) over these next three months, then that optimism will roll right over into 2011.

Update: I posted this and immediately read an article from Gordon Edes about trade talks heating up between the Padres and Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez. Maybe this explains our interest in Mark Reynolds. Let's hope Hoyer, Byrnes and McLeod can use their knowledge of Boston to get a ridiculous package if this goes down.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Preparing for Aaron Harang

Looking through the free agent list, is it inevitable that we end up with Aaron Harang? He's got all the signs of a pitcher on his way to Petco Park for a season. Former ace coming off an injury plagued season looking to rebuild value. San Diego native from Patrick Henry High School. Played college ball for the Aztecs. I'm not saying anything new here. But I am preparing myself for the guy who'll most likely round out our rotation next year.


The "coming off an injury" angle already makes Petco a place to pad his numbers for a season (see: Garland, Jon. Not that he was injured before, just that he wanted some Petco-size numbers).

And the "San Diego native" part (I do have one piece of scoop -- he's a fan of Luigi's Pizzeria in Golden Hill, saw him there last off-season), means a second discount.

His past three years have been ugly after pitching back-to-back 16 Win, 200+ K, sub-4 ERA seasons in '06 and '07... but those also included back-to-back 230+ inning counts. And Dusty Baker wasn't even there yet. If he was, it easily would have been 275+ innings.

I don't know how I'd feel about it. His numbers after '07 make me nervous. It's not like Garland where you knew what you were getting. If he's healthy (and Luigi's Pizzeria is not a place for healthy), then there's a chance we could see '06 and '07 Harang if we sign him. But if being in San Diego means extra trips to Luigi's and extra pounds to his 6'7", 260 lb. frame, then we'll probably be seeing the guy who's looked washed up since '08.

Here's hoping to the first Aaron Harang and a rotation of Mat Latos, Clayton Richard, healthy Aaron Harang, Tim Stauffer and Cory Luebke in 2011.

Just so it's clear, I'd rather spend the money on Brandon Webb, Erik Bedard, Brad Penny, or even Rich Harden. But Aaron Harang seems like the guy who'll end up giving us the biggest discount. And I've comes to terms with the fact that we're a team who bargain shops.

But while I'm on the topic of moves that seem inevitable, have we traded for Jason Bartlett yet?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jet-Ah!



The fine folks at The Beckett Blog photoshopped Jeter onto every team in the majors. Check it out here.

I say we make it happen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Return of Hoffman?

Buster Olney speculated the return of Trevor Hoffman to the Padres in his column this morning. He cites the move as a potential PR balance if Adrian and Heath are traded by next July's trade deadline. He also says a number of baseball executives are certain Trevor will be back at Petco next season.

Now, I did my share of Hoffman-bashing during the '08 season when he seemed incapable of closing out a game. And I didn't mind when Towers lowballed him with an offer that eventually drove him to the Brewers.

But, I'm just gonna go ahead and say it, I want Trevor Hoffman back.

And I want Heath Bell traded before February, not July.

Putting Hoffman back in the closer role for a final, farewell season -- and I only want this deal if Trevor announces it as his last season -- would surely reinvigorate the 43-year-old, right? He gets to go out on good terms with the team whose hat he'll be wearing in Cooperstown. And he'll have a chance at a little revenge with the guys who pushed him out (Towers and Alderson) each time the Padres visit Chase Field and Citi Field.


The best part is now that he's had his fair share of humble pie (I'd say he's pretty stuffed by now) from setting up John Axford on the Brewers for a season, then the transition back to set-up with either Mike Adams or Luke Gregerson stepping up to close is that much easier if Hoffman stumbles throughout April and May.

And if you use Trevor's first name to substitute Bell's place in the infamous nickname, then our bullpen gets a whole lot more ghetto when it's referred to as G.A.T.!

I haven't even got to my favorite part of this idea yet. Which is trading away a full year of Bell -- getting better players in return and saving money. For the chance to close again, Hoffman won't be too worried about his salary, especially after his shitty 2010. The difference between Bell and Hoffman is the difference between about $6M. That can be used for a Jon Garland replacement. Or maybe spend it on a crate of HGH for Ryan Ludwick.

(On that note -- SEAN -- let it be said that the Giants push for the playoffs this year was certainly aided by Jose Guillen's 3 HRs and 15 RBIs in the stretch, all because of Canseco juice. Him receiving a ring this year taints every ring on your team.)*

*I don't believe that, but it felt really good to say.

Trading Heath Bell seems like the best way to add someone to our middle infield, too. If the Red Sox trade Papelbon, then Bell becomes a cheaper one-year stopgap for Daniel Bard, and we can get Jed Lowrie. Or the Rays need someone, and we've already shown interest in Jason Bartlett. How about reuniting Bell with Towers and getting Stephen Drew? Those all seem like potential matches give or take another prospect or two from either side.

The benefits add up. Worst case scenario is Hoffman completely falls apart. But at this point, I think we can assume/hope he'll retire if his ERA climbs near 6 again. Best case scenario of Hell's Bells back at Petco with Hoffman scraping together one, final, quasi-respectable season as a Padre is enough to make it worth it.

And with Bell and Gonzalez entering their final seasons, bringing an old face of the franchise back to replace the new faces might be enough to not totally kill attendance.

Personally, I just want to see Tony Gwynn snap after a game in frustration as the fourth outfielder... with Uncle Trevor pulling him aside and giving him a lecture. (It's the little things when you're rooting for the Padres.)

I apologize to anyone (anyone being Joe) for any whiplash due to my quick change of attitude with Trevor Hoffman. I wouldn't be supporting this idea if I wasn't so confident in Adams and Gregerson. But I am. I am supporting it. I want the all time saves leader back where he belongs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hindsight is 20/20 or The Joe Morgan School of Analyzing!

So at the beginning of the 2010 MLB season I wrote a predictions column. The specifics were ridiculous but the picks were all legitimate. As Q even pointed out in his own predictions column - mine were hard to argue. I was more right than wrong and sans a Justin Morneau injury I could have looked like a friggin’ genius (by the way, I’m pronouncing it “gene-e-us”.)! Let’s have a look back at where I went right and wrong in a new segment I like to call, “Hindsight is 20/20” or “The Joe Morgan School of Analyzing”


The AL West:

I bought in to the Mariners hype. Why? I don’t know, why do you care - lay off asshole! Oh wait, I remember why: Chone Figgins and Cliff Lee. Yeah…maybe I should have stuck with the first response in this paragraph. In retrospect though they didn’t have much competition in the division. The Angels had the best chance, but also had a very uninspiring lineup and lost their best pitcher. The A’s are a joke. The Rangers had zero pitching, and there is no way anyone knew Colby Lewis was going to be a stud. For God’s sake the guy played for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp last year! You know who also played for the Carp? Alex Ochoa. I rest my case.

My Pick: Mariners.

Actual Winners: Rangers


The AL Central:

As I predicted the Twins took control from pretty much day one. What a lineup! As a baseball fan I sincerely hope they can keep it together.

My Pick: Twins

Actual Winners: Twins


The AL East:

The Rays kept the magic of Dennis Quaid going and won the division. Even though I picked the Yankees you can’t really blame me. I was only off by a game and the Rays were one long losing streak away from trading off Longoria, Price and Crawford. But don’t fret Tampa fans, they’ll all be gone soon enough! Oh and how did I know the Red Sox wouldn’t be a factor this season? They are still paying David Ortiz and Jason Varitek. That’s like the Padres still paying Phil Nevin and Jim Leyritz.

My Pick: Yankees

Actual Winners: Rays


The Wild Card:

I picked the Tigers because of my deep love for Jim Leyland. And I feel my Tigers joke was the best in that column. But, it wasn’t like I was out of my mind on that pick. Who would be their real competition for the wild card? Yankees, Angels, White Sox and Red Sox. We’ve already explained the Angels and Red Sox; I had already picked the Yankees to win a division and the White Sox are coached by a crazy person. They were also dumping money into Jake Peavy, which is almost a bigger mistake than Peavy’s Collins Family Jewelers ads.

My Pick: Tigers

Actual Winners: Yankees


AL Champs:

Every year there seems to be one team that surprises everyone and this year it was obviously the Rangers. The Yankees somehow didn’t have enough pitching (and somehow we all knew it.) to beat a team with heavy hitters, which is why I had the Twins getting past them. The Twins have a nice mix of power hitters and small ball guys but also rely heavily on team chemistry. When Morneau went down I think everyone (including the Twins themselves) knew it was over. I will also maintain that if the Rangers don’t get Cliff Lee they don’t make it past the Rays. By the way kudos to Nolan Ryan and Co. for swooping in and stealing Lee from the Yankees. Remember when Ryan beat up Robin Ventura? You always should. He’s a badass.

My Pick: Twins

Actual Winners: Rangers


NL West:

Talk about surprises, no one had any idea the Padres would have played as well as they did. The only problem was that the division was wide open from day one and any team could have taken it - all they needed was a hot streak and the Padres lost theirs at the worst time possible. In the end it wasn’t the Giants that beat Padres (the season series was 12-6 Padres), it was the Padres who beat themselves. At the end of the season they lost control against the hapless Cubs and the terribly bad Dodgers. They did all they could to lose the division, which is why the Padres slogan is “Keep The Faith”. The Giants pitching was just too dominant to ignore and Brian Wilson really came into his own (and spent most of his money on beard dye.) while they picked up rejects and veterans with something to prove. It was a perfect combination to challenge the rest of the League and it proved gene-e-us.

My Pick: Giants

Actual Winners: Giants


NL Central:

Looking back this was my worst prediction of the bunch. I have no clue why I picked the Cubs. Nostalgia maybe? Wishing the best for a tormented franchise? Stupidity? I blame Bartman. The Cardinals had the best chance on paper, but sometimes-even baseball gets bored of the same team always winning. At this point watching Albert Pujols hitting a homerun is about as exciting as watching Rip Taylor throw confetti. The Pirates - pitiful, the Astros - hilarious, the Brewers - possible but not reliable and this all leaves the one team I believe in every year, but no one else does- The Reds. How did Dusty finally put it together? A solid lineup and decent pitching can definitely get you through a lackluster division, but it won’t do much in the first round against the Phillies. If Joey Votto could pitch the Reds might have had a chance. It was the NL’s version of the surprise Rangers just without the Cliff Lee pickup.

My Pick: Cubs (Idiot!)

Actual Winners: Reds


NL East:

No shocker here. The Phillies had it the whole time and anyone who thought differently probably picked the Cubs to win the Central. The Braves surged and Heyward is the future, but they didn’t have enough this season to take down the mighty Phils. Don’t kid yourself however the reign of the Phillies is over and they will look about 25-55% different next season. It’s not like the Mets would ever put it together and the Marlins have signed a deal with Major League Baseball to stop winning the World Series. The Nationals are almost comically bad and even if Strasburg won 30 games they would have still lost the other 132. I’ll actually predict the Braves to win this division for the next three years.

My Pick: Phillies

Actual Winners: Phillies


Wildcard:

I picked the Cardinals to cover my ass on the terrible Cubs decision. Again, on paper I should have been right. The Braves did what they do best under Bobby Cox and won. I shouldn’t have counted them out, but did not totally buy in to the energy Heyward would bring to the franchise.

My Pick: Cardinals

Actual Winners: Braves


NL Champs:

Why did I have the feeling that no one could beat the Giants this season? I just did. With Bochy actually awake for all nine innings and Lincecum the stud of all 14-yr old boys it seemed impossible to get past them. The Phillies seemed like the safe pick especially with Halladay on board but it just didn’t feel right. Sometimes it just feels good to have a hunch and be totally correct. Thank you.

My Pick: Giants

Actual Winners: Giants


World Series:

Based on my predictions column the Giants would square off against the Twins in the lowest rated World Series of all time in which the Giants would dominate and that all seemed totally plausible. They are very similar teams, similar bullpens, managers and franchises. It would be a battle using real old school baseball fundamentals in which the more old school team would win. According to my predictions the only team coming out of the AL that could have beat the Giants would have been the Yankees. That power heavy lineup would have dismantled the soft and scrappy Gigantes. And remember Bochy is scared shitless of the Yankees. Always has been. I have no actual basis for this theory it just looked that way throughout the entire 1998 World Series. You know that look someone has when they have to poop but have to wait an hour before they’ll get a chance? That was Bochy in ’98. Anyway, aside from my correct Giants pick it also just happened to be the lowest rated World Series in history. Outside of Texas no one cares about the Rangers and the Giants aren’t big enough to draw the whole market themselves. It’s understandable but also incredibly upsetting when ‘Dancing with the Stars’ beats the pants off Game 3.

My Pick: Giants

Actual Winners: Giants


In closing I win. I know it seemed like I was way off with some picks, but in the end I’m pretty sure I was a gene-e-us. Hats off to the Padres for a fantastic season of fun ball. It really doesn’t get much better than the 2010 season and let’s be honest it won’t next season. My 2011 predictions will plop in March! Don’t miss it…or do.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Podcast Ep. 014 now up!



Hey TKFers! Listen in to the latest TKF podcast!

In this episode we dissect the end of the Padres season and we also talk about the Chargers woes as they keep losing!

This podcast was recorded after the Chargers loss to the Raiders, so it's a bit old but we had some technical issues getting it up. We will start with new podcasts next week! Subscribe here

OR

Go to iTunes and subscribe by searching "The Kept Faith".

If you're already a subscriber make sure you leave a comment or rate us on iTunes!

Love,

TKF.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What Happened to the Podcast?

Well, if you are a subscriber the latest episode is now up.


A full post with description and links will be forthcoming.

In the meantime head to iTunes and search the Kept Faith.

Love,

TKF

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Screw it, Red Bull time. Second inning.

To be fair, I'm pretty sure Heath Bell would give a similar interview in this situation. But this did nothing to remove my image of Brian Wilson as a lunatic. Is it 'cause he's so entertaining that I hate him? Maybe. But it's mainly the him being a lunatic thing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Do We Also Talk About the Chargers?

It's a rare feeling to be 6 weeks into the NFL season and not really know what's going on. Usually by the time football is starting up the Padres have been in bad shape for months and looking towards the Chargers season is the thing that makes me feel better. This year, the Padres didn't stick to the program and as a result I was paying full attention to their run. I barely thought about Phillip and his bad attitude or the fact that Antonio Gates played basketball in college. Now that the Padres season has come to a close I find that I'd rather take a break from sports than get involved with the Chargers. Maybe by the midpoint I'll be ready to invest some time in a San Diego franchise, but for now I'm still reveling in the afterglow of a Padres season that I'm glad happened.
In the week after October 3rd (never forget) I found myself wondering how I'd look back on this year. Would it be the ten game losing streak that I'd remember? Or would I always think about the tremendous pitching? Around the sixth inning of that last game against the Giants I went to a dark place. I wondered why I had wasted so much time on this team and why I bothered to care. And I wasn't sure if that feeling was going to last. But here I am, two weeks later and I already can't wait for next year. It's been a long time since I was excited about the Padres and I'm thankful that our no-name team got me there. And the most startling aspect of that is that it's revealed my utter lack of investment in the NFL. I've realized now I was just using it to fill in the gaps. So... go Chargers, I guess. I'm certainly pulling for them, but they're not that important. And that's kind of nice to realize.

Besides, we lost to the Raiders for the first time in 7 years. Why do I want to get behind that team?

Keeping the Faith,

Joe

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dead and Gone

My phone broke last week, so I have my sister's old one. I'm too lazy to change the sound settings, which means I've been waking up to T.I. and Justin Timberlake's "Dead and Gone" in the mornings. Yesterday, I let the song play as I laid in bed thinking about the Padres. It just seemed right. I'd "been travelin' on this road too long" and the season truly was "dead and gone."


Sunday was my birthday and I was on a quick trip, away from technology during the game. When I got back into San Diego that night, I got the text confirming what I dreaded - the Padres lost. The season was "Dead and Gone," as opposed to bringing "Beauty in the World" like Macy Gray's song had done so many times for me following a Padres win this season. But this was it. The season was over. No more cheery Macy Gray music till next season.

That's when I went to my car and opened the envelope I was putting off opening. I looked at the beautiful design of a full strip of two tickets apiece to what would have been every Padres home game this postseason. I went to 20 games this year with the 20-game season ticket plan and jumped at the opportunity to buy tickets to the playoffs, figuring I'd go to a game per series and scalp the rest. Now I'll be getting my money back. I just hope that doesn't affect the reward points I gained on my credit card.

I don't have the strength to look back at what happened this season. Geoff Young took care of that for me and Corey Brock is already pumping out previews for 2011. To 2011 it is. Time to push on.

I love the steam from the hot stove, so I'm already ignoring what happened and looking forward to how Hoyer and co. handle an off-season after this year's success. And yes, I do count a 90-win season as a success. We now have the distinction of being the first 90-win team since the '06 White Sox to not make the playoffs. And, oh what a shitty distinction that is.

This season had its ups and downs. (So did the consistency of The Kept Faith's postings.) The Padres got to 90 wins. (We started a podcast.) Jed gave us all Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Tejada - this isn't the place to debate what they actually added. (We gave you a Twitter account to follow.)

If there really is beauty in the world, Macy, then hopefully this season was the start of a long run of 90+ win seasons for the Padres. And maybe this was the start of some semblance of consistency in content from TKF.

I'm skeptical of both. But a guy can have faith, right? Yes! Name of the blog tie-in!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Please God (Pt. 2)

Or not. Whatever you think is best.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Please God

I don't ask for much from you. In fact, I spend a large amount of my time denying your existence. But if you could do this atheist one little favor I promise I won't deny your existence so vehemently. Is there any way you could put the Padres in the playoffs for me? I'd just really appreciate it so much.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Learning Who I Am

Tonight is a big night for me. This weekend is a big weekend for me. I have grown up a fan of two NL teams and while that has been laughed at and even mocked by many, there is really nothing I can do about it.


You see in 1983 my parents split. I was three years old at the time and was just about to move from a tiny town in Ohio to a gigantic sunny city called San Diego. My world was changing 110% and I had no idea. How could I? I was three for Pete Rose's sake.

My Dad is a huge sports fan. Always has been and I presume always will be. He played fantasy baseball when no one had even heard of the internet and he took me to my first football game. A pre-season Cincinnati Bengals game in which I met Boomer Esiason. My Dad has always, and presumably will always root for the Bengals, thee Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds.

It's that last one that has stuck with me the most, although I do root pretty hard the Buckeyes and have even been known to yell at and/or throw things at Michigan fans. But, the Reds were the one.

My Mom also loved baseball while I grew up and, like all women in San Diego during the 80's, had a huge crush on Steve Garvey. We went to a lot of Padres games and of course I learned to love the team that represented my city. I spent most of the summers till I was 16 visiting my Dad in Ohio and the rest of my year in San Diego with my Mom. During the dog days I must have watched twenty Reds games a year, but spring and fall baseball was cheered on at the Murph.

You might think to yourself, well Dallas, it seems to me you should have tried to pick one team and stuck with them; this would have given you something to fight with your Dad about. But, I couldn't mainly because I truly began to love baseball in the late 80's and early 90's. This meant I never really saw a good Padres team live but got to watch a lot of great Reds teams on TV and once at Riverfront Stadium. I watched every game of their four game World Series sweep over the A's in 1990. Sure, I got to see Tony Gwynn hit, but I'd hear stories about Chris Sabo's diving play at 3rd or Eric Davis' line drive homerun. These stories were told to me threw my Dad who made this sound amazing and created a legend most fans only attributed to Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams. To me Paul O'Neill was Joe D. and Tom Browning was Cy Young. They were almost mythical and the days I would get to listen to them play on the radio in Ohio made me feel like I was listening to history.

After the 1994 strike, like most fans I lost touch with the game. I moved on to playing basketball, skateboarding and listening to NOFX. When the Padres went to the World Series in 1998 I found myself being pulled back in to the game I once lived for. What made it even sweeter was the guy playing right field for the Yankees that year was Paul O'Neill. At that point the game was no longer Padres V. Yankees - it was Gwynn V. O'Neill. You have to understand that up until 1992 O'Neill and Barry Larkin were the Reds. People loved them and they loved the city. When Paulie O was traded to the Yankees that year a lot of people knew the era of the Reds being relevant was going bye-bye. As I watched the '98 Series play out and the Padres get pummeled I still smiled watching Paulie O win one more. I figured Gwynn would get another chance, I mean we had a great team so why would we not be back the next year...oh. Crap.

After that World Series I was back and found a new guy to cheer on in Cincinnati nicknamed 'The Mayor' - Sean Casey. I went to the Murph and watched Gwynn and Klesko and Owens and it was great because now things seemed a bit more level. The Reds and Padres were terrible together. I could root for both team knowing it wouldn't matter. That brings us to 2010...

While preparing for this weekend I had decided I wasn't going to go to any of the Reds/Padres games. I would watch from home and quietly cheer for neither team as they are both in contention for a playoff spot. But then like a gift from Randy Myers himself, the Cardinals started to lose and the Reds have taken a commanding lead in the Central. I decided I would go to the games, but I wouldn't wear gear for either side. Then, as tonight drew closer I figured the Padres needed all the support I could give. Half game out and needing to win this weekend series I made my peace with Dusty Baker and Joey Votto and put on my Padres hat and Tony Gwynn Hall of Fame shirt. You're in my city and my city needs this more than you do. I called my Dad and we talked about this series. He understands my decision and wishes both teams luck, but clearly wants another Reds World Series. I can't blame him. I'd like to know how the first one feels.

(And if they meet in the playoffs, yes, my head will explode and I'll probably never be able to speak to my Dad again.)

Let's get 'em Pads!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dallas' Running Diary Padres V. Dodgers 9/22

I’m starting a little late on this diary because I just enjoyed some slices from Bronx Pizza. PEPPERONI WHITESTONE! Anyway, I started this diary just in time to hear the words, “Oscar Salazar steps up to the plate.” Hooray.

TOP OF THE 2ND INNING:

  • Salazar flies out. Whaaaaaa????
  • Yorvit flies out.
  • Ted Lilly is still pitching. Remember when he was on the Expos? A’s? Yankees? Cubs? Blue Jays? I do.

John Weisbarth is doing a Sonic Burgers commercial. How did this happen? I didn’t know he was even that famous with the channel 4 crowd to be doing ads. I mean HONESTLY WHO IS GOING TO GO TO SONIC NOW BECAUSE OF JOHN WEISBARTH?! I am.

BOTTOM OF THE 2ND INNING:

  • We’re having cable issues in the house.
  • So far I’ve heard that The Cunster made an awesome catch. Cool. Cable back out.
  • Phone call being made.
  • Seriously if you don’t listen to the podcast you should. We spent about 20 minutes railing on how shitty COX Cable is. They are.
  • Cable is back on. The Dodgers scored. I don’t know how.

END OF THE INNING: PADS - 0 COX CABLE - 1

TOP OF THE 3RD INNING:

  • Headley hits a single.
  • Stauffer bunts him over.
  • The Cunster up to bat and he stares at strike three.
  • The Bobblehead Davey Eck hits a broken bat grounder to Furcal who short hops Loney which makes Eck safe, Headley running heads up scores the tying run while Loney then overthrows to A.J. Ellis at home moving Eck to 2nd. Them’s the Padres I love!
  • Oh son-of-a 90’s all-star! Tejada just hit a towering 2-run shot to left field!
  • Referencing the losses of the Braves and Giants, Dick Enberg just said the players can see the scoreboard and they know what’s at stake. It sounded like he was assuming the players can’t read. I think Enberg half believes this.
  • A-Gonz pops out.

BOTTOM OF THE 3RD INNING:

  • Stauffer is looking pretty solid for Stauffer. He’s looked good all year. Most people think he’s new. He’s not. He’s older than you think and honestly someone that should be washed up in a cellar bullpen by now. He is lucky the Padres like to give players 4 chances!
  • Minus a single no harm done.

END OF THE INNING: PADS - 3 DOYERS - 1

TOP OF THE 4TH INNING:

  • Ludwick looks good sometimes and then not other times. I know that’s not insightful. I’m sorry. There is no other way to explain it.
  • Salazar smacks a single to Furcal who misplays it. Lucky. 4th chances…
  • Yorvit drives a double off the wall. Salazar holds at 3rd.
  • Headley walks the bases loaded.
  • Stauffer up and strikes out.
  • The Cunster strikes out with the bases-loaded. That is not like him. Air. Sails. Out.

BOTTOM OF THE 4TH INNING:

  • The Cunster makes up for his strikeout by making a full layout forward dive to rob Loney of a base hit! Hang a star?
  • Jay Gibbons? He’s still in the league? Is Jeff Conine still playing?
  • Stauffer (or The Right Stauff as I’ve decided he should be called till he starts to suck.) strikes out Casey Blake so badly he immediately retires and goes back to his home town in Iowa to be the manager of the Clinton LumberKings!

END OF THE INNING: PADS - 3 DODGERS - 1

TOP OF THE 5TH INNING:

  • The Bobblehead pops out to the catcher.
  • Tejada lines a grounder to Furcal who again can’t handle it and Tejada is safe. 3 for 3 baby! Three Men and a Baby?
  • Hi. My name is Ryan Ludwick. I run hard? Oh, no you’re right I hardly run.

Corona’s new commercial has the tagline “Find Your Beach”, but I’ve never been somewhere without a beach when I saw someone drinking a Corona.

BOTTOM OF THE 5TH INNING:

  • The Right Stauff cruises and Eck makes a huge play.

END OF THE INNING: PADS - 3 DOYERS - 0

The Kept Faith podcast master, Travis Russell, is in attendance at Dodger Stadium tonight. It’s his first time there. I don’t know how he feels about it but I think that stadium is the worst in California. Yeah, it’s old and has history but the fans will kill you and every section is separated. Add the traffic and I’d rather watch a little league game in Fresno.

TOP OF THE 6TH INNING:

  • Salazar flies out. Uhhh….
  • Yorvit strikes out.
  • Headley strikes out.

Oh, did you know that COX has cable service? Thank you for the info COX commercial.

BOTTOM OF THE 6TH INNING:

  • Apparently Tommy Lasorda calls Dodger Stadium “Blue Heaven on Earth”. Dick Enberg just said Lasorda “pitched a couple of innings in the major leagues.” I love Enberg.
  • The Right Stauff strikes out early Triple Crown contender Andre Ethier. By early I mean spring training.
  • Kemp swings at strike three. I felt it in the living room! HD changes everything.

END OF THE INNING: PADS - 3 JOE TORRES - 1

TOP OF THE 7TH INNING:

  • Enberg: “Oh, the dreaded wave has hit Dodger Stadium.” Mark Grant: “With the amount of fans here tonight it looks more like an undertow.” Ha!
  • Scott Hairston is out. Strange.
  • The Cunster pops out.

Hey did you know that Mark Grant and Mark Neely often run into each other at San Diego County Credit Union? I believe it.

BOTTOM OF THE 7TH INNING:

  • I’m watching the game tonight at the Nick McCann Manor and were getting in a heated debate about the current Vincent Jackson situation. Nick is pissed about Jackson getting drunk and getting a DUI a day before a playoff game last season.
  • I think Jackson made Philip Rivers. Nick thinks the opposite. We both agree Antonio Gates made them both.
  • Really it’s Marcus McNeill we need back. Nick won’t stop talking about Jackson being a drunk. It’s funny. Alcoholism is funny.

END OF THE INNING: PADS - 3 DODGERS - 1

TOP OF THE 8TH INNING:

  • Listen, lets settle this debate by saying the most valuable Charger in the last decade is Darren Bennett.
  • Ludwick gets on base! By getting hit by a pitch.
  • T Gwynn JR grounds out.

Why do schools for graphic design have the worst commercial graphics?

I got distracted by a bunch of things - like Josh Beckett’s career and the state of my fantasy teams. I’m doing well this season though, thanks for asking.

TOP OF THE 9TH INNING:

  • Yorvit opens up the inning with a bloop single.
  • Mark Grant just said of Matt Stairs, “that guy loves to swing that bat!” and I’ll add, “Mark Grant likes to bankrupt buffets!”
  • Headley up. Out.
  • Yorvit lazily steals second and gets thrown out. Well, that’s one way to do it.
  • Stairs lines out.

BOTTOM OF THE 9TH INNING:

  • Heath Bell in for the Padres.
  • Loney flies out.
  • Kemp gets a little chin music. I’d love a Kemp and Bell fight. It would be the weirdest looking fight of all time.
  • He walks Kemp with 4 high and inside pitches.
  • Heath Bell strikes out Jay Gibbons? Is Kevin Elster still playing?
  • Heath Bell makes Casey Blake look like my brother Casey and the PADRES ARE BACK IN FIRST PLACE!!!!

END OF GAME: PADS - 3 DOYERS - 1

I’m not sure what happened in LA. They seemed to have it all put together for a big run this year. Torre, ManRam, Kemp and Loney. It seemed like pure blue gold. Then like with all wealthy couples the McCourts had to ruin it. I’m trying to figure out how I can send a Thank You card to the happy couple, but so far all mine have been sent back. Things are looking up Padres fans! Let’s keep this momentum going and take the NL West. Who needs the wild card?

We might.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Am I alone...

Or does this feel better?

I've stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop, because the other shoe did drop. As much as we talked about it, that team never did feel "right" in first place. Fighting for our lives and the sinking feeling in my stomach feels more natural. It feels the way it's supposed to feel.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Kept Faith Podcast Episode 12

New Episode: Taking 2 from the Rockies, was the move downtown a good move? We also talk about the new podcast we are working on "Electric Soup" The Kept Faith Podcast -http://bit.ly/a5uT2P




Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whiplash

10-game losing streak... Sweep of the Dodgers... Losing 3 of 4 to the Giants... One game away from sweeping what was baseball's hottest team.


This is all getting really confusing. 18 games left and the Padres are 1.5 bad games away from staying home in October. But they're also 1.5 games strong for a playoff berth. Which one is it!?

At least The Cunster's looking good at the top of the lineup. Leave him in leadoff, Bud. We've finally got to a place in the season where we have a semi-consistent lineup from 2-6 (Eckstein, Ludwick, Gonzalez, Tejada, Headley), why not squeeze a consistent leadoff hitter in there? If the playoffs started today, I'd want that lineup with Durango in CF, Venable and Denorfia on the bench, our dreamy Catcher duo, and Jerry Hairston Jr. and Matt Stairs as the other two on the bench. I'll save my thoughts on the pitchers I want in October if we actually get there.

The offense is finally showing life (on Colorado's Little League field) and has me excited for the next two and a half weeks. Luebke and Stauffer are making fine replacements for Correia and LeBlanc. Young may be on the roster any day now. And Hairston Jr. and Gwynn are finally healthy(ish).

The win some-lose some-win some-lose some approach may be a little frustrating, but if we can keep winning the games we have to win, then I suppose I'll excuse those ugly losses to SF over the weekend.

PS. I just checked and The Cunster's back on top of the lineup for the second straight game! Unheard of! Sweep 'em away Friars. And then go to Busch Stadium this weekend with your heads held high knowing that if you do make the playoffs, you won't have to worry about losing to that crap team in the first round. But beat them, don't get distracted, definitely beat them too. 'Cause they suck right now. So beat them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Eric Show

If you missed this article on Eric Show over at ESPN take a look. Not a happy story.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Kept Faith Podcast Episode 11


New Episode: Surviving the losing streak, Why Cox SUCKS & Steve Garvey joins us (kinda) The Kept Faith Podcast - http://bit.ly/a5uT2P

There's Nothing Quite Like...

There's nothing quite like sweeping the Dodgers to break out of a ten game losing streak.

Cliff Floyd knows.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day... now go to a game.

September 6th, 2010.


Like it or not (I don't, for the record), but this Labor Day could also commemorate the day the Padres lose sole possession of first place in the NL West. The collective eyes of San Diego are on Mat Latos - the guy with the tattoo of a baseball stitching around his wrist. He's the guy Friar nation needs on the mound tonight and he'll be there. He tried to stop the bleeding last Friday, but the rest of the team got together and said "Nah, we don't need this one, we'll win tomorrow." Well they didn't win "tomorrow," or the next day, or the nine previous games before "the next day." Okay, the point is they're losing a lot and today, Labor Day of all glorious days, starts a week straight of home games against the Dodgers and Giants. This is the biggest week of the season, so if you're reading this and you have some semblance of a passion for the San Diego Padres, go to Petco and show your support. God knows there'll be plenty of Dodgers fans pretending their season still matters and Giants fans knowing their season still matters showing up.

And let's hope Luebke picks up where he left off tomorrow with those last nine hitters he put down. By this time next week, thoughts of a playoff run may be a distant memory. But they're not yet, so let's get to the park and cheer this team on.

Latos.
Laatos.
Laaatos.
Laaaatos.
Laaaatos FTW!

Friday, September 3, 2010

If it's Yellow let it Mellow

Dallas has already told you about our trip to San Francisco a couple weeks ago to watch the Padres play in enemy territory. I’ve never visited an enemy stadium when anything to care about was on the line and it felt fantastic. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

In the post-win afterglow of our victory over the hated Giants I decided it would be a good idea to get a picture of our posse of Padres fans who had made the trip. Looking at that picture the next day it struck me that every single one of us except one is wearing a throwback version of the brown and yellow Padres colors. The lone exception is Dallas and he’s wearing an orange SD beanie (because he thinks he’s different). I also noticed that of the few Padres fans that were also at AT&T park that day, most were wearing yellow and brown. This got me wondering about why the Padres management is running from this logo.

Over the last decade the Chargers have worn their baby blues two or three times a year. And the same thing was happening. More fans were wearing the beautiful throwback uniform than were wearing the modern ones. Finally the Chargers stood up and made a compromise. They took some of the design elements from the baby blue uniforms (white piping on the shoulder, white helmets) and incorporated those into the every day uniform of the Chargers. It worked. The new uniforms look great and they’ve been embraced by the Chargers fans who now wear those AND the baby blues.

So my question for the Padres is why not find a compromise between the brown and yellow of the 1970’s and now? Even looking at the simple hat from 78, the panel with a different color on the front is a unique design that’s fallen almost completely out of use in Major League Baseball for apparently no reason at all. The Blue Jays have a throwback hat that incorporates it and it is also one of the best looking caps in MLB (but they insist on wearing that crazy “robot” T hat).

It helps any team’s brand to have a popular look. Some teams are able to make their look popular through winning and championships but, this year excluded, the Padres are never really going to brand themselves as perpetual winners, so why not run towards the logo that has actually created interest on it’s own merits. Rappers have embraced both San Diego franchises “throwback” looks. Every Padres fan younger than 35 I know would rather wear the brown and yellow than the “sand and blue.” So why won’t ownership embrace that idea? Instead we’re subjected to camouflage every Sunday and “sand and sand” on the road. It seems like a no brainer to try to modernize what’s great about the old school brown and yellow uniforms. Hopefully new ownership will see the value of reevaluating their dismissal of the brown and yellow. After all, it is a color scheme that despite not seeing the field (except on special occasions) remains immensely popular amongst fans. And let’s be honest, new uniforms would help distract us from this godawful losing streak. So here’s to the new look Padres of 2011 (may they be wearing the new uniforms in defense of a world championship).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Kept Faith Podcast Ep.10! With special guest - John Reis!

Holy Chris Gwynn Padres fans! What in the name of Jack McKeon is happening? 7-game losing streak and children's tears everywhere!

WELL you're in luck! Because on this episode we are joined by legendary musician (and SD native/lifelong Padres fan) JOHN REIS!

(Lead Singer/Guitarist from Rocket From The Crypt, Hot Snakes and Night Marchers and Swami from FM94/9)

John joins us to calm us down and let us know there is hope on the horizon we just gotta keep the faith! We also talk September call ups, Ted Leitner and Dick Enberg!

Download the new episode by clicking this!

While you're at iTunes subscribe to the podcast and leave some comments!
Keep the Faith! We'll get through this together!
Love,
TKF.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Drinking the Kool-Aid


As promised here is the photo that Reid W. made us. We mentioned on the Kept Faith Podcast (available on iTunes!) that we feel Padres fans are starting to drink the kool-aid!

We also mentioned it would be awesome if Tony Gwynn burst through the Western Metal Building as the Kool-Aid Man. It would work, and Reid made our dreams come true.

This should help you get over the current losing streak. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome to the Bandwagon?

On Friday morning, myself and two other Kept Faith contributors (Travis and Joe) started the long trip north to witness the Padres V. Giants battle for first place. It was all part of a big surprise party for another TKF writer and (unfortunately) Giants fan, Sean O’Donnell. We had a suite. We had beer and we had a prediction to destroy.

In case you missed it earlier in the week, Jonathan Sanchez predicted the Giants would sweep the Padres and overtake first place. Most Padres fans thought this was hilarious, but secretly we were all frightened that this would come true. The chance of Bruce Bochy inflicting pain on his old team for selling him short through most of the 2000’s. Can’t blame him. Who wants to manage Ryan Klesko and Desi Relaford? I would maybe be the only one interested in that job. Maybe. Anyway, the Padres had just swept the Pirates, the Giants were on fire and this was truly the most important series of our surprisingly amazing season.

First off if you’ve never been to AT&T Park, do yourself a favor and go. It’s the best of the retro parks and is full of great fans that don’t want to kill you. Unlike Dodger fans. Everyone attending the game in our entourage, except Sean and his lady, were sporting Padres gear. While walking to the stadium we were treated to hateful stares and playful heckles. One guy actually yelled out of his car, “Eff You Padres!” I yelled back “Thank you for not cursing!” We entered the stadium and were immediately ushered in to the suite elevator, which was nice as we skipped all the commoners’ childish comments. Our suite was fantastic and we had the perfect view to watch Jonathan “The Predictor” Sanchez get shelled. Well shelled is a strong word, how about…handled. It was a sloppy game on both ends that included not one but four base running pickles (One that was brilliantly executed by A-Gonz and ended with a diving tag by the Panda.) and three wild pitches. However, we still came out on top with Heath Bell coming in to close out the Padres 3-2 victory. But then something happened that hasn’t happened in quite a long time: As the seven of us cheered Heath Bell’s final out we noticed that the rest of the stadium was completely quiet. It was like he had just cheered someone getting stabbed. We stood a little stunned by the experience but continued our celebration nonetheless. We knew if we left the suite early we’d be berated and heckled to no end, so we stayed a few extra minutes to look down to the lower section to yell and gloat. This is when something happened to me THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE - EVER! As I stood exposing my Padres shirt to the lower level, the Giants fans below me started yelling back and giving me some words. It was all in good fun and really both sides were laughing as we were doing it. Again, a tell tale sign no Dodger fans were around. Then, one Giants fan got a little angry and asked me when I bought my Padres shirt? I asked why and he said, “Did you buy it last week?” I replied with, “Yeah!” because last week I did in fact buy a new Padres shirt. Then he yelled back a magical word, “BANDWAGONER!”

I was stunned. I was shocked and I had no comeback. I could not believe that this guy called me a bandwagoner. I almost thought I heard him wrong, but sure enough as I looked at him in shock he said it again. I walked away feeling like someone had just called me relevant. I have been a Padres fan since my family moved to San Diego in 1984 (Good year) and I have never wavered in my support for the Friars except if the Reds make the playoffs and the Padres don't. Of course there was no way this heckler could know this and nothing I said back would convince him. I could yell, “I cried when Mike Darr died!” but he would have been confused and thrown something at me. I was also astounded that this dude was calling me a bandwagoner as I stood in a suite at Giants stadium with several other fans. Looking at the situation he had to assume that we drove or flew up for the game and rented the suite. Is that what a real bandwagoner does? I don’t think so.

The last thing that amazed me was as we were walking to the parking lot we got several choice words yelled at us and one guy tried to take off Joe’s hat, which set me into temporary rage. There is no reason for that fans. You lost, now tell me to go back to San Diego and don’t try to touch me. Starting a fight over millionaires is idiotic. But, at that moment it hit me - we are villains in this city because we matter! We could have won this game last year or anytime during the 2000’s and people would have just laughed at us and pitied our record, but not this year. They hated us - we were experiencing an honest to God pennant race! It felt almost transcendent.

We spent the night walking to a couple bars and getting serious glares and some heckles here and there from locals. One bartender wouldn’t serve Travis in his Padres jacket and hat. It was to say the least - refreshing. I felt like a Yankee fan walking into any stadium that wasn’t Yankee stadium. I felt like the big dog on campus and everyone was pissed because they could not figure out why I was the big dog. We drank the night away and celebrated our good fortune till the wee hours of the morning.

On our drive home the next day it was relatively quiet and most of us spent the trip sleeping. We listened to the day game on the radio, which the Padres blew in the 11th inning, and all of our happiness kind of spilled out onto the 580 east. It only mattered slightly that we were so triumphant and had so much fun the night before. We were now back where we started in every way possible just 24 hours ago. Joe drove a bit faster and Travis got on his iPad to check other scores and highlights. I went to sleep, wondering how long it would be until someone would call me that magical name that no Padres fan has been called in over a decade - Bandwagoner.