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You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, nor should you judge a baseball team by its first series of the year.
The San Diego Padres started out 1-0 after a dramatic comeback win against the Dodgers. Over the next two games, Bud Black’s team has been outscored 8-3, losing both. After one series, the Padres are 1-2.
First, some perspective. Not only is it one series, and three games, but the Dodgers are the odds-on favorite to win the World Series this year. They have far and away the largest payroll in MLB this season ($235 million), significantly more than double what the Padres pay to field their team ($90 million). If San Diego wins one-third of all of its games against the World Series favorite and two-thirds of its games against everyone else, they’ll still win 91 games. It’s important to be mindful of whom you’re measuring yourself against.
Second, an excuse. I’m not going to whine about the (once again) lengthy list of Padres injuries to start the season, I’m just going to point it out as briefly as I can.
• San Diego is carrying three catchers because Yasmani Grandal should be the starter but the team doesn’t yet trust that he’s 100 percent healthy.
• Josh Johnson is on the disabled list, pushing everyone up in the rotation. Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross would be very good third and fourth starting pitchers, but they seem average or worse as second and third starters.
• Chase Headley, who missed a chunk of Spring Training with an injury, is hitting .083 with zero walks so far this year. Might be some rust there.
• Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin, the presumed starters in left field and center field, started the season injured (again).
It may not sound very exciting, but the beginning part of this season is very much about treading water. The goal will be to keep the team at or above .500 early, winning games against bad teams, so that they can hopefully get the guys listed above healthy enough to go on a late run that ends with the Padres at the top of the NL West. If those guys can’t get healthy, the backup plan is to ride the coattails of Seth Smith, who is currently on pace for 97 home runs this season.
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Will Faulconer Listen to the Chargers?
Newly elected Mayor Kevin Faulconer, has repeatedly said that the city wants to keep its NFL franchise. Hell, he even wants them to have the brand new stadium they’ve been trying to get for a decade. What he doesn’t want, though, is for taxpayers to foot the bill. Not even a little bit.
The good news is that Chargers’ “staff” and Faulconer’s staff have set a meeting to discuss a new stadium. That doesn’t necessarily mean the conversation will go anywhere, but it’s a baby step. The bad news, at least for the Chargers, is that Faulconer seems to understand how much money NFL teams make and doesn’t feel as though they should be gifted with a handout from taxpayers just to keep their football games nearby.
The next step will be “alternate plans” because, to this point, the team has shown an unwillingness to pay for the facility itself unless it gets back more than a brand news stadium (i.e. commercial/residential areas surrounding the stadium at bargain-basement prices).
A Quick Investigation
— Change the Padres (@ChangeThePadres) April 2, 2014
Here is David’s commentary and I believe this is the story he is referencing. That certainly is dressed up quite a bit. I’d say that there are enough similarities that the U-T writers could’ve been inspired by Marver’s VOSD piece, but the angle is just different enough that it can stand on its own.
Stories You May Have Missed
• The L.A. KISS, an indoor football team owned by the band KISS that plays in Anaheim’s Honda Center, has a pretty cool-looking playing field:
— David Schenker (@dhschenk) April 3, 2014
• Apparently, men are no longer allowed to take paternity leave. Well, they can, but they will be unceremoniously crucified for it.
• The Padres have a lot of new employees and a lot of new initiatives they’re rolling out this year. Some are great, and some are not. As right as Maffei might be about the Padres PA tryouts being a trainwreck (why didn’t they do this in Arizona during Spring Training?), you’ll want to note his blatant sexism right in the middle of that article. I bet he doesn’t believe in paternity leave either.
• Video of the Week: In case you haven’t yet seen it, the first-person video of the Navy’s Leap Frogs parachute team gliding into PETCO Park on Opening Night is spectacular.
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