Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Training

Yesterday I walked within ten feet of Rollie Fingers. He was standing on the concourse at Scottsdale stadium in Arizona with a sign that said "Meet Rollie Fingers." I had paid ten dollars to watch the Giants play their last "home" spring training game of the season and my eyes were opening to a whole new world of baseball.

Moments later, I relaxed on the lawn that serves as seating in right field. Cubs fans and Giants fans intermingled with no issues. I was able to take a quick five minute nap all while professional major league baseball players played professional major league baseball within spitting distance (I didn't spit).

In a couple hours I'm going to watch the Padres play the Royals and get my first look at our 2010 squad. But what I love about it is that the game won't matter. It's really the ideal circumstances to watch a team like the Padres in spring training when they're just playing for fun and no one is keeping track of standings. It seemed like it was working well for Cubs fans too. Baseball with no strings is the most relaxing sports experience I've ever had.

So I'm headed off to scout our boys, but I suspect I'll just come back thinking that they look like they're having a hell of a time. God bless the Padres.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Kevin Towers Non-Star Team

In honor of Jed Hoyer's first season as the Padres GM, here's the Kevin Towers Non-Star Team, taken from players KT missed out on since '02. Included is a full lineup, 3 SP's, and a Closer. And a full disclaimer: It's completely ridiculous to look back and say who KT & co. should have drafted. But, since we're obviously ignoring how unfair this is, it also wouldn't be hard to find players even better than the ones listed. Okay, enough rambling, here's the team:

SS Yunel Escobar (passed over in the ’05 Draft for Cesar Carrillo)
2B Jason Bartlett (traded to the Twins for Brian Buchanan)
RF Nick Markakis (passed over in the ’03 Draft for Tim Stauffer
LF Jason Bay (traded to the Pirates with Oliver Perez for Brian Giles)
1B Adam Lind (passed over in the '04 Draft for William Killian)
CF Shane Victorino (sent back to the Dodgers after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft)
C Taylor Teagarden (passed over in the ’05 Draft for Josh Geer)
3B David Freese (traded to the Cardinals for Jim Edmonds)

Justin Verlander (passed over in the ’04 Draft for Matt Bush)
Joba Chamberlain (passed over in the '06 Draft for Matt Antonelli)
Cole Hamels (passed over in the ’02 Draft for Khalil Greene)

Joakim Soria (taken by the Kansas City Royals in the '06 Rule 5 Draft)

Welcome to San Diego, Jed Hoyer. Welcome to a varied (yet consistent) history of failure.

But, we still have faith, faith that Everth Cabrera, Mat Latos, Kyle Blanks and Donavan Tate won't be joining the Jed Hoyer Non-Star Team in a few years.

So, my 2010 Season Prediction, you ask? Here it is: Hoyer will start to turn things around.

Hoyer... will start... to turn things... around. (I really believe this.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

My 2010 Season Predictions.

Every time we start another Baseball season here in San Diego, a little piece of me dies. But, somehow I know I'll get through it.

I start the season with a predictions column, and based on my March Madness bracket, I am really good at predictions - NOT! (I miss the early 90’s.)

I’ll start with the AL or as I like to call it: The League of Joe Mauer.

-The Angels change their name once again to: The Los Angeles Non-Denominational Angels of Anaheim and lose 100 games after losing the crucial support of Jesus Christ.

- The A’s move to Montreal and start playing Hockey, yet they still manage to win 75 games.

- The Rangers get A-Rod back and sell him for parts. They then use the money to buy blow for Josh Hamilton turning him back into the stud he was in 2008.

- The Mariners thrive with their revamped lineup. Yep, that prediction was just as boring as being a Mariner’s fan.


- The Tigers try their hardest to actually become real tigers which puts them on the endangered list and protects them from getting beaten by more than two runs in any one game. Jim Leyland dies after being mauled by Brandon Inge.

- The Twins have Joe Mauer.

- The White Sox deport Ozzie Guillen who is immediately scouted and drafted by the Padres after changing his name to Oswald Gillen and lies to the Pads telling them he’s 19 years old.

- The Royals will shock everyone by winning over fifty games and changing leagues to the Premier League.

- The Indians will replace all home games with screenings of Major League and Major League 2. A riot ensues on the streets of Cleveland when someone accidentally plays Major League 3: Back to the Minors on the jumbotron.


- The Red Sox will once again complain about the Yankees spending by producing an ad campaign that costs $200 million. Jason Varitek retires after publicly admitting he “sucks now”.

- The Yankees acquire your favorite player and somehow make him worse.

- The Orioles have a promotional night in which they actually screw their fans. Earl Weaver’s body does nothing in its grave.

- The Blue Jays.

- The Rays go back to being called the Devil Rays and lose 161 games with only one win against the Blue Jays.


WILD CARD: Detroit Tigers.


And now the NL, or as I like to call it: Home.

- The Mets move to the Yankees making it all official.

- The Braves sacrifice Bobby Cox and force Jason Heyward to drink his blood. This oddly enough works: Jason Heyward is really good and Bobby Cox is still alive.

- The Marlins continue to be an MLB team and no one really cares.

- The Phillies continue to dominate as Jayson Werth kills more children and rapes more women.

- The Nationals bring Strasburg up in July and have him pitch every other day creating the two-man rotation of Strasburg and the corpse of Walter Johnson. They each win 50 games.

EASTERN DIVISION CHAMP: Philadelphia Phillies.

- The Pirates ask for permission to commit real piracy on off days. They trade Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees just to prove to their fans they are serious about failing.

- The Cardinals have Albert Pujols.

- The Astros go back to wearing their uniforms from the 80’s. This buys ownership two more seasons to “figure it out”.

- The Brewers go back to the AL forcing Trevor Hoffman to retire. Hoffman is then signed by the Padres to play third base.

- The Cubs finally put it all together. HAHA!

- The Reds become actual Communists. This does wonders for their bullpen and they end up being the only team where every player is credited with at least one win.


- The Diamondbacks continue to be average forcing everyone in Arizona to vote for John McCain until the year 2050.

- The Giants open up a weekend pitching workshop for local kids and Barry Zito. He is kicked out of camp for not listening. Tim Lincecum continues to run from O’Bannion after games.

- The Rockies’ Todd Helton announces his retirement and has one of the best offensive seasons in history. No one outside of Denver cares.

- The Dodgers are torn between who to live with, Mr. or Mrs. McCourt. After taking the summer to think about it they decide to move back to Brooklyn to live with their Grandparents.

- The Padres. Watch.


WILD CARD: St. Louis Cardinals


WORLD SERIES CHAMPS: (The most unwatched in history.) San Francisco Giants.

This could be the worst World Series prediction ever. But, it’s all true. Just watch.

Here's to a great season! Go Pads!

In his kept faith,