Thursday, August 27, 2009

Put on your rose colored glasses

After another win for the Padres last night, it struck me that the young team has been playing pretty good of late. But since I never trust my feelings on statements such as that, I dug into the numbers to see if they support that conclusion. Using MLB's sortable stats, I compared the Pads stats over the last 30 days to their results based on the entire season.

16-12 over the last 30 days, who woulda thunk it? Their runs scored equals their runs allowed, so you would expect them to go 14-14, but even still, .500 ball, even for a month, is a relief after these last two seasons!

Offensive stats comparison:
Season Last 30
AVG .240 .277
OBP .317 .352
SLG .382 .437

They have the second best OBP in the national league over the last 30 days, versus 14th for the season. Their SLG is up to 6th versus 15th on the season. Not too bad. Runs per game is 3.85 on the season, but 4.64 in the last 30 days, and they played 17 of the 28 games at home during that time frame as well. I can't factor that in, but they are well above average offensively for these last 30 days. (And I don't want to hear anything about sample sizes, just keep those rose colored glasses in place)

Pitching Stats comparison:

Season Last 30
OBA .337 .342
SLG .420 .396
WHIP 1.42 1.45
K/9 7.2 7.0
BB/9 3.7 4.1

Runs per game did drop for the last 30 days to 4.6 per game, versus 5.0 for the season, but still a below average staff across the board. I would guess the 17 home games helped the SLG drop. The strikeout and walk rates are still below average over the last 30 days, with the K rate decreasing versus the season rate. Not the prettiest picture here. I did not take the time to break it down between starters and the pen, and you can come to your own anecdotal conclusions there, but it really doesn't matter. The 2010 Padres will go as their pitching takes them, and they have a lot of work to do on the staff.

But, they did add a number of young arms the last couple of months, and will have some room to spend if the budget stays in the $40M range. (Rose colored glasses people!) If some of these arms can get plugged into the rotation next year (Gallagher, Poreda), at the very least we will have an exciting, young team with a decent chance at .500 ball. I'd take that. They can only go up, so we've got that going for us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Irrelevance link of the day

A basic building block for life is found in space.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for someone to come out and refute these findings. People 'round here don't take kindly to these kinds of ideas. You know, the ones were we are just another spec of cosmic space dust, not the center of the universe. I'll put the over/under at a week; I partially expect a immediated, but unsubstatiated, personal attack on the researchers, but I can also see a real attempt at disproving the findings that may take a while longer. At a week, you can see the former feels more likely to me than the latter!

So I'm watching the Little League World Series last night

It was the East Regional Final, not actually the World Series, but its billed as the Little League World Series even though that hasn't started yet. A matchup between New York and New Jersey, sounds like a blood bath, doesn't it?

(One thing I can't get over is how big these kids are. My son and I were watching the other day, and we finally saw a small kid, and he was only 5 ft tall...only? My son is an above average 9 year old, and he's only like 4' 5" or so. I wasn't 5 ft tall until the eighth grade, and this five footer is clearly the smallest kid on the field! Most of the kids are 5' 4", with a few up to 5' 8". Are we sure these kids are all 12? The kids in majors at our little league aren't this giant! Sure one or two, but the All Star team was not a team of the biggest kids in the league. Is that what happens in the summer tournament, the biggest teams survive and advance?)

Anyway, back to my original thought. As they introduced the teams, the kids all said their name and their favorite players. For the New York team, every kids favorite player was Jason Marquis. I'm not kidding, maybe two had a different answer, the rest all said Jason Marquis. At first, I thought I was not hearing them correctly, like maybe it was a hockey name I wasn't familiar with. Then I thought maybe there was a kid on their team with that name and they were saying his name as a goof. Then I took that thought one step further, and maybe the goof was everybody was saying Jason Marquis just to be a smart ass: "Hey guys, when they ask you your favorite player, just say Jason Marquis, it will be hilarious!" And it would have been hilarious if that was the reason! Alas, after the introductions were done, the announcers explained that Jason Marquis was from the same Little League, and the kids were sincere in stating he is their favorite player. What a let down! Its nice of the kids and all, but man, it was way funnier in my head!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Farewell to Peavy

I have waited a bit to write this in an effort to stay somewhat even keeled.

Let me just say right off that I love Jake Peavy. I love watching him pitch, watching him yell at himself, watching him throw his body into his delivery and recklessly diving whenever the need arises. Even in the batters box, he wasn't giving anything up. He is the epitome of competitiveness, just an absolute joy to have on your side in a baseball game.

I just happened to be at his very impressive debut versus the Yankees at Qualcomm, and dozens of other starts since then. I still feel the sting of the strike (check swing or called, either way it was a strike dammit) that wasn't called in Arizona that prevented him from tying Seavers 10 consecutive strikeout record. I fully believed he would be the guy to throw the Pads first no-no. And I wouldn't have cared if he was taking up 30% of the teams payroll next year, he is fun to watch. He is entertaining all by himself.

When the trade first was announced, the first I saw was a Jon Heyman tweet at, I literally thought it was a mistake. Jon's tweet device must have submitted old data somehow, there is no way Peavy was sent to the White Sox AGAIN?!? We went down that road in May, he rejected it, the very thought of it made me laugh at the sheer impossibility of it. Had to be a mistake. Well, clearly it wasn't a mistake.

But I am not one of those I'll-never-watch-the-Pads-again reactionaries. I'm not cancelling my season tickets. And I'm not one to think that, from the outside looking in, that I could do a better job than the front office. It is not my job to construct the roster and it is not my job to balance the revenues versus expenses. So I don't worry about it. I watch and cheer on the Padres, whoever they may be. That is my sole job as a fan.

So to Jake, I will miss watching you play on a start by start basis. I wish you the best of luck in everything you do, and hope you are wildly successful with the ChiSox and beyond.

Onto the future. This season has been about 2010 since about the second week of April, and lately the front office has added many pieces to the puzzle. Let's hope a few of these guys pan out and make an impact.

The Creation Museum in Kentucky

I have seen a few articles about the Creation Museum in Kentucky (such as here and here) and it also had a part in Bill Mahr's Religiousity movie. Each time I've come across it, I have had a good laugh: the concept is an unintentional comedy dream!

I imagine the museum exhibits alone would be enough to entertain me for an entire day. The pictures and video clips I have seen leave me partly dumbfounded, and partly hysterical with joy. Such an interesting combination of emotions. Add in the thought of the time, effort and money spent on each and every exhibit and I get into a tither with excitement.

But better still would be watching the sincere museum attendees as they wander through the museum. I know they should be a frightening display of the power of belief, but their sincerity renders them as sheep on the frightening scale of predators. Rather than go through every exhibit, it might be more fun to bring in some beach charis, a cooler of beer and camp out at one carefully chosen exhibit to watch the show of passer-byes. Like watching the people show along a boardwalk, only many times funnier!

I would love to pack the family in the car and take them on a day trip to the museum, what a fun filled family adventure that would be for the boys! Alas, Kentucky is not day-trip-able from beautiful SD. And I'm certainly not flying specifically to Kentucky for it, mostly due to the cost but also due to an innate fear of the South. But somehow, sometime, we will go hundreds of miles out of our way to see it, it is now must-see Americana.
The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism