In San Diego, Massive Personnel and Front Office Changes, Worst Results…..

This year, I have purposely stayed away from posting on this blog. Many of my friends asked me why? My response was very simple “There were too many changes to the entire organization and one huge glaring weakness was never addressed from the onset, SHORTSTOP position”. That’s like running a software company and saying that software architect is not required while we can get away with several junior programmers doing the architecture for the entire business product-line. We all know what kind of results we will produce from that logic. Though, being a silent observer has a lot of advantages as I’ve studied this team from afar and developed some interesting facts to share with the entire followers of Snodgrass Muff.

Let’s begin the dive ! It’s very interesting to notice one eye-catching fact developing right before our own eyes from the perspective of a loyal Padres season ticket-holder. The New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers are all in pennant races as we speak. So what? You may rebuttal as a frustrated San Diego Padres fan, who has endured many losing seasons and 5 straight to be exact. Well, all three teams Baseball operations are lead by former San Diego Padres employees. The New York Mets by Sandy Alderson and Paul Deposta, The Chicago Cubs Theo Esptein, Jed Hoyer, Jason Mcleod, and Jaron Madison, The Los Angeles Dodgers Josh Byrnes and Billy Gasparino. Where are the Padres right now in comparison to those who had been in San Diego the past 9 years? The Padres are worst off from last year’s dead-beat team and have traded a surplus of promising prospects, fired one of the most respectable managers in the game as well. But hey, San Diego has the best weather ! It’s getting old hearing that phrase year-in, year-out. Yes, I was one of many vouching for the hiring of A.J. Preller a year ago and I still believe he can change the baseball climate here in San Diego. But, that glaring weakness at shortstop is HUGE. I give Preller a grade of C- overall, he did bring enthusiasm back to San Diego with his gunslinger approach during winter meetings. Just like what Donald Trump is doing for Joe Six-pack right now in the Presidential Reality Show, awakening the masses.

As for 2015, we ain’t got nothing but the blues in San Diego. Yes, hate seeing those Dodgers fans parading in our town. Sing it for us, Gabriel Caetano !

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Mid-Season Review of Padres……

It’s been nearly 6 months since I made any significant post regarding the San Diego Padres Baseball Club and Operations. I wanted to take a huge step back and observe the whirlwind of moves made during the Winter Season to see how the elements would come together as a team. Like any huge unsuccessful organization or company, sweeping major changes can have a lasting and potentially positive impact. Though, the key is to make changes to the culture as well which to me is the most fundamental aspect. Where am I going with this? Well, the previous Manager always had his club starting off slowly and the patterns continued to exist despite several changes during the last 8 years in regards to Baseball Operations or player personnel changes.

Now, let’s dig at the 2nd most important change that needs to be implemented that is ‘structural’. A new regime comes in and suddenly, the changes are very noticeable and perhaps costly at some of the positions where more emphasis should be placed at a higher value than initially projected. I look at this ballclub being a bit improved from the last 8 years, though personally to me that doesn’t say or weight too much as the current records supports that claim. What concerns me the most is the lack of attention at the most skillful positions on the major league level, that is Shortstop, 2nd Baseman, and Center fielder. To me, this is an area that is impeding the progress of the Major League Ballclub at the moment. This has been ongoing for years now since the departures of the likes of Khalil Greene and Mike Cameron. It is time, the baseball operations focuses on how to solve this most obvious glaring deficiency of talent at critical key positions. Remember, more errors leads to more pitches thrown by your own pitching staff and vast amount of opportunities to cash on for your opponents.

In conclusion, there is extreme upside to this Organization and Baseball Club in the near future, though I feel more changes are coming and some might not be very popular. Though, the key is an upgrade to those positions I stated above. Otherwise, the baseball operations lack of personnel movements at this level are being depicted on a daily basis by viewing the position of the team in the standings. Now to close out this post, a blues tunes by Boo Boo Davis “Watch Yourself”. Yes, better watch yourself when making the next round of moves, everyone is watching too.

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The Padres Powerful Outfield

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There’s A Spark In The Park….

Things have become very interesting in San Diego as the Padres are beginning to make some noise in the National League with their latest hot streak. Ever since the trades, there has been a sense of urgency and synergy in the Padres dugout. I’ve always said change is good and the results are coming in from those changes. The Padres ownership group has made a fantastic hire in AJ Preller as the Padres GM. There is a buzz in town that hasn’t been around since 1998 and let’s see how far the Padres can continue this hot streak. Miracles do happen, just need to have faith. Before we get excited let’s take a closer look at the 2nd half history of the Padres under Manager Bud Black.

As you can see from the above chart, there were only two years since 2007 when the Padres had a losing 2nd half (2008 and 2011). Ironically, those two years were the worst of Manager Bud Black had as a Padres skipper. The question is, how well will the current Padres team will fare at the conclusion of this 2014 season. Do you believe in miracles? I do and let’s have faith Padre Fans.

As the Padres Ownership group has made the big decision and the team has been on a roll ever since AJ Hinch made some great trades. Now, there is some momentum in San Diego as the Big Train is rolling. With that, here is a great blues music video featuring Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters titled “The Big Train”. Oh Yes! Padres fans, there is a buzz in town and Petco Park has come alive.


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Petco Park Factor Nonexistence For One Ex-Padre Player

Since Petco Park opened, many ex-players and current players complained that Petco Park is huge while at the same time not a hitters park. Being a season ticket holder since 1998, I’ve seen my share of opposing players coming to Petco Park and make the Park look darn small. So, I think the real question is do the Padres have the right players to play in Petco Park. The answer is quite obvious from the performances of the Padres teams since Petco Park has opened. Though, I decided to take a closer look at this unique situation and noticed one former Padre named Adrian Gonzalez has demonstrated a trend that is truly eye opener. From 2007 through 2010 seasons, Adrian Gonzalez average above 30+ Home runs per year including a break-out of 40 in 2009. Yet, ever since Adrian had been traded away to a more friendlier hitting ballparks (Boston and Los Angeles) that Adrian HAS NOT hit more than 30 Home runs per year. Thus, it all boils down the right hitters will hit anywhere and basically comes down to scouting, period.

Padres Annual Second Half Hitting Explosion

This is a trend that has continued since 1999 and only one year the Padres failed to hit well was the 2010 season when the Padres were leading the NL West and suffered a collapse in September. I expect to see better offensive results since there is no pressure of contending plus the players are playing for roster slots for the 2015 season. In addition, most of the players are performing below their normal averages and there should be some positives coming out of the second half. Should this give fans something get to excite about ? Yes for the short-term, but long-term no. The next General Manager of the Padres will definitely have to instill a Master Plan for the Baseball Operations that entails a smooth yet quick turnaround within 12-18 months.

Well, it will be very interesting to see whom the Padres tab as their next General Manager until then, don’t call no ambulance yet ! The Padres are not at that stage yet and hopefully will never be so. With that being said, here’s a wicked video of blues band named Selwyn Birchwood Blues Band titled “Don’t Call No Ambulance”. Yes, Padres fans we are still breathing and alive !

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Padres Can Become Contenders With The Right GM And Master Baseball Operations Plan.

Well, I made that call in the beginning of the year with my post on who will be fired first, Padres GM Josh Byrnes or D’backs GM Kevin Towers. I have noticed several candidates that have withdrawn themselves from the interview process. I do not consider this bad at all, as we all know “Crisis Presents Opportunities” and right now, the San Diego Padres Organization needs an overhaul. If I were part of the selection board, I would heavily weigh on A.J.Preller and offer the position to him. What this organization needs is a fresh mind and someone who has been associated with a winning organization in the most recent years. Preller fits that bill and most importantly, A.J. has extensive scouting background experience. If the Padres Ownership does not jump on A.J. it will send a loud message to the well knowledgeable season ticket members as myself that the Padres are not willing to win at all costs.

How much other teams value Padres Players

I’ve come across a very interesting development in regards to the players the Padres had been drafted and developed by Sandy Alderson’s regime. The last two most recent Padres’ GM’s Jed Hoyer and Josh Byrnes, supposedly the hottest brightest young GM’s of the game, leverage all the hard work of Sandy Alderson and Grady Fuson baseball plan. At one point a few years ago (2012), the Padres had 24 players drafted by Alderson’s Regime in the Major Leagues. Now, fast forward and allow me to demonstrated something rather eye shocking to you, Padres Fans. The past few years, I’ve been hearing about how the Padres lack position players in their farm system yet they continue to develop young arms. Hmmm, I would listen to the rhetoric and daily propaganda the media would toss out. So now, it’s my turn to expose the truth. Would you believe two major league franchises have 6 former Padres players on their 40 player roster. Guess what? Both franchises are winning organizations and classified as small market teams ! You got to be kidding me? This sounds like the rhetoric we hear about we can’t have solar, geothermal and wind power as it costs too much to do so. Yeah right ! Tell me more, anything is possible. Just pull up the overalls and let’s get to work ! What a concept ! Anyways, back to baseball, here are the two teams.

Oakland A’s
P Luke Gregerson
P Evan Scribner
1b Kyle Blanks
1b Nate Freiman
SS Andy Parrino
2b Eric Sogard

Tampa Bay Rays
P Brad Boxberger
P Brandon Gomes
P Cesar Ramos
2b Vince Belnome
2b Cole Figueroa
2b Logan Forsythe

Now, take a look at those players. Aren’t the Padres are suffering at 2b and 1b at the moment? I am sure the Padres could use a few of those 2nd baggers and 1st baggers right now.  Everyone except for Gregerson, Scribner and Boxberger were drafted by Sandy Alderson’s regime and used as trade bait by the so called brightest GM’s. Though, at this moment, the Padres have no legit 1b in the minors or league roster while two ex-Padres farmhands are on A’s roster in Freiman and Blanks. Both whom are very tall 1st baggers and reminds me of Derek Lee situation all over again. So basically, what I am saying is there is no excuse for a losing team in San Diego. We did have the parts, just the GM’s (Hoyer and Byrnes) did a horrible job at evaluating talent and packaged away too many legit major leaguers for nothing in return.

Now the pressure is on the Padres’ Front Office to break those Nasty Habits of giving away our players to other organizations for nothing in return. With that being said, let’s boogie to Blues Musican Tommy Castro and the Painkillers song titled “Nasty Habits”. Damn right, we the most loyal Padres season ticket holders are tired of the repeatable Nasty Habits of the Baseball Operations in San Diego. Come on, make me a believer Padres Front Office.


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One N.L. West Club Makes a Major Move and Another Club Fails To Impress Yet Again

Big news hit the news wave today as Diamondbacks hired Tony La Russa to oversee the entire baseball operations. Wow ! Talk about an Owner and Franchise willing to make a statement rather than remaining status quo. Very impressive, it takes guts to make changes and do so early in the season. This does not bode well for the Padres at all, because now there is a highly knowledgeable and legit champion legend named Tony La Russa in the Division. As I had alluded earlier this year on my predictions post, sooner or later we will find out who gets the axe first D-Backs GM Towers or Padres GM Byrnes.

As for the Padres, they made another move by trading 1B/OF Kyle Blanks for an unknown commodity plus cash or player to be named later. I got one question, why does it seem the Padres always trade players for cash considerations? Is there something going on that this franchise is cash-strapped? Plus, why are we trading a promising power hitter when the major league roster is not hitting at all? Granted, Blanks was called up for only a few days and given only 10 at-bats this year. Well, as you can see the Padres still haven’t figured out how to hit, last night they only scored one run in Coors Field on the same night Kyle Blanks got his first hit as a member of the Athletics, that is 1st-place Athletics. Where are the Padres in the standings? Enough said.

That’s all folks ! Don’t Worry Mama, Junior is doing fine. With that being said, here is a blues music video featuring rising and hot blues artist Ben Rice with a song titled “Don’t Worry Mama”. Yes Mama, one day the Padres will get it until then stop worrying.


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May Day ! May Day !

Hmmm, this seems like a time for the Padres Front Office to wake up and do something about this “funk” the team is apparently in. Last night was the low point I hope, a starting pitcher hitting a home run and accounting for the only run. On top of that, Kennedy pitched one helluva game yet nothing to show for it. Damn, the minor league team is laying way too many eggs over the past few weeks. Oh don’t tell me Carlos “Part-Time” Quentin and Chase Headley are going to make a difference. Any astute investor in the Commodities sector knows when to sell a losing stock before it becomes vapor paper. Evidently, Padres GM Josh Byrnes hasn’t learned when to cut his losses yet. But heck, Byrnes is batting .166 when it comes to giving out extended contracts. Guess what ? Byrnes has an average just like a few Padres players in the starting line-up. Point in case:

  • Cameron Maybin – wrist and knee injury, nothing since contract awarded.
  • Cory Leubke – elbow injury, nothing is contract awarded.
  • Carlos Quentin – various ailments, and part-time player since being a Padre.
  • Josh Johnson – elbow injury, enough said.
  • Nick Hundley – knee injury, and now regulated to 3rd string catcher.
  • Jedd Gyorko – batting slump, jury still out and crosses fingers.

There has to be some accountability in San Diego, only time will tell to see how serious these owners are and years ago an owner who wasn’t serious moved his basketball franchise to LA. We won’t mention any names but you get the point. The inability for the second consecutive year to acquire a big time hitter via trade speaks loud in volume.

If I were CEO, I would go out and snag Tampa Bay Ray’s Director of Pro Scouting Matt Arnold. Why Arnold? Well, he comes from a franchise that continues to win year in and out despite being a small market. The Rays continues to battle the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees every year yet are very successful in doing so. Matt Arnold has worked in the following organizations: Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers. On top of that, Matt Arnold has spent enormous amount of time with top evaluators of the game in Gene Bennett (signed Barry Larkin, Paul O’Neill, Chris Sabo, Don Gullett), Larry Barton (signed Eric Davis), Larry Doughty (former scouting director and general manager), Bob Zuk (signed Reggie Jackson, Darrell Evans, Gary Carter, Willie Stargell). To me, that is some major credentials and those players are IMPACT players.

Well time to wrap this post up with a blues video of Rockin Jake, song titled “One Way Out”. That’s right ! Let’s see some major moves Padres Front Office.

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Why The Padres Always Start Off Slow

In the Big Data Analytics world, you can surely see patterns developing over a course of time. In the case with the San Diego Padres, it is very obvious as to why the Padres always get off to a slow start with this core group of players. Unfortunately, I hate to admit but it’s coming down to the fact, these players are not big time players who can deliver when the pressure is on. As Magic Johnson used to say back in the 80’s with the Lakers, it’s Money Time. Johnson always called James Worthy “Big Time” as Worthy stepped up during the time when someone had to deliver. Padres Manager Buddy Black and General Manager Josh Byrnes always insist the 2nd half of the season gives them a good read on the team. Well, to be quite honest that observation is skewed ! How come? Well, if you solely based your observation on 2nd half performance when it’s the fact the Padres are out of contention and “No Pressure”. The environment to succeed is less stressful since “nothing” is on the line per se. Now, conversely, if you must perform at a consistent and successful level (i.e. get off to a fast start), the players must come through no matter what. They are professionals at this level or should be. Otherwise, you are having a horrible time of judging and evaluating talent. Enough said, it’s time for a blockbuster deal to bring in some bats !

Come on Padres Front Office, give this franchise a “Shock” and with that being said. I am closing out this post with a video featuring Blues Harp Billy Branch titled “Blues Shock”. Padres Fans have been too patient and we want to see results now. Isn’t this industry “Results Driven” If not, who are you fooling ?

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N.L. West Predictions for 2014

Hey Padres Fans ! How are you all doing ? Tonight the 2014 MLB Season begins at Petco Park and it’s about time the Padres get some National exposure. I always thought when a franchise gets a new stadium that implies they are in the running for the All-Star game. Well, it’s been 10 years and still no All-Star game in San Diego. That says a lot if you were to ask me. Enough of the speculation and let’s get to business on the 2014 N.L. West Predictions:

(1) San Francisco Giants 94 – 68
(2) Los Angeles Dodgers 92 – 70
(3) Colorado Rockies 88 – 74
(4) Arizona Diamondbacks 80 – 82
(5) San Diego Padres 75 – 87

The Giants are the team to beat here, with C Buster Posey and a pitching staff that has been to the World Series two times in the last five years. The only thing that can stop the Giants from winning the division is major injuries but then again that is the same thing for every team in the division. The Blue Crew from Los Angeles will come a close second despite on paper a very very good line-up. Though, the downfall of the Blue Crew will be a Sophomore season from OF Yasiel Puig and a weak bench. The real question for the Dodgers is which OF Matt Kemp will show up for the 2014 season? If Kemp returns to All-Star form that alone will bump up the Dodgers over the Giants for N.L. West Supremacy. In the Mile High City, Rockies always have good young talent coming up year in and year out through their farm system. Combined that with SS Troy Tulowitzki, OF Carlos Gonzalez and 1B Justin Morneau this can be a lethal line-up to keep the Rockies in every game during the season. The question is, do the Rockies have enough pitching to surprise us? Now, down to the Valley of the Sun where ex-Padres GM Kevin Towers is up to his prototypical ways of switching philosophies year in and year out. This year, Towers decides to tear up his team like the previous year and trade for some talent while packaging away good young talent. Despite being very active in the hot stove league, Diamondbacks still remain down in the pack. The only difference between the Diamondbacks and Padres will be OF Mark Trumbo, whom the Padres should have acquired. Which brings us to the team in Amercia’s Finest City, the Swinging Friars. This is the year when we will see who’s the better GM, Diamondbacks Kevin Towers or Padres Josh Byrnes ? To be honest both rank the same, which doesn’t say too much. Again Carlos Quentin is starting the season on the DL for the 3rd straight year. Supposedly, Carlos is the big bat in the line-up the Padres could ill afford to lose. Well, let’s get the facts straight, Carlos the free-agent signee has been a BUST and so will the Padres. Still no presence in the line-up and it’s best that Byrnes trades 3b Chase Headley for some BATS instead of ARMS. What team in MLB would keep 3 catchers on their roster? A team that has no confidence or ability to swing a deal to solidify it’s roster. Now, you know why the Padres will finish in the cellar and atleast they will provide some entertainment and provide fans from other cities to include San Diego as their travel destination.

As the 2014 MLB season begins tonight at Petco Park, it’s time to get the bad juju out of the Park and a damn great blues performance by Actor Bruce Willis called “Devil Woman”. Say Yeah Baby !

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