Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tony Gwynn Heads to the Hall, pt. 3

First, apologies for the delay in a new post. I had guest in town and was not able to get to a new post. That said...Welcome to our final installment of Tony Heads to the Hall. A lot to get to regarding Tony Gwynn and the Padres so let's dive in.

This past weekend at Petco Park was Tribute to Tony Weekend, a weekend that reached it's apex on Saturday with a pre-game ceremony and the unveiling of the first statute at Petco Park.

There are a handful of players that have been honored in such a way. Stan Musial, Willie Mays, monument park in Yankee Stadium, to name a few. To have a statute built in your honor, it's big. Bigger than a street named after you, bigger than having your number retired. It's an iconic gesture reserved for only the greatest of players and people.

Of the many accomplishments Tony Gwynn achieved throughout his career, two notable numbers stick out the most. One is 5. 5 Gold Gloves, perhaps the stat that Tony Gwynn was most proud of as a player. He was not an excellent fielder at first, he had to work at it. And work he did, and work, and work. And in typical Tony Gwynn fashion, he worked at it until he became the best at it, at least for 5 seasons.

The second number is 20. Tony Gwynn played 20 seasons in the majors, all 20 with San Diego. In today's era of free agents and big contracts, 20 seasons with one team is a remarkable stat. Tony Gwynn had chances to play elsewhere, to make more money. Certainly he was worth it. He didn't. The most Gwynn ever made was $6.3 million in a season. Compared to the salaries of today, that's a fraction of what he was worth.

He is the most beloved player in San Diego sports history. On Sunday, he will become one of the immortals of baseball.

"The only thing I want people to say about me is that I played the game the way it should be played." - Tony Gwynn

"If you work hard, good things will happen." - Charles Gwynn Sr.

News and Notes

- The Padres have run across hard times recently. Dropping 3 of 4 to the Phillies and 2 of 3 to the Rockies. In the meantime, the Padres bullpen has an ERA of 8.87 in the last 6 games. Linebrink and Meredith blew the hold opportunity on Monday by giving up a 3 run HR to Holliday to tie the game followed by a 2-run shot by Hawpe.

- The Padres have lost 8 of their last 13 games since the All-Star Break. It may be time to realize that the lack of offense is beginning to wear on the pitching staff. Sup-par performances by Wells and Germano recently have shown that the Padres cannot recover from a poor pitching performance. Coors Field is usually the ointment for what ails a fledgling offense, however, the Padres only mustered 2 runs today and only 12 runs over the 3 games.

- As I was writing this and about to lament about the struggles of Linebrink, struggles that have been going on since June, news broke that the Padres have traded Scott Linebrink. Linebrink was the talk of the trading deadline a year ago but hardly a word this year, a sign Linebrink says tipped him off that he may be on his way out. Linebrink was traded today to the Milwaukee Brewers for 3 minor leaguers, one of which, Joe Thatcher (1-0, 0.55 ERA at Double-A Huntsville) is expected to be with the club as they head to Houston this weekend.

- What the Padres will probably need to make move for is a starting pitcher. Wells is due to be suspended soon and yesterday Chris Young was removed in the 3rd inning with a "left oblique strain," an injury that kept Cameron out 17 games last season. Regardless, Wells has been far from stellar and teams have begun to figure out Germano who has lost 5 of his last 6 starts. With limited help in the minors (Mike Thompson, Clay Hensley, and Tim Stauffer, all of whom have struggled in the majors) the Padres will be in need of a starter. They will also need more bullpen help with the departure of Linebrink and one name that hasn't been named but makes some sense is Octavio Dotel. The closer of the Royals is on the block and may fit nicely in the 7th or 8th inning role.

- A lot of bad in Friarland so let's end with some positive:

- Milton Bradley is raking right now. A bright spot for this offense.

- And finally, Sunday is the big day for Tony. If your in San Diego, come out to Petco Park at 10am to watch on the big screen. If not, watch from home and enjoy one of the finest Hall of Fame classes we will see for quite some time.

1 comment:

maddy said...

Those are some great pictures of the Tribute to Tony!

Who's your photographer???