Padres’ Potentially Get Some Much Needed Power(s)!

 

Forget how many takes it took to get this footage, the skills from the Padres’ own Connor Powers is no joke.  Check out Powers’ accuracy in knocking over several cameras (among other items the ball seems to be magnetized to).  I guess it is a good thing he isn’t in New York or LA, he could really do some damage to those pesky paparazzi! 

Why the Yankees are Like Heidi Montag

Ok, so it is no surprise that I hate the Yankees.  I am a 100% die hard Yankee hating person.  I am a self declared fan of the Padres, the A’s and whoever is playing against the Yankees.  

I was recently asked a question of what I hate more: the Yankees or waking up early.  Now, I hate waking up early.  I am not a morning person.  There is nothing beneficial for me, right now, in waking up early.  I am grouchy, I don’t want to talk to you, just let me sleep.  My answer to that question: the Yankees.  I despise them, everything about them.  
So on to my point…
Why are the Yankees…

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like this chick…???
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Ok, so, The Yankees and Heidi Montag… They have more in common than you might think.
So every Yankees haters out there… and even fans of the team should know that they are the epitome of what is wrong with this country.  They seek instant gratification and when they dont get it they cry and complain and throw a tantrum until they get it.  So, what do they do to get it?  They throw money around and throw it away like its nothing.  
Thats getting off subject a bit. Sorry, back to my point. 
Case 1:  Unhappy with the way things are currently looking, exhibit A starts to notice flaws.  But, its not one or two things they notice, the whole situation is messed up in their eyes.  
Case 2:  Noticing that someone close to them is receiving more love and attention than they are, Exhibit A starts to feel bad and do what they can to get in the spot light.  
Case 3:  Trying not to be left in the limelight, Exhibit A spontaneously finds itself in situations where they know they will receive attention and people will talk about them.
Case 4:  Instead of building a better overall situation, Exhibit A decides that it is smart to just do everything at one time and hopefully that will be enough.
Case 5:  After going through an extensive make over process, exhibit A realizes that although improved, they are still being criticized for their current state. 
Case 6:  After doing everything they can to be the “best” they can, Exhibit A is still not good enough for everyone, and inevitably will go through more changes in search of that elusive perfection.  
Case 7:  Inevitably, in a couple years, Exhibit A will look back and realize they cant keep up their ways of throwing away money and attempt to be a normal organization, but do not have the knowledge to be able to do so, therefore, a couple down years will be followed by the throwing away of more money to try and improve.  
Case 8:  After being discovered to be such a “bust,” exhibit A falls into a state of depression because more than 70% of the nation cant stand the mere sight of them.
So have we discovered what exhibit A is?  Obviously it is no surprise…It is either the Yankees or Heidi Montag, they both fit each of the descriptions.  Hence, I have listed a few, of many, man ways, the NY Yankees and Heidi Montag are so similar.  
I could come up with several other analogies how the two compare perfectly to each other… but bottom line is that they are both fake, the blow money on nonsense, and dramatically more people hate them than like them.  
With that said…Go Padres!  Go A’s!  
Is it Spring Training yet?!  

Mark McGwire Took Steroids?!

mark-mcgwire-celebration.jpegOK, so if you were at all shocked by the admission yesterday of Big Mac taking steroids and HGH, then I feel sorry for you.  It would probably even be a good idea for you to stop reading this post, or anything MLB related for the next few weeks.  It should have been that common of knowledge.  

In any case…
I am a fan of the Padres and A’s.  I became a fan of the A’s in 1996, so this did not leave me much time to really get into the Mark McGwire deal with them.  I can honestly say that I, still, to this day, remain somewhat in the middle ground when it comes to the topic of steroids  in baseball.  Do I think it is/was cheating?  yes.  Do I condone the use of steroids? no.  Can I understand why players got into using PEDs?  yes.  
Unfortunately, I am one of those who believe that a conservative estimate of players the took PEDs could be around the 80-85% mark.  It was the culture in baseball.  It was like this for a very long time.  We see astronomical numbers coming from the era of baseball.  
So, getting to my point…
I remember a day back in 1998, in early September.  I was 15 years old.  
To properly remember this time, we must remember a few years earlier when baseball went through one of its darkest periods in its history.  The strike shortened 1994 season.  This strike ended a year in baseball in which the Expos (!) were dominating the NL East, Tony Gwynn was well on his way to having a legit chance at hitting .400, Frank Thomas was in the middle of his best year, and among many others, the World Series was eventually missed as well.  
The state of baseball, and specifically amongst the fans was in terrible condition.  Many people gave up on baseball for various reasons.  This didn’t stop when baseball resumed.  It lasted for many, many years. 
I personally attribute the return of baseball to 2 events.  This first being Cal Ripken’s record breaking task of consecutive games played.  The second being the 1998 Home Run chase where Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire made a run at, and ended up breaking, Roger Maris’s single season home run record.  
Going back to this day in early September, I was at a Padres game, I was walking down a long staircase to head to my seats.  I specifically remember seeing everyone, at the same time, run to the nearest TV screen.  I, of coarse, did so as well.  What was on the screen?  Mark McGwire.  His at bats were being shown on ESPN, and at this point he was tied with Maris for home runs in a season.  Then it happens.  You hear the crack of his bat, followed by an outcry of cheers and excitement coming from every direction.  Then the ball flies over the left field wall on a dead shot line drive.  
This was exciting!  Baseball was back that summer.  You could feel it.  That home run race was as exciting as it had been in a long time.  
I remembered exactly where I was, at 15, when this happened.  Chances are you remember exactly where you were, too.  
Like i said, I am not condoning anything Mark McGwire has done.  But, lets not forget what came from this mans bat.  He, and Sammy Sosa, brought baseball back.  What an amazing thing to witness.  
So, while we are jumping on this guys back, and giving him hell for cheating (which is justified), lets try to remember that summer of 1998.  And maybe, just maybe, we will be a little quicker to forgive, and maybe even thank Big Mac for that summer.  Without that boost, I guarantee baseball is a totally different game than it is today.  I know that fan base wouldn’t be as strong.  

The Number That Should Be Retired By Every Team, in Every Sport

This will be short, sweet, and to the point.  

With talks circling the NBA about retiring Michael Jordan’s #23, much like baseball has done with Jackie Robinson’s #42, this is what I have to say about it.
MJ was a player, a once in a lifetime player at that, but he was a player.  Jackie Robinson did more for sports in this country than any other player.  
So I say don’t retire the number 23 in the NBA, but retire #42 in all major sports in America… 
What do you think?  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Lets hear it…

Close Calls and the Umpires Who Miss Them

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With the World Series over and the hated Yankees winning the World Series, I congratulate the Phillies on returning to the Series.  If they played the way the should have, it would have been a great series.  
On to the situation at hand.  One of the hot topics in baseball over the past few weeks have been the missed calls, by umpires, that seem to be a daily factor in baseball games.  It has come under a lot of scrutiny from fans, writers, commentators and so on.  A couple of these calls have come from the World Series and others from LCS and Divisional Series games.  It is one thing to miss a call during the regular season, but what do we make of this when it comes down to a game where EVERY at bat counts?
Many people have cried out for an expansion of what can be Instant Replay so that such calls can’t be missed.  
People, deal with it. 
I played baseball for a long time.  There were many calls that I felt the umpires missed that hurt me and the team.  On the other hand, we were on the side of some bad calls that went our way.  You win some, you lose some on these calls.  Its what happens in baseball.  This was in high school for me. 
Lets take a look at professional MLB umpires, who, in my opinion, are amazing at what they do.  They make the right call 98%+ of the time.  A good majority of these plays are very close too, and yet they still get them right.  Now, they are not 100% accurate, but again, its a part of the game.  It has been since baseball started.  
The bottom line is that, we use Instant Replay now for disputed home run and foul ball calls.  In this case the distance from an umpire to where the ball lands can be very far, and it is nearly impossible to the the potential quarter-inch difference between a home run and a ball off the wall.  Use Instant Replay in that situation.  But for the call at first, the tag plays, and so on, let the umpires do their jobs.  It might not be perfect, but its pretty damn close. Besides, as much as many of you think could do better than these guys, you can’t.  Its that simple.   
Like I said: you win some, you lose some.  In the end, your team should play the game so that the game is not decided on one close call.  Let your play dictate the winner.  There is no disputing that.  
Here’s to the fun year we have had, an exciting off-season thats here, and the 2010 season shortly to come!  
    

The San Diego Padres… What A Mess.

As a pretty much lifelong resident of San Diego, I have a deep and undying love for our hometown team, the Padres.  What an emotional year and a half it has been.  Lets recap some of the events which have unfurled over the last couple years.  


February 2008 – Majority owner (90%) John and Becky Moores announce divorce after nearly 45 years of marriage.  

August 17(ish), 2008 – In an attempt to cut payroll, Greg Maddux is traded to NL West rival Dodgers, paying $1.3MM of the contract, and receiving 2 low level prospects in return. At this point the Padres payroll was at about $73MM.

End of 2008 Season – Finished season with a 63 – 99 record, good enough for last in the NL West.  Only Seattle and Washington had worse records.  Payroll is expected to be cut dramatically.  

November 7th, 2008 – Kevin Towers exercises Brian Giles 2009 option at $9MM, over a $3MM buyout (This was after Giles vetoed a trade which would have landed him in Boston).
Second Half of 2008 Season - Jake Peavy trade rumors start brewing
December 2, 2008 – SS Khalil Greene traded to St Louis for RP Mark Worrell and a player to be named later, which became Luke Gregerson.

December 15, 2008 – Owner John Moores hires Goldman Sachs to help facilitate sale of his portion of team (90%).
February 3, 2009 – A deal is reached to sell the team to a group headed by Jeff Moored, who was CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Initially, the new ownership group retains 35% share of team, with majority ownership no later than 3 years down the road, and full ownership of Moores shares by 5 years.  
Off Season 2008/2009 – Jake Peavy is rumored to be involved in trades multiple teams, with the closest deals coming with the Braves and, later, the Cubs.  
Pre-2009 Season – Payroll is set at $40MM by John Moores.  This is nearly half of the 2008 mark.  
So this painting the broad strokes and major events which have occurred in in the last year and a half with the Padres.  Even revisiting these events has made me frustrated and sad.  That is a witness as a fan and not in a good way.  
What has happened?
During the 2008 campaign Brian Giles put up a respectable .306 BA, 40 2B, 12 HR, 63 RBI.  He held the highest BA on the team.  
Flash to present day, 2009, a DL warming Giles has put up numbers Mario Mendoza could laugh at.  He owns a .191 BA, 10 2B, 2 HR, and 23 RBI to this point. His time has been spent best on the DL, 31 games and counting…
Before tonight’s game, the Padres are 37-55.  The only teams with worse records are Cleveland (36-57) and Washington (26-65).  Does Washington really count though? 
Currently on the Disable List:  Jake Peavy, Giles, Henry Blanco, David Eckstein, Chris Young, Nick Hundley, Cliff Floyd, Cha Seung Baek, and Shawn Hill.  This provides a HUGE problem.  If the team is looking to the future and wants to trade away its talent for young talent, they simply can’t do it right now.  First off, the players many teams covet are on the DL.  Secondly, even if we could trade them, how do we put a team on the field when everyone is injured?  

So what do we do?

In all honesty, and I hate to admit it, I have little to no hope for this year, or next.  Ill still go to games, Ill still show my support, but I’m losing hope.  I cant wait until the day Moorad and his crew take over.  I hope that changes everything,  

In my opinion, we need to cut Brian Giles, trade Peavy in the off-season (in retrospect we should have taken the offer from the Braves), trade the awful Kevin Kouzmanoff, and do everything in our power to get John Moores out of our town ASAP.  

This is just some basic steps in a laundry list of things the team needs to do.  Padres fan cant continue to go through this for much longer.  Give us some help.  Throw us a bone.  Do something.  The team is losing its fans.  I hate hearing the words “Padres need to save face” with the fans.  How can they save face when the fans are already betrayed?  

What do you think?  Should the Padres continue with a salary cuts and trade Adrian, Peavy, Kouz, Eckstein, and so on?  

Love it? Hate it?  Suggestions for the team?  


Bo Knows Baseball

The Man, The Myth, The Legend:

He is Bo Jackson      
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Ok, so I am 26 years old… As I kid i had the Bo Jackson game boy game where you could play both baseball and football.  I remember the “Bo Knows” commercials.  And I vaguely remember watching him play baseball.  I wish I could remember actually watching him play.  
I see the highlights from his days playing baseball, and I sit in Awe.  Much like I remember doing when watching Michael Jordan play basketball.  Images still to this day replay over and over of hit hitting legendary home runs, throwing people out from the outfield wall with no bounces, and running up a wall like it was as flat as the outfield he owned.  
One of my favorite stories to hear about Bo Jackson was a throw he made to nail Harold Reynolds at the plate.  Reynolds was on first base and a gapper was hit to right center, Raynolds took off, with decent speed, it was a no brainer he was going to score with ease.  Jackson had something else in mind.  As Jackson gets the ball at the base of the wall, he fires a rocket toward home to get Reynolds.  As this is happening, Reynolds rounds third and begins to pull up and cruise in for the run, but to his surprise he looks up to see his teammates yelling at him to get down and slide, thinking its more for courtesy he begins a lackadaisical slide to home, as he looks up at the catcher, there is a ball in his mitt, tagging Reynolds, with ease, for the out.  Jackson fire a laser to the catcher, and on no bounces, got the ball home in time to nail Reynolds.  
If you ever get a chance to hear Reynolds tell this story in his words, you will realize how amazing it is.  
What I would give to see this guy play today!  This is just his baseball career I am talking about.  We are not even going to mention his football days.  I constantly try to find clips of him from his baseball days, and I find nothing.  I dont know if MLB has that video under lock and key or what, but I want to see it!   Any Ideas how I can access any of this video?
In any case… I had to show a little love to this man who I can barely remember playing, but whose stories are larger life!  

So What’s Up With This Strasburg Kid?

So I’m in a pretty situation in my life.  I live in San Diego and I attend San Diego State.  For anyone who even vaguely pays attention to the future of baseball, listens to sports talk, watches ESPN, is into the baseball draft, played baseball, someone you know plays baseball, or even know what a baseball is, then you have heard the name Stephen Strasburg.  
By now, you might imagine this guy as being a 7’6″ monster of a pitcher, whose mere stare alone could cause a batter to tremble from his cleats and sink back into his hole known as the dugout; all without even throwing a pitch.  He has a literal fire trail left behind the seams when he throws his fastball.  His breaking ball has ruptured more ACLs than the history of the NFL and NBA….combined.  
With that being said.  Lets talk about the facts.
Strasburg is 6’4″, 220 pounds.  and will be turning 21 in July.  
Unless I am mistaken, that is pretty normal, not inhuman or anything,  If it is I am in trouble, cuz I am 6’4″ and about 210.
Strasburg has a fastball that is consistently clocked at the 101 mark.  And it is not uncommon for it to be seen touching the 103 MPH mark.  It is said that pitchers who pitch that fast are at a somewhat disadvantage.  Because of the speed, their pitched are as straight as an arrow.  No movement on it whatsoever.  This is not the case with Stras.  He throws as 100+ fastball that moves.  Could you imagine trying to hit that?  


Check out the youtube video on Stras’s 23 K outing against Utah last year.  It looks like he is throwing a whiffle ball.  


Now we are talking about refined collegiate athletes looking like they dont know what a baseball bat even is.  Think this guy is not legit?  Think trying to hit a consistently throw 101 MPH fastball is not hard enough.  His fast ball is not reported his best pitch.  It is his knee breaking curveball.  HIs curveball is clocked at an unheard of 88 MPH.  His slider at the mid to upper 90s.  
So far this seasons Stras is 9 -0 with a 1.54 ERA.  He has pitched 70.1 innings and struck out 135.  But wait, there is a small blemish, he has walked 13.  135:13 K to BB ration.  Do you have any idea how unreal that is?  He has nearly a 2 K per inning average over the year so far.  He has a K/9 inning that is approaching 20.  That blows Mark Priors old record out of the water.  
Now the fun part.  Stras is currently being consulted by Scott Boris.  Yes, that Scott Boris.  I know, thats the real blemish.  SI’s John Heyman wrote an article in which he speculated that Boris will be seeking $50MM.  For a first year player this is unheard of.  One article I read a while back, I forget who said it, but the writer stated that right now, Stras could be put into ANY MLB roster and pitch better than just about any pitcher out there.  This writer said that right now (this was in the beginning of the season) he was already better than AJ Burnett.  
It fun to be around such a prospect.  Scouts say he is better than most have seen in their entire lifetime!  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this kid.  I suggest you check it out and get to know him well.  There are articles everywhere on this kid, youtube videos, and other media you can look up.
If you have time, check out the story on how he was not drafted out of high school, and it took one of Tony Gwynn’s assistant coaching practically begging to even get this guy a chance.  
Nationals have the number one pick in the draft, the Mariners have two, and the Padres three. I can only hope that the Nationals and Mariners dont want to fork up the money he could command and the Padres will.  Lets keep this kid in his home town and make him a Padre!  (wishful thinking)

What is the most amazing story in baseball?

Another Topic I love.  Put aside your biases and the one or two team
passion.  Put aside the actual game of baseball and take a look at the
greater cause.  What is the best “feel-good” story in baseball.  I
could list several of them, but for sake of simplicity, I will name the
two that I find the most amazing.  

Josh Hamilton

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Most people know about his story.  But I will do a recap.  
In 1999, Josh Hamilton was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  In 2001, Hamilton got into a car accident which led to the experimenting of drugs.  Due to his drug use, and some to injuries, he did not play much that year.  In 2002 Hamilton was out of baseball and this continued until 2006.  At this time in his life, Hamilton failed many drug tests and attempts at rehab.  
In 2006 Hamilton began to get his life back on track.  He started playing baseball again.  In 2007 he was playing for the Cincinnati Reds who picked him up from the Devil Rays as a Rule 5 pick and was traded in the off season to the Texas Rangers.    
Then 2008 came and this was his year:
156 Games played, 98 Runs, 35 Doubles, 9 Triples, 32 Home Runs, 130 RBIs, and a .304 Batting Average. 
WOW.  What else can I say?  That is an amazing come back by a player who was written off and thrown off to the side as yet another bust.  
If you want to hear an amazing story, look into the depth of Hamilton’s drug use.  He spent nearly $4 million dollars on his drugs addiction.  You can in no way truly realize how low his life got before turning it around.  To truly know where he was you can slightly begin to understand how impressive his return to baseball really is.  
(Side note, during last years 2008 Home Run derby Hamilton hit 28 first round Home Runs… a shattering record.  Watch video on the HRs he hit at old Yankee stadium).
Here is a great story from ESPN – http://sports.espn.go.com/? mlb/news/storyid=2926447
The  second story I love is of Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester.

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In 2006, Lester was called up to pitch for the Red Sox.  During that year, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Born in 1984, this make Lester 22 at the time of his diagnosis.   
By 2007, he was on his way back from his cancer, which is in remission.  That year, including many highlighted paths on his road back, he was the winning pitcher in the deciding game four of the World Series.  
In Early 2008, Lester pitched a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals.  With a small amount of time, and at a very young age, Lester over came cancer, was the winning pitcher in world series clinching game, and threw a no hitter.  Something some great pitcher never do in their entire career.  
Lester is now 25, and has a long, promising career ahead of him.  
Just a shout out to a couple of guys who show us all that professional athletes

are human, just like every one of us.  These two men show us a great deal of courage and s

trength.  I wish each men luck this season and their respective careers.  

Real Quick

I know I just threw my last post up, but in case you missed this.  no words can describe what happens here:

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and
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How does a team spell their own name wrong?!  Where is the O?!!!!  Natinals?  haha, this is great!
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