Friday, March 21, 2008

FriarBall has moved

Well it's official - FriarBall has a new home. While you will still get the same great commentary at the new site that you got here, I have added a couple of new features to go along with the new site. Want to know what they are? Then check out the new site at So update those bookmarks and those RSS feeds and head on over.

Spring recap No. 21: Padres 6, Mariners 6

Have we heard enough about the contributions of Chase Headley, Jody Gerut and Callix Crabbe this spring yet? Well if you haven't, Headley hit a game tying HR, Gerut and Crabbe both drove runs in. I can't imagine these guys not joining Tony Clark and Michael Barrett on the bench when the season starts.

Justin Germano had probably one of his roughest outings of the spring as he gave up 3 ER and 6 hits in 5 IP, but he also struck out 3.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What every Padres fan should know, Part 1

Let me get some housekeeping items out of the way before I start. First, this is not a guide to viewing games at Petco. Truth be told I have never been to Petco Park, I currently live in DC and I haven't seen the Padres in San Diego since 1994. In fact, I think the last game I went to was the first game of the double header in which Tony Gwynn collected his 2,000th hit.

Second, this is not a guide to being a fan in San Diego but is rather the opposite. I have lived among high concentrations of Colorado Rockies fans, Washington Nationals fans and Baltimore Orioles fans since 1994 and as such, your perspective about your team changes when you understand how other fans view your team. That is what I will talk about in this first part so without further delay, here is what fans need to know.
  1. The Adrian Gonzalez rule. The player may change but the general rule still applies, and it applies to most teams, most players are not as popular away from home. Take Gonzalez's case - he is the premier power hitter in the lineup, is a hometown boy and put up numbers comparable to a certain Crime Dog when he played in town. But outside of SD, Gonzalez doesn't compare to the league's other 1B's, or does he? Ducksnorts has a pretty good breakdown showing that Gonzalez has put up some top slugging numbers on the road. Which brings me to my second point:
  2. You will probably never convince opposing fans how good our players are until they see them in person. If you ask people in DC who the next big 3B will be, any Nationals fan is ready to argue that Ryan Zimmerman is a superstar in the making. Ask the same thing on the opposite coast and Kevin Kouzmanoff's name will dominate the conversation. I have seen both play last year in DC and guess what, they both have potential ... and they both have some work to do before they are even in a superstar conversation.
  3. Our pitching staff is overrated by us and underrated by almost everyone else. The knocks against our staff by others, Jake Peavy and Chris Young had career years and aren't that good, Greg Maddux hasn't been an ace in 10 years and Mark Prior and Randy Wolf couldn't stay healthy even if they pitched for a team made up of doctors. Well, Peavy is a perennial Cy Young contender, Young is becoming more consistent, Maddux isn't supposed to be a staff ace and Wolf and Prior don't have to carry the load so whatever innings they turn in are worth the (relatively) small investments we have made in them.
  4. The fan base actually travels well to some places. Maybe the lack of a team in the area for more than 30 years had something to do with it but for the past two years when I have gone to Nationals games against the Padres, there are just as many (if not more) Padres fans in attendance than Nats fans. We are no Red Sox nation but I know you didn't see any Pirates fans a week later when Pittsburgh came to town (but then again that was the Pirates). I can't speak for many other places but I do remember a decent fan base at Rockies games a few years back as well.
Hopefully I haven't rambled too much but these were the first things that came to mind. So now I turn the floor over to you, what are some other things every Padres fan should know? After I get some responses I will add Part 2, and you can bet there will be some info on helping Dodgers fans face reality.

Spring Training Game 21 Preview: Mariners vs. Padres

At Peoria Sports Complex, 7:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Miguel Batista (Sea) vs. Justin Germano (SD)

Germano and company are back from China just as roster moves are being made and Randy Wolf is getting extra time throwing in minor league games on days off. The competition for starting spots is getting fierce and this game could go a long way in deciding who will fill in for Mark Prior while he makes his way back from injury.

Spring recap No. 20: Padres 5, White Sox 0

You can tell we are getting close to the regular season as guys struggling to make the roster are putting up solid performances, making it harder to determine who actually belongs in SD.

Wil Ledezma set the tone for the Padres with 4 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3. No pitcher gave up more than 2 hits.

On offense, Paul McAnulty hit his 4th HR of the spring while going 2-for-3. He also scored 2 runs. Tony Clark also went 2-for-3, the only other Padre to pick up more than 1 hit.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Training Game 20 Preview: Padres at White Sox

At Tucson Electric Park, 1:05 p.m. PT
Starters: John Danks (Chi) vs. Wil Ledezma (SD)

Still working short handed, SD will give Ledezma his 1st start of the spring as he battles for a coveted spot in the 12 man pen. Spring is winding down quickly and this is the point where performances start to count as they will determine who will stick with the big club.

Spring recap No. 19: Diamondbacks 8, Padres 4

Shawn Estes had another rough outing, this time giving up 5 ER and 10 hits in 4 2/3 IP while striking out 3. In contrast, Glendon Rusch tried to keep pace with Justin Germano as he pitched 2 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2.

Offensively it was the Callix Crabbe show for SD as Crabbe went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Jody Gerut hit the only SD HR of the game, his 3rd of the spring. It appears the competition for the final bench spots are just as close as the ones for the rotation.