Saturday, July 31, 2010

Now we're talking

In Ryan Ludwick, the Padres get more than a .281 hitter with some pop and decent RBI numbers. They get a great signal from the front office.

In organizing this trade that involved Ludwick’s Cardinals and the Cleveland Indians, Jed Hoyer pulled off the first three-team trade that the Padres have been involved in since around 1995, according to the MLB Network. Since Hoyer took over, I’ve been excited by the fact that the Padres seemed to have a plan they were actually sticking to – complementing good pitching with athletic, speedy players to better utilize spacious Petco Park. This Ludwick trade shows that he’s also willing get creative to achieve the plan.

Plus, Ludwick isn’t that expensive at $5.4 million and he is under contract for another year. I’m not saying he’s going to take the Padres to the World Series this year, but a front office with both a plan and creativity is a great start.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Tejada Trade Via Text

After the news broke that the Padres would now be dressing Miggy T a couple thoughts went through my head:

1) Is Kevin Towers still the GM?
2) Is he playing SS?
3) I am gonna try to be optimistic.

Josh Elwell then texted me the official news and we had the following conversation via text.

JOSH: Looks like Miggy may be heading to SD. At least that means you get your wish since he'll probably take Oscar Salazar's roster spot.

JOSH: Yep, it's done. Tejada the Padre. He'll share time with Evereth at SS. Maybe even some 2B too.

DALLAS: He can't play short anymore! He's a f**&^ng third baseman!

JOSH: He played it last year. Played 158 games at SS.

DALLAS: How many this year?

JOSH: Come on. That wasn't my point. The O's needed him at 3B. But he's played th epast 10 or however many years at short. He can do it for two more months!

DALLAS: I'm not kidding you - I'm trying to be optimistic.

JOSH: I'm trying to be optimistic too. Definitely not excited. But, I'm pointing out he can still play SS. And he hit really well there for the Astros last year. Terrible this year though. But I'm hoping going to a first place team will excite him and we can get two good months out of it. And we gave up nobody.

DALLAS: True. He can't hit MUCH worse than Cabrera.

JOSH: Another truth.

DALLAS: I would have just rather worked on getting an arm and playing Jerry H. Jr. at 2nd till Eck comes back then put JHJR at SS fulltime.

JOSH: Well here's the latest: They're still in talks on a mystery trade. This won't stop us from getting an outfielder. And they could still get an arm in August.

DALLAS: I like Cunningham and El Dorkia. They have been good. ARM!!

JOSH: A poet! Tejada's quote: "Now I go into a situation where I can get a ring. It's not easy to get a ring. It's a lot of hard work."

It is indeed Miggy. Now you better start working!


... But you got Tejada

Sorry Josh, but it looks like Miguel Tejada and his penchant for hitting into double plays is coming to San Diego.

According to my co-worker from Baltimore, "It's hard to put into words how bad he is." Yikes!

I want Berkman.

Now that the Astros have their Lance Berkman replacement in Brett Wallace, maybe that last minute effort by the Padres to land Roy Oswalt will lead to a trade for Berkman - who has absolutely crushed the ball at Petco Park.

That's all I got.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Grab a seat fast, the bandwagon is starting to fill up.

As the Padres head toward the fifth month of the season still in first place, seems fans are finally taking notice. I went to the game last night (Tuesday) against the Dodgers, and the stadium was actually almost full, kind of sort of raucous, and a good 50 percent Padres fans. (As opposed to the usual 40 percent when the Doyers are in town). When Andre Ethier's pinch hit single scored the go-ahead runs for the away team, there were far more groans than cheers in Historic Petco Park.

I'm not the only one who noticed. This guy from the OC Register thought last night felt like October. Of course, as soon as the fans showed up, the Padres promptly lost. Maybe these guys preferred having the park to themselves.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Kept Faith Podcast 006

For you Google Reader readers, sorry for the earlier post - technical difficulties. If you'd just start subscribing already, you'd have known this, but our latest podcast is up. Consider it an appetizer before your main course of a sweep over the Dodgers. But not really a healthy appetizer, more like if you ate dessert before the main course. Yeah, that's what this is.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eckstein to DL. Padres still win.

And here I thought it was only the 15-day DL.

That's right. The "heart and soul" of Friar Nation is injured. In his place comes Will Venable. Let's get a quick head count on our Major League outfielders:

Gwynn (Jr.)

How...many...outfielders...can one team have? A little consistency is all I want. But with Eck out, it's looking like the trade deadline focus might shift to a middle infielder over an everyday outfielder. Meaning: the Miguel Tejada era may be on the horizon. It's scary. It's not what we want. It's not what we need. But it may be what we get.

My hope is Jed makes a call over to the D-Bags. It'd cost more in terms of prospects, but trading for Kelly Johnson over Tejada is like trading for something good over something bad. And when/if/I don't even care if Eckstein comes off the DL, Johnson could take over everyday in LF, leaving CF and RF for a history-making seven-man platoon.

One last thing. For all of Eck's know-how and the team touting their 41-30 record when Eckstein's starting, this also means the team's 14-8 when he's not starting. This also means nothing either way. Don't show off a stupid number if it's irrelevant. Forgive my Eckstein frustration. But I'd prefer a second basemen and someone hitting in the two-hole who scores more than 31 runs by July 22nd and gets on base at a better clip than .326, which describes approximately 80% of every other starting second basemen. Guys with stats like Eckstein who "play the game the right way" (a favorite of Eck-defenders) aren't players, they're coaches. And for the foreseeable future, little Davey will be exactly that: An extra coach on Buddy's bench.

And while I'll credit Eckstein on his '06 World Series MVP, I'll also credit him his horrific performance in the NLDS and NLCS of that year. He showed up for the World Series, but he also did everything he could to stop the Cardinals from getting there.

Eckstein to the DL. An excess of every-other-day outfielders. Not wanting Miguel Tejada. Wanting Kelly Johnson. Eckstein to the DL meaning nothing to us winning. This post has it all. For any TKF readers disgusted at my disgust for Eckstein, Dallas' Eckstein man-crush outweighs my distaste... and he puts up more articles here than I do.

Little Leaguers of America, this is how to be a baseball player. Davey said so.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Kept Faith Podcast 005

Wow, five podcasts, who knew we'd make it so far? For this edition, we'd like to thank the death of George Steinbrenner, the sneeze of Mat Latos, the faulty left oblique of Mike Adams, and the bold statement on Luis Durango's Twitter bio for providing us with topics to discuss.

Click here for the episode and start subscribing on iTunes (please).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wily Mo!

Yeah, so he kinda flamed out in Washington over '07 and '08. But, at 28 years old, Wily Mo Pena's the type of player I don't mind signing to a minor league contract. It looks like he's going straight to Portland and we'll see what he does from there. But hopefully (and I'm sure) this will be the first of a handful of moves Jed makes before the 31st. The real significance here is seeing that Jed and co. don't mind rolling the dice on a "non-Petco" type of player.

Because with all the talk of building around speed and defense, making a low-risk move for a power hitter like Wily Mo wasn't expected. Maybe that's why it's fun. And if they think Wily Mo could potentially handle the outfield, than what's stopping them from thinking Lance Berkman could head back there too? (Yes, that's the bat I want hitting behind Gonzo. Sorry, Corey Hart.)

Anyway, here's The Kept Faith's toast to Wily Mo: At least it's not Miguel Tejada.

Oh, and given that he'll be lucky to see anything beyond Portland this year, maybe this is just roster filler in anticipation of trading away a crew of our minor leaguers for someone not two years removed from the big leagues.

Bud Black Signs Extension

Bud Black will be in San Diego for three more years and it is a great thing. But besides the good news, I think it is important to acknowledge that Jed Hoyer, the first year Padres GM, has been able to work well with a manager that he didn’t hire. Instead of coming and cleaning house, he has been able to successfully curb his ego and make the transition as smooth as possible.

"This news comes at a time when the team is playing well, but my faith in Bud goes far beyond wins and losses,'' general manager Jed Hoyer told "He and his staff are exceptionally well prepared, he embraces the challenge of teaching young players and, most importantly, the players compete for him every night.''

Good job, Jed!

Friday, July 16, 2010

2010: Act II

The Padres start the second half against the D-Backs tonight. They’re in first by 2 games, and have the lowest collective ERA in baseball. Heath Bell’s ready! Are you?!?


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

RIP George Steinbrenner

To those who knew him personally, he was generous and kind. To those who enjoyed the spoils of his leadership, his desire to win and rebuild a once-great institution negated his questionable methods. To his opponents, the era of greed, excess and egomaniacal tyranny he ushered in can never be forgiven.

But enough about the Emperor Nero. I’m here to discuss George Steinbrenner.

The Boss passed away today at the age of 80. He suffered a heart attack after years of declining health. In the 37 years he owned the Yankees they won 7 championships, went to the World Series 11 times, and broke the hearts of approximately 250 million baseball fans, either by beating their teams on the field or reaching deeper into their pockets for a free agent.

When I heard the news this morning, I must admit my first instinct as a Red Sox fan was to burst into a chorus of, “Ding dong, the witch is dead.” I held back out of respect for the dead, and because I was alone in my car and that would have been weird. But death has a way of forcing you to take a step back and reflect on a person from new and different perspectives. Sure, for fans of every team other than the Yankees, it was easy to see Steinbrenner as an evil emperor, lording over the league and screaming, “Cower before the glory that wears pinstripes!” But you can argue that a lot of that sentiment came from jealousy. We all wish our teams’ owners were more like that. We all wish the guys in charge cared as much about winning as we did, and you can’t argue that Steinbrenner didn’t care about winning.

For all his faults, Steinbre …. Gahhh! Sorry, I just can’t do it. Yeah, Steinbrenner cared about winning. So did the guys at Countrywide Financial and Lehman Bros. His creation of cable television and marketing deals exacerbated the difference between small and large market teams like never before. His insatiable desire for free agents drove up the price of contracts to the point where only a handful of teams are ever really in the hunt. As much as Red Sox fans like to deride Steinbrenner, it’s teams like the Padres who have suffered the most from the tactics he introduced. At least the Red Sox can try to compete.

There’s been a lot of talk about how Steinbrenner “rebuilt the Yankees.” I won’t even get into the thousands of reasons why I don’t see rebuilding the Yankees as such a wonderful thing, but I must point out that they were a powerhouse team in a giant market that had simply had a few off years. He didn’t turn a Chevette into a Mercedes. He turned an old, slightly beat up Mercedes into a Mercedes. And don’t get me started on how a guy who inherited his father’s ship building business is being portrayed as “self made” in some corners.

Shoot, I really was trying to keep my New Englandness in check here. OK, I will say this for The Boss: He made things interesting. Over the last few years, as he’s more or less retired from public life, there were moments when something would happen in baseball and you would just wait for the inevitable scathing, over-the-top pronouncement from Steinbrenner, and all you’d get was silence. Something felt missing. His was the Big Brother-like face that you could rail against as a symbol of all that is wrong with sports. Who do we have now, Al Davis? Not as effective since Raiders suck. LeBron James? You racist.

So yes, in some ways I’ll miss George Steinbrenner, the same way you miss the bitchy queen bee character in soapy teen dramas when she gets drunk and drowns, or goes to study acting in London. And in about ten years, when we’re spending $60 a month to watch players earning $4 million a swing play in the Pfizer World Series at Mutual Life Field at Yankee Stadium on the MLB Network, I’ll picture George up on a cloud, playing a fiddle and trying to fire God.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I'm thinking of starting a petition and faxing it to Bud Black asking him to keep Gregerson on the bench until after the All-Star break.


He's not going to get his confidence back by pitching in Coors Field after he's already been rocked a bit. Just let him rest and come back strong after the break. He's good, like real good, and the last thing we need is Luke Gregerson getting the yips going down the stretch.

Put in Stauffer. He's fresh. He's sharp. He's looking for redemption.


We need these games. Two games up and we need these games.

Thank you,


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Kept Faith Podcast Episode 004!

After a nice July 4th vacation we are back and stronger than ever with an all new episode!

The Kept Faith Podcast Ep. OO4! Click here to download now!

In this week's episode we go "live" at the unofficial Kept Faith July 4th BBQ! All but one Kept Faith contributors are in house and take the time to get in on the action! We even have a live audience! We talk about Heath Bell and the bullpen getting snubbed, Venable on the DL and Bronson Arroyo?

Also, submit your Padres song in our Padres song writing competition! The winner will get two tickets to a Padres game this season! And maybe other prizes as well! E-mail your submissions to

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter by clicking the link to your right!

Also e-mail us any questions at - we'd love to hear from the Friar faithful out there on an amazing first half!

Enjoy Episode 004 everyone and GO PADS!