Category: MLB (page 1 of 16)

Baseball’s Hall of Fame Voting System Needs a Reboot

Hall of Fame voting is moronic.

It’s a flawed system that gives a select group of writers the majority of control over a player’s legacy. Writers who could have at one time had a contentious relationship with a great player, or just didn’t like the “way” those players played the game, or writers who just don’t believe in the position that player played have almost complete control on how the game of baseball is remembered. It’s not right.

As a San Diegan I’m obviously partial to the last argument listed above based on the recent weeks of the Trevor Hoffman debate mysteriously helmed by Keith Law. He’s come out of the gate in 2017 as the anti-Jonah Keri. Instead of being hell-bent on an overlooked player who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, Law wants to keep one out: Hoffman.

Keith Law essentially feels that the role of Closer should not be included in the Hall of Fame, and even got into an argument with me on Twitter about the merits of the position. Law, an analyst and senior baseball writer for ESPN, took the time out of his day to make fun of Padres fans and belittle those who want great players to be included in a building of great players. You might think this is something that should be “below” Law or even ridiculous for him to get involved in. Perhaps even mean. But, it’s not and I’ll explain.

Law is a genius. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way. The guy is a very smart individual who has certainly found his niche in the world of baseball journalism and script. His approach matches his intellect, which is analytic, economic, mathematical and smug. I imagine hanging out with Law would be about as fun as hanging out with a lamppost. However, he is very smart. He even wrote a book. But, see Law is a fan. That’s it. Just like you and me, Law is a fan of the game and it’s players. Why do you think he started writing about baseball to begin with, because there were job openings in the field? Trust me, there are not.

Like normal every day diehard baseball fans guys like Law, Bob Nightengale, or Buster Olney have spent a lot of time being around baseball, arguing and debating with friends about baseball, and cultivating opinions based on their personal beliefs and romantic experiences with the game and it’s players. The biggest difference between those guys and us is that at some point they were able to articulate their opinions and feelings in a way that garnered them employment in different arenas in and around the professional game.

They are professional baseball writers and analysts who get paid to have opinions. And, that is rad. The little money I have made over time writing about sports is an added bonus to my life I could have never expected. However, I’m just a blogger. I’m not a professional, and even though that distinction is blurring more and more every day, people will still take a guy like Keith Law’s word over mine. I don’t blame them. He wrote a book. I wrote a song called “Party In My Tummy”. We’ve both won awards. Whatever.

Law, Olney, and even heroes of the genre like Peter Gammons have all moved to the Internet to find a voice. Starting podcasts, websites, and pay walls all to try and continue their dominance as thee voices and judges in the world of what is and isn’t good baseball. However, at this point we both have .com (or .org) at the end of our paychecks. Those guys are glorified bloggers. They’re super fans with a talent for analysis. That’s it, and that alone does not warrant one the right to decide how someone who did what they can’t do should be remembered. Would writers be okay with Trevor Hoffman being the main decision maker on who gets to be in the baseball writer’s hall of fame? I doubt it.

I’d venture to say over 90% of baseball writers, and most likely 98% of baseball fans have never played the game professionally. They have absolutely no idea what it actually takes to get on the field and perform at a high level. They can sit around, crunch numbers, debate athletic merits, and score tests, but they can’t physically play. This fact alone makes it strange to me that they’ve been able to position themselves as the judge and jury delivering verdicts on the legacy of an actual professional baseball player.

The only people who should be able to vote on Hall of Fame inductees are the players and managers who actually spent time in the game. The ones who succeeded or failed, and know exactly what it takes to hit .210 or .310, to throw 200 innings or 40. They know what the individual players and managers meant to the sport, city, and team on a day in and day out basis. They should be the sole panel allowed to decide who will represent them for eternity.

And, if we are gonna continue with the charade of letting BlogSpot overlords and kings of a dying industry be the end all be all of baseball’s fame then let’s examine two quick things that illustrate just how unqualified they are:

In my argument with Keith Law it was revealed that he places little value on a player’s individual talent. This makes sense given his precise numbers driven way of thinking. He leaves little or nothing to the imagination, and in fact I’m not sure if he even has one. The fundamental difference between Law and I is that he believes managers are responsible for making Closers and situational players good, and I believe the players are.

He believes, I’m assuming because he’s crunched numbers down to a sliver of a fraction, that managerial decisions outweigh whether a player is good or not. By his standards ANY base stealer could’ve changed the tide of the 2004 World Series, not JUST Dave Roberts. I maintain only Roberts and maybe like two other guys could have pulled off that stolen base. Roberts’ individual knowledge of the game, his experience, his personal struggle and motivation led to that success, not a managerial decision based on a mathematical likelihood. The same goes for the role of a Closer. Law argues that sans Mariano no Closer should be inducted, and I can see the point of Mariano being the greatest of all time. He definitely made the biggest impact on the largest stage, but how would he be remembered if he was a Padre? Now imagine how good Hoffman had to be to play in San Diego and STILL be considered the second greatest Closer of all time. Again, Law says his greatness was determined by Bochy and Black, but I have a hard time believing Donne Wall would have shared the same fate as Hoffy given the same situations.

Law and I can argue back and forth and neither one of us are actually right or wrong because we are both fans who lack the fundamental understanding of what it takes to be a player and to be a player facing Hoffman, or trying to throw out Roberts, or pitch to Edgar Martinez.

Secondly, look at how the BBWAA treats players like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Now, it’s widely believed that both Clemens and Bonds started taking steroids later in their careers: When Clemens went to Toronto in 1997 and Bonds in 1999 six years after joining the Giants. It is also widely known that these guys were actually taking steroids. Of course when the truth came out executives and writers and managers wanted to play the dumb card, but they all knew. They ignored it and the BBWAA voted Barry Bonds the MVP from 2001-2004. They gave Clemens the Cy Young in four of his juiced years. They willfully and gleefully celebrated two players in advanced years doing things no human had done before. For all their brilliant opinions and number crunching they couldn’t see the forest for the trees or just chose to ignore the lumberjacks.

Now, in their sixth year of eligibility, Bonds and Clemens sit on the ballot ignored and passed over, paying for a crime the very writers who ignore them help to perpetuate.

It’s childish, stupid, hypocritical and moronic.

Players knew what was going on. They knew how it affected the game, the players, and teams. They and they alone should yield the power to choose how it is remembered. Maybe every veteran agrees that Dave Roberts belongs in the Hall because of that one stolen base. It certainly meant a whole hell of a lot to modern day baseball. Maybe the players want to vote in Edgar, because for all your advanced stats you still can’t quantify what his plate presence meant to the runner on second base, or the shift it caused the outfield to take, or the fear it struck in the pitcher who unintentionally walked him loading the bases and now creating an RBI opportunity for A-Rod, or Griffey, or whoever. You can present cases that help you understand these things, but you never will. Neither will I.

We like to guess, and fight, and debate, but what the hell do we know? Who watched Barry Larkin play in more games – Peter Gammons or my Dad who watched every Cincinnati Reds game from 1985-1997? Who would have a better opinion on what Barry Larkin meant to the game? I would bet my Dad, but it doesn’t matter because my Dad’s opinion would be biased based on his loyalty and love for the Reds. Gammons would be biased based on his assessment of the Reds organization from an outside perspective that probably doesn’t place a premium on a semi-relevant Midwest team that hasn’t won anything in quite a while.

That’s why only the guys who played with or coached Larkin knew how good or bad he was based on talent.

We’ve let these writers yield so much power that they think they’re above the game. They think they’ve solved it. They haven’t. No one really has. Ted Williams was close, but that was about it.

I realize that Eras Committees have always been established and can help right the wrongs of the BBWAA, but there shouldn’t be wrongs. There shouldn’t be mistakes. It shouldn’t have taken the Modern Era Committee to get Jack Morris and Alan Trammell in the Hall of Fame. They were both great players who deserved it long ago. Trammell’s numbers were never considered Hall of Fame worthy, but the man played incredible defense, with an above average bat for twenty years on one team. And Jack Morris who had what they call “fringe” Hall of Fame numbers, should have been inducted years ago but during his career he hurt writers feelings by being a bit gruff once or twice.

I realize the argument would be that letting the players decide could result in too many fringe players or role players who didn’t have the same career as a Gwynn or an Aaron in the Hall – but what does it matter? It’s not for us. It’s for the players. If they want to elect Mike Mussina or Larry Walker or Billy Wagner or Donne Wall then they should and no one should care.

Only the players and managers know who was truly worthy, and we should leave up to them.

[Editor’s Note: Keith Law has blocked us on Twitter for questioning his judgement.]

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

The SDSU West and Ohtani Episode – TKF Pod #112

This week the guys dig into SDSU’s potential expansion to Mission Valley with VOSD’s Andy Keatts. They talk about the 2018 race coming up between the university’s idea and SoccerCitySD’s plan that has already made it on the ballot.

Then they call Dustin Palmateer (@SacBuntDustin) and dive into Ohtani Mania! Will this international phenomenon roll through San Diego and completely change the struggling franchise’s rebuild? All we can do is wait and see. Check out Dustin’s new site sacbuntnewsletter.com and subscribe!

Support TKF with our new Patreon. If you’d like to sign up go to patreon.com/thekeptfaith

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The Temecula Episode – TKF Pod #111

This week Travis and Nick went up to Temecula to record with Dallas and his dad during Ohio State vs Michigan. It was a blast! Dallas’ dad told stories of going to Jack Murphy Stadium back in the 60s and the Buckeyes won!

Also, thanks for all the support with our new Patreon. It means a lot. If you’d like to sign up go to patreon.com/thekeptfaith

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SUPPORT THE KEPT FAITH!

It’s here.

It’s time.

The Patreon is live and available at all times, HOWEVER we gotta Black Friday special:

From 8:00am PST until 8:00pm PST TODAY ONLY, if you become a patron at the $5 a month level you’ll get a limited edition FREE Kept Faith t-shirt!

How do I get to the Patreon? Here. Click here.

This Patreon is set up to support us in creating new podcasts, posts, add contributors, equipment and merch! You’re support will take us to the next level in 2018, and that level is where we want to be. (One year ahead of the Padres)

So, do it. Become a patron. It’s just $5 a month and if you sign up today between 8:00am and 8:00pm you’ll get your free t-shirt. It’s so easy. Almost too easy.

Now listen, if you do join up as a patron there will be a slight hazing process. It’s not easy, but you’ll learn a lot.

Join our team. Take your lumps.

In all seriousness, thank you for your support, now go sign up!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT(S)! – TKF Pod

It’s time to take The Kept Faith to the next level, and we need your support…

Since 2007 Nick and I have been writing about San Diego sports. Back then the void for an opinion that wasn’t radio or the U-T was unfathomably large. Our writing was pretty bad, and all over the place, and we were on blogspot. In 2010, Producer Travis joined the fold as we began the TKF Podcast. Many incarnations, contributors, and think-pieces on Jake Peavy later we’re ready to make a few announcements! (Listen to the announcement pod here.)

WE’RE STARTING A PATREON!

We’re launching it on Black Friday  – THIS FRIDAY! And, if you become a Patron of our Patreon this Friday – ON BLACK FRIDAY  – for $5 a month, you will receive a free limited edition Kept Faith t-shirt! That’s right, become a Patron and get a free t-shirt! We will be fully explaining what it means to be a Patron of TKF, and the benefits included later this week, but this is huge (or UGE because our President, remember? He says “huge” funny. HAHAHA what a good joke we’re all gonna die.)

If you become a Patron of TKF your contributions will allow us the flexibility and bandwidth to support new podcasts, merch, multiple weekly posts from all over the spectrum – sabermetrics (not Dallas) to ridiculous pieces about the way Jankowski wears his hair. We’ll also be able to produce more live shows and events, speaking of…

THE KEPT FAITH WINTER MEETINGS AND SAN DIEGO SPORTS TRIVIA CHAMPIONSHIP!

January 10th at The Whistle Stop in South Park, we’ll be holding our second live podcast recording. The guests will be announced in December, and details including trading bazaar and more will also be announced soon. But, this detail is being announced now –

THE FIRST EVER SAN DIEGO SPORTS TRIVIA CHAMPIONSHIP!

Directly following the live recording of the live podcast, the Whistle Stop will turn into Trivia Central! Any fan of San Diego sports is welcome to form a team and play, or just play by themselves – however, we are calling out all the podcasts and blogs to form teams and compete! East Village Times, Pads Pod, MTPGA, Padres & Pints, The 5.5 Podcast, Gwynntelligence, Padres Public, Madfriars, Gaslamp Ball, all of them. Even Brady Phelps. Everybody. Get your team together and represent. Winner gets a round of drinks and…

…the first ever San Diego Sports Trivia Championship Trophy!

So, that’s it – that’s the announcements. Yay! Become a Patron of The Kept Faith, and come show off your SD sports knowledge Jan. 10th!

FULL ANNOUNCEMENT POD HERE.

 

The Hosmer Episode – TKF Pod #110

This week the guys sit down with Eric and Dan from The 5.5 Podcast. They talk about the Eric Hosmer discussion that is apparently happening in the Padres front office. After unpacking the problems with making a move like that, they take a closer look at executive chairman Ron Fowler and the influence he brings to the delicate process the team is currently engaging in. Will the Padres angling towards a .500 record in 2018 blow up in their faces? Will the build (not rebuild) work at all? These are the questions Padres fans are left with as the hot stove season approaches.

Download the episode here:

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On Being a Dodgers Fan

Fandom is a funny thing.

I grew up in Virginia long before baseball returned to the Nation’s Capital. Friends who were baseball fans followed the Baltimore Orioles. This was back when Earl Weaver prowled the dugout and Jim Palmer was on the mound. I remember Palmer appearing in an underwear ad. This probably isn’t the best way to begin an essay on unhealthy obsessions, but there it is.

I tried to convince myself that Al Bumbry was my favorite player. It didn’t stick. I’ve never even been to Camden Yards.

Despite my love of the game, or at least the version of it we played in the sandlot, yes a sandlot, behind my friend’s house up the street, it didn’t translate to an undying devotion to a professional sports franchise. Despite the fact that my dad was born and raised in the Bronx, we were not a baseball family. We had no strong allegiances to one team or another.

I moved to L.A. in the late ‘90s and I became a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to the Clash. I’d “discovered” that the Clash’s first album was released in the UK with different songs in a slightly different order than their much inferior American debut. I listened to that tape over and over again in my truck until it wore out and the tape got stuck.

That was the day I turned on the radio. A Dodgers game was playing. Vin Scully was the broadcaster.

That was the day I became a Dodgers fan.

Although I had no great love for baseball, I was a sports fan and sports on the radio is all about numbers. No sport is more obsessed with stats than baseball and no one can spin a narrative out of numbers like Vincent Edward Scully.

I started listening to games on my way home from work. Then I learned that the company I worked for had season tickets to all the Dodgers home games that were only used when clients came to visit.

Whenever I could, I claimed all four ticket and went to games for free with friends who were all too happy to pay for parking and beer. It was a win/win situation.

Even though the Dodgers weren’t very good, it didn’t matter. Dodgers Stadium showed me a different Los Angeles than the one I thought I knew. It was one of the few places, perhaps the only place, where money and status and fame didn’t matter. It felt like the most democratic place one could be on a Friday night in L.A.

Eventually those tickets went away, and then I moved to San Diego, but I kept listening to Vin and the boys in blue.

I almost never watch the games. I’ve replaced the AM radio in that dusty truck with the MLB radio package, which is the best deal in all of sports. Every game, home and away, in English or Spanish (where available) right on my mobile phone.

I listen in the car, while working at home, even while walking on the beach. In a very real sense, baseball is always with me. And by baseball I mean the Dodgers the team that has given us one of the most amazing World Series ever.

This series had it all: long games and short games, pitching duels and slugfests, great defense and costly errors. It was a spectacle in its purest form. A feast for the senses. There were balls deflected by gloves, hats and slow umpires. Weird beards in every color of the rainbow. Outrageous haircuts. You had bat licking, coach kissing, ball jacking, and long walks around the diamond – and that’s just Yasiel Puig.

You had triumphant veterans and free agent flops. Racist gestures and cultural insensitivity trumped by the magnanimity of the human spirit.

And I soaked in every last inning. Well, almost every inning. Okay, most of the innings because that is a lot of baseball. And because the Dodgers have never gone this deep into October since I started paying attention, it’s the most baseball I’ve ever watched in October.

It was thrilling. It was heart-wrenching. But mostly it was exhausting. In addition to all the baseball I watched and listened to, I consumed almost an equal amount of reportage, criticism, and analysis. Plus, the emotional labor invested in liking posts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and sending texts to similarly afflicted sports fanatics who will read things like “Someone needs to murder that umpire with a rusty dagger” and not think poorly of you as a person.

And you know something?

Even though the Dodgers lost.

Even though I put on 10 pounds from all that bar food and stress eating.

Even though no one should have to listen to that much Joe Buck…

I’d do it all over again.

Because there may not be another “again.” The Dodgers may not go back to the World Series in my lifetime. Such is the fickle hand of fate for sports fans.

Fandom is stupid.

Love what you want, but be careful what you give your heart to. It might get stomped on by a right-handed outfielder with a ridiculous on-base percentage.

On second thought, maybe I should stick to the Clash.

 

Jim Ruland is the books columnist for San Diego CityBeat and the host of Vermin on the Mount. Follow him @jimvermin. Or don’t.

 

2017 World Series Email Exchange

During the ALCS and NLCS Nicholas Burmeister (AKA @PadresHaiku) and I wrote back and forth between games. We did the same for this amazing World Series that took place between the Astros and Dodgers. It was a lot of fun and, like it often does, brought up feelings about our own San Diego Padres. Enjoy!

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 8:04 AM

McCann,

How are you? The World Series starts tonight. Who you got? I’m not 100% sure, but if the LA Dodgers win, its four or five. If the Astros win, I think it goes seven. The Astros hitters are getting hot, but the Dodgers pitchers have been resting for a while. If Houston wins in LA tonight I think they take the series.

Padres Twitter is getting chippy.

Talk soon, Haiku

NICK MCCANN – Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 3:12 PM

I’m living my worst sports nightmare. The Dodgers are in the World Series and I have them winning.

I was at a wedding in Oakland when Kirk Gibson hit his iconic blast off of Eckersley. I was eight and was blown away that the A’s fan groom insisted on having a TV at his reception to watch the game. It was a big deal then, and having the Dodgers back on the biggest stage, is a big deal now. I hate this about myself. I care about what the Dodgers do and it will never change. Clayton Kershaw has to fail tonight. The universe owes me that.

Also, Padres Twitter is going to be a disaster over the next few days. I might check out.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 5:21 PM

Padres Twitter is eating itself. Remember mid summer when there was all that love? That’s over. It’s weird that some Padre fans don’t understand why they’re supposed to hate the Dodgers.

Bums are already up by one. This is going to be the longest winter.

Dodgers beat the Astros 3-1 in Game 1. Clayton Kershaw dominates in one of the great postseason performances of the modern era.

NICK MCCANN – Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 1:32 PM

I felt this way after Peyton Manning won his first Super Bowl over the Bears in 2006. We couldn’t say he wasn’t clutch anymore. With Clayton it’s basically the same thing. Sure, he’s had some strong performances in the playoffs, but up until last night he had never shined fully on the biggest stage. That’s over now. Outside of giving up a solo shot, he was virtually flawless in the biggest game of his life. He might never quite reach the heights of Madison Bumgarner in 2014 (probably nobody will), but he is now a clutch postseason performer. He did his part regardless if they win it all or not. This sucks. I’ll miss my old tortured Clayton.

Now he is without question the greatest pitcher of his generation and there really isn’t anything more to say. Step it up, Astros. Don’t give up.

Astros beat the Dodgers 7-6 in Game 2. It goes to extra innings, but Houston holds on for the win.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 9:38 PM

You’ve got the wrong Clayton as the best of his generation. Clayton Richard is the GOAT there’s no denying this. Kershaw was great in Game 1, but tonight’s game was a wild one. The Astros really tried to blow it, but eventually pulled it off.

Day off tomorrow. What am I going to do with my life?

NICK MCCANN – Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 4:19 PM

Padres hired Matt Stairs as their hitting coach. Does that seem odd? My first thought was: Beer League Softball. Tonight should be exciting. The Astros are an amazing team and their city has been thrown through the ringer. I’m falling hard for Jose Altuve.

I want that in my life. He’s almost like if Tony Gwynn and Roberto Alomar had a baby with more power than they ever had. We’re talking about doing a World Series Party edition of the Kept Faith’s Podcast (available on ITunes. Podomatic and GooglePlay). Can you stop by?

Astros beat the Dodgers 5-3 in Game 3.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Sat, Oct 28, 2017 at 12:20 PM

Yeah I’ll be there after work.

Altuve is what’s right with baseball right now. He’s fun to watch & seems to be a good dude. He might end up with more hits than Ichiro. He’d look really good in Brown and Mustard.

This Yuli Gurriel news is a real bummer. I forget sometimes that a lot of these guys are assholes. Yu Darvish seems to be taking a very high road on this which is good. What do you think MLB should do If anything?

Anyway, see you after work.

Dodgers beat the Astros 6-2 in Game 4. The podcast was a blast. Still available on ITunes, Podomatic and GooglePlay!

NICK MCCANN – Sun, Oct 29, 2017 at 3:59 PM

Sorry my son ruined the pod at the end. He’s outside running laps right now. It was a teachable moment. This World Series is blowing my mind. The teams are both beautifully constructed and exciting. Tonight Clayton Kershaw will pitch in the biggest game of his career. His game one was incredible so if he blows this it won’t be completely defining, but it still matters. He has to have a good game to stomp out ammunition for assholes like me. The drama surrounding this game is off the charts. I can’t wait to see what happens to Kershaw tonight. Something will.

Astros beat the Dodgers 13-12 in Game 5. Clayton Kershaw gave up a 4 run lead. The game went 10 innings.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Sun, Oct 29, 2017 at 11:49 PM

Wow, what a game! If juicing balls created baseball this fun, than I suggest playing the next two games at a Fruteri­a (a real one). Kershaw is going to be the best pitcher and the best “yeah, but” target of his generation. You can make the argument from both sides:

“He’s the best pitcher ever!”

“Yeah, but he choked in the post season.”

 Or

“Kershaw was overwhelmed and couldn’t perform on the big stage”

 “Yeah, but his look at his regular season numbers.”

It has shades of the Trevor Hoffman debate and it’s delicious. Your son didn’t ruin the pod. But his takes are scorching white hot and it made the rest of us feel inadequate.

NICK MCCANN – Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 7:01 AM

I needed a day to regroup after what some people are saying was the greatest game of all time. Yeah, I’m not sure it tops Game 7 of last year. That had everything: Old Testament God, speeches during the rain, that Rizzo guy getting the last out and ending a monster of a curse. Speaking of monsters, it is Halloween and tonight could get really dark in LA. If Justin Verlander crushes it and the Astros win in it all, Clayton Kershaw and the city he plays for are going to spiral. If they lose, every conversation about Kershaw moving forward will start with “except for game 5”. The stakes are high. This is the best overall series I’ve ever seen through 5 games. I want more!

I guess what’s hardest about this is that even though I hate all of the Dodgers, I genuinely feel more connected to them as entertaining personalities than most of the current Padres. When Joc walks up to the plate, I know him and I know why I hate him. Same with Puig, Ethier, Seager, Turner etc. We don’t have that yet here. We don’t really know who the 2020 Padres will be. And we don’t really know if that’s even our year.

Dodgers beat the Astros 3-1 in Game 6. There will be a 7th game.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 1:30 PM

After the baseball fever dream that was Game Five, Game Six seemed boring. Justin Verlander pulled a Kershaw and was less than spectacular and we ended up with a low scoring game that belonged in the middle of June, not the end of October. It’s like I’ve been eating Kit-Kat’s and Reese’s for 10 days and now you just gave me a Hershey’s bar. I mean it’s good, but it’s just a chocolate bar, whatever.

What did you think of Joc’s home run trot? It’s easy to “know” these Dodgers. You’ve been watching them a lot this postseason and for the past regular season. It helps that they’re in a big market on a good team. The national media frames up all these players. Plus they’re going to be around for a while. These Padres are, with a few #Swoon worthy exceptions, temporary. I know exactly why I hate every Dodger too, and really every Giant, D-Back and Rockie, (except Amarista). The Padres lack personality sure, but who cares? These guys aren’t going to be here long, except you know who. I’ve seen Josh Naylor play. He’s got that thing you’ll connect with and so does Tatis Jr. I don’t know about Urias or Gore, but there’s time.

Last game tonight. McCullers vs Darvish. Joe Buck will be his Buckyest. Hold on to your butts!

The Astros beat the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7. They are the 2017 World Series Champions.

NICK MCCANN – Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 9:37 PM

The Dodgers are going to be a lot for us to handle for a very long time. Their front office and ownership group is smarter than ours and they can afford to make mistakes. Their core is set and piece will be added. Next year they will be highly motivated to make sure they get to the World Series and dominate. Game 7 was kind of dud after the excitement this series had already brought. Regardless, the Astros are who we want to be. They have the most exciting lineup MLB has seen in a very long time and they came to this point using smart tactics and patience.

This World Series wasn’t technically about the Padres, but everything ends up being about them anyways. It’s time for them to start winning seasons. However, the Astros took their time. Will we build the right way and #EarnHistory? You never know with #ThisTeam.

NICHOLAS BURMEISTER – Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 10:22 AM

Don’t be so fatalistic, I’m sure there were Houstonians that looked at the Rangers of 2010-2011 and thought that the tank would never work. Not every team with a smart front office and a young core wins a pennant every year ie. Cubs. Be chill. The Padres are building, with direction it seems, and things take time. Doesn’t the Astros success give you some hope?

Preller is smart and he’s dirty. That could be the right combination.

Prepare for bad baseball. Go to games in Lake Elsinore and enjoy the ride.

Now that baseball season is over, all those Dodgers fans can focus on their first love: The Chargers.

<<<

What-ifs and Yeah-buts

A hot stove to keep us warm

Winter upon us

>>> 

 

Follow @Nicholas_McCann and @PadresHaiku

 

 

 

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

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