“Because of baseball’s long history, there is usually comfort in knowing that as bad as it gets for your team, there is almost always some other club that was worse. But the 2014 San Diego Padres might not have that consolation. At this point, their awful offense is about as bad as any in history, and there are still more than 60 games to be played.”
In honor of her milestone birthday, the San Diego Padres selected a spirited 105-year-old lady with a good sense of humor to throw out the first pitch Sunday before a game at Petco Park. . . . Born in 1909, she just missed the Cubs’ last World Series title in 1908.
. . .
Honored as she is, McKee didn’t spare the Padres with her harsh assessment of the franchise, saying, “I haven’t been very into the Padres because they don’t ever win any games.”
The record may be short-lived if the Braves have Julio Franco throw out the first pitch next week.
The Angels and Padres have agreed to a six-player trade that will send All-Star closer Huston Street to Los Angeles, sources told ESPN Baseball Insider Jim Bowden on Friday.
In return, the Padres will receive second baseman Taylor Lindsey, right-hander R.J. Alvarez, shortstop Jose Rondon and another minor leaguer from the Angels, sources said. Los Angeles also will acquire a minor-league player in the deal.
Looks like the Angels have found the Street that leads to the playoffs.
Always figured the Slip Mahoney look would make a comeback.
Padres reliever Alex Torres became the first MLB pitcher to wear a protective cap during last night’s game against the Dodgers. The hat was very noticeable.
The padded caps have been available to pitchers all season, but no one had actually worn one until Torres. Yes, it’s a big, unaesthetic hat, but its purpose is to reduce the harm of line drives to the head, not make pitchers look cool.
The team announced the move in a statement on Sunday.
“This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for postseason play,” Padres president and CEO Mike Dee said in a statement. “Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations. After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change today.
“The search for a new general manager begins immediately. We are looking for someone who can define, direct and lead this franchise’s baseball philosophy for years to come.”
Dee said the GM role will be filled on an interim basis by senior vice president of baseball operations Omar Minaya and assistant GMs A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman, Jr.
I was a teenager when I first interviewed Gwynn, working for a small magazine I published from home. This was not Sports Illustrated or ESPN. He had no special reason to be nice. But every time the Padres came to town, Gwynn would greet me warmly.
He noticed things others would not. One time we spoke, I was wearing a Vanderbilt golf shirt. Gwynn noticed the logo and asked if I went there. When I said yes, he lit up. The Padres beat writer Buster Olney, of The San Diego Union-Tribune, also went there, Gwynn said excitedly. “You’ve got to meet him!” he said.
Pause for a moment to consider how rare this is. Few players would bother to notice a detail on a reporter’s shirt. Few would know which college the team’s beat writer had attended. Fewer still would then offer, with genuine enthusiasm, to play matchmaker.
But that was Gwynn. When our interview ended, he went back to the clubhouse, found Olney and brought him to the dugout to meet me. A few years later Olney was writing for The New York Times, and he recommended me for a job. Gwynn had set me on my career path.
“I’ve never seen such stupid ballplaying in my life,”
-Ray Kroc, on the Jack Murphy Stadium PA system, April 9, 1974
Ron Fowler, the team’s executive chairman, indicated in an e-mail to FOX Sports on Thursday night that changes could be imminent for his struggling franchise.
“At this time, we will not be discussing our situation with any parties outside of our senior management circle,” Fowler said.
“That said, we are terribly disappointed in the team’s offense this year and staying the course (waiting for a turnaround) is becoming less appealing as the ugly losses continue.”
Fowler’s comments followed a radio interview earlier Thursday in which team president Mike Dee told the Mighty 1090 radio station in San Diego that the club’s performance was “unacceptable.”
“Stay tuned, if it doesn’t turn around, we’ll have to make some changes,” Dee said. “...This thing has to be fixed and it will.”
Phil Plantier, the team’s hitting coach since 2012, would appear to be in the most immediate danger of losing his job.
However, a column by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee last month strongly implied that ownership was growing impatient with Bud Black, who has been the team’s manager since 2007 and is under contract through ‘15…
Beyond a potential shakeup in the on-field staff, the Padres also are likely to trade off several veterans before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Smith, right-hander Ian Kennedy, closer Huston Street and outfielder Chris Denorfia are among the candidates to be moved.
By career wins above replacement, Alex Rodriguez has been by far the most valuable first-round pick in draft history, but no team ever got more out of the No. 1 overall choice than the Braves got from Chipper Jones. Rodriguez, who went 1/1 in 1993, chased big free agent money at the first opportunity, leaving Seattle after compiling 38 WAR in his team-controlled years. Ken Griffey Jr. (1987) forced a trade to his home city of Cincinnati after 11 years with the Mariners, but Jones, a regional high school shortstop who settled in at third base in the major leagues, spent his entire 19-year, soon-to-be Hall of Fame career with team that drafted him.
An agent, of all people, suggested a perfect replacement for the retiring Derek Jeter: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.
The agent, who has no affiliation with either player, made an excellent point: Hardy is steady and unassuming, and his low-maintenance personality would make him well-suited to replace a legend.
Hardy, who turns 32 on Aug. 19, missed nearly a month with a strained left oblique earlier this season. He’s batting .304 with a .701 OPS, albeit with no home runs, in 158 at-bats.
His defense remains solid. And his transition could be relatively seamless, considering that this is his fourth season in the AL East.
As a Red Sox fan I highly endorse the Yankees signing Hardy to a five-year contract.
he San Diego Padres have signed power-hitting second baseman Jedd Gyorko to a five-year extension with a team option for a sixth season, the team announced Monday.
The deal is worth $35 million and includes a $13 million club option that could increase if an escalator clause in the contract vests, a source told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. It replaces a one-year deal agreed to last month and includes a team option for 2020. San Diego essentially buys out one year of free agency and possibly two….
Gyorko’s guaranteed $35 million deal is the third-largest for a player with only one year of service time, trailing only Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons (seven years, $58 million) and Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (eight years, $45 million)....
Gyorko, 25, had a team-leading 23 home runs in 125 games last season, his first year in the majors.
“Oh, this is a terrible thing for the Padres.”
The San Diego Padres have relieved radio play-by-play commentator Andy Masur of his duties after six years with the club and eight with the Chicago Cubs. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a huge deal, though Masur was clearly emotional about his departure from the team.. Changes happen every day in the broadcasting world.
But digging a little deeper, things get a little more interesting… and slimy.
The Padres CEO is a man named Mike Dee, who took on the new role in July of 2013. Dee’s former job was as CEO of the Miami Dolphins. With the Dolphins, Dee was unable to coerce local and state governments into giving the team between $350 and $400 million to upgrade Sun Life Stadium, likely because of the complete disaster that is Marlins Park. Ironically, Dee was replaced as Dolphins CEO by Tom Garfinkel, who formerly served as Padres CEO and famously blamed Zack Greinke for inciting a Dodgers-Padres brawl last April.
Anyway, the man chosen to replace Masur on Padres broadcasts is Jesse Agler. Who is Agler? Well, he’s a former host and commentator for… the Miami Dolphins. Padres CMO Wayne Partello is spinning Agler’s hire as one that will be a multi-faceted role, encompassing television, radio, and social media roles.
The Rays have acquired infielder Logan Forsythe from the Padres as part of a seven player trade.
Reliever Alex Torres heads to San Diego as part of the return package, along with right-handed pitcher Jesse Hahn.
In addition to Forsythe, the Rays also get infielder Maxx Tissenbaum and pitchers Matt Andriese, Brad Boxberger and Matt Lollis.
Forsythe, age 27, is coming off a 2013 season in which he batted .214/.281/.332 with six home runs in 75 games. For his career, he’s a .241/.310/.349 hitter (88 OPS+) across parts of three major-league seasons. As well, Forsythe is capable manning shortstop, second, third and the outfield corners….
As for Torres, the Padres are getting a 26-year-old lefty who last season pitched to a 1.71 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 19 unintentional walks in 58 innings of work. In parts of two MLB seasons, Torres boasts an ERA+ of 201 and an opponents’ batting line of .172/.269/.233./blockquote>
Ryan Ludwick and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday night because the deal was pending a physical and no announcement had been made by the team.
An All-Star in 2008 with St. Louis, the 33-year-old Ludwick was traded from San Diego to Pittsburgh at the July 31 deadline last season. He batted a combined .237 with 13 homers and 75 RBIs.
Ludwick could give the Reds the right-handed bat they’ve been seeking to complement lefty sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. He figures to see playing time in left field, a spot filled mostly by Chris Heisey down the stretch last season after Cincinnati traded Jonny Gomes to Washington in late July.
Major League Baseball has been embarrassed in recent years by financial debacles surrounding the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. And baseball is determined to avoid being burned again, Forbes.com reports.
That’s the real reason owners tabled approval of the sale of the San Diego Padres to Jeff Moorad at last week’s owners meetings, the report says. Commissioner Bud Selig is not convinced of the net worth of Moorad’s limited partners and is putting them “under a microscope,” Forbes reports.
With the Hall of Fame results being announced today, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and dig up some old scouting reports from the Baseball America archives on some of the ballot’s notable candidates. . .
8. Barry Larkin, ss, 21, 5-11, 175, R-R
Larkin looked right at home in AA, hitting .267 for Vermont. He didn’t show power (one home run in 255 at-bats), but that will come. The key for him was just getting his feet on the ground, and he was not overpowered by the high level of competition (21 strikeouts in 255 at-bats). He will have good power for a shortstop.
6. Edgar Martinez, 3b, 25, 5-11, 175, R-R
Martinez’s discipline will produce runs. He’s averaged 70 RBIs the last four years. In the field, he’s solid, with good reactions and the soft hands of a middle infielder.
Theo: You’re looking good, Riz.
Rizzo: Eat your heart out.
Theo: And sloppy seconds are my style!
The Cubs acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-hander Zach Cates from the Padres on Friday, sending right-hander Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na to San Diego.
The 22-year-old Rizzo batted .331 with a 1.056 OPS, 34 doubles, 26 homers and 101 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Tucson last year… Rated the top first-base prospect in the league by MLB.com, Rizzo struggled during his brief time in the Majors last season batting .141 with one home run and nine RBIs in 49 games…
Cates, 22… made his professional debut last year, posting a 4-10 record and 4.73 ERA in 118 innings over 25 starts for Class A Fort Wayne. He struck out nearly a batter an inning and allowed only four home runs on the year.
Cashner, 25, went 2-6 with a 4.29 ERA in 60 big league appearances with the Cubs, including one start, over the last two years….he was limited to just seven outings in the Majors last season due to a right shoulder strain.
Na, 20, hit .268 with 10 doubles and 22 RBIs in 83 games between four different teams in the Cubs’ Minor League system last year.
DL: Should you pitch more to contact in Petco than in other ballparks?
BB: I think that you can, but there are a couple of ways to look at that. You don’t want to lay the ball in there. But I do think that it can help you mentally — knowing that if you throw the ball to certain spots — you can feel good about it. When you’re behind in the count, you can throw to certain spots, as well.
More than anything, if you’re a strike-thrower… that helps you at Petco. If you’re an extreme fly ball pitcher, that helps you at Petco. When the ball gets hit into the air, it hangs up and maybe doesn’t travel as well because of the coastal situation we have — the heaviness of the air. It’s not unlike San Francisco or Dodger Stadium.
Some pitchers might be hurt because they’re fly ball pitchers. That doesn’t apply to us as much because we play 81 games in our park, plus nine more in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
DL: Do you want fly ball pitchers on your staff, as opposed to guys who tend to keep the ball on the ground?
BB: Not necessarily. It’s whatever a pitcher has results with. It’s simply that a fly ball pitcher isn’t effected as much in Petco as he would be in a place like Cincinnati, Philadelphia or Toronto.
There is a whole lot of talent changing hands here.
The Reds and Padres announced a five-player deal Saturday, as Cincinnati sent right-hander Edinson Volquez and three of its top 10 prospects to the Padres for right-hander Mat Latos.
Along with Volquez, the Padres acquired right-hander Brad Boxberger, infielder Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal. All were recently named among Cincinnati’s top 10 prospects by MLB.com (Alonso second, Grandal fifth and Boxberger sixth).
System In 20 Words Or Less: Not star-studded but loaded with depth, as you could jumble numbers one-to-seven in any order and not get a big argument.
1. Rymer Liriano, OF
2. Robbie Erlin, LHP
3. Jedd Gyorko, 3B
4. Cory Spangenberg, 2B
5. Joe Wieland, RHP
6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
7. Casey Kelly, RHP
8. Austin Hedges, C
9. Joe Ross, RHP
10. Keyvius Sampson, RHP
11. Donavan Tate, OF
12. Jaff Decker, OF: Outfielder with power, walks and the athleticism of a beer-league softball player.
13. Reymond Fuentes, OF: Outstanding defender in center with speed; big questions about bat and power.
14. James Darnell, OF: Great year at Double-A, but it was a level repeat and he’s no longer an infielder.
15. Blake Tekotte, OF: Hard not to love for effort; good fourth-outfielder skills.
16. Edinson Rincon, OF: Scouts like the bat, but power is debatable and defense is ugly.
17. Jonathan Galvez, 2B: Gap power and speed, but bad approach and poor defense.
18. Matt Lollis, RHP: Right-handed has the size of a defensive end, but needs to harness his stuff.
19. Adys Portillo, RHP: Progress is disturbingly slow, but upside is still there.
20. Simon Castro, RHP: Has gone backwards from big prospect days, as fastball is only dependable pitch.
UPDATE: Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that it’s a done deal, with the Padres assuming “most” of Street’s contract and sending the Rockies a player to be named later in exchange….
Olney describes the talks as “ongoing” and Street has been linked to several other teams at various points this month, with the Rockies now preferring Rafael Betancourt in the ninth inning.
He’s pricey at $7.5 million with a $9 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2013, but Street is still just 28 years old with a 3.11 career ERA that includes a 3.50 ERA and outstanding 170/33 K/BB ratio in 167 innings for the Rockies. Toss in the fact that going from Coors Field to Petco Park would solve his issues keeping the ball in the ballpark and Street could really thrive in San Diego as Heath Bell‘s replacement.