Saturday, July 14, 2007

2nd Half Preview; Wells Being Wells; Final All-Star Thoughts

Are you rested? Feel refreshed and rejuvenated? Good, because now it's time to get serious. The first half of the season for the Padres was great, but now the stakes get raised. The playoff push begins today.

A quick housecleaning item of something I meant to do in the last post. So, without further ado, the Top 5 Padres Moments of the First Half:

5) April 25th - Jake Peavy strikes out 16 Diamondbacks including 9 in a row.

4) April 8th - The Padres win a 2-1 game against Colorado thanks to a walk-off single by Kevin Kouzmanoff, breaking his 2 for 20 slump.

3) June 23rd - Padres beat the Red Sox 6-1 thanks to Chris Young's one hit performance.

2) June 7th - The Padres complete a three game sweep of rival Los Angeles by scoring 5 runs in the 9th inning off of Jonathon Braxton.

1) June 6th - Future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman notches save number 500 against the Dodgers, making him the first player to ever record over 500 hundred saves.

All-Star Game Final Thoughts

-Some final thoughts on the Mid-Summer Classic. Jake Peavy was named the starter for the National League and did not disappoint, pitching one scoreless inning, giving up one hit to Ichiro.

- Chris Young was the tough-luck loser in the game giving up the inside the park homerun to Ichiro thanks to a quirky bounce off the right field wall. At the time it had only given the AL a 2-1 lead, however, the National League bats were silence for 8 2/3rds of the game.

- Trevor Hoffman did what he does, pitching a scoreless inning. No rematch with Michael Young though.

- Tony LaRussa thinks he is smarter than he is. Bases Loaded, game on the line and he keeps Pujols on the bench. Slump or no, give me Pujols.

So for the 11th year in a row the National League is unable to beat the American League, giving home field advantage to the American League.

2nd Half Preview
- The Padres open the 2nd half of the season in Arizona against division rival Diamondbacks. Greg Maddox was tagged with the loss last night in the desert. Superman had kryptonite, Maddox has Phoenix, where he is 0-6 with an ERA over 5.00.

- Jake Peavy's scheduled start on Saturday was pushed back to Tuesday due to tightness in his arm. Pitching coach Darren Balsely has stated it is merely precaution coming off the inning Peavy threw in the All-Star Game.

- Chris Young gets the start tonight having served his 5 game suspension. The Padres shrewdly set it up for him to serve the suspension around the All-Star Break, four games before and one game after, ensuring that Young would not miss a scheduled start.

- David Wells was suspended 7 games for "violent and aggresive actions" toward umpire Ed Hickock on July 7th. David Wells was upset with the strike zone and, after walking a batter and then giving up a home run to Jeff Francouer of the Braves, went over to discuss the strike zone. According to Wells, and from the perspective I had at the game, Wells was pretty calm in asking questions. After a few mins, Hickock got tired of it and told Wells to get his "fat ass back on the mound." Obviously, this didn't go well, Wells, exploded, got tossed and then things got quite heated.
As a pitcher, you should be allowed to simply ask questions about the strike zone so you can tailor your pitches accordingly. Umpires should not be given carte blanche and they certainly shouldn't be allowed to escalate the situation without punishment. The NBA kicked out a ref for picking a fight with Tim Duncan. MLB should adopt a similar policy, holding umpires who make a situation worse, accountable for their actions. A 7 game suspension for arguing balls and strikes is ridiculous, and rightfully so, is appealing the suspension.

- Padres former first round pick shortstop turned pitcher Matt Bush has been shut down for at least a week due to soreness in his arm.

And Finally...

This may not be the forum for it but I think its worth commenting on, if only briefly. On the Sunday before the All-Star break, and on most Sunday's, the Padres held a promotion for kids 14 and under (a floppy hat in this case). Due to a scheduling quirk, that Sunday was also the day the Padres hosted a Gay Pride Day at the park. The events surrounding Gay Pride were having the Men's Gay Choir sing the National Anthem and a scoreboard message. That was it.

Because of the mix with a kids promotion, many people were up in arms, citing how it was irresponsible by the Padres. For a great, and highly fictional take on this, check out Bill O'Reilly (author's note: not a fan and normally wouldn't link to him, but its worth a read for shear ridiculousness).,2933,289103,00.html

Now, I wasn't at the game, but according to all accounts I have read, the day went off without a hitch. Unlike our buddy Bill states, there was not inappropriate displays of affection. The boycott planned for that evening fizzled, as the Padres drew over 40,000 fans that night. We cannot simply say that due to your sexual preference you shouldn't be at a game. If anything, it was a blessing in disguise that Pride day fell on a kids promotion. Maybe we can teach kids tolerance, a lesson the parents who complained need to learn.

Up Next:

- Beginning on Monday, Left Coast Bias will begin a preview of Tony Gwynn Weekend, to be held in San Diego the weekend of July 20th. Post will include a career retrospective, personal anecdotes, and a preview of the festivities. Tony Gwynn will forever be linked to the Padres and his induction into the Hall of Fame marks the culmination of one of the great careers in baseball. Stay Tuned for that!

1 comment:

maddy said...

I'm glad that Hoffman got #1 on your list, cause if it wasn't for that then I would have caused us to miss what would have otherwise been the top moment of the year: the 5 run comeback!