Labor Day led to one of the quietest weeks in Padres Twitter in a long while. Luckily, as you’ll see in the Podcast section, there was one of the best and most important podcast episodes I’ve heard. Meanwhile, the Padres are doing their best to take a big, steamy, post-Chipotle dump on gaining a competitive edge by tanking. This week, they have pretty much been consistent in sitting at the 9th draft pick position which, given the hopes before the season, WOOF! We also saw Ron Fowler celebrate all of the recent wins which, WOOF! We also saw majority owner Peter Seidler post on Instagram that 2019 would be a playoff year which, WOOF! The wins are giving Padres fans (and ownership) a magical belief that given the success in 2017 buoyed by journeyman like Pirela, ClayDick, Chacin, and Cahill (still 8th in team WAR!), 2019 playoffs is within reach. The actual hope for such a result is fine. It’s what fans do (or used to do before we were sensibly compelled to root for a tank), we root for our team to win and succeed. The problem is when key stakeholders that can actually drive action and decision making start believing it because that’s the kind of thing that can lead to another 2015.
Let’s get down to business.
Days Since Marver Has Actually Posted Something: 83 days
As we continue the long, sad march for Marver to hit 100 days again, it’s struck me that maybe we shouldn’t lament the lack of Marver writing, we should celebrate it.
This Week In Padres Twitter has gotten way bigger and way longer than I envisioned when I first thought of doing a Padres blogosphere/podcast/Twitter digest. It takes a few hours now, and that’s a great testament to the quality and volume of content coming from independent Padres bloggers and podcasters.
Padres Blogosphere Posts:
There was a big debate on the Tweeter this week about what exactly Luis Perdomo is. Going into the season, dummies were talking about Perdomo as an ace, which was always just silly. But he shows glimpses of being a real Major League starter, and he has a built in excuse of “well he hadn’t pitched above A ball” (this is often used while forgetting that he will be 25 next season and had 5 professional seasons and multiple seasons at the A level). His stats aren’t great. Dustin covers the nuts and bolts of his deficiencies, and highlights his inability to find success the third time through the lineup, likely due to this two pitch arsenal. You can use the “he was the victim of Rule 5” only for so long, and at some point, his stats are just who he is, not the result of being unprepared for the level he’s at (which team management has full control to remedy but have chosen not to). It’s often pointed out by Padres employees that he is one of the leaders in double plays, which is good. But it’s also bad. It means he’s putting a lot of runners on base, but due to his sinker, is getting out of those situations with double plays. If you watch a lot of his starts, Perdomo usually has an inning where he gets into trouble. He’ll put a few runners on base with 0 or 1 out, and it’s a tipping point for how his outing will go. Sometimes he gets a double play and escapes the jam. But sometimes he doesn’t and it turns into a big inning. To me, he seems like a guy that is fine to use as a starter for a bad team like the Padres, but for a good team, he could be a really good reliever. He is tailor-made to be a reliever that comes in during a crucial situation with multiple runners on base and 0 or 1 outs. He’s the double play specialist. If he’s a starter in 2020 when the team is supposed to be good, I think that’s a really bad sign, because it means the starters with actual good ceilings in the minors now didn’t pan out. And if that happens, it kind of puts into question the entire plan’s chances of success.
James Clark wrote a nice write-up on how Manuel Margot is not only succeeding on the field, he’s becoming a core part of the future Padres. I wrote about Margot last week and it shouldn’t be misconstrued as being negative on Margot. He’s really good, and he’ll likely get better. He’s not going to be a superstar, but he’s going to be a local star that provides steady, above average performance at a critical position, and that is very valuable. The only thing I took umbrage with in James’ article was this statement:
The way Wil Myers conducts himself on the ball field is being observed by the young core of players. He provides the perfect example of how to play the game the correct way. There is no doubt Myers gives the core group a great mentor.
I haven’t seen a Padre casually jog out more outs at first than Wil Myers this year. He literally admitted to not trying hard for AN ENTIRE HALF SEASON last year. He was then rewarded with a rich contract after admitting to not trying hard and putting up a half season of lackluster to terrible results. This is no the ideal motivational message I’d be looking to popularize in the clubhouse. I’ve yet to see a single shred of evidence that he is a good leader, or that it would be a good idea for him to be a mentor. If I’m picking mentors on this team, Myers is around 21st on my list.
The Golden Age of Padres Podcasts:
Ignore the mention of NFL football in the title. Skip to about the 25 minute mark. John Gennaro, Craig Elsten and John Browner have an incredibly insightful discussion of sports media today, specifically an emphasis on the impact of team’s trying to “control the message” with team owned media. They discuss the many factors that can motivate “legitimate” journalists to basically perform PR for the teams they cover, ranging from wanting to maintain access to players to wanting to position themselves for a cushy salaried job with the team. Look no further than Bill Center. He wrote softball coverage of the Padres for years, proved he could play ball with the Padres’ desperate attempt to “control the message”, and landed a retirement job writing up blog posts after scouting the box scores of minor league games. In a world of crumbling media businesses, this is a powerful motivator. I can vouch that there is plenty of evidence of things Mike Dee did to get fired, and trust me, every media member in town knows the reasons Mike Dee got fired. As I’ve been told, the Padres have made it clear that reporting on it would be grounds to have press passes pulled and access removed. In the end, Padres fans are lucky to have a robust ecosystem of blogs and podcasts providing independent coverage of the team. The Padres have said in the past that they will not provide press passes to blogs, and to me, this is a blessing. As this podcast discusses, press passes are a tool to control the messaging produced by holders of the press pass. Accepting a press pass is tantamount to trading in the freedom to freely cover the team, and to me, that is unacceptable. We will never be offered a press pass, but we would never accept one either, if offered. John Gennaro and Craig Elsten did an outstanding job of providing an insiders view on how teams attempt to control what gets out to fans, so thank christ for the blogs. I’m writing another blog post on what will happen to Padres coverage in this town when/if the sports radio stations go under. Lord knows 94.9 won’t cover them so who’s left? The blogs and the terribly operated team owned entities of FriarWire, Bill Center podcasts, and mlb.com beat writers like AJ Cassavell.
Kevin Charity is always a delight. While Madfriars Overlord John Conniff gets the big Darren Smith spotlight, Kevin is providing great coverage as well for Madfriars. When he joins the 5.5 Podcast gang, it is just outstanding listening. They cover the prospects in the system, which like I said last week is getting goddamned tiring, but they do it in an interesting manner. If there’s one thing that has been great about this Padres season, it’s been the rise of The 5.5 Podcast.
John and Craig make second appearance on TWIPT this week. MTPGA did a great job covering how inconsequential a change in the hitting coach really is, but also discusses some “read between the lines” reasons for Zinter’s firing. They also touch on The Deuce which has been truly outstanding. It’s typical MTPGA goodness, but if you can only listen to one Gennaro podcast this week, listen to the Casual Friday discussion of media.
Tweet of the Week:
And the Jaggy goes to…
I’ve alredhttps://twitter.com/haha1721/status/905654676581883907y mentally prepared myself for Aybar to be brought back next season.
Terrible Marver Tweet Of The Week:
SHUT UP ABOUT THE CHARGERS ALREADY
Nick Canepa Is An Out Of Touch Irrelevant Old Timer Or Maybe Doing A Bit Tweet Of The Week:
The tweet but also the SDUT column are just peak Canepa. Is there anything more pathetic small town than Canepa’s repeated usage of Judases for the Chargers? It is so petty, but at the same time, so unfunny, that in a way, it’s just the perfect example of Canepa being irrelevant. And here’s the basic thing to remember, and it ties into our Catnip for Morons feature (which is taking a break this week). The local sports media is desperate for you to care about the Chargers. It’s why Posner tries so hard to tweet ratings and polls that support his media entity to continue to cover the Chargers like nothing has changed: it is the only real chance for survival. The same goes for local sports radio. Without Chargers talk, the two local sports radio stations will not exist. The question is if this is really that bad (it’s really a question, not a statement). San Diego just doesn’t have the level of sports to support multiple, or maybe even one sports talk station. So they are trying, and they are trying hard, to get you to care about the Chargers and NFL talk. It’s not so much that they want to do it, it’s more that it may be one last desperate gasp for air before they move on to the final desperation stage of a fish praying for an earthquake to knock it back into the water.