This week Nick, Dallas, and Travis give thanks for comedy stylings of JJ Watt. They also look back at LT’s career and chat about Mark McGwire coming to the Padres. Happy Thanksgiving!
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Nick Burmeister AKA @padreshaiku and I get into it over the legacies of Phil Nevin, Ryan Klesko and Brian Giles. Should one, all, or none be in the Padres Canon? It’s an important discussion to have. We’re both in our mid 30s, looking back at our early 20s and the players that were in our lives. Please weigh in and use #PadresCanon on Twitter.
NICK MCCANN November 16th 9:30am
I’ve been thinking a lot about the post Tony Gwynn transition into the Petco Park era for the Padres. Recently, with the speculation that Phil Nevin was given consideration for the Padres manager job I started to look back at those days when the franchise went all in on Ryan Klesko, Brian Giles and our boy Phil. It feels like one of them should be in the Padres Canon. What do you think about that period?
Maybe we put them all in as a three headed monster (which they kind of were). It needs to be represented somehow.
NICHOLAS BURMEISTER November 16th 3:41pm
This was a weird time for our Padres. This is the transition time between Andy Ashby and Jake Peavy. Those first few years after Tony Gwynn retired were like this historical hole in the franchise. Petco Park was still under construction, the uniforms in 2002 and 2003 were worse than they are now, and the team was awful. I always link this time with Kevin Towers the most. He had all kinds of good will from the city after the 1998 pennant, the new stadium approval was going forward and he had big name players like Kevin Brown, Greg Vaughn, and Caminiti. But they could never seem to keep anyone here except Mr. San Diego. Still, people had faith in Towers.
Our boy Phil is a big reason why we believed as well. Nevin was the first example of the “he needs to play everyday” guy I can think of. He had ho-hum numbers in Detroit and Anaheim, but he wasn’t playing that much. When He came to San Diego, he played every day and his numbers exploded. Now he’s known mostly for complaining about Petco Park’s dimensions and having the road home splits to prove it. He was a really great player on some really bad teams. If we’re putting in players to represent this era, Nevin is probably the guy.
Giles is a Pirate.
Klesko’s facial hair goes into the Canon for sure. Even if Klesko doesn’t make it, that sideburn goatee thing belongs in Cooperstown next to Rollie Fingers’s moustache, Oscar Gamble’s fro, and Pedro’s Jheri curl. Klesko was an excellent player for the Braves; I don’t think he warrants entry into the Padres Canon.
What about Mark Loretta?
NICK MCCANN November 17th 8:21am
I like the the term “Historical Hole”. That’s exactly what it was. I remember being at Qualcomm during this period and watching Rickey Henderson break Babe Ruth’s walk record with like 10,000 people.
To me, Klesko and Nevin are the some person in a lot of the ways. Sure, Nevin was undeniably better, but both were big investments at the same time that didn’t pan out. Nevin was always pissed off and Klesko’s sideburns were being prominently featured in Petco ads (Mark Loretta is another Canon discussion).
The last memory I have of Nevin as a player was the stink he made about the organization pushing to have Sean Burroughs start at third base. Nevin was the first pick in the draft and was widely considered a bust for most of his career. When he got to the Padres he had success and I think it went to his head. There was an air about him that suggested that he was always great and the baseball community had to figure it out (See: Kanye West for an example of this in music).
I would say Nevin over Klesko. However, Giles is significant. He was a local boy who at the end of his career denied a trade to the Red Sox because he wanted to ride off into the sunset (or back to El Cajon) on a losing team over playing for a then contender. Electing for the San Diego discount and exposing a lack of competitive spirit might be a whole other Padres Canon discussion, but hey, it’s just Giles, a guy most known for his antics while naked in the clubhouse.
NICHOLAS BURMEISTER November 17 5:21pm
Was staying in San Diego supposed to endear Giles to the hearts of the faithful? Was he supposed to carry the “San Diego Forever” torch after Tony left? I remember thinking Giles should go and just come back to Padres after a Boston rental. He didn’t and I just thought he was dumb. Padre fans would have rooted for him in the playoffs, and instead he just kept drawing walks in Mission Valley. I’m a no on Giles.
“Not panning out,” is a good way to describe Klesko and Nevin. “Bust” is too harsh a term because both were pretty good but not great. This was Towers’s track record. Roll the dice and hope it works out like Caminiti and Vaughn.
Nevin was sort of a cry baby in general, about Burroughs and the new ball park. He hated the size of the outfield and he made the Padres re-build the batters eye at Petco because he didn’t like the way the ball came out of one or two pitchers hands (one was a Rockie, but I forget his name).
I think you could make an argument for either. Or neither, if you want to get grumpy about it. Maybe the answer is you have to put in both? If it has to one, I agree, Nevin. Klesko had production with Atlanta and was an all-star but he isn’t Canon.
I’m standing by Klesko’s sideburns being in the Canon. That’s a gimmie.
NICK MCCANN November 18th 7:55am
I say put Phil Nevin in. I think the buzz around town at the prospect of him getting the manager job proves what he means to the fan base. Ryan Klesko can give the induction speech at his canonization ceremony held at the Tilted Kilt. Giles can come, but he has to wear clothes.
This week Dallas, Nick, and Travis talk about the big week that was in PrellerLand. The Pads got some new prospects and the guys break them down. They also talk about the dying animal that is the 2015 San Diego (for now) Chargers. Follow us on Twitter @thekeptfaith.
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In honor of the first game of the 2015 World Series, we here at the Kept Faith have asked our contributors one of the most important questions in sports history: What Major Leaguer would you most like to punch?
There’s really no criteria to go off of, just that they have to be a current Major Leaguer, and there needs to be a reason for them to be punched. So, without any further ado – swing away!
On the surface, Raider Nation represents a population of fans from both Northern and Southern California. Al Davis, the team’s deceased founding owner, started his franchise in Oakland and then moved it to Los Angeles. After a failure to reach a new stadium deal with LA, he moved them back to Oakland. Through out his turbulent dealings with the NFL over the last half of his life, Davis never lost fans beyond any great measure, despite the relocation moves. He always made it very clear that the world was coming down on him and that no matter what he wouldn’t be pushed around. Al wouldn’t hate Commissioner Roger Goodell for the same reasons a growing percentage of football fans do today. The father of the Raiders despised the concept of a commissioner’s office. If you were in the position of anointed ruler for the National Football League, he hated you the same way Ice Cube hated the LAPD.
For San Diego Chargers fans, it doesn’t matter whether the Raiders are in Oakland or in LA. They’re the enemy. However, the distinction between the teams runs deeper than geography. San Diegans root for the Chargers because they’re a football team that plays in San Diego. That’s it. The team’s brand is basically, We play here and the excitement we provide is at times electric. For the Raiders, it’s something different. Location doesn’t really matter if you’re offering your fans a chance to adopt an idea that everyone on a certain level can be attracted to. I hated Al Davis, but I respect him even now more than living Chargers owner Dean Spanos.
While trying my best to engage with the 2015 incarnation of the Chargers, it’s hard to forget what is most likely on the horizon if they leave for LA. On Sunday the two teams will meet at Qualcomm for what is usually the most violent NFL matchup at any one location as far as arrest totals in the crowd. When these two approaches to fandom collide things get weird. Like in the Monday Night Pittsburgh game two weeks back, the stadium will likely be filled with opposing colors. It will be bikers and strippers and people who aspire to channel those archetypes through their football team. On the field, Chargers QB Philip Rivers will likely have a tough day because several of his skill player options are hurt. And like with the Steelers, he probably will experience trouble hearing on the field because of Raiders fans over populating the stadium. If the Chargers win, nobody will care because they should win. It’s the NFL and the Chargers are at home. Philip Rivers is more experienced than Oakland’s young QB David Carr and the Raiders have long been a rebuild project. If the Bolts blow this game, everyone-including locals- will blame the loss on the lack of support the Chargers fans have for their team.
Watch this video
If Al Davis is the everlasting patriarch of the Raiders, Ice Cube is the sitting president of Raider Nation. He directed the flawed but fascinating ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary Straight Out of LA where the bulk of the movie surrounds a sit down interview with Al Davis and Cube face to face. They talk about toughness and perseverance and all the other cliché’s that built both of their brands. Ice Cube navigated music and film to become a boss and Davis went from coaching to owning one of the great products in the history of sports. In the film, Ice Cube makes it clear he wished the Raiders had stayed in his home town because they captured the spirit of LA. Al’s response was basically that the NFL screwed him over. At no point in the piece does Cube ever question Davis’ motives or express a decline in his love for the Raiders. Location doesn’t matter to him as a Raiders fan because he bought into the Al Davis code of how to exist in the world.
Ice Cube has since publicly expressed that LA doesn’t want the Chargers. I ride with Cube. If the Chargers and Raiders go to Carson and try to unite Southern California, the best case scenario for me would be to have nobody from San Diego follow them. I want LA to completely reject the LA Chargers for the LA Raiders. Since the release of the Carson2gether video and campaign, the reality has set in that both Dean Spanos, and Al’s son Mark Davis, could care less about rivalry or the people who need to exercise it twice a year. It’s hard to view the Raiders as anything more than a potential roommate, masquerading as another struggling, hard to evaluate team this early in the season. Is Oakland QB David Carr good? It doesn’t really matter. Philip Rivers and he could be using the same home locker room this time next year.
In the video above, Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., is a good example of how much this doesn’t really matter. He was three when the Raiders left LA. In fact, his Dad’s enthusiasm scared him enough to actually root for the Chargers. While his Dad blames himself for this happening, O’Shea Jr., promoting Straight Outta Compton, a film in which he plays his Dad at the genesis of his storied career, admits if the Raiders come back to LA he would totally be on board. I guess location doesn’t matter. The Raiders idea lives on while the Chargers don’t have one. My Dad moved from Oakland to San Diego and became a Chargers fan when he had me. They were here and they were electric.
Setting- a luxury office overlooking downtown LA. Don Mattingly has just been fired.
Dodger Exec: [to Magic Johnson] Mr. Johnson, the Dodgers and Don Mattingly have…parted ways. We have started to look for a replacement. The front office thinks-
Magic Johnson: [Interrupts] Pat Riley. Call Pat Riley!
DE: Uh…He’s a basketball guy, and anyway he’s busy with the Miami Heat.
MJ: Call him!!! He owes me!
[15 minuets later]
DE: So we uh, called Mr. Riley. He politely declined…Dodger brass suggests hiring-
MJ: Bill Parcells, he’s old school. I like that. He’ll toughen up that outfield!! He’s turned around teams before. Call him.
DE: Again, Mr. Johnson, Bill Parcells doesn’t have experience in the baseball world. Plus, we’ve been to the post-season three years in a row, so a rebuild isn’t really necessary. It would serve the organization better to-
MJ: Call him!!
[10 minuets later]
DE: Mr. Parcells has passed.
[Magic stares out his window]
DE: Mr. Johnson, our best option might be to let the basball operations people find a new manager. Zaidi and his guys can find a…
MJ: You want a baseball guy? How about Lasorda? He’s available.
[five minutes later]
DE: Mr. Lasorda said no.
MJ: He did?
DE: Well, he used a few magic words, but after asking us to trade for Willie Keeler, he hung up. It might be best to go a different route. Maybe someone with an analyitic background?
MJ: No, let’s stay on the path that we’re on right now. I got an idea. Can we hire…
-Smash cut to-
Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, and Chase Utley spray champagne on a bag of money sitting next to the Commissioner’s Trophy.
Follow Nicholas Burmeister on Twitter @Padreshaiku
This week Nick and Travis sit down with longtime TKF contributor Joe Chandler. Joe is a writer for American Dad and a member of The Midnight Show at UCB in Los Angeles. The guys talk about the current state of Dodger Nation, the mind blowing MLB Playoffs so far, the struggling Chargers, and the return of the San Diego Gulls. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @thekeptfaith,
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This week Nick sits down with sports broadcasting legend Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton! They talk about his career, the future of San Diego sports, and just a little bit about Homer Bush! Listen and learn from one of San Diego’s most recognizable voices!
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