Padres Nation can rejoice this week, not because the Padres are in position to seize the 8th overall pick, but because they extended a man that Bill Center has branded A TRUE SAN DIEGAN (TM), Clayton Richard for another two years. The Padres then held a big press conference at Petco Park on Wednesday to announce the BIG signing. It made me wonder, do other teams do this for $3M/year roster fillers? Like do they harness the power of CONTROL THE MESSAGE to write puff pieces for marginally performing aging veterans signed to small contracts? Maybe the Padres are just on the bleeding edge and Bill Center is the tip of the spear.
Days Since Marver Has Actually Written Something: 95 days
It looks like we’re flirting with three digits again as Marver quickly fades into irrelevancy. Exciting!
I still think the question of how the Padres are outperforming their Pythagorean record is an interesting one. I keep hearing the simple theory of “Andy Green just gets the most out of his guys!!!” I think this is a simple view of it that is impossible to back up, especially given the things he actually does affect like shifting and defensive strategy have been bad this year. The thing that really sticks out to me is the bullpen. One of the easiest ways to exceed a Pythagorean record is to play better than expected in 1 run games, aided by the bullpen. In the Padres case, they have two relievers in the top 20 in strand rate (Hand and Stammen), and Craig Stammen has an unreal batting average against with the bases loaded of .077 (2 for 26). These are the types of situations that lead to wins that wouldn’t otherwise be there. I’ve said that Perdomo and Richard lead the league in double plays not only because they throw sinkers, it’s also because they put lots of runners on base to create double play situations. I can’t count how many times Perdomo gets into a sticky situation that makes or breaks his outing. A lot of times he escapes with a timely double play. I think between the outstanding strand performance of the bullpen and the double play heavy rotation, close games have been better than something like Pythagorean could envision.
This may have been the most important piece I ever wrote. I can’t stress the amount of joy I’ve gotten in the past five years freely traveling the country and world for free. Even in times of sorrow, miles have helped me have the freedom to get a very expensive plane ticket on the day of travel to visit my grandmother the day before she passed. The bonus is it also can lead to a more rewarding Padres fandom and a chance to visit other ballparks so you too can vote in an educated manner in USA Today’s Best Ballpark poll (there is no such thing, and there was never a vote, and every time Wayne Partello says it I scream LIAR in my head). As always, DM me if you want more advice. At work, I’ve coached up the intermediate techniques to obtain the Southwest Companion Pass that Darren Smith humblebrags about all the time for 6 coworkers.
Padres Blogosphere Posts:
In all seriousness, Clayton Richard makes perfect sense for the 2018 Padres. He eats innings, he makes puffy paint t-shirts for the boys when they go on road trips, and most importantly for Ron Fowler, he’s cheap. I initially wondered why they would guarantee 2019 to him, especially if they really think it’s a playoff year. He’ll be 36, and he’s not all that good at 33 or 34. But if the Padres can’t cut a $3M player, what are we really doing here. So count this as a Fresh rating.
Tim Arzaga wrote a great piece summarizing the Ohtani Affair and how it could work for the Padres. Unfortunately, the Padres don’t look to be in a position to sign him. I like when people are like “he doesn’t care about money at all” as if the difference between $300k and $10M isn’t a life changing amount (it’s more than he’s made in his career in Japan). And maybe I’m weird, but I’m not sure I’d even want my new ace pitcher and cornerstone of the franchise to be playing left field where he could get hurt or mess up that sexy arm of his. If I’m Ohtani, I’d want to go to the AL where I could hit as a DH and save my arm if necessary. I like when people use Bethancourt as a selling point for Ohtani when the team isn’t using him as a dual position player. He had 18 plate appearances in AAA and didn’t play a single inning of catcher all season. He’s a converted pitcher, so let’s not jizzing in our pants over Bethancourt being some kind of bellwether for getting Ohtani. I think the only real path is the Padres just break the rules knowing they will be punished, but that the punishment will be worth the benefit, but this is also a super longshot.
The Golden Age of Padres Podcasts:
I totally forgot TKF’s podcast last T(L)WIPT so they are leading off this week. The TKF gang brought in Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis to mostly talk Chargers schadenfreude. If that is your bag, Lewis does a great job explaining the issues and poking the NFL bear.
John Gennaro keyed in on an interview by Darren Smith with Andy Green where Green denied ever being motivated by a strategy to lose, to “tank” if you will. He also said that no one, including AJ and ownership, had ever felt the need to lose. This is a start contrast to guys like Jed Hoyer or John Coppolella that are very open with what they are doing and how they are doing it, including utilizing the “tank”. It also begs the question that if Green is really trying to win everyday, why would he ever bat Erick Aybar 2nd in the lineup? If Green is really trying to win and tanking is not a thought that crosses his mind, shouldn’t we be openly questioning his lineup construction? At the same time, I don’t overreact to Andy Green and his robotic, generic answers to questions. He can’t say they’re tanking, and even before Darren asks his questions, we know what his answer will be.
Patrick goes on a great rant towards the end of the episode about how awful the Padres marketing is. He captures my sentiments in that I’ve never been more confident in the baseball operations of this team and never more disillusioned with the business side and especially the marketing of this team. Wayne Partello has always stunk of Mike Dee, and it’s probably time, as the team enters a new, uplifting phase on the field, to install someone more competent in that position that won’t alienate loyal fans and customers. I also learned in this episode that I am a conspiracy theory peddler in James’ eyes!
This episode sputters to the finish line as Eric makes his “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” that he is adopting the Raiders. Hey shut up about the Raiders already. In the weekly 5.5 Podcast power rankings, Eric has plummeted to #4 after Dan The Man Ortiz, the studio announcer, and Dan’s sex life.
Tweet Of The Week:
And the Jaggy goes to…
Man, Togerson really went for the jugular on Sweendog. Pretty brutal from someone that took paychecks from the Padres to do Padres Social Hour. Sounds like it’s on the level of Bill Center’s apparent grudge with respected and beloved and underappreciated and deserving of the Padres Hall of Fame local icon Bob Chandler.
Terrible Marver Tweet Of The Week:
I like when Marver says this because the joint agreement that says Petco currently can’t be used for football isn’t a law, it’s an agreement. It can be changed, like any agreement, with a few strokes of the pen. And it’s also likely in the Padres interest to host a bowl game, my guess is it’s probably worth ~$500k to their bottom line (I’ll know more when the public records request we put in for the non-baseball events this year arrives on Monday).
Nick Canepa Is An Irrelevant Out Of Touch Old Timer Or Possibly Doing A Bit:
THIS MUCH IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR TO ALL OF US NICK.