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The first full year of A.J. Preller’s tenure as San Diego Padres general manager has basically been a roller coaster of emotions. With Opening Day just days away, it’s interesting to see how the narrative about the club has changed so drastically from the year before.
Upon getting hired in August 2014, San Diego’s biggest need was pretty clear: breathing life into an anemic offense that ranked last in runs scored (535). In the boldest way imaginable, Preller completely transformed the lineup by acquiring players like Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Derek Norris and Wil Myers.
However, as we’ve seen in recent years, the winners of the offseason very rarely end up being winners of the World Series come October. That trend continued with the Padres, who missed the playoffs with a disappointing 74-88 record.
The goal of improving the offense was achieved (650 runs scored, 23rd-best in MLB), but not necessarily by leaps and bounds. The pitching and defense also suffered in the process.
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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Okay, the MLB has has had their fair share of characters and memories that illustrate how funny some things are. We all like to blow these up on social media circles.
In this article, I just wanted to share some of these occurrences I have found amusing – also some of things that have cracked up some of our writers at this website.
Of course, we also have Paul Sullivan (AKA Sully) who usually makes people laugh once a podcast because he is a former comedian.
Some of his things that make us laugh are: “Did you know that Mariano Rivera is retiring?” diatribes and explaining WAR to novice baseball people is also classic.
Sully likes to emphasize that he understands sabermetrics, but several other of our listeners have cracked up at his pronunciation of BABIP. Read the rest of this entry
Wedesday August 15th, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Music has one hit wonders, some have even made an entire career out of just one stretch of time where they were deemed relevant. Baseball is like everything else, they have had their fair share of players that fit this mold. In the next two weeks, we will take a look at hitters and pitchers that were really on fire for a stretch before they petered out just as fast. I harken back to the movie ‘Tin Cup” for this next saying, “Greatness Courts Failure.” The difference between the two in baseball is so miniscule. Unfortunately for every player that makes it to the show, hundreds never get their chance at all. I am sure if you ask each one of these players if they were happy at their time in the Major Leagues, they would tell you that they thought they did not perform to their full capability.
The players would think highly of the time they had their biggest successes and would wish they could have had more of the limelight for a prolonged stretch. The fans of baseball are left to form their own opinions on these individuals. Just like what happens in the world, there will be some fans who remember these guys fondly and others will turn the page on them, not thinking much at all. The split is usually right down the middle. The next five hitters are players that I remember making a big splash before bowing out just as quick as they came into prominence. I contemplated adding Sam Fuld to this list, however he has a chance to play in the Major Leagues for years to come, so it is too early to list him amongst these men. So at the very least, I will give him the video tribute down below before the page break. Fuld is a great inspiration and I look forward to writing about him in future articles. Also, other players I considered for this piece were Bob Hamelin and Rick Ankiel. I gave Ankiel a pass in both pitching and hitting because he was so unique to have done both. You can read a recent article I wrote about the man here . In the end, I did not think Bob Hamelin had a standout performance even as a rookie. He was lucky to have such a weak class of rookies to compete against in the year he won it.
Sunday May 6, 2012
The NY Mets Tribute to the Recent Passing of MCA from The Beastie Boys
Lori Martini(Baseball Writer and @lorimartini on Twitter)– We don’t always remember exactly when certain events have happened in our lives and at what ages, but baseball and music gives us a pretty good reference and timeline as to when certain occurrences took place. It’s no wonder music plays such an integral part in baseball and throughout sports. Being a songwriter myself and having been honored that Justin Turner chose my song “Believe” as his walk-up song all last summer, I can only hope some day more players will walk up to more songs that I continue to write. I remember Derek Bell walked up to “Big Pimpin’” by Jay-Z. I can automatically tell you that the song was released in 2000 and that is when Bell played for the Mets. In fact, I’m such a huge Mets fan that I don’t even have to look at the scoreboard or the plate- I’ll instantly know which player is up to bat or who came in for a pitching change just based on their music choice.
When I started my ballpark chasing in 2000, I followed the Mets to most of the stadiums. I would meet new friends on the road including one of my best friends, Gabriel Lee who not only shares the same birthday (month/day AND year), but he also has a passion for music and manages a band called Ceasefire in LA. I met Gabriel through Rachel (Roa) Apodaca who inadvertently met my friend Indira who I’ve know from Midwood High School and is a fellow lunatic Mets fan like myself in a baseball chat room. I’d go to games with friends and start singing the Mets walk-up songs when they were on the road. I had Rachel and her sister Kristen involved in the whole ordeal when my team was playing against theirs! Gabriel also had a friend, Ted who joined us at Mets vs. Dodger games in LA. Being that I was older I quickly noticed that Ted liked Rachel and I told her that. She didn’t believe me at first, but shortly after they started dating and now they’re married and have a daughter Brianna who is now as big a fan as us (and has a HUGE crush on Matt Kemp….ssshhh). Brianna met him so often that he knows who she is. She even plays softball and wants to be a catcher like Mike Piazza.