Next week @13Mazon will write This Week In Padres Twitter while I’m in Belgium, get excited! Still looking for a volunteer to write This Week In Padres Twitter covering approximately 7/28-8/3!
With the season now 62.5% over, Padres fans get to buckle in for the highlight of every Padres season: trade deadline anticipation and September call-ups, or as it’s commonly referred to, the San Diego World Series. Going back to the Towers Years, fans have always been able to ignore the abysmal standings and focus on what’s important: which middle relievers can be spun off for more middle relievers. Under Towers, the Padres perfected this Ponzi Scheme, as he’d build value and then trade away more and more relievers while snagging a few other pieces to take a flier on. Preller has the chance to follow suit with a bullpen comprised almost entirely of scrap heap pickups that he’s pumped the value of. The goal? In cryptocurrency terms, he wants to sell the Zilliqa he picked up for 2 cents at the all time high 22 cents before it plummets back down to 6 cents while he waits for the mainnet to launch. Luckily for us, AJ has shown a remarkable and Towersian ability to find and build a bullpen. The best evidence of this is that the three relievers that might be traded, Hand/Stammen/Yates, were all picked up off the scrap heap in the first place. So crack a beer, this is our time to shine as Padres fans.
UPDATE: IT WAS OUR TIME TO SHINE!
Days Since Marver Actually Wrote Something: 396 days
Here’s a fun look at how the sausage gets made here at Gwynntelligence. This pretty much sums up our logistical process in trying to get a podcast together and then failing miserably.
Gwynntelligence Podcast – Episode 76: Super Pod with 5.5 Eric and TKF’s Nick McCann: It was a pleasure to welcome Eric and Nick over to HJ Manor this week to take Gwynntelligence’s new capital investment in recording equipment on its maiden voyage. We had a great discussion of Ron Fowler, the potential never ending hamster wheel of rebuilding, and a Padres progress report. I think it instantly became a top 5 Gwynntel episode.
Gwynntelligence Podcast – Episode 77: Emergency Hand Job: Marver FINALLY showed up to the podcast. The Gwynntel Gang breaks down the Brad Hand for Mejia trade and talks about the team’s future. They also announce a taping at Rouleur Brewing on Saturday, 7/21 at 2 PM!
Padres Blogosphere Posts:
Gaslamp Ball – Padres May Finally Bring Back the Brown: In a little bit of Wag The Dog fashion, the focus got taken off of the Padres regressing as a team in 2018, and onto what all Padres fans REALLY care about: the uniforms. In the biggest Padres news of the week, Ron Fowler strongly hinted that a return to brown uniforms was coming in 2020. Given where they’re at in their research project (this one is actually happening, not a big fat lie!), which is about half done, there was no reason to go public with this except to garner a big public relations boost during the All Star break, a time most fans are retrospective about the [miserable] season so far. This is arguably the best development to come out of the four years of the Partello Regime’s debauchery, failures, laziness, and public embarrassments, but it was met with mixed reactions. Rick from Padres and Pints tweeted his reaction and it made me think about why we react the way we do:
Padres fans are some of the most beaten down fans there are. This goes way beyond being fans of literally the losingest baseball team in history. On the uniform issue alone, fans have been demeaned, belittled, condescended to, ignored, pushed around, and lied to. The two men leading this research project, Ron Fowler and Wayne Partello, have repeatedly lied about studies, ongoing efforts, and research. They have lost the public trust to such a degree that they were quoted as telling Acee, who they invited into the research sessions to write a fluff piece, that “You wouldn’t have believed this if we told you it happened.” At this point, do I think it’s happening? YES. There is no walking this back. The second Fowler made a backroom deal to let Acee break the story (the leaky ship known as Petco Park confirmed this to me), they were past the point of no return. It’s happening, and that’s glorious. Now we just hope that the team doesn’t bring back brown but totally screw it up. Acee went on Darren Smith and reported with some certainty that the team would be using “sand” for the pants, asserting with no basis that gray does not go with brown. While @FriarFever must be ecstatic that we can jump on the Sandwagon again, I assume a segment of the fanbase will hate the return of sand. At this point, we wait and see and hope the powers that be, that have screwed up so many times before, don’t screw up the one thing (besides actually rooting for a winning team) that Padres fans care the most about.
East Village Times – The Lessons Learned Following Lauer and Lucchesi’s First Half Debuts: Conrad Parrish wrote a nice analysis of Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer’s strengths during their rookie season. With Lucchesi, Parrish points out that he’s only primarily using a two pitch mix, but also points out that he could find more effectiveness pitching higher in the zone. The problem, which isn’t pointed out, is that Lucchesi is nearly last in all of baseball in Eno Sarris’ new Command+ measure. This is unintentionally highlighted in the GIF showing his churve where he floats two of them way out of the strike zone as the hitter takes the pitches. Lucchesi is certainly doing fine, but there’s a fear that he’s getting by on smoke and mirrors with the funky delivery. Lauer, on the other hand, has seen a major velocity spike. He was sitting 88 in earlier starts this season, and has jumped up into the mid 90’s, occasionally hitting 96. This is groundbreaking, and totally changes the perception of Eric Lauer from an Alderson style pitchability Wade LeBlanc type into an Adrian Morejon fireballing lefty type. Up until his Cubs start last weekend, he had shown the ability to harness his newfound velocity and get quality starts. But his game log is still awfully erratic overall, which shows that it’s hard to expect young pitchers to get called up and immediately contribute at a playoff contending level.
Flashes of sustained brilliance, with some awful blowup games mixed in. Things like K/9 wildly oscillate. This is pretty much what we should expect from prospects as they hit the Majors and run into Major League advance scouting, video, and talent. Wait. Wait a second. That’s Wade LeBlanc’s 2009 game log. How embarrassing, I don’t how I mixed them up. OK. Here’s Lauer’s. I promise.
Flashes of sustained brilliance, with some awful blowup games mixed in. Things like K/9 wildly oscillate. This is pretty much what we should expect from prospects as they hit the Majors and run into Major League advance scouting, video, and talent. The thing in Lauer’s favor? While Wade had/has a killer change, he isn’t hitting 96 on the gun like Lauer. Let’s find out if Lauer can find the consistency Wade didn’t until his 9th or 10th year in the big leagues.
The Golden Age of Padres Podcasts:
East Village Times – EPISODE 100: James and Patrick played it down, but I think it’s a huge deal that we now have two Padres podcasts that have hit the 100 episode mark (The Kept Faith is the other one). James and Patrick have consistently brought out content, collected guests, and stuck with it, and in the world of uncompensated hobby podding, that is remarkable. So congratulations to them for hitting this impressive milestone. As far as the episode, Patrick was outstanding while spitting truth. This may have been my favorite EVT podcast in recent memory. As leisurefriar mentioned, it was great to see Pottymouth Patrick make an appearance here.
Los Hijos Fan Club – Nobody Likes The Dodgers: I’ve officially opened coverage of the Los Hijos podcast. Based only on the name, I had fully expected this podcast to be full of latin flavor, but this borderline racist assumption was quickly disspelled as they peddled local farmer’s market, Jimbo’s Naturally, and upper middle class white people’s darling, Bitchin’ Sauce in the first two minutes. Los Hijos has great rapport between the hosts, a good mix of viewpoints, and good sound quality. They are already on their ninth episode, so it appears they may be here to stay, which is a big deal. It’s hard to sustain a semi-regular podcast when the team is this terrible. I am looking forward to more from Los Hijos.
Make The Padres Great Again – 2018 San Diego Padres All-Star Break Review: John and Craig do a typically good job of bringing great insights and discussion about the first half of Padres baseball. John got roasted on Twitter for his assertions that the Orioles were tanking like pros, and I think this got conflated with saying they were rebuilding better. The thing that the Orioles get roasted for a lot of times is their unwillingness to dip into the international market (except for Wei Yin Chen from Taiwan whom they got 9.7 WAR out of). This is going to be a hot take, but I don’t think dipping into the international market is absolutely mandatory. The Padres (and Dodgers) did it right by spending so much money in one shot, and spreading their net so wide, that the math says they should find something of value. Will that payoff be $80M? No clue. Preller invested heavily in Latin America with the Rangers for ten years and really only has Martin Perez, Rougned Odor, and Nomar Mazara (and 1.6 WAR from Jurickson Profar over five years) to show for it. Was it a good investment? Maybe, sure. But that’s the product of TEN YEARS of investment. The Orioles have historically been OK at growing homegrown talent: Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Nolan Reimold, Zach Britton, Manny Machado, Matt Wieters, Dylan Bundy, etc., or acquiring young talent and turning their careers around (Chris Davis, Adam Jones, etc.). In the Padres case, the international market was absolutely the best route possible. And in most cases, throwing some money into the lottery that is the international talent market while also spending on draft/scouting/free agents is probably optimal. But I don’t think blowing off the international market like the Orioles are is a death knell, as long as that money is being spent somewhere else productively. In the Orioles case, they at least have fielded larger payrolls and spent on amateur scouting and acquisition. It’s a little different from the Moorad/Moores Padres that didn’t invest heavily in the international market, but then just pocketed those savings instead of reinvesting the money elsewhere. Now are the Orioles skilled at tanking? Of course not. They signed Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner this offseason. There is no way this is intentional. They are just so inept at so many things that they are organically this terrible.
The Kept Faith – The Half Way Party: There is nothing better than when TKF does a Party Pod. In this episode, Nick welcomes on Padres Haiku, Drunk Flannery, and 5.5 Eric, who has established himself as the go-to collab guest. I love the TKF party pods where they podcast during a game because you get to track along with the level of misery that fans get at home when they watch a Padres game. The party pod gang has a great discussion of Wil Myers where they liken him to a summer fling “that you french down by the pier”.
Hells Belles – Socially Engaging Shelley: Angela and Liddy welcome on Liddy’s niece Shelley to talk Padres, Mets, and Manhattan bagels. Angela started the episode off with an in-depth description of just how her engagement with Roy went down. The Hells Belles crew dug into Ron Fowler’s comments about how easy it was to go to a Padres game for $100 (for a family of four). Angela goes through all the ancillary costs of getting a family to and into the game, as well as everything that goes on inside of the park. To expand on what the Belles discussed, Ron Fowler was making a ham-handed attempt to describe the Friar Family Days, which lets you get two adults and two kids into the game, with four hot dogs and four sodas, for $70 plus ticketing fees (which takes it to $80). You can take the Coaster down there which will be about $25 r/t, you can park, which will cost $15-20. And you can hope that a single hot dog and an over-iced soda will satiate the family, with no requests for anything else. In the end, the team has made it VERY clear that the product on the field isn’t a focus. The TV ads for Petco Park don’t even mention the actual baseball; they go through the beer, the food, video board. If food and beer are the main reason to go to Petco Park, you can reasonably expect to spend much, much more. As a majority of other MLB teams offer far more competitive offers and pricing to their fans, while offering a far superior product on the field, it’s appalling, shortsighted, and arrogant for Wayne Partello, Eric McKenzie, and Ron Fowler to think fans should feel thankful to pay these prices.
Friars On The Farm – Futures Game Wrap-up: I’m initiating coverage of Friars On The Farm, as I’ve finally gotten around to listening to it. Donovan and Roy have done a great job of creating a totally minor league focused podcast. It’s as if Madfriars decided to create it’s own podcast. Donovan and Roy are likely waiting for the big money to roll in once Conniff talks to his M&A firm about what it’ll take to buy FotF’s podcast. In this episode, the FotF gang breaks down the Futures game, talk some Hudson Potts, and discuss the different minor league teams.
EMERGENCY PODCAST MANIA
Brad Hand and Adam Cimber were traded to Cleveland for top prospect Francisco Mejia. As can be expected from the #GoldenAgeOfPadresPodcasts, hours of content hit the interwebs providing in-depth analysis of the trade. Meanwhile, when the news hit, on 1090 they ignored it and proceeded with an interview with the LA Rams announcer, treating it as an afterthought. Before we get to the list of EMERGENCY PODCASTS, I think it’s important to recognize a special achievement in the field of Padres Twitter:
Great work by @TooMuchMortons here. Now, let’s get to it.
Tweet Of The Week:
This is the kind of information I am looking to find on Padres Twitter.
Terrible Marver Tweet Of The Week:
This was a really easy selection this week. Just a reminder that the Gwynntelligence can never be recorded on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday due to Marver’s busy evening pick-up basketball schedule.
Nick Canepa Is An Irrelevant Out Of Touch Old Timer Or Possibly Doing A Bit:
The irrelevant and out of touch opinions on soccer are one thing. But most egregiously, Nick Canepa seems to not realize that Northern Croatia greatly enjoys a variety of Zagreb schnitzels which is for all intents and purposes chicken fried steak.
Dunking on Acee Of The Week:
I’m sad to report that I didn’t identify ANY dunks on Acee this week. ZERO DUNKS. I think if we are to assign any blame, it should be assigned to @CalvesForDays for letting all of us down. Thought we’d take a quick aside though, which is linked to dunking on Acee: Dunking on the Union Tribune. Remember this?
In a shocking turn of events, this tweet set off a massive wave of resentment, ridicule, and exposure of the Union Tribune. This was followed by snarky retweets and responses, highlighted by a number of Acee-esque “DID YOU EVEN READ THE ARTICLE?!?!?” responses. The U-T then published this and Abby Hamblin and Luis Gomez then recorded a snarky vlog about how no one read the article and many people were mean in their responses. In similar fashion, Acee tweeted this READ THE ARTICLE tweet today:
While the Union Tribune has devolved into a sub-Buzzfeed mess, they’ve simultaneously decided that headlines and tweets to publicize their content are irrelevant, and that they can say anything in them while screaming at people that are misled by the headlines/tweets to READ THE ARTICLE. As the parasite dogs incident showed, customers don’t generally like being lied to or deliberately misled by an already increasingly irrelevant product. What a disaster the Union Tribune is. The people of San Diego deserve better.
Alley-oop To Acee Of The Week:
While there were no real dunks on Acee this week, there were plenty of supportive, loving alley-oops to Acee. Padres Twitter really showed their warm hearts this week to San Diego’s FAVORITE Padres beat writer that writes nothing but well researched, analytically sound, absolutely not tainted by access mercantilism, totally lacking in abject leaps in logic articles.