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NEWS ALERT ... Padres deal Chase Headley

San Diego trades third baseman to New York Yankees just four days after dealing All-Star closer Huston Street to the Los Angeles Angels.

Story of #VacationSanDiego — the latest wonderful trip home — viewed via tweets

07/22/2014

The third version of vacation via tweets has hit the cyber world.

My latest return to my awesome hometown of San Diego was wonderful and here is the tweet-by-tweet blow of what kind of became known as #VacationSanDiego.

It was only my fourth time home since I moved from the paradise of Southern California to the fine city of Boise, Idaho. And, of course, there was one dorky woman who screeched “Potatoes!” when finding out where I live.

So I now kind of know what it feels like when native “Idahoans” – what a dumb term – experience it.

At heart, I will always be a San Diego guy. Time to enjoy the 2014 version of vacation via tweets. Enjoy.

JULY 10

–The suitcase is packed so the #SanDiego vacation is about to commence. So you may see me somewhere around #SoCal through July 21.

–Just getting off plane in #SanDiego … Did LeBron sign with anyone yet? … Nice ocean breeze too. #ahhhhhhhhh

–I’m on trolley. Two guys talking about #Padres & #Dodgers tied 1-1. Then I hear this: “I sure hope we can go to the World Series (cont)

–this year. We haven’t been since ’98.” … Yep, they are talking about the PADRES playing in the 2014 World Series. #ummmmmmmmmm

JULY 11

–Got into San Diego & wanted to get online at my mom’s house. She called @CoxComm for help & it was a two-plus hour nightmare. The support

–people @CoxComm couldn’t have been more inept & didn’t come close to resolving the issues or even discussing it. Just as bad was their phone

–reps as you sat on hold for 30-plus minutes & then got transferred again without help. @CoxComm needs to look up what “customer support”

–means as I am appalled at the waste of time without any meaningful effort to solve the issues. Shame on you @CoxComm

–Oh delicious chicken at #ElPolloLoco … How I have missed you. #Succulent#VacationSanDiego

–Look what was found in my mom’s garage: 1978 commemorative 7up San Diego All-Star game bottles. pic.twitter.com/02ZuDV8Gtv

–Dinner at delicious Tio Leo’s during #VacationSanDiego pic.twitter.com/FZaFS3tUIa

–I’m on the #SanDiegoState campus & not being paid to be on it. And not here digging up dirt. Weird feeling. pic.twitter.com/iZ2bwMUIWM

–The plaque at Tony Gwynn Stadium. pic.twitter.com/n18PWq8Kdi

JULY 12

–Vacation hijinks — locked out of house for 90 minutes with phone inside & no shoes on. Hard to break into my mom’s house I have learned.

–Great night on Coronado Island watching a band with my brother, my sister-in-law & her best friend since forever. #VacationSanDiego rocks.

JULY 13

–Can’t wait until the #WorldCupFinal is settled by penalty kicks. #SaidNoOneEver

–We shall be forever thankful to Mario Gotze for saving us from penalty-kick conclusion http://wp.me/pumSY-Vd  via @wordpressdotcom

–If you know what #MonaLisa pizza is in #SanDiego then you know my family and I did dinner correctly (and awesomely) on Sunday night.

JULY 14

–I’m at famous South Mission Beach in #SanDiego. About 68 degrees in mid-July. pic.twitter.com/2lzKzI9XUZ

–Have reached the Pacific Beach boardwalk — about two miles north of where I started. #VacationSanDiego #VacationSanDiego pic.twitter.com/98oNV9acUK

–This dude just caught a mackerel off PB Pier. Says he nearly reeled in a 140-pound mako shark two days ago. pic.twitter.com/V92MbIqEmf

–Just rode the old rickety Belmont Park roller coaster — my chiropractor will be happy to see me. #VacationSanDiego pic.twitter.com/7qhgqPgmCB

–No trip home to #SanDiego is complete without a stop at my dad’s gravesite. pic.twitter.com/tgRnGjKVjX

–So glad I’m on vacation and enjoying the #SanDiego summer awesomeness. Do not miss the #Boise sauna at all. #SanDiegoVacation

–One of my cousins says I shouldn’t use social media while on vacation. Can the would-be robber please turn on my air conditioner on July 21?

–Out exercising at #LakeMurray & there are copters making some type of rescue high atop #CowlesMountain. Fire crews also involved. #SanDiego

JULY 15

–High of 75 today in #SanDiego. Overnight low will be 69. #AwesomenessNeverEndsInMyBelovedHometown

–About to move my vacation base to Murrieta, CA for next three days. If you’re near that vicinity or LA, this is your time to meet up with me.

–So are they waiting for Huston Street to come into game to acknowledge Tony Gwynn? And if Street doesn’t come in, then … *crickets* …

#Fox swings and misses on All-Star Game telecast by failing to tribute Tony Gwynn http://wp.me/pumSY-Vi  via @wordpressdotcom #MLB

JULY 16

–This is when a #SoCal vacation reaches its zenith — a visit to #InNOutBurger. Sooooooooo delicious. pic.twitter.com/7eeaWrprpm

JULY 17

–Just saw the infamous #Murrieta border patrol protest site. All of three protestors there. #NothingToSeeHere

JULY 18

–Qualcomm Stadium in #SanDiego, where I attended a ton of sporting events as a kid & covered games as a sportswriter. pic.twitter.com/CSnKNpqXXK

–Here is my view from #PetcoPark for #Padres vs #Mets. Free, of course. Always good to go to ballpark in my hometown. pic.twitter.com/MDkzvln9uR

–I’m at Petco Park & am told by reliable #Padres source that Huston Street has been traded to #Angels.

–Just witnessed the #Padres score four runs in a single inning. The #SanDiego Padres. Of 2014. #ThisCantBeRealLife

–Maybe I will address this on my website on Saturday but I will kind of miss Huston Street not being on #Padres. Outstanding 2 1/2 seasons.

–My sister told some random gal on the trolley that I moved from San Diego to #Boise & the predictably silly response happened: “Potatoes!”

–Random trolley gal plans to move back to CA after seven years in Minnesota because it gets “too cold.” Um, pretty sure that wasn’t a secret.

JULY 19

–It is 73 right now in #SanDiego … The high will be 74 … Overnight low will be 68 … #MightBeTimeToMoveBack

–Dealing Huston Street another reminder that #Padres remain on road to nowhere http://wp.me/pumSY-Vp  via @wordpressdotcom

–For those keeping track, June 18, 2010 is last time #Padres won with me inside Petco Park. So you know what’s coming. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN201006180.shtml …

–OK, here is my Petco Park view on Saturday per #Padres vs #Mets. Yes, of course, free again. #StillOwnSanDiego #LOL pic.twitter.com/rMbYDpeI2R

–People to my right — and 15 seconds later to my left — we’re shown on #PetcoPark scoreboard & I think it was the highlight of their lives.

–Some miserable people are trying to get the wave going. Over & over. Apparently baseball is boring when the #Padres score runs.

–Seth Smith homers & dude is back to trying to start wave. He also announced loudly: “I don’t even like baseball!” Really now — who knew?

–Here is the statue of Jerry Coleman at Petco Park. pic.twitter.com/YWgsTrPohX

#Padres defeat #Mets 6-0 — first time they’ve won with me inside #PetcoPark since June 18, 2010 when they beat the #Orioles.

JULY 20

–Why yes, I did attend mass at the legendary Mission San Diego de Alcala, founded in 1769 by Junipero Serra. #Vacation pic.twitter.com/tfjzFeiOJg

–Take that as a reminder why nobody takes a #Padres no-hit attempt seriously until game reaches ninth. #SanDiegoDoesntDoNoHitters

–Hard to believe #VacationSanDiego ends tomorrow. Why does time fly so fast when you’re on vacation? #NotFairAtAll

JULY 21

–This can’t be real — @AlaskaAir sends email NOW that flight will depart 3 1/2 HOURS LATE. When confirming, it lists my scheduled (cont)

–flight of 2:55 still. My flight number (3483) is not listed ANYWHERE on @AlaskaAir website. Do they have nobody who updates website? (cont)

–Knowing when your flight departs is kind of important @AlaskaAir … or did Russell Wilson need the plane for himself?

–I avoided #Southwest & picked a nonstop flight on #Alaska to avoid travel issues and what do I get — travel issues! … #VacationSanDiego

–End result — I have 3 1/2 hours of extra time to spend in #SanDiego … better than an airport delay in Boston, Washington or Jacksonville.

–My view of downtown #SanDiego from Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma. pic.twitter.com/B73GPHETK7

–The last of five outstanding pieces of halibut at Point Loma Seafoods. Scrumptious. #VacationSanDiego pic.twitter.com/GD34abyBCY

–Have reached the airport — way early so my mom doesn’t have to drive in 5 o’clock traffic. #VacationSanDiegoNearsAnEnd

–Finally landed in #Boise — 3 hours, 43 minutes later than scheduled. #VacationSanDiegoOver

–So the robber didn’t break in & turn on my air conditioner after all — 82 degrees and like a sauna in my place. #VacationOver #BackInBoise

JULY 22 UPDATE

–It must be noted that Customer Care at has given me a $100 travel voucher due to Monday’s travel nightmare.

Dealing Huston Street another reminder that Padres remain on road to nowhere

07/19/2014

Before Huston Street pitched for the San Diego Padres, he was one of those closers that you always felt your team could stage that ninth-inning rally against.

Doesn’t throw all that hard, prone to letting guys reach base and seemingly easily rattled with the pressure ratcheted up. The latter reputation was his own doing as the residue from his horrible postseason performances in 2006 with the Oakland Athletics and 2009 with the Colorado Rockies was mighty unsightly.

Street may finally get another chance to erase those postseason blights (9.00 playoff ERA and nightmares of Magglio Ordonez, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth) now that the Padres have dealt him to the Los Angeles Angels in a six-player deal in which four minor-leaguers are coming San Diego’s way.

And the funny thing is I will now miss Huston Street being on the Padres. He has been the best closer in the majors over the past 2 1/2 seasons – look it up yourself if you don’t believe it – by converting 95.2 percent of his save opportunities. Yep, he was a splendid 80-of-84 in save situations for San Diego including 24-of-25 this season before Friday night’s trade to the Angels.

There sure wasn’t much suspense this season when Street came into a game. The ninth-inning was typically over quickly as the 30-year-old Street – fully aware he can’t blow guys away – would have impeccable pinpoint location and flat-out mow down opponents.

He had a 1.09 ERA in 33 games this season and was named to the National League All-Star team for the second time in three seasons.

Street had a club-friendly option for 2015 so I was of those folks saying the Padres should keep Street if they saw themselves as contenders next season. But this move pretty much answers that question for us, doesn’t it?

The Padres – who also need to hire a new general manager – aren’t going to be contenders next season in the eyes of upper management.

If you know your Padres history, you also know not to get excited over any club-fueled propaganda – and, unfortunately, the media-fueled hype from the softy baseball writers in San Diego. The Padres have missed on a lot of these proven stars for a wheelbarrow of prospects thing too often – does Fred McGriff to the Atlanta Braves or Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox ring a bell? – so patience and seeing how things play out is the proper way to view the situation.

The Angels are considered to have one of the worst farm systems in baseball and three of the players they gave up are already 22 years old or older. You know, old enough that there are people in the Los Angeles organization who have dissected their skills and undoubtedly began wondering if they are major-league caliber players.

Let’s just say the Padres better hope there is a major-league player or two in the package of second baseman Taylor Lindsey, shortstop Jose Rondon and pitchers R.J. Alvarez and Elliott Morris or else the skeptical San Diego fans will remember this latest giveaway for years to come.

Now that Street is gone, the Padres ought to start tearing down this very bad baseball team.

Chase Headley has been a disappointment since his career year in 2012. Trade him.

Carlos Quentin has been horrible all season, is injured way too often and is a complete jerk as a person. Beg a team to take him (just request a few dozen batting-practice balls and be done with him).

Joaquin Benoit will replace Street as the closer but he did a superb job with the Detroit Tigers last season showing everybody that he’s not a ninth-inning guy. Send him to a team that needs another reliever to pitch the seventh or eighth.

Now that we know the Padres don’t plan to win this season, just go all Trader Jack McKeon and get rid of as many as these clowns as you can.

What the Street deal does is show all of us the Padres are once again on their very familiar long road to being a viable playoff contender. You know, the never-ending-circle of mediocrity they’ve been riding for most of the Petco Park era.

Perhaps that is why Huston Street should really be missed – moving him is that not-so-small reminder that the ownership in San Diego still isn’t fully committing to providing winning baseball.

Fox swings and misses on All-Star Game telecast by failing to tribute Tony Gwynn

07/15/2014

I simply don’t understand there not being a tribute to Tony Gwynn during Tuesday’s All-Star Game telecast.

The midsummer classic is always a good time to reflect on the history of the game and it seems odd that Fox wouldn’t have planned some type of quick remembrance for the legendary former star of the San Diego Padres.

The eight-time batting champion – and 15-time All-Star – died last month at the age of 54. How quickly Major League Baseball forgets its stars, huh?

Judging from social-media accounts, there are people all around the country upset or miffed about this. So don’t look at this at some kind of San Diego thing.

We are talking about one of the all-time great hitters to ever step on the diamond. An icon who was a first-ballot Hall of Famer and known for being a first-class representative of baseball.

Wasn’t expecting a big ceremony or something, but it certainly isn’t too much to expect Fox to throw in a quick 10-second tribute and move back into the flow of the game. Maybe even say one less sentence about Derek Jeter and include ONE about Gwynn.

Fox is a network that certainly does a lot of wimpy, ludicrous things during its baseball telecasts so I suppose I shouldn’t be overly surprised.

Regardless, the lack of a tribute for Gwynn is a big swing-and-a-miss for both Fox and MLB.

We shall be forever thankful to Mario Gotze for saving us from penalty-kick conclusion

07/13/2014

How nice it was for Mario Gotze of Germany to score late in extra time to make sure the World Cup final wasn’t decided by penalty kicks.

Gotze controlled a cross from Andre Schurrle with his chest before smacking a close-range, left-foot blast past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero in the 114th minute to give Germany a dramatic 1-0 victory in Sunday’s championship match in Rio de Janeiro.

I’m sure there were many people like me fearing the solid match would be decided by penalty kicks – one of the dumbest ways to ever decide a title.

Can you imagine an NBA Finals game going two overtime periods and then everybody stopping and deciding it by making – or missing – free throws? Or the Super Bowl reaching a point in which the action is halted and the outcome is determined by kicking extra points?

Obviously, Dwight Howard wouldn’t be needed to participate in the free-throw shooting and could just depart the premises. And, um, how confused would Donovan McNabb get over the extra-point twist?

Thankfully, the soccer match was decided before we had to endure those shenanigans as Germany celebrates its first World Cup title since 1990 and its fourth overall.

Manuel Neuer played superbly in goal and the Germany defensive tactics made it difficult for Argentina star Lionel Messi to operate. Messi came up empty on his few opportunities, including a wide shot when the game was scoreless.

In fact, Messi had two late chances but headed the first attempt high and then his late free kick was so high over the goal that it undoubtedly landed somewhere near Panama.

Then again, I’m glad Messi didn’t sneak in a late goal. Then we would have gone to penalty kicks and we just can’t have that.

Because that would be like halting a World Series game after 12 innings and deciding it with stolen-base attempts.

Ummmmmm, thank you very much Mario Gotze.

LeBron James elects to return to Cavaliers so he can get back to being a hometown hero

07/11/2014

LeBron James has decided that you can go home again.

The decision by King James to return to Cleveland didn’t stun me all that much as I felt he was playing things way too close to the vest during the recent postseason. If he was intent on solely returning to Miami after the playoffs ended, all he had to do was say so.

He was on a team that was in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season – no easy task regardless of his immense talents. He had running mates in Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade that he enjoys as both people and players.

I don’t think how badly the Heat were rolled by the San Antonio Spurs in the finals had anything to do with this decision. I think James had returning back to Ohio on his mind for a while.

It’s hard to beat being home – and even better when you can be super rich as you return.

James appears to be comfortable with the notion that he will unlikely be on a team that reaches the NBA Finals next season. He seems OK with it taking a bit of time for the Cavaliers to finish building toward a title-worthy team.

“I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys,” James told Sports Illustrated, the entity in which he chose to release this latest decision.

NBA All-Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving is on the roster and Cleveland selected Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft. That gives the Cavaliers a pretty solid trio right there.

Rumors abound that a deal to pry Kevin Love away from the Minnesota Timberwolves could occur and that would give Cleveland a real solid group – depending on the price to obtain Love.

What’s interesting this time around is James quietly announced his decision. None of that “The Decision” special-show silliness like when he chose the Cavaliers in 2010.

The way James went about leaving Cleveland brought him a lot of criticism. Nearly all of it deserved.

But he obviously learned a lesson and went about it differently this time. That’s a sign of maturity and, well, a solid decision.

I’m sure people in Miami are unhappy but they did receive four years from James in the prime of his career. Two NBA titles, two other trips to the championship round and the value of the franchise skyrocketed.

But it does seem like Northeastern Ohio – Akron is James’ hometown – is a better fit than South Beach. And to me, it always felt like James would someday play for the Cavaliers again. Kind of better that he returns why he’s still at the top of his game and not say at age 34 or 35 when his skills start declining.

Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert ripped James in a letter in 2010 after the departure and there clearly was some fence-mending needed. Once that discussion was had, I’m guessing it wasn’t all that hard for James to make this decision.

While Cleveland fans are ecstatic, there can’t be many people more excited than David Blatt.

Never heard of Blatt? No problem – neither had most of us until he was hired as coach of the Cavaliers.

Now this dude gets to coach LeBron James … in Cleveland.

Because the King is returning to his once-proud throne.

Seahawks-Broncos beat down has nothing on the stunning way Germany annihilated Brazil

07/08/2014

Wasn’t sure if I would see another World Cup match this summer after the United States was eliminated from the festivities.

Figured I’d seen enough 1-0 games and I hate the fact an event of his stature has matches decided by these silly shootouts. That would be like the NFL allowing a Super Bowl to be decided via extra points?

But there I was watching the semifinal match on Tuesday and I witnessed something that I figured was pretty much impossible considering this elite level of soccer.

I saw this: Germany 7, Brazil 1.

I’m no soccer expert but I do know this – that is way more of a beat down than what the Seattle Seahawks put on the Denver Broncos in February’s Super Bowl.

I can’t figure out exactly how much more – 50 times more? Perhaps 100 times more?

Wait, this was BRAZIL getting torched like an elementary school team would if it played the Seattle Sounders.

This might be 1,000 times the beat down that Seattle put on Peyton Manning while silencing all signs of “O-MA-HA!”

Maybe the most accurate way to put it this: Germany’s stunning performance might be the best in history, regardless of sport. And Brazil’s showing – use whatever adjective for awful you prefer.

So many times, a team scores a goal 10 minutes into the game and the pressure ratchets on the other squad even though there is still nearly 80 minutes to play. You know, it is kind of hard to score in this sport.

But the goal by Thomas Muller in the 11th minute was just the beginning of a historic onslaught in which Germany scored five times in an 18-minute span.

Miroslav Klose scored in the 23rd minute, Toni Kroos tallied in both the 24th and 26th minutes and Sami Khedira made it 5-0 in the 29th minute. This was kind of like an NBA team losing by 100 early in the second quarter and you wouldn’t have been surprised if the Brazilians just walked off the pitch at halftime.

Andre Schurrle added goals for Germany in the 69th and 79th minutes to make it a 7-0 edge and you could just feel the embarrassment level soaring higher and higher. Oscar scored for Brazil in the 90th minute and that tally reminded you of the feeling of watching a match between six-year-old girls – when the losing team scores just before the end of an 11-1 loss because it was allowed to use more players than the other squad.

In other words, this one was historic flop for Brazil.

So glad I was tuned in – because this result will be recalled for ages as you just don’t see these types of shellackings in soccer. Especially at the World Cup level.

Suddenly Seahawks 43, Broncos 8 doesn’t sound so lopsided. At least not compared to Germany versus Brazil.

Street blows a save to remind us that the Padres need to pick up his 2015 option

07/05/2014

Huston Street blew a save on Saturday night and I’m sure some fans of the San Diego Padres got mad.

I say every single one of them should take a second to feel good about the closer – and be happy as all heck the Padres didn’t go all out to retain Heath Bell after three consecutive 40-save seasons.

If San Diego retains Bell after his stellar run from 2009-11, who knows what major-league city Street calls home. Just be glad home has been San Diego the past three seasons.

Street had been 23-for-23 in save situations this season before blowing one against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night. He served up a leadoff homer in the ninth to Michael Morse and the Giants went on to a 5-3, 10-inning victory.

The blown save was only the fourth in Street’s 2 1/2 seasons with the club while he has successfully shut the door 79 times. That is an astronomical success rate of 95.2 percent.

Even New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera and Padres icon Trevor Hoffman would have a hard time matching that percentage over a 2 1/2-season period.

Street has been the best closer in baseball over the first half of the 2014 season and will surely be representing the Padres in Minnesota at this month’s All-Star Game. The announcements will be made Sunday but it will not be a surprise to see Street on the National League team for the second time in his three seasons with the club.

I say Padres’ ownership ought to be ready to make their own announcement: As in Street is not going anywhere prior to the July 31 trading deadline.

There will be surely a few clubs throwing tempting offers of prospects and the Padres should declare that the 30-year-old Street is going nowhere.

The club has a $7 million option on him for 2015 so if the Padres think they are going to be field a competitive team next season, they can send a signal to their skeptical fan base by picking up the option.

Personally, I would do it sometime over the next few weeks but I understand the business at hand. A club would hate to pick up the option before it has to in case of a devastating arm injury.

Heck, they are paying Josh Johnson $8 million this season not to pitch for them. That’s not a good development.

All that matters is that the Padres do the right thing eventually. To me, it’s a no-brainer:

Let’s assure Huston Street is the team’s closer again in 2015.

His first flop of the season is proof that the Padres badly need his services.

Tim Howard goes down in history as epic saver despite World Cup loss to Belguim

07/01/2014

The first day of July was that rare afternoon where an American soccer player was the talk of the day.

United States goalkeeper Tim Howard had a game for the ages with 16 saves – the most ever by a U.S. goalie – and the 35-year-old tried to single-handedly boost the Americans past Belguim in the Round of 16 at the World Cup.

Howard used his ultra-strong legs, his machine-like hands and every other part of his body but a goal in the 93rd minute by Belguim’s Kevin De Bruyne was the icebreaker and Romelu Lukaku added another one 12 minutes later as the U.S. fell 2-1 in extra time.

Julian Green – all of 19 years old – got the USA on the board in the 107th minute and Clint Dempsey broke in close in the 114th minute but was stymied by Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois as the Americans had their World Cup run halted.

Belguim advances to face Argentina in the quarterfinals and it remains to be seen whether I watch another soccer match prior to the 2018 World Cup.

But what we saw on Tuesday was a classic sporting event. Nobody anywhere should find fault with the effort of Howard. His performance was epic and certainly one of the best ever in the history of USA soccer.

In case it hasn’t quite sunk in … you may have just witnessed the most remarkable effort from an American soccer player.

Belguim seemingly possessed the ball in front of the goal all game long and the U.S. defense was suspect way too often. It was almost like a game of college athletes against kindergartens, that’s how one-sided it was for most of the match.

In fact, I hope Howard’s postgame routine involved kicking every defender in the shins with his cleats. And then maybe using a hammer for two more swipes.

If Howard hadn’t been so stellar, Belguim wins 6-1. Heck, maybe 8-1.

When De Bruyne scored early in the extra 30-minute session, you could feel the air coming out of the sails.

The goal by Lukaku made it seem like a 30-point basketball margin in the fourth quarter but Green’s goal renewed hope and led to a suspenseful final push and Dempsey came so-oh-close to tying it off an indirect kick when he slipped through the Belguim wall but Courtois made the close-range save.

The Belgians ended up with 39 shots as Howard was peppered with shot after shot.

He made a huge save in the opening minute that set the tone for the performance. Big saves in the 57th, 71st, 76th, 85th and 90th minutes kept it scoreless and the USA had a chance to steal the win but Chris Wondolowski couldn’t finish from in close just before regulation time ended.

Asked by ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap in a postgame interview about being constantly under siege, Howard said simply: “It’s my job. That’s what I signed up to do.”

Somehow that comment wasn’t surprising. Howard was humble in defeat and didn’t point fingers. So much different than so many of the me-first athletes of this generation.

The Americans may have lost but Tim Howard is a winner.

Not just for one day either. He will be viewed that way forever.

Padres fire general manager Josh Byrnes; could Kevin Towers return to run the club?

06/22/2014

The San Diego Padres finally fired somebody on Sunday and thankfully it wasn’t the manager.

General manager Josh Byrnes was officially made the scapegoat for the latest underachieving season when he was shown the door prior to Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s hard to quibble with that decision with the Padres fielding one of the most anemic-hitting teams in franchise history.

The Padres went 76-86 in each of Byrnes’ first two seasons at the helm and they were 11 games below .500 this season when he was fired. There has been nothing encouraging about his tenure with the club despite being allowed to have a payroll of approximately $90 million to work with per this season’s club.

Recent speculation had manager Bud Black in danger of being let go, which was really a silly thought. The problem with the Padres hasn’t been the manager, it has been the performance of the last couple general managers – Jed Hoyer and Byrnes – as well as the commitment of the folks much higher up the chain.

Black could still be in danger of being removed after the season if the team hires a new general manager that desires a complete fresh start. In that case, I can see Black being allowed to move on but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the job he’s doing and the way he runs a club.

Let me spell it out this way – John McGraw, Casey Stengel or Dick Williams – the latter being the best manager ever employed by the Padres – wouldn’t be faring much better with this inept offensive squad.

It will be interesting to see in which direction the Padres go with their GM hire. I see one of the names being tossed around is Kevin Towers and I was wondering about that very subject two-to-three weeks ago.

Towers could be on his way out as Arizona Diamondbacks general manager due to that franchise’s poor season and the recent hiring of Tony La Russa to handle baseball operations.

The Padres have made the playoffs just five times in franchise history – gosh, how horrible does that sound? – and four of those came with Towers at the helm. He was fired following the 2009 season during Jeff Moorad’s brief stint as owner.

The thing to consider here is how the Padres would feel about a second stint of Towers running the franchise. Executive chairman Ron Fowler had substantial dealings with the Padres as a businessman – he once was the task force chairman per assessing whether a downtown ballpark was a workable idea – and knows Towers well.

If Fowler wants Towers to run the club, the only way it won’t happen is if Towers decides he doesn’t want to come back to San Diego.

Remember all those skimpy payrolls Towers had to work with? I’d kind of like to see what he could do with a $90 million payroll to work with. Something tells me he wouldn’t give an injury prone pitcher like Josh Johnson $8.5 million as Byrnes did this past offseason.

Johnson hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Padres this season. No real surprise considering the guy’s history.

Plus, Towers is the man who originally hired Black as San Diego manager following the 2006 season. So you know he understands exactly what I know:

The manager of the San Diego Padres isn’t the problem.

Tony Gwynn arrives in heaven

06/17/2014

tony.gwynn.heaven

Wish I knew who to give credit to per this animation because it is all kinds of awesome.

 

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