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Running a baseball club isn’t as easy as it looks, but it’s not brain surgery either. Memo to Kevin Towers and the Padres brain trust. Earth to Kevin Towers and the Padres brain trust. Come in Kevin Towers and the Padres brain trust. Kevin Kouzmanoff needs a trip to Portland, and he needs it now.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’d been thinking about using the “Kouzmanoff line” line for a few days, but hadn’t decided whether or not I wanted to go there. In the meantime, ESPN.com‘s David Schoenfield had no such qualms, and the result is “The Kouzmanoff Line,” posted Tuesday. Ouch. No more insulting a labeling exists in baseball.

It’s a cute little piece by Schoenfield, but he whiffs with this suggestion: “Here’s the thing about Kouzmanoff: he can hit.”

Actually, no, he can’t. Not at the major league level. The first career at bat grand slam notwithstanding, Kouzmanoff has shown absolutely zero ability to hit in San Diego, or anywhere else he’s played since Opening Day. He might be a stud slugger after just a brief stint in the minors, or he might never see the light of day again in his career. While somewhere in between is likely, either is possible.

The sooner Kouzmanoff gets started on righting his approach to hitting the better. It’s not purgatory, OK; it’s just Portland. The rain in May isn’t that bad, and umbrellas are sold all over the bleeping place. Just pack the necessities, and don’t bother to get to the airport early. I’m sure security will be more than accommodating.

— HOWARD COLE

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