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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Padres Make More Moves In Front Office Than On The Field….

Well atleast the Padres lead the league in personnel moves in the Front Office for the past 6 years or so. Those moves combined with long losing streaks is the ICON of the franchise. If you take a serious step back and you will see the Padres are moving right along with the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Both making changes in leadership but the Policy remains the same and results are ridiculously poor. But we got Taco Tuesdays ! Things are looking up Padres fans ! I would like to thank Ex Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel for his outstanding services that he provided during his tenure here with the Padres. Garfinkel brought in some wonderful ideas and got the Padres back in good graces with the community despite their inability to create excitement on the field. Perhaps this is the first of many moves to come ahead, it’s almost one year since the new ownership group has taken over and yet not one significant roster move has been made.

Speaking of roster moves, just recently Padres GM Josh Byrnes was quoted in the Union-Tribune and MLBTradeRumors. The Padres are not into acquiring rentals at all. Hmmm, very very interesting statement made by Josh. I swear about a month ago that Josh had acquired a SS named Pedro Ciriaco from Boston for a player to be named later. A week ago, Ciriaco was released by the Padres and picked-up on waivers by the Kansas City Royals. Yeah ! Right ! The Padres are NOT into acquiring RENTALS. I got it ! *Winks* What did you just say Josh ?

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This weekend promises to be an exciting one around the horn, mostly like there will be a few monster trades while the Padres are visiting America’s Finest Baseball City – St. Louis. I am glad Del Mar season has opened and the Chargers training camp is set to open next week. As I am really tired of the Padres and giving serious thoughts of blowing off the season now. As the Bill Collectors are coming soon, the Padres Season Tickets Representatives about next season. Ohhh I am not interested in a product that accepts long losing streaks and not willing to pull an unpopular trade to shake up the franchise. Time to close out this post with the usual blues music video by a rising blues musician named Larry Lampkin from Fort Worth, Texas. Lampkin gets down by playing the tune “Bill Collectors”. Dances my body away from them Bill Collectors until they prove to me that they have a legit product. Otherwise, I am going to barter on the prices for next season. Enjoy Padres Fans !

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The Slide Continues With No Action From Front Office……

Only time will tell to see where the strength from the organization comes from. In any type of business, you surely do not want to lose clients. In the information technology world, losing clients costs a corporation more money than to get new customers as the loyal based had already invested lots of their cash into the product. Well, in this scenario the Padres Front Office inability to acquire pitching in the winter and now standing pat while acting like team has a chance to complete is borderline comic relief. So if I must I will attempt to add some humor to this devastating and annual slide of the Padres with some rhetoric.

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Yes, Padres fans ! You heard it from Manager Bud Black ! Right straight from his lips. It’s still early in the season and we will eventually win a ballgame. I am curious to hear from Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes as what he has to say. But I do know one thing if the Padres are serious, there will be some major changes atleast from the roster perspective. From this loyal fan, 4 consecutive years with the same core group of players should be enough data to prove that this organization needs to shake it up. What do you think Josh?

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Well, time to close out this post with another fantastic blues music video by rising blues female artist Shari Puorto and her band, singing “Stormy Monday”. Ohh Yeah ! I wonder if this Monday during the All-Star break will be a stormy one for the Padres.

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The Padres Are Entering Dangerous Times….

There is alot to be said about being complacent and the past winter trading season the Padres were inactive. Entering the halfway mark of the season in July, we are seeing the results of that inactivity and the Padres Baseball Operations team inability to acquire starting pitching. The only hope for now is to take your medicine and remain status quo while writing the season off OR trade some players and prospects for a legit number one starter to stabilize this starting rotation. Let’s face it, there is no legit ace to be in the minors and the only route I see from here is to go and get one through a trade.

I had hope to be writing about positive things on the Padres and during the month of May along with parts of June I sensed great things. Though, in the back of my mind I knew it was way too early. There were signs of major issues to erupt like the several blown saves by RP Huston Street that failed the Padres to keep the Big Mo’ going and perhaps put a few teams like the Dodgers down further in the loss column. The situation at catching was very unsettled until the arrival of Yasmani Grandal and just recently the devastating blow of losing Grandal for the season. The platoon situation in right and center field is becoming all too regular and let’s be real, no manager would want to be put into that situation on deciding who’s the center or right fielder of the day. The Padres are in a unique situation to trade a few players to acquire some high-level tier players for the franchise. I am not suggesting two or three players, just one head-liner at the position and one at the pitching.

Speaking about the Manager, there is a consistent pattern developing here that depicts one of two things going on. One, the Manager does not have the right mix of players OR two, the Manager does not have the ability to steer the ship around quickly. What I am alluding to is the major losing streaks in the past 4 years during Mgr Buddy Black’s tenure and here are the facts:

  1. In 2010, the Padres were 6 1/2 games in front of the San Francisco Giants. But the Padres went on a 10-game losing streak from 26 Aug 2010 through 5 Sept 2010. Eventually lost the division to the World Champions San Francisco Giants.
  2. In 2011, the Padres went on 9-game losing streak from 24 Aug 2011 through 4 Sept 2011. During the season in which they finished in dead last at 71-91.
  3. Presently 2013, the Padres were in 2nd place 2 games out from first place Arizona Diamondbacks. But are in a 9-game losing streak from 29 Jun 2013 through 7 July 2013. Currently, in dead last once again and 7 1/2 games out from first place Arizona Diamondbacks.

As you can see the above numbers does represent a bad pattern and something must be done very soon to rectify this most obvious pattern. The ball is on the Padres baseball Operations team and being inactive this time around is not acceptable, unless you believe in being a fat rat who is complacent. We all know what happens when the fat rat is complacent, he is caught and eliminated.

Here is a video I developed featuring in the background “The Doobie Brothers” song titled “Dangerous”. Yes, Padres fans the hard times have reappeared once again and hopefully the baseball operations team can hear our displeasure of their inactivity during the past 10 months in the trade market. Remember “Crisis Presents Opportunities”.

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A Big Trade is a recipe for Padres Organization….

I’ve been a baseball fan for over 46 years now, following the historic Los Angeles Dodgers Franchise for 30 years and the last 16 years with the San Diego Padres. The big difference between the two franchises is one expects to win and the other is just happy to compete, even the journalists are the same way when it comes to offering true comments about the franchises. But seriously folks, especially the Padres fans, if the Padres organization truly wants to compete for the NL West and NL Championship, this is the most opportune time to make a big flash. Where I come from, we are always told “Crisis Presents Opportunities” and Yes, the Padres are in a “Crisis” now. Time to shake it up and make a bold statement with a huge trade. Remember fans, these are basically the same players on the roster for the last three years, sure a bit of maturity they have but there isn’t one prime-time player on the roster.

As a Padres season ticket-holder, I am glad to see more exciting baseball from the Padres but this team is far from competing for the NL Championship let alone NL West. Put aside all the propaganda and rhetoric from those who are covering because in truth when you are so deep within the problem you tend to get blinded from the truth. In reality, the best thing that could happen is that Padres’ GM Josh Byrnes makes a bold and unpopular trade that in fact is a damn good baseball trade. A seven game losing streak should not be acceptable, especially if you truly consider yourself a NL West Division Champion Caliber team and not just a competing team.

So hopefully by Sunday morning around San Diego we will have some different news. Until then meet me in the morning, here’s a blues bar rockin’ video featuring a rising blues musician named Dudley Taft and song titled “Meet Me In The Morning”

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The Padres Are Falling Faster Than U.S. Dollar…..

We heard it all Spring Training this year will be different. The boys will come out of the gates better than last year. Let’s cut out the rhetoric, the baseball operations did not do enough for starting pitching. It’s a simple fact, Padres’ GM Josh Byrnes and Manager Buddy Black are the ones who are responsible. This team is not capable of playing catch-up ball during a game and for the matter of fact, for the season as well. It’s time the leaders of this organization take a serious look in the mirror and ask the question “Do we have the necessary personnel to take on the task at hand?” Pitching and Defense wins pennants, and timely offense. Unfortunately, the Padres do not have any pitching and the defense is below-normal.

Shake Up The Line-up…..

Let’s shake up the line-up and insert Kyle Blanks in LF along with the anticipated return of 3b Chase Headley. The motto for the next 10 days should be “Urgency” or otherwise kiss the season goodbye. Why? Because this Padre team is not capable of bouncing back in the standings with the current personnel on the roster. Unless, GM Josh Byrnes wakes up and makes a huge trade to bring in more talent. At this moment, only three players would be marketable: C Nick Hundley, 3b Chase Headley and P Huston Street.

Enough said….Here is a blues music video by Lance Lopez, titled “Mr. Rattlesnake”. Ohh Yes, the Padres continue their snake bitten ways, it’s time to change that wicked juju and make some trades.

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2013 N.L. West Predictions

Hey Padres Fans ! How are you all feeling about the upcoming 2013 Season? At the start of Spring Training, things were looking bright for the Padres. The off season promotional slogan was all based on the strong finish of the 2012 Padres season. So much for that, since then the Padres have suffered some major setbacks during the last portion of Spring Training. I am not known to be a pessimistic person, I am a realist though not many care to know the truth. With that being said, here are my thoughts for the upcoming 2013 National League West Predictions.

  1. San Francisco Giants (95-67)
  2. Arizona Diamondbacks (89-73)
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers (88-74)
  4. Colorado Rockies (80-82)
  5. San Diego Padres (70-92)

In this division, it’s all about pitching and that will dictate where each team will finish in the standings. It is well know the Giants have one of the best pitching staffs in the Major Leagues. Plus, the two-time World Series Champions out of the last three years, Giants Manager Bochy certainly has the horses to pull them through. The Diamondbacks have also bolstered their pitching and with the Gunslinger D’backs General Manager Kevin Towers, you always know pitching will be their strength. In Lala town, this is the year when Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly must prove that he can take the ballclub to the next level. Otherwise, Dodgers’ Ownership will be bringing in their guy to run the club on the field. Unfortunately, I have a strong intuition that by July Mattingly may be joining many Californians for unemployment. In the high plains, many Rockies fans will be thankful that Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado is within driving distance to the ballpark. It’s going to be a long painful season and their goal is to finish ahead of the Padres for the cellar. Down in what people term “America’s Finest City”, San Diego Padres will continue to become the major league’s farm system. The lack of personnel movement during the off-season will definitely come back to haunt them if it hasn’t already. The question in San Diego will be, how many games with attendance below 18,000 will occur.

Off-season training programs

It’s really ironic the Padres organization has faced 6 major surgeries within the past 10 months. In this day in age, too much attention has been place on the athletes being in top condition prior to reporting to spring training. The injuries on the team certainly is barking very loud against that philosophy. It’s time to go back to the basics and stop over-analyzing ways to beat mother nature. It’s time to re-adjust and focus on off-season non-athletic activities then report to spring training to get into top shape. It had always worked before in the past with less major injuries. Successful organizations always make bold changes and re-adjusts their internal business processes.

Does Spring Training Performances Truly Count ?

Year in and Year out, during Spring training camps around in Arizona and Florida we hear so and so must have a great camp in order to make the team. This is especially true when it comes down to a certain faction of players, most notably the pitchers. So, I will ask this question and challenge those so called baseball operations staffs members. If a player who has a history of getting injured during spring training or another player can not even play more than 10% spring training games. Are you telling me, that performance is not a critical  data point of assessment ? But, if another player performance far succeeds those of his peers, those statistics do not count as well ? In our industry, non-baseball mind you, we follow trends and if so and so has a history of getting hurt, we tend to move on and re-adjust our staff to the related trends to come out well financially. I will assure you, we will never hedge our faith on that same person again, our motto is “Time is Money, Don’t Waste My Time. You’ll Waste My Money”

Padres Quote of the Week

You have to laugh at this “Quote of the Week”, it kind of reminds me of Fed’s Chairman of the Board Ben “Helicopter” Bernanke when faced about the Economy that we are prospering and the ship is operating at optimum speed. When in fact, we know the ship is being guided by large ice sheets waiting to plunge into the sideboard and…….You get the point now. Well back to baseball, listen to this quote by Padres Manager Bud Black on why Kyle Blanks was sent down to the minors despite keeping two players on the Opening Day roster that have combined to participate in less than 10% of all the Spring Training games. Isn’t this a performance based Industry ? COUGHS COUGHS  Blanks had one of the best performances of the spring, hitting .354 in 65 at-bats. He had three home runs and 14 RBIs.

“In Kyle’s situation, he’s got to establish himself again as a durable player, and he’s got to play,” said Padres manager Bud Black.

“His seasons have been interrupted due to injury. But he’s very capable of being a good Major League player.”

Okay Buddy ! I agree Kyle needs to establish himself as a durable player. Let me pose you a question how about Logan Forsythe and Carlos Quentin ? Are they the most durable players ? Hmmm, two players who have participate in less than 10% of the past TWO years of Spring Training games. Ummm, okay Buddy !

Okay, I have said enough and here’s a wicked blues video featuring Albert Castiglia song titled “Loan Me a Dime” Yup, the Padres are surely running this organization on a Dime. I would hate to be the general manager, as it’s hard enough to perform miracles when you are given two chopsticks and a penny.

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Blanks, Darnell and Boys Can Pick Up Slack……

Padres fans not the time to panic yet ! Kyle Blanks and James Darnell can adequately fulfill the absence of Chase Headley for a month or so. The key is to give both Blanks and Darnell ample at-bats. There is no reason to move Jedd Gyorko over to 3b. Allow Gyorko to get settled in at 2b and at the same time give Cody Ransom a shot at 3b while Darnell heals. The worst case scenario could be that Darnell proves he can handle the hot corner and presents the Padres with an unique problem. The boys just need to break even during the first month and stay within 3-5 games from 1st place.

In my opinion, the key is the pitching staff and if the staff can keep the boys in the games, a hit here and there might just be enough to pull out some games early on in the season. The Padres can ill-afford to lose another pitcher from the staff or bullpen. It appears the Andrew Cashner will be starting the season out of the pen. This is a good thing, the ability to shut down other teams from the 7th inning on is very important in getting off to a good manageable start to the season. Though, Padres’ GM Josh Byrnes will have to make a trade before the season or just shortly after Opening Week.

Keep up the Faith Padres Fans, I know many of you are frustrated with the string of bad luck but eventually things will become better. Let’s hope so ! Would be nice to see a very competitive and high energy team performing at Petco Park on a nightly basis for the San Diegans. Ahhh, It’s that time again ! A video of Blues Musician Joe Bonamassa titled “Happier Times”. As we the fans of the Padres, are looking ahead to Happier Times at Petco Park !

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What The Padres Must Do Before Opening Day…..

Ohh Man ! It’s half way point for the Padres 2013 Spring Training in Peoria, Arizona. Let’s face it for many Padres fans this year theme is “Make it Or Break it” as season ticket holders. So many of us have endured MANY and MANY dismal seasons with various amount of EXCUSES as to why the Padres could not compete. The majority of us, felt with the new ownership group that things will be much different. Yes? Ahhh Always Positive when Spring is around. But CBS Senior Baseball Columnist Scott Miller broke the news about the Padres Ownership status. I really do not want to focus on the financial situation of the Padres, been there and done that many times over at the two previous ownerships (John Moores and Jeff Moorad). Let’s hope for the best this time, otherwise Padres fans it’s the same old story and it gets old real fast.

So what must the Padres do before Opening Day? Well, from my perspective and I am not looking to take anyone’s job at the Padres Baseball Operations department. Apparently, they are much like in the same situation as Fed’s Chairman Ben Bernanke. Just take orders from upper echelon’s without any concrete financial backing. So much for the financial aspect, let’s get our hands dirty and depict the potential Padre’s short comings and what must be addressed now:

  1. Starting Pitching – As it was last year, there are signs of some leakage in the plumbing per se. Highly Acclaimed Farm Prospect P Kelly Casey has a bad elbow and is facing a potential “Tommy John” surgery. How many of these types of injuries can inflict an entire organization ? Well, counting from last year and that’s a total of 4 Padres Pitchers in 10 months of having this type of surgery. Factor in the Padres top outfielder prospect Rymer Liriano, that’s 5 players in 10 months. Simply stated ! this is bad karma striking the Padres Organization for being too damn cheap in the past. Let’s face it, no other organization has been snake-bitten as the Padres have ever since they drafted Matt Bush as # 1 pick in 2004. As long as they continue to operate like a “Pic-N-Save” mentality, expect nothing to change. Action Item: The Padres must do something about the starting Pitching, a trade is most likely.
  2. Carlos Quentin Annual Spring Injuries – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist NOR a professional baseball scout to figure this out. But, seriously folks ! This is not what the Padres should have to deal with on a yearly basis. It’s time to give Kyle Blanks a serious look at starting in LF or even James Darnell. Action Item: The Padres must address this situation immediately, stop hoping for the best and that’s much like thinking the currency crisis is going to get better soon. Fat chance !
  3. Chase Headley Value – Hmmm, if Carlos Quentin is not available or will be dealing with nagging injuries this implies a potential downward season for Chase Headley in terms of statistics unless Kyle Blanks and someone else rises to the occasion. The recent rumors has the Yankees knocking on the Padres door about the availability of Chase Headley. Why wait to the middle of the season? Why not trade when Headley’s value is HIGH !! Just like a contrarian investor in the stock market who buys stocks when there is blood on the streets and sells stocks when everyone else is buying. Come on Padres Brass, think about the long term rewards, we all know how it went when no one else wanted Adrian Gonzalez and the Red Sox sent us four players, which NONE brought any value to the Padres so far. Wait a minute, I forgot yeah we traded Anthony Rizzo for Andrew Cashner. We have something for an all-star first baseman *COUGHS* Action Item: The Padres should explore trading Chase Headley to the New York Yankees for RHP Ty Hensley, LHP Nik Turley, 2B Angelo Gumbs, and OF Mason Williams.

Padres’ GM  Josh Byrnes has some critical decisions to make very soon. You never want to have some lingering issues to start the season. It’s time that New Ownership makes a splash to convince the Padres Fan Base that there is no financial distress going on with the ballclub. Yes Josh you are on the hot seat and Opening Day is approaching quickly. Here’s a hot blues video by musician JJ Grey & Mofro “On Fire”. Ohhh Baby ! The seat is On Fire ! Lite Em’ Up and let’s see you do your Mojo Josh Byrnes !!

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Sequestration Deadline ? Get Real ! How About Log Jam Issues In Outfield for Padres ??

It’s officially been a whole week or so of Spring Training games now. The Padres have a potential log-jam in the outfield. As of this posting, the following are the players battling for slots on the major league roster:

  1. Kyle Blanks
  2. James Darnell
  3. Jesus Guzman
  4. Travis Buck

If you take into consideration those players who are unofficially on the club:

  1. Carlos Quentin
  2. Cameron Maybin
  3. Will Venable
  4. Chris Denorfia
  5. Mark Kotsay

This leaves the Padres in a very good situation. How so ? Well, obviously there is going to a player or two that will be on that border-line of pressing the Padres to make a move. If you take into consideration the status of 3b Chase Headley unknown future as a Padre, this becomes a very legitimate scenario. Coincidentally, the New York Yankees sustain a temporary blow to the line-up with the loss of CF Curtis Granderson for 10 weeks with a broken forearm. So far, the Yankees Front Office have stated they will look from within and perhaps someone will step up. Therefore, if I were the Padres GM, I would be willing to offer the following trade proposal to the Yankees:

  1. OF Will Venable and OF Jose Guzman for LHP Nik Turley, CF Mason Williams, and RHP Tom Kahnle.

This will open two slots for Blanks and Darnell immediately. If the Padres do decide to trade Headley then Darnell provides a very good 3b as well. As for Blanks, Kyle has shown glimpses of his amazing talent and has very good speed on the basepaths. It’s very rare a ballplayer for his body stature to play this sport. All I can remember is having flashbacks of a younger Pirates OF Dave Parker. Speed, power and the ability to change the game dynamics quickly. Both Darnell and Blanks could be very adequate replacements for Venable and Guzman. In return the Padres will receive two good young arms and an upcoming outfielder from the Yankees. It’s always a good thing to re-stock the farm system whenever you can. That is going to be the San Diego Model and the O’Malley ways of doing business.

Oh Baby ! So far the Boys are feeling good ! Things are looking good for 2013 season and Padres’ GM Josh Byrnes is going to have his hands full with the log-jam in the outfield. Let’s wait and see what Josh does. In the meantime, here’s a blues video featuring kick ass Bluesman Dudley Taft singing “Feeling Good Now”. Hmmm mmmm, yes we are in San Diego.

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