Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Cycle: A Mystical Unicorn Becomes Reality

I still can't believe it actually happened. Matt Kemp hit for the cycle last night. Excuse me while I pinch myself. Yep, that happened, the Padres FINALLY hit for the cycle. The cycle was just one of the mystical unicorns the Padres have chased their entire existence AND IT FINALLY APPEARED!! It wasn't just a mystical unicorn for the Padres, it was also one for Kemp himself. I saw a quote on twitter of Glenn Hoffman talking to Kemp, as he stood there on third, about it being the first cycle. Kemp thought Hoffman meant his first cycle. How adorable. I do kind of really love that his entire career as a Dodger he never hit for a cycle and his first season here, he checks it off his list like it was nothing. Of course some Padres fans choose to look at the "negative" side of this historical moment. Yes, Kemp had been a Dodger his entire career prior to joining the Padres but guess what, that blue that he's wearing now, not Dodgers blue. And the deep hatred we used to have towards him vanished when Preller traded for him. I don't care that he was a a Dodger in his past, he's a Padre now and that number of his NEEDS to be retired. When you're the first to do something in a teams history, you deserve to be immortalized on top of the batters eye.

As a Padres fan, I was doubtful that we'd get the cycle last night. We have been so close so many times. We even had multiple players earlier this season in one game who were both one hit away. As I'm sure you have heard, the triple is often the most difficult hit to get. So many things had to go right for Kemp to get the triple to solidify his place in Padres history. And as one who likes to play into superstitions, I was beyond annoyed at how many times I heard or read that he was one hit away during the game. I transformed into the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil monkeys and pretended like no one was talking about it. I like to believe that me pretending like people weren't talking about it is why it happened. Don't shit on my parade if you don't believe in superstitions or that my pretending it wasn't being talked about is why it happened. Just keep your mouths shut and enjoy the history that was made.

In freaky coincidence news, I got these fun facts off the Twitter last night, if you add up 7444 (the number of games it took to get a cycle) and break up the numbers in the date (8-14-15) individually, they both equal 19. How freaky and awesome is that?! Tony might not be alive anymore but he sure as hell is still with us. For all we know, maybe he went all Angels in the Outfield on us last night and that's why Kemp got the cycle.

Long story short, retire Kemp's number, build him a statue, rename the stadium after him. I don't care what you do, just immortalize that moment somehow. Also, pretty sure Preller deserves something too for pulling off the trade that allowed this happen. Best GM EVER.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius... I Mean A.J. Preller

I said it on twitter the other day and I'll say it again here, if Preller got to have a walk-up song I'd want it to be the Pinky and the Brain theme song. That man is doing his best to take over the baseball world and he's doing it all with us. Thanks to him, I have never been more in love with this team than I am right now and we've only completed game two less than an hour from the time I began writing this.

There is so much excitement with these games that I feel like I have ADHD. I can't sit still. I find myself sitting at the edge of my seat bouncing up and down with every hit we get and everyone we take away. It feels beyond amazing to have legitimate talent on this team and I don't mean only one or two good pitchers either. I mean All-Star caliber talent at multiple positions. Award winning talent. Talent the Padres haven't seen in years. The last time I remember even being close to this level of excitement, I was 10 and was surprised with a championship shirt on my way to gymnastics. Even at that it was a different kind of excitement. The Padres were already World Series bound at that point and I was a dumb 10 year old who didn't know half as much about baseball as I do now. Now, I'm so excited for every at bat. Well, almost every at bat. The 2014 part of the lineup kind of lowers my excitement levels. It feels like a sugar high and then the resulting crash. But holy hell, this team now, excuse me while I turn into a basic bitch, I can't even. This time around the excitement is a childlike excitement mixed with adult level knowledge. At one point, right before Kimbrel came in, I was channeling the little girl from Despicable Me.

Tonight's game just proved to me that I will be the most irresponsible parent because I will be letting my future kids stay up to watch games and if they have already gone to bed and the game gets good I will pull an Alan Matthews. If you didn't get the reference go to the 4:30 mark to see what I'm talking about. Homeschooling will need to be done. I have never once thought of homeschooling but if the Padres become one of those teams who compete on a regular basis, I'll do it. My future kids will just have to make friends at little league or Padres games. I mean seriously, who wants to have friends who don't like baseball anyway?!

The fact that there's this much excitement on game 2 out of 162 would be unthinkable in the past but AJ Preller is a God send. I like to think that this is Tony Gwynn's doing. He's definitely look out for us.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Final Farewell to Tony Gwynn

I'm going to keep this short. I had been looking forward to this night since it was first announced. I couldn't wait to get down to the stadium and see the statue and celebrate the legend that is Tony Gwynn. In all of the chaos of trying to get a seat I forgot all about wanting to go to the statue. As my mom and I found seats I was desperately trying to hear the music that was being played over the PA. I questioned a few song choices as I sat there trying not to start crying. I mean, I was there two hours before the memorial even started and already fighting back tears. I found it odd that the Padres chose to use John Legend's All of Me which is very clearly a love song to his wife. Obviously they used it for the "All of me loves all of you" line but I still found it odd. The Padres ended the pre-ceremony with what is possibly the best song that I could think of to play at that moment, Jamie Foxx's Wish You Were Here. Every time I hear that song I choke up. Tonight, I lost it. Not just because of the song but because Tony's family was walking to their seats during it. You can't do this to me, Padres!

As Ted Leitner took the stage to begin the memorial he looked as if he was seconds away from bursting into tears which then caused me to be seconds away from bursting into tears. I can't believe how a man I've never met and never thought had much of an impact on me actually did. It was so nice to hear fun little stories of Tony and have video clips of his laugh and smile. There's only one thing I would have changed about the night. I would have loved to have more of his teammates there telling some behind the scenes stories and some from the family as well. Thanks to the lack of teammate and family stories I was able to hold it together through most of the ceremony until Trevor and Tony's daughter spoke. It was amazing to see how many fans were there showing their love for Tony and his family. The "Tony" chant was incredible to hear. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't participate because every time it started up, so did my tears. I couldn't speak and when I tried, nothing more than a whisper came out. It was one of the weirdest feelings being at Petco for something other than a baseball game. There was an odd sort of calm to it, letting us know everything is okay. Even though there was that calm it still didn't feel like Tony was gone. In fact I kept expecting him to take the stage. I don't know when or if it will ever hit me that we lost him but I was hoping it would have been tonight. I don't know if my body can continue to produce anymore tears.

Tony, you are missed and greatly loved by this entire city and there is no doubt every Padres fan will continue to share your legacy. Now you are truly a baseball god.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Saying Goodbye to a Legend

I told myself that I wasn't going to do this because I don't have any fun memories or stories to tell of Tony Gwynn and I couldn't stop crying long enough to form coherent thoughts but here I am just after midnight writing this. Just a few days ago I put away all of my Padres blueprints, magazines, calendars, etc. except for one, my 1999-2000 Padres calendar with Tony Gwynn's 3,000th hit as the centerfold. There was no rhyme or reason for me to have left that out. I simply forgot I had it. After hearing about Tony's passing I realized it was still hanging up on my wall, 14 years later. I guess I wasn't meant to put that away just yet.

As far as I'm concerned we lost the most loved and respected player by every fan base. Cancer clearly didn't get my memo that Mr. Padre was not allowed to die. I can not think of one player who was genuinely loved and respected nearly as much as Tony was. If you got to witness him play and he wasn't one of your favorite players, I seriously question your baseball fandom. It goes without saying that he was and always will be a Padres fans favorite if not all time favorite. Even though I was little for the chunk of his career that I was alive to see I never fully understood the greatness that was him until now. Yes, I cheered for him and everything but what I failed to understand was the impact he would have on so many people. I liked him as a Padre and wanted to be his friend. He seemed like such a down to earth guy and someone who would be so fun to be around yet I never thought or really cared to go to his number retirement ceremony. I just didn't feel like it was something for me since I was getting myself fully back into baseball around that time. I felt like that ceremony was for people who truly appreciated him more than I ever could. I feel the same way now as I debate whether or not I should drive down to Petco and pay my respects. Part of me wants to go down since I've been crying so much throughout the day that you would think I knew him personally but the other part of me wants to let those same people who appreciated him more than I ever could, have their time there.

I found out the news the moment I woke up. I had a tweet from a Giants fan I know sending his condolences for Tony's passing. My heart sank. I didn't and still don't want to believe it's true. Even though I'm having a difficult time accepting this I wasn't shocked. We all knew he hadn't been doing well lately and everyone had been sending thoughts and prayers for his recovery. Every time his name got brought up in a broadcast Mark Grant would never fail to let him know they were thinking of him. Twitter didn't let him down today. As I said, I've cried a lot today and social media is to blame. Seeing all the status updates and tweets about him from everybody across the country made me fully understand his impact on everyone. Some were saying their favorite baseball moments and others were sharing about the time they met him. I never had the opportunity to meet him and it kills me to know there are people who have met him and couldn't care less that they did. So to everyone who met him, I hope you truly appreciated what an amazing baseball player and man he was because there are people, like me, who would do anything to have that chance that you took for granted.

I remember wanting to go to Aztecs games in hopes of getting to meet him. In 2011 I finally went to a game but to my disappointment he wasn't there. If I remember correctly he was recovering from surgery and I was extremely bummed to miss out on seeing him live and in person without being forever away in the stands at The Q. I also remember how excited I would be when I'd be at a game and I'd look over into the broadcast booth and see him in there. The funny thing is, I'd also get really sad that I'm not at home getting to hear him. Even though the Padres have been struggling these past years, to put it nicely, having Tony randomly in the booth made watching games so much better. I could listen to him talk forever. There was just something about him that was so mesmerizing and that smile. I am so thankful and incredibly creeped out that Tony Gwynn Jr. sounds and looks just like him. That should make things a little easier for Padres fans.

While waiting for the tribute I couldn't help but wonder how the Padres or MLB in general plan to honor Tony now. I mean that man already had everything you could think of to honor him. In the Hall of Fame, check. Street named after him, check. Retired number, check. Stadium named after him, check. A statue, check. What else is left for them to do?? Considering the magnitude of each honor he has received, a patch or that black bar they had tonight doesn't seem like enough. Nothing seems like enough.

I know I said I didn't have a fun story or memories of Tony but I do remember my dad telling me how Coach Smelko, Monte Vista's baseball coach in the 90's, knew Tony from their SDSU days and how Tony would sign a bunch of stuff to sell in order to help the team raise money. Now, I don't know how much truth there is to that story but that just seems so awesomely odd to me. Not the fact that Tony did that but the fact that it was for my brothers and eventually my high school.

I know this is all over the place but I tried to get it to flow as much as possible. So let me end this before I make a mess out of it...

To say that Tony will be missed has to be the understatement of the millennium. I think when he died a tiny piece of all of us died with him. San Diego and the Padres will never be the same. I can't even begin to imagine how his family feels if we as fans are feeling this bad. I hope in whatever way the Padres and MLB do to honor him they do it in a way that will set a precedent for honoring future legends. Actually, no, I hope they do it in a way that will never be topped. With that said, I hope you rest in peace, Tony. We miss you already. Just know that you will forever be loved and cherished and your memory will be passed on for generations to come.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Real VS Fake; What Makes You a Real Fan??

Recently, I was told to "stop pretending to be a fan". You can call this part of the post a subtweet or sub-blog, whatever. Joking or not, it pissed me off. Baseball is one of the few things I am truly passionate about. I get offended and take it personally when someone doesn't like baseball. So to basically tell me I'm not a real fan because I criticized a player's performance at a moment in time where he was doing poorly, really pissed me off. I am not an idiot. I know my baseball. I've been going to games since I was in diapers, literally. I know which players are the best on the team and which are the worst on the team. If a player is having a bad game I'm not going to sit there and pretend that everything is alright and praise him because he's usually on point. So unless you really want to piss me off, do not call me a pretend fan. Between that, seeing other "arguments" on twitter about this, and the start of a new season less than 24 hours away, I thought his would be a good time to go over what does or doesn't make you a real fan. So let's get into it!!

  • Does going to every game make you a real fan??

    You'd think the obvious answer would be yes. However, if you're on your phone the majority of the game, I'm going to go with no. I don't care that you are in attendance if you're not focused on the game. Seriously, what's the point of being there if you're not going to pay attention?! I hope you get hit with a foul ball.

  • Does criticizing a player make you a fake fan??

    No. In my opinion, as this entire blog is, I don't believe criticizing a player's performance makes you a fake fan. If anything, I believe it makes you a real fan because you refuse to settle for a shitty performance. Obviously players are going to have their bad days but a bad day could just as easily turn into a couple bad days, then a bad week, and then a full blown slump. Are we supposed to smile and act like everything is okay when this happens?? Hell no. We will be frustrated that we aren't getting the production we want from the player but that doesn't mean we're fake fans. The players for damn sure aren't sitting there thinking "Oh well. I had a bad day, I'm one of the best players though so everything is fine.". You know the players are going over film to see why they had the game they had so they can try and prevent another day like that. So why should we act like everything is fine?!

  • Are you a fake fan if you sit at home and watch the games instead of going to Petco??

    Hell no. Obviously not everyone has the means to go to Petco and cheer on the team during the season much less everyday but that doesn't mean you're not a real fan. Now if you're not paying attention to the game, well then, I don't know why you'd even have it on. Just go ahead and put the Kardashian's on and live your sad misguided life.

  • Does taking the day off work to watch every Opening Day game make you a real fan??

    I'm going to give this a hell yeah!! And I'm not just saying that because that's exactly what my brother is doing. That is some serious dedication. I have most definitely spent entire days watching any and every baseball game whether it was Opening Day or not. When the season starts, I don't care who I'm watching, I'm just glad there is 4860 games for me to try and watch... not counting the College World Series games.

  • Does going to Spring Training make you a real fan??

    Now, that one can go either way. Girls going to Spring Training can be real fans but let's not kid ourselves, A LOT are cleat chasers. And like I heard last night when a chick showed up to the game in heels "she's looking for her future husband". Now that doesn't mean that if you are hoping to get a player that you're not a real fan but it sure doesn't make you look any better. But seriously, what girl. that is a real fan, wouldn't love to have a player to come home to and share that experience with. Though that can border on creepy. Some guys going to Spring Training are most definitely real fans. Others, are fans of collecting and selling autographs. I suppose girls can do the same but I've never seen a girl having a ton of things for a player to sign. 

  • Does traveling to see the team make you a real fan??

    I'd have to go ahead and say yes BUT there are some Spring Training crossovers. If you're a chick that's traveling to see the team, I'm going to assume you're either a real fan, a dedicated or insecure wife/fiance/girlfriend or are working on becoming a professional cleat chaser. If you're a guy traveling, I'm going to assume the majority are real fans and not autograph seekers.

And the final question,

  • If you don't go to Opening Day are you a fake fan??

    So this is basically the same question as the "staying home" one and the "going to every game one" but Opening Day is a much bigger deal.... It's like Christmas, only better. Not going to Opening Day doesn't change your fan status. You're not a better fan than someone else if you're there. Again, not everyone has the means to do so. Besides some people prefer to watch all the festivities from the comfort of their own couch and not have to put up with Dodgers fans. Believe me, that is a perk of it's own. 

I'm sure there are plenty of other questions that I can throw in here but my brain is fried... as if you couldn't tell by the lack of profanity. Now that I've said my peace, let's all enjoy Opening Night tomorrow and pray that we beat Satan's Spawn.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dear Padres, Your Social Media Suc.... OH, DEAR GOD, NO!!!

Dear Padres,

I'd like to inform you that you kind of really suck at social media and informing fans in general. I know you're trying by having social media nights and integrating twitter into the broadcasts but it's all very lackluster to me. Now I follow a few other baseball accounts on both Twitter and Instagram and well they are so much better at this than you are. I can go days without catching a tweet from you but can go only a few hours without catching a tweet from say the Indians or Reds or someone working for those teams. I don't know if you're just a bunch of old guys who don't understand the concept of social media but are trying to be cool or  if you're playing up the whole San Diegan laid back vibe or what the deal is but I could totally do this for you. I'll even watch my potty mouth and save it for my personal account.

Now, that I've made you aware of your social media activity or lack thereof, fanfest. Fanfest is this Saturday and as of last night we still have no idea what players will be there to sign autographs, do the forums or clinics or anything like that. How are we as fans supposed to decide if we want to go if we don't even know if our favorite players will be there?! Also, it's kind of a clusterfuck. I haven't gone the last two years for various reasons. One of those reasons being the whole clusterfucky thing. I feel like it could definitely be organized better. You want to take a picture with your friends in the dugout?? Good luck finding the space to do it. You're wearing sandals on the field, like a normal San Diegan, and want to make your way to the grass so people will stop kicking dirt up on your feet?? HA, not happening. Obviously, people are going to be in your way no matter if you're at fanfest or anywhere with a crowd. The only difference is, fanfest is an independent variable. Also, the "tour" thing is hardly a tour. I'm 99% sure the definition of a tourist is someone who stops and takes pictures like they've never encountered something before. Yeah, you totally can't do that during the "tour". The first and only time I took the tour, I was excited to see/imagine what goes on underneath our seats at every given moment while at Petco. Instead, we had a quick walk-through and if you did try to take a picture, there was a good chance it was going to come out blurry and you weren't going to have time to retake it.

Breaking News!! 
As was reported on twitter, my poor Luebke is heading to a second Tommy John surgery. We all know how I feel about the training staff and how I feel about Luebke. So clearly, I should have been the one rehabbing him and this wouldn't have happened. Luckily for Cory, he signed an extension before his elbow died but that only keeps him here until 2015 with options for 2016 and 2017. I hope to God that this second surgery will take and he will come back like Henry Rowengartner. Except ya know, the elbow instead of the shoulder.

Between knowing how athletes are and knowing a little something myself about rehabbing from surgery, not TJ but a surgery nonetheless, I personally feel like Cory's rehab was started before his elbow was ready. And I believe that was made apparent by his first setback and numerous ones after. I've probably tweeted it before especially after his first setback so I won't get into it here. Obviously, now with a second surgery looming, I really believe that. We know athletes are stubborn and hate being away from their sport and to be out for so long with an injury is devastating. No doubt Cory and the Padres wanted him to rehab as soon as possible but sometimes, after you think you're ready to begin your rehab assignment, you have to wait a little longer. In my experience, it took me, I want to say, 7?? years before I was ready to get back into gymnastics after surgery. Clearly, it's going to depend on the individual person, how fast their body heals and whether or not they are mentally prepared for the pain to come. Granted my surgery was a much bigger surgery than Tommy John and dealt with a significantly larger portion of the body than an elbow.

I'm not going to be completely unreasonable and think it's solely the training staffs fault. There is the chance that Cory had the unfortunate luck to be in the 10-ish% who's surgery isn't successful. Given all the injuries the Padres have had the last few seasons I do lean more towards the training staff but again, I'm not completely unreasonable and do understand that Cory could have just been unlucky. It's all just speculation.

Now to get back to my letter to the Padres...

There are obviously opportunities where you can go and have a real tour of the entire stadium but to announce a quick walk-through as a tour is just rude. As far as the autographs portion of fanfest goes, unless you are fortunate enough to have season tickets to get in super early or sign up to get in early, you're most likely not going to get autographs from the players you want. At least that's how it was when I went. The whole set times thing is both good and bad. Not every person that goes to fanfest is going to want to spend the entire day downtown waiting for their allotted time to get a players autograph, especially if it's not the player they were hoping to see. Plus there's that whole having a life outside of baseball thing. Then there are some who collect autographs and want everyone's but you were only allowed to get one voucher, or so I remember. Personally autographs are weird and I'd rather have a picture with the player but still. You have to hope you get there in time to get your favorite. The set times are a great attempt at organization but seem to have more flaws for fans. I have yet to decide whether or not I want to go to fanfest. I will probably decide not to go and then see everyone's tweets and regret that decision until I finally remember how clusterfucky my last experience was.

I'm not offering myself to help with fanfest like I did with the social media aspect because that is just too much. With all this said, I miss you so very much and don't want to wait any longer for the season to start. I love you with all of my little baseball heart and wish the best for you so please try to be better at these things so I can love you with all of my little baseball soul too.


I fully do not expect the Padres to actually see this. I was bored and this is the idea that popped into my head for a new blog post. If by some freak chance someone within the Padres does see this, yes I am serious about all of this. Maybe not so much the taking over their social media accounts part though. Then again it might be fun.

Ramblings of an Inconsistent Blogger

You all know that when I write, it's usually within a day or two of whatever's happening but I wrote this in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago and hadn't felt like reading it while being fully awake until now. Well, fully awake might be an understatement right now but I'm definitely more awake than I was when I wrote this. So here we go...

The Padres have been making some notable, for them, moves this off-season but none notable enough for me to really care about. I honestly couldn't tell you any of the moves we have made with the exception of the Logan Forsythe trade and even at that, I could only say it was a 5 for 2 kind of deal. The Padres of course being on the generous side and sending the 5 players to Tampa for 2. Now, I haven't looked up the stats on the guys we received because I don't even know their names but I do know both are pitchers (hooray!!) and one is a minor leaguer. Along with Logan, we sent Boxberger. Who as you remember was acquired in the Latos trade (that I still hate), leaving us with a broken catcher and an average 1B. Alonso is slowly growing on me but sometimes I swear I can play a better 1B than he can. Anyway, I don't remember who the other 3 players we sent are so, oops. I'm not saying this is a bad trade but it continues to make me questions the Padres trading abilities. Obviously they sign/trade for players under an assumption that they will remain healthy and or that their minor league numbers will translate into big league production and it will all work out but the Padres have some of the worst luck with this. I like that we are attempting to make moves, I just wish luck was on our side and that for once we wouldn't get the shitty end of the stick. I'm tired of being a sad Padres fan. Oh yeah, there was also the whole keeping Chase for another season thing. That was not my favorite move.

In other baseball news, my all time favorite baseball player not named Ken Caminiti is no longer dead. I'm pleased and saddened to announce that Grady Sizemore signed with the Boston Red Sox but you guys already knew that. If you recall, my second post ever on here was about why I thought the Padres should sign him. If you don't  recall you can find it here. There were talks that Grady was going to sign with the Reds and that pleased my little baseball heart. If he wasn't going to return to the Indians or sign with the Padres, at least he was going to be with a team that comes to Petco every season and at the very least is in the same vicinity as the Padres spring training facility. And then my little baseball heart was crushed when I saw the news that he signed a deal with the Red Sox. The Red Sox are one of my least favorite teams and I have no explanation for this but they are. To find out one of my all time favorite players signed with them almost made me want to cry. I even questioned whether or not crying was acceptable and then I remembered "there's no crying in baseball" and went on with my day.

As I mentioned in the attached post, Grady when healthy is beyond amazing. His accomplishments speak for him. However, as was mentioned, he is injury plagued. That mans love and passion for the game is stronger than his body. I had a brief conversation about Grady on twitter and said that I would trade Cam for Grady any day. Don't get me wrong, I like Cam but both are useless when playing through an injury but Grady when healthy, there are no words. Grady can get it. Now if Cam can stay healthy I'd be thrilled, still would prefer Grady but I'd be happy to settle for Cam. In a perfect world, the final sentence in my response to a comment would happen... "put a healthy Grady with Cam and we might not even need a third outfielder." Obviously, we'd need a third outfielder but with how much ground each man can cover when healthy, the third outfielder would more or less be backup in case the ball for some unknown reason gets by Cam and or Grady. At least that's how my mind is choosing to play out this scenario. Best of luck to Grady and fingers crossed he stays healthy.