Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Padres’

The San Diego Padres are not a good baseball team.

If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, laugh at them. Or throw your drink on them. I don’t advocate punching them but do what you need to do to stifle that nonsense.

The Padres (40-59) are the worst team in the National League as we reach the All-Star break. And they deserve the moniker of being the NL’s worst squad.

That is one pretty bad baseball team I saw three times in one week at Petco Park.

The Padres went 0-3 with me in the ballpark and I know without a doubt that it wasn’t my presence messing things up. They made Little League miscues on Friday and Sunday — the one on Friday gifting the Chicago Cubs the winning run in the 10th inning.

Closer Brad Hand, the best player in the organization, blew the save on Friday with one strike to go in a would-be victory. The biggest problem is he hit a stiff named Victor Caratini (who seemed upset but should have been thanking the heavens) before allowing Anthony Rizzo’s game-tying double.

One inning later, Javier Baez attempted to steal second base. Catcher Austin Hedges’ throw was high and bounced into center field. Baez took off toward third and Padres center fielder Manuel Margot muffed the ball like a nine-year-old seeing one come his way for the first time in a Little League game.

Baez scored and the Cubs’ fans occupying 75 percent of the seats at Petco Park went wild.

On Sunday, Chicago’s Kris Bryant didn’t come close to hitting the ball out of the infield but wound up at third base as both Hedges and right fielder Hunter Renfroe made throwing errors.

Did I mention Little League?

“There were some ugly moments,” Padres manager Andy Green told the San Diego media members who were described as “soft” by an MLB Network analyst earlier this month. “Some very ugly moments in the game today, and tough to stomach from a manager’s perspective.”

Got to be tough to stomach writing out a lineup card each day.

Prized offseason acquisition Eric Hosmer is batting just .249 and that lowly mark is the fifth-best average of players with more than 100 at-bats. He needs to do a better job earning the rest of his $144 million.

Wil Myers, who is in the second season of an $83 million deal, has played just 33 games due to time spent on the disabled list. Yet he still ranks third on the team with eight homers.

As for the pitching, all you need to know is San Diego’s top two starters are Clayton Richard and Tyson Ross. Both were rescued from the scrap heap.

Now that I ponder it a bit, I am surprised this team has won 40 games.

Heck, the Padres once went 68-93 with future Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, Rollie Fingers and Gaylord Perry all on the team.

Among the others players on that 1979 team were former Cy Young winner Randy Jones, Mickey Lolich, Gene Richards and Gene Tenace.

So um, who is the fourth best player on this Padres’ team?

I guess you are choosing between Freddy Galvis, Christian Villanueva and Renfroe.

You know, the Padres have been requesting time to build a team for a long time now. And there is no longer $5 admission and you saw the effects over the weekend when mostly Cubs’ fans paid $40 or $70 or $100 per seat.

The Padres are on the fast track to their eighth straight losing season and 12th in a row of missing the playoffs. This is their 50th season and they have made the postseason all of five times.

Let that sink in — five of 50 seasons.

You study the current group and listen to the prospect rhetoric — oh yeah, don’t listen to that nonsense. The Padres are famous for boasting about phenoms and funny how many times that doesn’t work out.

Remember when sports-talk clown Hank Bauer guaranteed Juan Melo would be the best shortstop in Padres history? Yeah, he never played one game for the team … he had 13 career major-league at-bats (all in 2000 for the San Francisco Giants).

That’s the thing about prospects. This is baseball. First-round picks don’t pan out. Heck, Mike Trout was the 25th pick of the 2009 draft.

That there is all you need to know about prospects — that is a lot of organizations deciding somebody was better than Mike Trout.

The Padres took Donavan Tate third overall in that draft. Never came close to reaching the majors. I saw him strike out in short-season rookie ball in 2013 — he was at that low caliber of play while just shy of his 23rd birthday — and got blown away by some kid fresh out of high school.

But the Padres gushed about him and everybody else followed suit. And he was a colossal bust … and some of the current Padres’ prospects being raved about will turn out to be failures too.

One guy who is in the majors now that concerns me is Margot.

He must look good at other times when I’m not watching. But he kind of looks like a time-waster to me. The Padres went through that earlier this decade for way too long with Cameron Maybin.

Hopefully, San Diego moves on after 2019 if the light doesn’t come on for Margot.

The Padres won’t want to give up on him because he’s the best of the four players they got from the Boston Red Sox for Craig Kimbrel.

They don’t want the deal to be like Huston Street to the Angels — getting four players who aren’t on this not-so-hard roster to make.

But let’s get back to the current team — the one holding the “We are Worst in the NL” banner.

This team isn’t good. It is bad. Worse, it is not showing the type of progress that was expected this season.

Heck, let’s let Green have his say, courtesy of the people who sometimes quote managers accurately and sometimes don’t.

“Frustrating. Not where I thought we’d be. Not where I want to be,” Green said. “I take ownership of that. It’s my team. It’s our team. We expect to play better than we’ve played. I think everyone in the clubhouse expects to play better from a win-loss perspective.”

Sorry Padres’ fans … you are going this whole decade without once reaching the playoffs. And the start of next decade isn’t looking too promising.

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Hey, the San Diego Padres are actually alive.

Not thriving by any chance but they displayed a bit of a pulse by agreeing to terms with free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer on an eight-year, $144 million contract.

In reality, it is really a five-year, $105 million deal because the contract is frontloaded and gives Hosmer the ability to opt out. Since the last three years average just $13 million per season and Scott Boras is his agent, what do you think Hosmer will do after the 2022 campaign?

Yeah, pretty easy one. He will opt out.

But whether Hosmer is on the Padres in 2023 is a topic for another time. What the Saturday night signing really means is the Padres actually made a splash.

The Padres have been acting like they weren’t going to be a contender for a long time. Landing an All-Star first baseman like the 28-year-old Hosmer at least makes their everyday lineup better and creates some optimism.

San Diego’s other All-Star caliber offensive player, Wil Myers, will move from first base to the outfield and the Padres can now line up Myers, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe in the outfield.

Former Padre Chase Headley is back in town as the third baseman and slick-fielding Freddy Galvis is the new shortstop. Catcher Austin Hedges is a capable player too.

Of course, the pitching staff is a mess so there isn’t a realistic chance of breaking through this season. I’d be surprised if the club doesn’t experience its eighth straight losing campaign but now you can at least feel a little bit of success looms on the horizon.

There was none of that to be found last season — the Padres were brutally bad and were fortunate to only finish 20 games below .500.

Hosmer has smacked a career-best 25 homers in each of the past two seasons. He has driven in more than 90 runs in each of the past three and he has won four Gold Gloves in the past five seasons.

He was part of two World Series teams with the Kansas City Royals, including the victorious group in 2015. Homser also was MVP of the 2016 All-Star Game, held in … yeah, you remember, Petco Park.

Most importantly, he provides hope to a group of loyal fans and a city dying to fall back in love with the Padres. What was the name of that sad-sack NFL team anyway?

As the Padres build, Hosmer will be that face of the franchise they were lacking.

Will he be worth the investment? We will know in a few years. But what he represents now is this: The Padres are at least trying.

That wasn’t readily apparent prior to Saturday night.

There haven’t been a ton of good San Diego baseball moments this decade but there certainly was one on Wednesday when “Trevor Time” again arrived.

Trevor Hoffman, one of the most-popular Padres ever, was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The late Tony Gwynn will always be the most famous member of the Padres — heck, Tony is one of the most beloved people in all of San Diego County no matter what the line of duty — but Hoffman would likely rate as second in the baseball category.

Heck, his ninth-inning introduction is perhaps the most-famous entrance in baseball history. When the Padres needed their closer to come get the final three outs, the place erupted as the first bell chimed.

And when the opening rift to “Hells Bells” by AC/DC began, the ballpark was in a complete frenzy.

And most of the time, an opposing player would soon be wildly flailing at a Hoffman changeup as the Padres posted a victory.

“Petco and Qualcomm certainly got rolling with the Hells Bells,” Hoffman told MLB Network in an post-induction interview. “That was in the same time frame as ‘Wild Thing’ in ‘Major League II’ and the whole ambiance they wanted to create was something we were able to do in San Diego.”

Hoffman ranks second in major league history with 601 saves, trailing only Yankees’ great Mariano Rivera (652). A seven-time All-Star, Hoffman should have been winner of the 1998 National League Cy Young Award but six buffoons left him off their ballots because they didn’t believe relievers should win the award.

Hoffman received more first-place votes than winner Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves but the omissions cost him the honor in a season in which he posted a 1.48 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and recorded 53 saves in 54 opportunities.

Kind of a major problem in baseball — letting sportswriters vote for awards. Too many agendas, too much nonsense, and not enough intelligence and perspective.

Hoffman fell five votes shy of induction last year but this time received 79.9 percent of the vote. A player needs 75 percent to be inducted.

An often-forgotten aspect of Hoffman’s career is that he failed as a minor league infielder with the Cincinnati Reds, who turned him into a pitcher. He came to the Padres from the Marlins in the controversial trade involving Gary Sheffield and soon carved out a legacy with that changeup that baffled hitters.

The other thing about Hoffman is that all kinds of San Diegans tell great tales about meeting him.

Like seeing him at Children’s Hospitals giving back to the community. Like being spotted on the freeway and giving a cheerful wave. Like seeing him at an eatery or perhaps a country bar and Hoffman coming across as a normal person.

Right there pretty much describes Trevor Hoffman — no egomaniac symptoms despite being one of the best ever at his craft.

No question, the latest edition of “Trevor Time” is richly deserved.

Well, hey, Weekly Links is making a surprise appearance. So busy with the paid work this time of year that it is hard to fit in free ventures (sure hope you don’t think I am making millions on my cozy website!)

So here goes … a little baseball, a little more NFL and a little college football. Sorry, not posting NBA as the preview shelf life is limited and who knows where you might end up after you click.

 

The World Series starts on Tuesday and the main storyline will revolve around perhaps the greatest pitcher of this era.

But as we all know, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw hasn’t stood up well under the playoff pressure during his career.

So will be it regular season Kershaw or “Postseason Kershaw” when the Dodgers play in the World Series for the first time since 1988?

Kershaw was seven months old and sleeping in a crib the last time the Dodgers were part of the Fall Classic.

How long has it been since the Dodgers played in the World Series? Well, consider the San Diego Padres’ drought was 10 years shorter.

That’s pretty sad when you consider all the money the Dodgers spend.

But this is their time with a team that won 104 regular-season games … and they definitely need “Regular Season Kershaw” taking the mound … see stellar story here — http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/story.asp?i=20171020172054085065710&ref=rec&tm=&src=MLB

 

Tom Brady might get the most praise but I feel Aaron Rodgers is the most “valuable” quarterback in the NFL.

We start to see if that is assessment is correct when the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Rodgers is out for at least eight weeks due to a broken collarbone and former UCLA star Brett Hundley will start in his place. Hundley has excelled in each of the past three preseasons but he wasn’t so hot when replacing Rodgers last Sunday as he threw three interceptions in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Hundley is a stellar athlete so it will be interesting to see how he fares. But no matter how he performs, we know this: He’s no Aaron Rodgers.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/NFL/saints-vs-packers-preview-and-predictions/212295/

 

It was pretty fun to have the Week 1 assignment when the Chargers and Broncos played in Denver.

It was even more entertaining to watch the Chargers have their game-tying field-goal attempt blocked in the final seconds.

The Chargers lost their first four games after relocating from San Diego and their running defense is so poor that I’m thinking Terrell Davis could suit up this Sunday and threaten the 100-yard mark.

The Broncos haven’t played well lately — what a gag job that was against the woeful New York Giants last Sunday night — so that unfortunately means the Chargers have a chance to win a third straight game.

Sure don’t want that … seeing the Chargers fall to 2-5 and on the way to their consecutive double-digit loss season would be much more fun.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/nfl/broncos-vs-chargers-preview-and-predictions/212300/

 

I’ve been kind of wondering why we have to continue playing the college football season and having all this debate about which four teams should be part of the College Football Playoff.

Can you find three teams in the nation that can beat Alabama? How about two? OK, one?

Penn State, Georgia and TCU are the teams ranked 2, 3 and 4. How about we take the best players off those three teams and see if they can give Alabama a game?

None of those three teams will win the national championship. The list of teams that can ends at one: Alabama.

The Crimson Tide get to pound Tennessee this Saturday. Apparently, people around Tennessee have finally figured out Butch Jones isn’t an SEC-caliber coach. Things could really get ugly against the Crimson Tide.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/NCAAF/-tennessee-vs-alabama-preview-and-predictions/212112/

The San Diego Padres took this picture shortly after the statue was unveiled.

Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn would have turned 57 years old on Tuesday if he were alive but his birthday was remembered in a fond way by the city of Poway.

Gwynn lived in the north San Diego County city about 20 miles north of Qualcomm Stadium during his Hall of Fame career and up to his death in 2014 due to salivary cancer. The eight-time batting champion with the San Diego Padres was honored Tuesday with the unveiling of an 11-foot statue of him in his Padres’ uniform tipping his cap and holding daughter Anisha.

And think, because Gwynn had a personal relationship with me, the ceremony was on my radar and I made sure the nice local story went national. http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/MLB/2017/05/09/Tony-Gwynns-hometown-erects-statue-in-his-honor/1141494361490/

It also reminds me of those times Gwynn the college baseball coach would get on my case because my newspaper wouldn’t let me cover more of his San Diego State baseball games. One night in the office, I scored big with this doozy: “Most people want to see more of Tony Gwynn. Tony Gwynn wants to see more of me.”

 

It is time to do that new tradition — the weekly links thing.

I had the preview assignment for the San Diego Chargers versus the Indianapolis Colts and I kind of think you Chargers’ fans might be in store for a happy Sunday.

No, you won’t see rookie Joey Bosa in uniform for the first time. His hamstring is too sore — that’s what happens when you put a couple million dollars in your back pocket.

Um, no, I don’t know this from first-hand experience.

But the winless Colts are pretty banged up. Quarterback Andrew Luck has an achy shoulder and I lost count trying to figure out many Indianapolis defensive backs were injured.

OK, I got the abacus out — the number is six.

Philip Rivers has always enjoyed success against the Colts and it won’t surprise me at all to see him walking off the field giddy once again with Indianapolis having allowed a league-worst 73 points.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.espn.com/nfl/preview?gameId=400874624

 

Did you know Alabama coach Nick Saban attended Kent State? It is a fact.

He is helping his alma mater’s finances by bringing them to town for Saturday’s whipping. The upcoming victory will also be Saban’s 200th as a college coach.

Also saw during the week that Saban was on campus the day of the infamous Kent State shootings in 1970. He and a buddy stopped to eat and that kept them from being in the area when the tragedy unfolded and four college kids lost their lives.

Here is that preview — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/event/2016/52385/preview/top25/

 

Michigan’s all-purpose star Jabrill Peppers is now a Heisman Trophy candidate. How do I know?

Because I said so (or wrote so).

When someone with a national stage writes such a thing, it is out there forever and the legend begins to grow. He won’t win the trophy but he might be the best all-round player in the nation.

Here is the Michigan versus Penn State preview — http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/2016/09/21/Michigan-vs-Penn-State-College-football-game-preview-predictions-score/9261474432584/

 

And how about those Padres? They have won seven of their past eight games against the San Francisco Giants and have even done the unthinkable — beaten Madison Bumgarner in each of last his two starts against them.

Bumgarner will try to beat those rookie-laden Padres and a victory would be the 100th of his career. Hard to believe he has already been around that long, isn’t it?

The 2014 World Series hero has been in a bad mood lately and it probably has to do with his sinking team. The Giants have lost eight of their past 12 games and are in danger of missing the postseason in an even-numbered year (they won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014).

Here is the stellar baseball preview for you — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/mlb/event/2016/399122/preview/

If I had more free time, I’d write about whole 5,000 words telling you how A.J. Preller isn’t so stellar.

But you probably already know that after the San Diego Padres general manager was suspended for 30 games without pay on Thursday for deceptive practices regarding the health of players being discussed in trade talks.

This penalty was for the trade that sent All-Star left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox in mid-July.

Personally, I think the punishment is too light. I think Preller should have gotten an 81-game suspension.

The Red Sox weren’t the only team to complain. The Miami Marlins were known to be vehemently upset when they received Colin Rea in a trade with the Padres and he was injured in his first start. The Padres quickly agreed to take Rea back, which I found very interesting at the time.

That tipped me off that the Padres knew Rea was damaged goods when they included him in the deal with Andrew Cashner. Otherwise, you wouldn’t take a player back. You would just say, ‘Hey, he got hurt working for you, not us’ and let the chips fall where they may.

There is even a report out there that the Chicago White Sox are unhappy with information supplied by the Padres about James Shields, who might be the worst pitcher in the majors this season while going 5-17 with a 5.84 ERA.

Yeah, I bet Preller doctored information about Shields, too. I bet his report said something like this:

1 — James Shields is still really, really good. Like All-Star good.

2 — Don’t look at the win-loss record. James Shields will win a lot of games once he is on a better team than I built.

3 — No, that birth certificate says he’s 34? That’s wrong. James Shields is only 24.

4 — James Shields’ arm? Never ever been sore. None of our pitchers ever get sore arms. Bank on it.

I do know this — Preller and the Padres are in a lot of trouble. When you cheat like this, it stains your reputation and the other 29 teams are going to know Preller can’t be trusted.

It’s going to be really hard for the Padres to get fair value in future trades.

This line in the USA Today story about Preller and the Padres says it best:

“It’s embarrassing enough for the Padres to miss the postseason for the 10th consecutive year, but to actually cheat, and still have a 62-84 record, is deplorable.”

Ouch … but so true … the team known as the “Miserable Failures” has quite a miserable person serving as general manager too.

Yeah, A.J. Preller definitely isn’t stellar.

The latest vacation home to San Diego was nicknamed #AllStarVacay the night before I departed and it sure became a fitting name.

San Diego was playing host to the baseball All-Star Game for the third time. I had attended the previous two but had no aspirations of being at Petco Park for the 2016 midsummer classic.

But a big sporting event in San Diego can’t go on without me inside the venue. I believe it is a rule if you are bored enough to sift through the City Charter.

Less than 48 hours before the start of the game, there was my mother on her computer buying two tickets.

One for her … one for me.

She requested I buy her a ballpark soda.

Yeah, no problem … might even twist my arm enough to get me to buy two … so yeah, thanks mom!

Being in attendance certainly became the highlight of the vacation. The American League won the game and Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer was the MVP. It was a terrific evening at the ballpark.

Oh yeah, can’t forget that the Padres were 0-9 against the San Francisco Giants this season before I arrived in town.

I show up to the ballpark and the fortunes reversed — the Padres beat Madison Bumgarner the first night I attended and won on a walk-off balk the next night.

There are many other highlights to share so now it’s time to get to the latest edition of vacation by tweets:

 

JULY 7

–Been so busy & never got around to naming this year’s vacation. Starts tomorrow. Let’s go with #AllStarVacay since a little game is in SD.

 

JULY 8

–Security checkpoint totally empty at #Boise airport. Sorry, not taking photos of TSA. #AllStarVacay

–Am I back on an #NFL beat? Flight delay … Will miss connection & sit in #Seattle airport for four-plus hours. Bad start to #AllStarVacay

–Wow, @AlaskaAir has rude baggage worker on tarmac at #SeaTac. Now I hang in airport for four hours due to missed connection. #AllStarVacay

–Have passed more people in #SeaTac over past hour than I have seen in #Boise all year long. Not Boise airport, but whole city. #AllStarVacay

–Not a single sighting of a #Mariners hat yet at this airport. Perhaps I’m in Tucson airport & not Tacoma. #AllStarVacay

–OK, old-school #Mariners T-shirt from Mark Langston era spotted. Or Alvin Davis if you prefer. #AllStarVacay

–Actually made it to #SanDiego … Doesn’t seem real … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 9

–Famous Belmont Park roller coaster. #AllStarVacay

–Sunset at Famous Mission Beach #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 10

–Apparently, I’m going to All-Star FanFest for free. And, um, to the All-Star Game for the price of a ballpark soda. #AllStarVacay

–A must visit on #AllStarVacay — my dad’s grave site.

–Delicious pizza at famous Mona Lisa … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 11

–Nutty woman yelling all kinds of stuff on trolley. Not sure what her deal is. Just yelled about sodomy with a child. #AllStarVacay

–At Fan Fest … Sure there will be some cool things to see #AllStarVacay

–Apparently I’m suiting up. Might be playing in the game. #AllStarVacay

–Hey, Jim Leyland & Tony La Russa. Should I ask for the microphone & throw out some steroid questions?

–Met another sports trophy. Not as famous as the Stanley Cup. #AllStarVacay

–Rollie Fingers & Gaylord Perry.

–Here is why #MLB teams can pay players $25 mil a year. Fans paying $40 for caps. #CanBeHadFor20BucksOnFriday

–Tim Raines … A couple baseball fans just said “Who?” #ummmmmm

–Wish I could unhear Berman saying “Let’s get ready to Trumbo.”

–Love all the replay shots where people sitting close at the #HomeRunDerby aren’t watching. One brunette seen texting multiple times. #Weak

–Pretty sure Pokemon Go is as dumb as The Macarena & as bad as the Philadelphia 76ers. And I won’t Google to see if I’m wrong. #PokemonGoAway

 

JULY 12

–On trolley. This #AllStarGame thing is really happening. For price of ballpark soda.

–Proof you can get into the #AllStarGame for the price of a ballpark soda!

–View from the outfield where Giancarlo Stanton was launching homers last night. #AllStarGame

–Joe Paterno lies! Duh. All college football & basketball coaches lie. And ADs. The hire the stakes, the greater the level of deception.

–My view at #AllStarGame#AllStarVacay

–Randy Jones still has better control than most current MLB pitchers. #AllStarVacay

–Looks like Miguel Cabrera was only person in ballpark not holding up a #StandUpForCancer sign. Not surprised. #AllStarVacay

–Fans in #SanDiego got really excited last inning because… They were doing The Wave … HELP … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 13

–Wow, really bad error by @USATODAYsports “Cubs All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant, who grew up in San Diego …” #RealAnswerIsLasVegas

–The highlight of every trip home — first In-N-Out burger of the year. #AllStarVacay

–Oh #Deflategate is back in the news? Sooo thankful to be on vacation & not having to waste carpal tunnel energy on that junk. #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 14

–Kept streak of not watching #ESPYs alive. So proud. Swimming in pool & watching The Lion King (Go Simba) with 9-year-old niece much better.

–No longer see #Chargers gear at the #Target in Murrieta. All #Rams now.

–If you start to become good & you’re on the #Padres, you must be traded. #MiserableFailures #PomeranzGiveaway

–Who the heck is Mike Pence? … Related to Hunter Pence? Bassist for SixPence None the Richer? Someone involved in SusPenseful marble games?

 

JULY 15

–If you fall off a cliff playing silly Pokemon Go, I sure hope you are wearing a helmet. Just sayin’.

–Glad to reveal I survived 70 miles of driving chaos on I-15. One woman cut me off & returned to her lane just in time to avoid contact.

–Hard to believe I used to drive in that junk daily. Don’t ever see real traffic where I live now. What they call traffic isn’t traffic.

–Got email from @SouthwestAir about $59 one-way #SanDiego sale. Um, this is like SIX one-ways. LOL Trip Total $344.45

@MrSportsBlog Hey, Mike. We fight tooth-and-nail to have the lowest fares. But due to demand, it can’t be every seat, every time.

Except it is every seat, every time NOT for sale from #SanDiego to #Boise. Every single flight. #NotFightingForBoise

#Deflategate is over? Like really over? Not pretend over? Not Brady faking us over? Like over over OVER? Now let’s end #PokemonGO

Live at #PetcoPark … Could see my third no-hitter … Madison Bumgarner vs #Padres … Aka #MiserableFailures

–Fan sitting next to my friend asked who is #Giants pitcher. My pal said Bumgarner. Fan asked “Is he good?” Ummmm, kinda sir. Kinda.

–Read the “Fun Fact” for Christian Bethancourt. Would rank as embarrassing fact for most MLB teams. #Padres

–Not making this up — Brandon Maurer is the #Padres closer. No grand entrance necessary.

–Yangervis Solarte dives into stands to catch foul pop. Ball had nacho cheese on it when he emerged. #Padres

#Padres win … 1-9 vs #Giants this season.

–This was awesome. Great play and even better emergence from stands. #ThirdBasemanInMyNachos

 

JULY 16

–@TerryBlas If you’re sick of hearing about Pokemon Go for the past week let me tell you what hearing about sports is like for the past three decades.

Wait? This person doesn’t like sports? Ummmmm.

–They somehow still let me on the #SanDiegoState campus. #SchoolLegend

–My college geology teacher used to insist “Earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings do.” I think he works for NRA. #ApplyNRALogicToAnything

–Back at Petco Park with the much-appreciated free tickets & preferred parking. Can #Padres beat #Giants again?

–Some guy named Schimpf owns Samardzija … SCHIMPF … Might have been found in a rec baseball league. #Padres #Giants

–Pitching isn’t working out for this Villanueva guy. Serving up BP homers. #Padres #Giants

–Buster Posey just homered in 10th & I realized I actually went to a game in #SanFrancisco tonight, not #SanDiego. #Padres #Giants

–Walk-off balk. Seen it all. #Padres beat #Giants again.

–Dang, my research displays #Dodgers won on walkoff balk just last season. Would’ve thought a longer span since it happened. #Padres #Giants

 

JULY 17

–Police killed in #BatonRouge? Night of Dallas shooting I saw dude on #CNN saying, “Why Dallas? Why not Baton Rouge?” Got your way, sir.

–Nearing the point where people in this country who want to live will never again go outside — except the folks playing #PokemonGO.

–Starting to sink in that #AllStarVacay ends tomorrow. Will miss highs of 72 & lows of 64 every day. Not ready to get back in mid-90s furnace.

–Not watching #Obama speech. More entertaining just to type in Obama in Twitter search & watch people go nutso in both directions. #FreeFun

–The #Padres have never thrown a no-hitter. Nobody anywhere wants that first guy to be Edwin Jackson. Nobody.

–Getting exercise at #LakeMurray. Gal just stopped a guy & asked if he was playing #Pokemon. She then told him where one is located. #Absurd

–Whoa! I just witnessed two people who didn’t know each other talking in SoCal. Used to go months without someone exchanging hellos. #Pokemon

–Dear Lake Murray, want to move to #Boise? The Idaho natives are threatened by Californians but they would like you.

–People at Lake Murray all have the Madison Bumgarner look going — lot of glares, no smiles or friendliness. #AllStarVacay

–OMG … Just passed a DAD & 20ish son & Dad said “Do you see that #Pokemon over there?” Both had faces in phones & we’re in sheer delight.

–3.51 miles of exercise at #LakeMurray … Matched a personal record with 0 hello exchanges. Exchanged eye contact with 1 person (20ish gal)

–Vacation ends tomorrow. Seems like it just started. Why does it have to go so quick? Then football starts & boom, year over. #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 18

–I hope I don’t accidentally find out what Kardashian/Kanye/Taylor Swift junk is about. Pretty sure I’d rather get run over by a bus Monday.

–Just saw this brouhaha about the Salt Lake soccer team & a columnist nobody outside of Utah knows. It reminds me M in #MLS stands for minor.

–Suitcase packed. #AllStarVacay nearly over. Going to be hard to leave the land of 72-high, 64-low every day for the #Boise furnace.

–@mshusa New post: “Astros hacker sentenced to 46 months in prison”

He got a much stiffer sentence than those female school teachers get for having sex with 14-year-old boys.

–Three people in front of me at TSA at SanDiego airport – repeat THREE – instead of the usual 300. This doesn’t even seem real. #AllStarVacay

–Hey, my flight isn’t going to depart on time. Knew there would be price to pay for there being only three people at TSA.

–Know I am back in #Boise. Copper Toyota LP 1A 7831G swerved to right four times in less than a mile on Chinden. Drunk, texting or #PokemonGo

This year’s edition of the San Diego Padres isn’t very good. No surprise there.

The only stunner is just how awful they are. They are a really, really poor baseball team.

But at least we now have a way to forever refer to them and we have Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler to thank.

These Padres are now known as the “Miserable Failures.” … #MiserableFailures if you are on social media. (Hey, even worked the term into Friday’s preview — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/mlb/event/2016/398628/preview/)

Fowler accurately described the team as miserable failures during his already infamous rant during a radio interview on Wednesday.

Fowler said the team’s 1-7 road trip was “pathetic” and “embarrassing” but nothing describes the state of the franchise better than the person signing the paychecks referring to the employees as “miserable failures.”

The Padres forgot that they are now the “Miserable Failures” for a 14-inning span as they drubbed the Seattle Mariners 14-6 on Wednesday and built a 12-2 lead after five innings on Thursday.

But yeah, nothing comfortable about a 10-run lead when ownership has let you know that you are pathetic. So the Miserable Failures collapsed like a teepee in a tornado and lost the contest 16-13.

The blown 10-run lead is the largest in Padres’ history. Also ranks as the biggest comeback victory in Mariners’ history.

Can’t wait to hear what Fowler says on the radio on Friday.

Fowler also went on about how “this baseball experience has been very frustrating, very embarrassing.”

Well, of course it has been. Fowler is one of those guys who has been part of the San Diego sports landscape simply because he is rich.

I first met him when he was chairman of the ballpark task force when the Padres were searching for a new home. He also was the host committee chairman for Super Bowl XXXVII.

There is nothing about his pedigree that suggests he should be running a major-league baseball team. Nothing.

And you can see that in what has gone on the past few years. The Padres, under current ownership, have no definitive plan.

Prior to the 2015 season, the club went on an absurd spending spree under new general manager A.J. Preller that seemed to fit some square pegs into round holes.

High-priced outfielder Justin Upton left as a free agent after the season and the club traded closer Craig Kimbrel for a bunch of minor leaguers one year after stealing him from the Atlanta Braves.

Still hanging out is outfielder Matt Kemp and overpaid starting pitcher James Shields. The latter serves no use for an organization as bad as this one.

Shields was pounded for 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings by Seattle on Tuesday, helping prompt Fowler’s rant.

Teams interested in trading for Shields laughed inside as Fowler reduced the pitcher’s trade value with his strong comments.

“To have a starter like Shields perform as poorly as he did yesterday is an embarrassment to the team, an embarrassment to him,” Fowler said Wednesday.

Fowler forgot to use the word miserable in his assessment of Shields.

After Thursday’s on-field meltdown, it might have been the right time for Fowler to try to equal the all-time famous rant of former owner Ray Kroc in 1974.

As the Padres were in the process of being outscored 25-2 while losing the first three games of the season, Kroc grabbed the public address system microphone and said in part “I’ve never seen such stupid ball-playing in my life.”

Those Padres were dreadful and were outscored 52-9 over their first six games. But they never were called “miserable failures.”

At least we now have a name to call the current dismal clowns on the club.

And think about it, Wednesday’s tirade was the first time overmatched Ron Fowler has assessed anything correctly during his woeful tenure.

“Miserable Failures” truly fits.

I often write between 20 to 25 sports stories a day and I never know what subject may arise.

It is an awesome deal when you think about it as my two favorite things in the world are sports and writing.

Oh, I forgot pizza.

Dang, you’d think I would get a pizza delivered while I’m writing about sports.

Anyway, I got asked to write about Matt Bush on Thursday and wasn’t that quite the unforeseen circumstance.

Bush was long ago designated the biggest draft bust in the history of the San Diego Padres and he took his buffoonery to an even higher level in 2012 when he went on a drinking binge in Florida and nearly killed a motorcyclist.

He went to jail for 3 1/2 years and we figured his whole sorry waste-of-talent chapter was over.

But here he is in the spring of 2016 attempting to make the Texas Rangers as a relief pitcher.

He got out of jail last October and could still fire a baseball 97 miles per hour so he received another “second chance.”

Bush, now 30, tossed two hitless innings in his first spring-training outing on Wednesday. Who knows whether he has forever overcome his demons or if another drinking binge lurks.

Regardless, selecting Bush No. 1 overall in 2004 will always rank as one of the dumbest decisions in Padres’ history. Taking the local boy over Jered Weaver, Justin Verlander and Stephen Drew seemed ridiculous then and still feels just as ridiculous now.

So if you’ve forgotten about Matt Bush and his struggles, here you go: A fresh off-the-presses account that took all of 30 minutes to write. Draft bust Matt Bush making a comeback

You know, because the next assignment was waiting.