Month: October 2017

Week 8 recap: Chargers @ Patriots

When I moved to Boston in 2006, I was 24, and used to nothing but Southern California optimism and good vibes. Within a couple months my happy-go-lucky nature almost got me into 4 bar fights. Over the next half a decade Boston stamped out my remaining positive energy and any inclination to approach a stranger as a friend. I had adapted. New England changed me.

 

I wanted to see the Patriots do the same thing to the Bolts Sunday. I was looking forward to the Patriots wiping the smile off the Bolts 3 game win streak with a good old fashioned Brady-Belichik beat down. But for some reason the Pats played down to the Chargers level. Deep incompletions into double coverage, boring check-downs to RBs, missed field goals. It was infuriating. This was the ONE time I could cheer for the best QB and coach of all time, and they were blah. It would be like Luke joining the Dark Side seconds before the Death Star blows up.

 

I watched the game from my old apartment in Southie with my former roommate who commented “The Chargers have played just as well as the Patriots, they’ve just done very stupid things.” So we still have that going for us. And bless Travis Benjamin’s heart. He is the reigning “Special Teams Player of the Week” , and he deserves that award less than OJ deserves his Heisman. Travis Benjamin fielded a punt on the 7 yard line, ran backwards into the end zone where he was immediately tackled for a safety. I’m still laughing about it. Oh Travis you fast dumb goofball.

 

Oh yeah and Melvin Gordon is also fast. He ran for an 87-yard TD. Whoopdy doo. I was in the bathroom when it happened. Other things, let’s see…

  • Gronk caught a TD. He might break Gates’ career TE record if no one slays him with a sling.
  • Jahleel Addae was super pumped for some reason and continues to be a danger to all around him.
  • Mike Williams is not that good and probably never will be.
  • Tyrell Williams got a couple TDs called back because he’s not a good receiver either.
  • Joey Bosa is a beast and I resent that the Bolts finally have a pass rush and I can’t enjoy it.
  • Brady knows how to avoid sacks and protect his pretty face.
  • Philip Rivers shook his head in disgust at his teammates, and I was like “I know right?”

 

The Bolts have been in every game this year, and none have been fun to watch. Sloppy play. Mental errors. Uninspired offensive schemes. If not for the humiliating losses this whole season would be a waste.

Jono Zalay is a native San Diegan and co-host of the F*** The Chargers podcast, available on iTunes and all those other places. He now lives in Los Angeles where he can hate the Chargers from close proximity.

 

 

 

 

World Series Party – TKF Pod #109

This week the guys got together at Nick’s house to watch Game 4 of the World Series. With a few friends, they talked about all the action that’s happened so far, the Adrian Gonzalez decision to leave the team (kind of), and what the Astros represent to the Padres fanbase. The Dodgers won and we have series!

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A-Gone

A couple of days ago it was reported that Adrian Gonzalez would not be joining his beloved Dodgers during the World Series. Dodgers’ fans were left confused, a little concerned, and some hurt. For Padres fans the reaction was less worry and more joyous. It felt like maybe Adrian was a true Padre after all, and used one of his last Baseball moves to insult our hated rival.

We know that’s not true, but we don’t know for sure that it’s not true.

It’s not.

Regardless, the emotional reason Adrian decided to skip his first World Series seemed to be a mystery, even down to where he’s going. First the LA Times said he’d be traveling to Europe with his family, then Adrian tweeted a picture of himself joining the local Dodger broadcast team on the first night of the Series.

Adrian has since returned to the Dodgers and was on the field with them during batting practice for Game Two. This fact is actually what some writers are blaming LA’s dramatic loss on last night. And, it’s been confirmed the reason for his trip to Italy was to help move his family there for five months while his wife takes a shoe designing class – oh, that LA life.

For a player who is known throughout both leagues as a standup guy and a clubhouse leader, this seems to be an odd choice for a final curtain call.

Back in 2011 when the Padres let Adrian go most fans weren’t surprised. We figured it would happen at some point. All our relationships fail, and all good people leave us. However, with Adrian it almost felt like if Tony had left. A-Gonz was a kid from Eastlake, his career blossomed with the Padres, he became a star with the Padres, and he was the best player on some fairly relevant San Diego squads. His swing was a thing of beauty. He was our guy.

Then he left. To the Red Sox. The fact that in his first year with the Sox he hit .338 with 117 RBI, a league leading 213 hits, and an OPS of .957 didn’t make anything easier to swallow.

In return for Adrian the Pads got Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo, plus two other guys. At the time this was a great haul: a top pitching prospect in Kelly, and an elite-hitting prospect in Rizzo. Unfortunately both never came to fruition for the Friars as Kelly only appeared in seven games before needing Tommy John surgery and eventually being traded to the Braves in 2015, and Rizzo…well…shit.

Rizzo was called up in 2011, and everyone viewed him as the savior. He was the great hope to replace the production we lost when Adrian went AL. Rizzo would bring us into the new decade a winner. After only 49 games the Padres traded the scuffling power bat to the Cubs for Kyung-Min Na and fucking Andrew Cashner. For whatever reason we weren’t patient with Rizzo, and while he went off to become a superstar, we watched Cashner do his best to be interesting, and Na…well…shit.

After only one strange year in Boston, where Adrian told the Boston media that they didn’t make the playoffs because God didn’t want them to, he was traded to the Dodgers in one of the craziest and largest trades in modern day Baseball history. Along with Josh Beckett, Nick Punto, and Carl Crawford, A-Gonz hit Chavez Ravine with a ton of expectations and the pure elation of playing for his favorite team since he was a little kid.

This didn’t make Padres fans any happier. In fact it only made it worse.

While we watched Yonder Alonso hit meaningless doubles, Adrian became one of the most popular players on one of the most popular teams in Baseball. He started appearing in huge playoff games and that sweet swing of his was now featured everywhere. Our little boy was all growns up.

Over the next four seasons his stats slowly declined, but his position in the Dodgers clubhouse increased. He had fun, enjoyed himself, seem to enjoy his teammates, and his smile could be seen from Santa Monica to Diamond Bar. He belonged to Los Angeles now, and everyone south of the 76 knew it. Adrian’s Friar days were long gone and he just became another Dodger to hate; it was like watching Christian Bale’s character in Swing Kids.

Now, after having a terrible 2017 season in which he only appeared in 71 games, and lost his starting job to rookie phenom Cody Bellinger, Adrian took off.

The ultimate clubhouse guy ditched the clubhouse and by all accounts will call it a career before 2018, that is if the Padres don’t inquire about him for one last trip around the diamond.

We know they won’t, but we don’t know for sure that they won’t.

They won’t.

And, I don’t want them to. I can remember season after season I quietly wished Adrian would find his way back home. That we could once again watch him hit one into the gap, and slowly stride into second. As his career with the blue up north continued I could see that he clearly didn’t think about San Diego the way we thought about him. He embraced LA, lives in LA, raises his family in LA, and will more than likely stay in LA no matter where he plays.

That’s why this little disappearing act didn’t make me happy that he shafted the Dodgers, and it didn’t make me sad that it looked like he would miss his only World Series appearance. It just made me feel weird. I felt nothing. It was like watching Kyle Chandler in Bloodline: “Hey! It’s Coach Taylor! I love Coach Taylor! Oh, wait that’s not Coach Taylor; he’s that guy now. This show is fine. I’ll watch the first season. He’s a good actor. Criminally underrated on Friday Night Lights. I miss Coach Taylor.”

Adrian moved on from us and never looked back. Don’t expect him to pull an LT and come back trying to earn a cheap paycheck helping the Padres build a new stadium. He’s not a part of this place anymore. He’s not a part of any place anymore. He’s moved on from Baseball.

He’s gone.

For more expert sports stuff, and things you probably won’t care about, follow me on Twitter @dallas_mc

2017 MLB Championship Series Email Exchange

The MLB playoffs are an emotional time for all Padres fans. I started emailing with Nicholas Burmeister AKA @PadresHaiku about it. We talked about our feelings through out the entire process. 

NICK MCCANN – Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 3:54 PM

Dear Haiku,

It’s been a while since my last letter and for that I’m sorry. Not seeing Austin Hedges’ face for a few weeks has left me in shambles. The spells have been rougher than usual. The NL and AL are starting their championship series’ and it’s very exciting. Tonight the Yankees and Astros start it off. The team that swept us away from a ring in 1998 is facing the team we want to be. It feels like the Astros are our spirit animal of sorts. I’ve made me picks.

If Houston wins does our own rebuild feel more legitimate? I hope you’re well. We’ll get to Clayton Kershaw and Cobra Kai later.

Sincerely,

@Nicholas_McCann on Twitter

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 4:48 PM

Yeah, I miss Hedges too. I’d text him but you know… restraining order. Hang in there. February is right around the corner. Super excited to see if AJ Preller can vulture some of the Braves international signing players. This Atlanta scandal is a big deal and it seems like only seam heads are really following it. This is a story of two rebuilds.

One team had money and the other didn’t. It’s not like Houston has a small market, but tanking that deep for that long will definitely hurt the bottom line. The Yankees print money so they don’t care.

New York rebuilt quick while Houston took a long time. Fowler wants the Yankee build (not rebuild), but Preller wants the Astro route. The Padres are going to end up in the middle. I think the long time plan might last longer, but we’ll see if Houston can hang on to their free agents in a few years. If Houston wins, it makes the Padres blueprint more clear. I made my picks for these series as well.

Houston seems special and the Yankees shouldn’t have beat Cleveland.

The Houston Astros beat the Yankees 2-1 in Game 1. Then on Saturday Houston beat the Yankees 2-1 again in Game 2 and the Dodgers beat the Cubs 5-2 in Game 1.

NICK MCCANN – Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 9:03 AM

Corey Seager not starting worked out for Dave Roberts. Taking out Clayton Kershaw when he did was also the right decision. The Dodgers look great and their manager is clearly avoiding landmines that usually destroy managers in the postseason. While Joe Maddon was busy getting ejected, Roberts looked like he had everything under control. Maybe we should’ve given him an interview.

The Astros broke the Yankees. I don’t see New York coming back from that. The Correa hit to score Altuve was thrilling and made me wonder if the Padres will ever land that level of talent during this build (not rebuild). It is possible Mackenzie Gore could be the pitching version of that, but he just went to prom. Correa is now a clutch postseason performer. The Houston dream is being fulfilled.

P.S. Kershaw doesn’t have it anymore. He’s done.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 11:20 AM

It helps that the Cubs bullpen is a heaping pile of Elephant dung. They should have traded for Brad Hand.

How’d you feel when the Posey rule came back to bite the Cubs? I want to know how Austin Hedges celebrated. I thought they could have left Kershaw in but Roberts didn’t have to. Dave looks like a good manager, but he’s got a lot of great weapons. It’s probably a little of both: his managing ability and just having good players. I’d like to watch him manage a bad team and see how he does without a net.

The Yankees are just happy to be here. Like Michelle Williams and Meryl Streep both being nominated. However, this Houston team seems special. They’ve never won the World Series and until now I always wanted the Padres to win the title before anyone else got their first, but this year is different.

Dodgers beat the Cubs 4-1 in Game 2.

NICK MCCANN – Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 3:10 PM

I’ve been struggling all day with last night’s Dodgers game two win. These guys might not actually lose a game this postseason. That probably won’t happen, but right now it feels completely on the table. Justin Turner created a big memory for the LA fan base with his walk off home run. If this is the team Dodgers fans have been waiting for, that home run will live on for ever.

Despite the obvious geographic proximity, LA’s nightmare with Frank McCourt ended roughly at the same time as our own Moores/Moorad/Moores cycle of uncertainty was supposed to be over. They were given all the money in the world and a competent front office. We were given a loud mouth, two wet noodle brothers, and a socially awkward scouting wizard GM who may or may not know what he’s doing. We get to wonder if Brad Hand will get moved and they get to watch Justin Turner round the bases and essentially break the World Series Champion Cubs.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 6:05 PM

Nick…Nick!! Come off the ledge, Nick! Breathe, just breathe. The Doyers are a very good team with a young nucleus to be sure, but not all of them will be this good forever. Remember when we thought Joc Pederson was supposed to be the next Mike Trout? Same thing with Puig…

This team is likely winning the pennant but we’ll see from there. Last night was special for them. Just wait a couple days for the NBA to start. Then we can forget all about baseball and focus on that soap opera.

Yankees beat the Astros 8-1 in Game 3

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 8:14 AM

Look, no one would care about Cobra Kai if they were the little dojo that could. They’re little entitled blond headed brats that only know winning. That’s why everyone roots against them in the All Valley Championship.

The Dodgers are cementing their place as the heel.

NICHOLAS MCCANN – Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 1:03 PM

The Yankees would come back hard in game three. It kinda felt like one of the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones where the showrunners remind the audience that winter is coming. This isn’t the Yankees team that starts a run of championships, but that seems around the corner. Now that they are a “smart team” who is putting together a core, it’s totally inevitable they will start throwing money around. I had Astros in 6. I still feel really good about that.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 5:36 PM

CC pitched well enough at home. The Yankees are like the Cubs: they have enough money to support home grown players if they land them. I think every team is “smart” now at least to some extent. The difference between the teams going forward is going to be money and exploiting some area of the game that no else has gotten to yet. Whether it’s pitch framing, pitch tunnels or pitching yeast, when the Yankees sign Mike Trout for a quadrillion dollars they’ll be ready for several deep playoff runs in a row. I think Houston pulls it together and rips off two in a row to end it. Hendricks vs. Darvish should be good.

Yankees beat the Astros 6-4 in Game 4. Dodgers beat the Cubs 6-1 in Game 3.

NICK MCCANN – Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Bob Manfred just must be tickled at the potential of the Dodgers vs Yankees World Series. Maybe it’s best for baseball to have this play out a few times for each generation. If those two teams- coupled with the Red Sox, and Cubs are always in the mix- it clearly will strengthen the league’s leverage in the next media rights negotiations. That being said, Houston deserves a World Series. Expansion teams unite!

P.S. We’re doing a pod with Craig Elsten tonight. I need to talk some puck to distract myself from the Dodgers success.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:52 PM

I’ve never been more wrong in my life. Jeez the Astros look like garbage. Houston is such a feel good story that casual fans might tune in to support them. Houston is also the fourth biggest city in the US so ratings would still be pretty good. The nightmare scenario for the MLB is a Tampa/San Diego World Series. I hope it happens sooner than later. Yankees/Dodgers is the perfect match-up for Trump’s America. No matter who wins we all lose.

The Dodgers lost tonight 3-2, so we get at least one more chance to see Maddon get tossed from a game and the Skankees are doing the damn thing. I don’t like the idea of a top heavy MLB. It’s fine in basketball to have a few superteams, but having like six power teams in baseball just seems wrong.

Baseball needs underdogs to succeed.

Dodgers lost Game 4 and then closed the Cubs out in Game 5. Yankees beat the Astros 5-0 in Game 5.

NICK MCCANN – Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 1:52 PM

I can’t believe they actually did it. The Dodgers are back in the World Series. I did my part. I said mean things about Clayton Kershaw and it did nothing.

I hate this world (series).

This is my Dad and I calling the Gibson HR at 1992 All Star Fan Fest.

I post that video probably twice a year. Also, I hate myself.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 6:44 PM

This is the worst.

Astros beat the Yankees 7-1 in Game 6.

NICHOLAS MCCANN – Sat, Oct 21, 2017 at 4:56 PM

Jose Altuve is the light of the world. I don’t believe the Yankees will be able to destroy it with their darkness. This has become some Old Testament shit.

Even though Altuve isn’t technically part of Houston’s tanking strategy, his smile represents the hope that our patience will pay off.

The Yankees can’t be back. Not yet.

Astros close out the Yankees 4-0 in Game 7.

 NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Sun, Oct 22, 2017 at 1:31 PM

 Just got back from Mexico. I missed the game, but an Astro fan at the wedding I was at said the Astros won, staving off what could have been a national nightmare. I wonder if we’ll see shots of Paul Wall, Beyonce’, or Hillary Duff in luxury boxes. Who gets more screen time: Magic Johnson or J.J. Watt? Gonna, set the line at Magic +1. Seeing Lonzo Ball in a Dodgers jersey pretty much cemented my hate for him. This is a shame because I grew up loving the Lakers. I guess nothing gold can stay, Ponyboy.

The Autumn Classic

Cowboys versus Movie Stars

Legacies Begin

 

 

 

 

Craig Elsten and Zoltan Kaszas – TKF Pod #108

This week the guys talk about the beginning of The San Diego Gulls season with Gulls announcer Craig Elsten and comedian Zoltan Kaszas. Craig talks about the opening weekend and the players to watch as they navigate their way through the Anaheim Ducks system. Then Zoltan and Craig trade road stories in some of the most boring towns in the country. Finally, they kick off The Kept Faith Hockey Film Series #TKFHFS with a discussion about Ice Guardians, a documentary on hockey enforcers.

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Carlo and Hacksaw – TKF Pod #107

This week the guys wrap up on the 2017 Padres. They look at the state of the rebuild and what to expect with the team moving forward. Then they call frenemy Carlo Cecchetto for News 8 San Diego. He’s a Dodgers fan (one of the good ones) and going through what all Padres fans hope to someday experience with his team in NLCS. Will Clayton Kershaw and his squad finally get it done? We hope not! Finally, they check in with Lee Hacksaw Hamilton to see where he’s at with the Padres organization, the Spanos family’s NFL introduction to LA, and the catastrophe that has become US Soccer.

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Also check out the show Dallas is doing American Hero!

Losing That Loving Feeling

Being a San Diego sports fan often feels like you’re trapped in a hyper sexualized volleyball game where you’re the only one playing who needs to hide their body with a shirt. On the Saturday night before the LA Chargers lost to the Miami Dolphins in their first home game at the StubHub Center, I went and saw Top Gun at the Ken Cinema. With a few friends and about 40 other people I watched, laughed, and cheered along with the defining pop culture snapshot of San Diego in the mid 1980s. After Tom Cruise (call sign: Maverick) and his sidekick Anthony Edwards (call sign: Goose) get notified that they’re going to the top naval aviation school in the world, a title card comes up on the screen that reads Miramar, Calif. FighterTown, USA. At this moment, everyone in the theater erupted with applause. In the film, San Diego was the place to go if you wanted to prove you were the best.

When the Chargers finally moved to LA, many San Diegans needed to project an angle on how they were going to respond to the pain. Some picked new teams. Others just kept pulling for the Bolts and adjusted to location. After spending more than thirty years of my life rooting for an entertainment product owned by the Spanos family, the person I was, someone who looked at the NFL and needed to believe in the success of any one squad, died. I spun out, hit eject too late, and broke everything. Now I’m a Hate-Watcher. I only really like football when San Diego’s former team loses.

Before the matchup between the LA Chargers and the Denver Broncos on the first Monday night of the season, I started to feel it. Anger and fear grew inside me throughout the day leading towards kickoff. Would Dean Spanos’ plan work out? Would the LA Chargers beat an old rival and force me to defend something about San Diego? The most jarring part of the Chargers final years here and their subsequent departure was the national media glossing over the situation by assuming that San Diegans were bad fans. The narrative many believed was that Spanos had to leave because the character of the city was too aloof to sustain his family business. The Broncos, in front of a sellout crowd in Denver, dismantled LA on national television in the best and most familiar way. The Chargers lost on a blocked kick at the end and it was glorious.

The Anthony Edwards performance in Top Gun is what jumps out the most every time I see it. His character risks his career and life by choosing to fly with a talented but obviously dangerous pilot. However, Goose always stays loyal to the choice he made. The best scenes in Top Gun are when Goose defends Maverick to the other top pilots. Their exchanges are exactly like every conversation I’ve ever had with any true Dodgers or Raiders fan throughout the years. When fellow sidekick Rick Rossovich (Call Sign: Slider) openly talks trash about Maverick, Goose acknowledges the underdog situation he’s in, but doesn’t flinch. He has a snappy comeback every time.

Then Goose dies.

The most harrowing scene in the movie is where Meg Ryan (Call sign: Hot Widow) is consoling Tom Cruise after the accident. She doesn’t blame Maverick and affirms that he will always be family, while sobbing in a chair behind her son, who appears to be 3 or 4. Maverick receives the message, but still internally blames himself, knowing that his dangerous flying finally ended in tragedy as people had predicted. Goose is still gone and his world where he’s invincible has come crashing down. Cruise does all this with his face, solidifying himself as the next great American movie star. In the story, Goose is a side character who had to die to teach Maverick a lesson.

I called my Dad the day after the Miami game. We laughed at the Stub Hub Center crowd and the horrible PR the Chargers had dumped onto the national stage. The relief we both shared was very similar to the elation we would feel if the San Diego Chargers had won in their home opener. This time we didn’t have to defend them. Because of the horrible roll out and beginning of the season for the Chargers, people are starting to see the dysfunction this franchise has consistently had under the Spanos family’s control. They burned their audience and now they have to play their games in front of that hallow reality. Kansas City barbequed LA’s new team in front of a sea of red in Week Three and it was validating to know that even Meg Ryan couldn’t cheer Dean up.

If Goose had lived and raised his family in San Diego, Goose Jr. would’ve grown up in the Spanos Family Era as well. He’d probably have a podcast called Great Bolts of Fire and lived through all of it. I like to think we’d be hate watchers together. Anthony Edwards has never been able to shake Goose his entire career. Each performance he gives feels like a reincarnation of Maverick’s fallen sidekick. In ER he was playing Goose as a doctor. In The Client he was playing Goose as an assistant to Susan Sarandon’s spunky lawyer. However, in David Fincher’s Zodiac he plays a detective trying to solve one of the most complex murder mysteries in American History with his partner Mark Ruffalo, who is exhaustively obsessed with finding the killer. After years and years of failing to solve the crime, Anthony Edwards finally quits the case and his detective job. He explains to Mark Ruffalo that he can’t do it anymore and that he wants to watch his kids grow up. In the most polite and genuine way possible, he essentially says there are more important things to him than going crazy. Edwards leaves the movie and completes another solid performance, but I always see it as closure for Goose. He got another chance to make the smart choice and took it.

I didn’t watch the Eagles game on TV. Instead I took my son to the beach at Mission Bay where Steven Soderbergh filmed Traffic. I put the game on the radio and casually listened from about ten feet away. Someday I’ll explain to the boy why it was important for Don Cheadle to confront Catherine Zeta-Jones at the playground. She was a rich person living in a bubble and he needed to shatter it. I want Dean Spanos to live the rest of his life in that same startled state. Significant public money will likely never again be used to fund a football only stadium in California and a part of my city had to die to make that clear for everyone. While my kid played I listened to the Chargers lose with a smile on my face. It was a beautiful day in FighterTown, USA (Call Sign: San Diego).

 

Follow on Twitter @Nicholas_McCann

Which Former Padre is Going to The World Series?

The end of the season is here. So, it’s time to think about which former Padre is going to lift the Commissioner’s Trophy over their head, and hopefully drop it on themselves. Let’s start with the National League.

The Colorado Rockies, the sure-fire winner of this year’s World Series:

It’s been ten years since the Rockies slipped through the cracks. Matt Holliday missed home plate (undisputed at this point), and Denver had their stupid run to the World Series called Rocktober. I will never forgive them for breaking Milton Bradley, albeit, by extension, ruining Trevor Hoffman, and allowing the Red Sox fans to become the most self-congratulatory group of chowder eaters to crawl from the sea. A pox on them and that purple dinosaur they call a mascot. I hope some robber baron turns him into gasoline.

Bud Black– One time Padres Manager and our current baseball ex-stepdad. It’ll be fun watching Bud manage in the playoffs. He’ll crash and burn, for me that’s fun, heck, that’s baseball.

Alexi Amarista-We called you The Little Ninja. Just like real ninjas, I hope you go unnoticed for as long as possible and make as much big league money as you can.

Pat Neshek– Remember him? No? Just me? Ok. Well he throws crazy side arm. He’s all arms and angles. Pat might be pitching or doing a Martha Graham routine who can say?

The Arizona Diamondbacks, the consensus lock for the title:

There was a time not long ago that Padres fans could look at the team from Arizona and say “At least we’re not run by Tony La Russa.” Those days are over. Well known head-case, and Carlos Quentin tackle dummy, Zach Grienke is the true #1 ace on a team known mostly for hitting, which must really irritate him. Good.

Fernando Rodney-La Fletcha has been closing games for the snakes and launching arrows into the dry desert air, bless his crooked hat wearing heart. The whole arrow thing doesn’t bug me he’s just a goofball. Is this how people feel about Manny Ramirez?

Adam Rosales-Wait, That Adam Rosales? Our Adam Rosales? Yeah, old crazy legs Rosales is sprinting around the bases in Phoenix now. I’d ask how he keeps getting work but then I remember there is a place on a playoff team for Alexi Amarista and I’m reminded that baseball is the weirdest/best sport.

The Cubs of Chicago, the team most likely to repeat for the crown:

You know how when you buy a car and suddenly you start to see that car everywhere? That’s what Cubs gear is like now. I don’t remember seeing all these Cubs shirts before they won the World Series. I suppose they could have been there but I’ve never noticed it, but juuuuust maybe there might be a handful of bandwagon Cubs fans that came out of the wood work once the team kicked the curse.

Jon Jay-He was kind of good for the Padres when he was on the field. He spent the lion’s share of the season on the DL and moved on. He never insulted San Diego or the Padres so locals don’t boo him. That’s how that works FYI.

Rene Rivera-He had his best year playing in San Diego in 2014. He was and is a great pitch framer and was a big part of why the Padres pitching staff was so good that year. Seems like a good dude, like John C. Reilly would play him in a movie. A bad movie but still John C Reilly…pretty good.

That’s it. No one else on the Cubs was ever a Padre; Kris Bryant played at USD but aside from that no one else. Oh, I guess they have some low level 1B journeyman that never gets playing time I think his name is Risso or Rizzuto or something whatever.

The Washington Nationals the smart money pick for the crown: 

You’d think the Nationals caught a case of the Padres with as many injuries as they’ve had this season. They’ve managed to stay competitive because the Mets have been equally snake bitten and everyone else in the NL East stinks out loud. Plus, having Max Scherzer’s arm and Bryce Harper’s hair doesnt hurt.

Trea Turner– I’m not sure if he counts as being a former Padre but he certainly feels like one. Anyway, I never learned how to pronounce his name. Now I never will.

Edwin Jackson– Thought I’d forget about him? Nope. Dude pitched in 16 games for the Friars last year so that counts. Bonus, his Baseball Reference page has him in the 2016 Padres blue and yellow. I hope it stays that way for-ev-er.

Finally, The LA dodgers, the Long Shot:

If you thought putting up with your friend the Giants fan was a harrowing experience these past few years, just wait until the dodgers win the World Series.

Adrian Gonzalez: El Titan has been sidelined much of the season which has given Bellinger a chance to play first and he’s done so well that he’s stolen the spot from Adrian. There’s not going to be a chance for AGon to ground into an inning ending double play in this year’s postseason because he’s out with back issues. Whatever team picks him up this off season will enjoy his non-presence in the locker room and 8 home runs.

Yasmani Grandal– The Ex-Padres clubhouse cancer has somehow managed to avoid getting suspended for PEDs and is still on the roster in LA.

Logan Forsythe-His career really seemed to take off in Tampa, and I was glad he found success until he came back west. I hope he falls into the La Brea Tar Pits. Sorry.

Brandon Morrow– Of course who can forget about Brandon Morrow HAHAHA JK we’re all trying to forget about Brandon Morrow.

_______________________________________________________

Moving on to the Junior Circuit-The American League

 

The Boston Red Sox, the safe bet for the belt:

Boston hasn’t won a championship in like seven or eight months so they’re due. This might be the year New England finally has something to cheer for. Think of the long suffering New Englanders huddled in their one room cabins in the woods, don’t THEY deserve happiness?

Craig Kimbrel-Man, I hated that whole falconer arm thing. Then I loved that whole falconer arm thing. Now I hate that whole falconer arm thing. Life comes at you fast sometimes.

Drew Pomeranz-He’s been better than David Price but I’m sure Dombrowski is still whining somewhere about Advil or something.

The New York Yankees, a little team looking to make a name for themselves:

Never count out the evil empire. Just as the original Evil Empire from Star Wars was destroyed by a small band of rebels but came back as the First Order the once tanking Yankees have evolved into a “smart” team that uses analytics and stuff. Also, they rely heavily on pure power and intimidation and will eventually lose.

Chase Headley– Oh Savior. Oh Savior. Wherefore art thou savior? Chase had a scorching hot month near the end of his time in San Diego that got him traded to NY. San Diego got Solarte, I still think the Yankees would rather have not paid Chase to disappoint them this much. Too Bad, So Sad.

The Cleveland Indians, the Prohibitive Favorite:

Cleveland set records for winning. Yes, Cleveland. I get to make that joke because I have Cleveland roots.

 Cory Kluber: Again, I’m not sure he counts because the Padres traded him while still in the minors but every time I hear his name I see Ludwick grounding out to second and it makes me see red.

Abraham Almonte: The padres picked him up from Seattle and traded him to Cleveland. The only thing I remember about him is that Bud Black asked him what the name of the 16th president was. I guess he got it right because he started that night. That’s baseball.

The Houston Astros, the assured victors:

Look I had this whole thing planned where I was going to make fun of Paul Wall and the lack of zoning restrictions in the city of Houston but then a Hurricane hit the city so I’ll just say if Houston makes it to the World Series most of the country will be rooting for them.

Luke Gregerson: he was a key part of the stellar 2010 bullpen. Gregerson Adams and Bell. That was a fun year until …well things got dark.

Camron Maybin– It must suck to be one of the finest defensive outfielders out there and be rendered superfluous by Mike Trout. Well lucky for him he’s an Astro now. Hey, when did Maybin get dreads? Lookin’ good Cam! For reals.

The Minnesota Twins, the dark horse candidate:

Wasn’t this team selling at the deadline? These guys were done but now we’re here watching the Twins use Padres pitching like batting practice. Huh…Well the Twinkies really are the dark horse because as we know you can’t win the world series without a former Padre on your team and they don’t have one so they’re out.

In the absence of a former Padre on their roster let’s adopt Adalberto Mejia as a former Friar. I’ve eaten at Adalberto’s a million times and I honestly never thought anyone has ever been named Adalberto so Adalberto, welcome to San Diego, kinda.

There you have it. I might have missed one or two. If I did miss one put it in the comments.

 

Follow Nicholas Burmeister on Twitter @PadresHaiku

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