Category: NL West (page 1 of 13)

Petco Experience – TKF Pod #88

This week the guys talk about the current state of the Petco Park experience. With the team struggling, going Downtown to a game is still a fun time, but there are things that could be better. With guests Andy Keatts of Voice of San Diego (Orioles fan) and Nate Abaurrea from Soccer Nation (Giants fan), they examine the complexities of in-game stadium operations. Are the fun facts provided about the players on the jumbotron actually that fun? Is the jumbotron itself too big and distracting to enjoy the beauty of the game in front of the viewer? These all the important questions that need to be asked. Then they discuss the Padres’ use of Blink 182’s song “San Diego” from their recent album California. The team uses the song when they win, but the lyrics express deeper feelings about the city that might not be exactly celebratory in the way the Friars intend. The guys go deep on other songs used in this way from other markets and try to figure out what the Padres are trying to say with their choice. The one attraction that everyone can agree on is the beauty of rookie sensation catcher Austin Hedges. He has rebounded from his slow start to put up some exciting power numbers, all while maintaining his superb defense. In closing, they talk about the future of the Soccer City SD movement. Nate explains his experience working with youth club teams, the Sockers, the teams on the other side of the border that contribute to this market, and more. What role will SDSU play in the final decisions that the city has to make in November regarding bringing MLS to the city? Time will tell, but it’s looking like another summer of stadium talk headed our way.

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Margot Leading Off

By Nicholas McCann

The night before the official announcement came down that the Chargers were leaving, reports trickled in that it was happening. Immediately, I looked around my house for all my team gear. It felt smart to make a list of things to destroy. The bolt mug my mom found at a church rummage sale was shattered in my alley. My Antonio Gates powder blue home jersey was then used to clean up the mug’s broken glass and became featured in a TKF Instagram video essay. In the midst of dividing up the items into groups for separate methods of destruction (Burn, shatter, or drown), I came across a knitted snow cap that took the shape of the Chargers helmet. A friend of mine gave a bunch of them out as Christmas gifts a few years back. That hat will never be destroyed. It was purchased from a local girl who stitched them by hand, and after going through the application process, she was denied official licensing by the NFL. She now lives in Germany and has a family.

It’s not the Padres job to fix me. They’ve made their choices, and unlike Dean Spanos, I’ve chosen to stay. The only baseball team I’ve ever loved is rebuilding again, and as always, I’m skeptical of ownership’s ability to pull it off. Consequently, I feel the same way about myself. This has to be my last go ’round. I need to be the owner of my own happiness and never let a professional sports team hurt me again. I’m too old for that and I have a son now. If the Padres can’t change themselves into a winner I can’t be an angry San Diego sports fan in front of him.

Outfielder Manuel Margot and three other prospects were traded to the Padres from the Boston Red Sox for Craig Kimbrel before last season. Regardless of what the team was saying publicly, this was the first real step in the direction of the current rebuild. They knew they didn’t need a closer and Boston was getting jammed up with young outfield talent. My son was born a few months after the transaction and now Margot is here.

Did I mention my wife is from Boston? She is.

On Wednesday night Andy Green started Travis Jankowski at lead off in the batting order. It wasn’t a big deal, but not having Margot in the opening slot at the top made me nervous. Green has mostly been using Manuel there and it’s felt reassuring to have him in the position to control the tone of a game from the jump. Travis is just a fast dude who plays hard and might have a career at this level. However, when Manny leads off it’s something different. With him, a tangible feeling of relief enters in that informs the rest of the game no matter what the result ends up being. He represents the start of our future. His smile makes me think about what a parade would feel like in the Gaslamp. When he does something exciting, like opening up San Diego’s offense with a leadoff double or homerun, it feels like we’re collectively throwing a lit cigarette at Dean Spanos’ problematic face. Is it unfair to attach this stuff to a young outfielder at the dawn of his career? Perhaps, but as Padres fans adjust to accepting the team being bad for the next few years, Margot is the most realistic embodiment of a preview for something better to come. He is the lighthouse telling our ship where the land is, and more precisely, he gives us hope that land may actually exist.

Manuel started off hot in the first few series and has slightly come back to earth a bit. If this continues the team will be justified in sending him down to El Paso for a few weeks to preserve his service time and give him a chance to work on some things. This will probably spark some debate from the media and the fans because (A) the rules in place allow for it and (B) we’ll have little else to talk about as the Padres plummet deeper into the reality we all saw coming for 2017.

This is all fine for now. My son will have no memory of this time. Right now he’s as excited about our dryer as I am about Margot. Besides, I don’t even remember falling in love with Tony Gwynn. I was born in 1980 and he was always just there as a constant in my life, becoming the greatest contact hitter of his generation as my brain began to form. The rebuild needs to work so my son and I can have some version of what I had. It starts with Margot. He can’t fail. He will be our favorite player together if the universe or the Padres don’t ruin him.

Baseball changed for me after the fire sale of the early 90s. My dad had to explain to me what the value of a franchise meant and why the owner (and producer of the Cosby show) had to strip the Padres down so he could sell it. After destroying all my licensed Chargers gear, I packed up the handmade snow cap in a box in our garage. I’ll explain it to my son later. Like the Padres, I’ll have to build up to that.

 

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Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton is Back! – TKF Pod #87

This week the guys examine how many people still prefer to consume baseball on the radio. The Padres switched broadcasting stations this year, and co-host (and former on-air DJ) Dallas McLaughlin discusses his recent article on voiceofsandiego.org about the switch from Mighty 1090 to FM 94.9, the adjustment for fans, and the talent associated with the team. Later in the show, San Diego broadcasting legend Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton stops by to talk about the trajectory of the Padres organization and ownership’s ability to sell their product to the fan base. Then they discuss the huge hole the Chargers’ departure left in the community at every level, and Lee gives his thoughts on the Spanos family’s mistakes, the local sports media scrambling in the wake of the exit, and the future for the NFL in this city. From over the airwaves to on the field, the hosts also dig into their feelings on the current direction of the team. On Tuesday night the Padres allowed their starting shortstop Erick Aybar to come in and pitch. The game was a blowout and everything worked out, but was this a good look for a baseball team to project in April? Is being a weird team fun? Should fans “Embrace the Tank” and have fun with it? The guys explore these themes and their honest reactions to them while looking forward to what the future may or may not bring. Check out leehacksawhamilton.com for all things Hacksaw!

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John Gennaro and David Jay – TKF Pod #86

Baseball is back and so far the Padres aren’t terrible. After ten games they have an even record with some legitimate bright spots. This week the guys sat down with The Mighty 1090’s John Gennaro and David Jay from Madfriars.com to discuss the still-young season. There was plenty to talk about! First they discussed San Diego’s relationship with former Padres manager Bud Black, who was fired almost two years ago and has reemerged as the head coach of the Colorado Rockies, an in-division semi-rival. Wil Myers hit for the 2nd cycle in Padres history and the guys talked about how this exciting event spawned vitriol towards Matt Kemp, the polarizing former Padres outfielder, who while in San Diego, hit for the franchise’s first cycle. Then they talked about the overall trajectory of the rebuilding Padres by looking at players of note in the minors with David Jay, who studies all levels of the team’s development system. Will the Padres be able to rebuild in a timely fashion to satisfy the fans, media, potential free agents or TKF co-host Dallas McLaughlin? It’s too early to tell. Regardless, everybody on this podcast agreed that CF Manuel Margot is fun enough for now. Let’s go Padres!

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Opening Day Party Pod – TKF Pod #85

This week the guys talk to friends Robert Pouder (Dodgers fan) and Joe Chandler (Padres fan who went to Opening Day in LA). They talk about Clayton Kershaw’s performance, Bethancourt, and Andy Green.

It’s going to be a long year. Sad!

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Brady Phelps Returns! – TKF Pod #84

This week the guys sit down with Brady Phelps from Lobshots.com. They talk about the Raiders going to Vegas, the Padres upcoming season, and the beauty of the Lavar Ball Crying Jordan meme. Then they close The Kept Faith Baseball Film Series #TKFBFS with For The Love of The Game (1999).

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The Blashwagon – TKF Pod #83

This week the guys sit down with Andy Keatts from VOSD and Padres Jagoff from Gwynntelligence.com to discuss the past, present, and future of The Blashwagon (The party bus for Jabari Blash supporters aka Blashheads). Then they talk about the Lake Elsinore Storm, WBC, San Diego Hall of Champions, and March Madness. Finally, they continue The Kept Faith Baseball Film Series #TKFBFS with a debate over the Rookie of The Year/Little Big League rivalry.

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Also, check out our own Dallas McLaughlin’s new comedy album An Evening of This.

Bernie Wilson – TKF Pod #81

This week the bros have Bernie Wilson from the Associated Press on for some bro time. They talk about Padres Spring Training, Aztec Basketball and get into Bernie’s time covering the America’s Cup sailing competition. Then they look back at the 1994 Ron Shelton joint “Cobb”. #TKFBFS

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Ghost and The Sports Brain – TKF Pod #80

This week the guys talk SDSU’s future in Mission Valley and the 2017 Padres with Ghost of Ray Kroc and Chris Garcia. They discuss the Jered Weaver signing and what to look ahead to for the upcoming season. Then they dig into Eight Men Out (1988) for the second installment of The Kept Faith Baseball Film Series #TKFBFS

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Celebrate SD: A TKF Pod Mini

This week Dallas and Nick go down to the Celebrate SD Rally for San Diego. They bring their families and hang out with fellow locals in an attempt to turn the page on a rough period for SD sports fans.

Speakers:
1. Ted Leitner
2. Ron Fowler
3. Kevin Faulconer
4. Trevor Hoffman

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