Tag Archives: San Diego Padres

PREDICTIONS……DON’T EVEN BOTHER….

I’m bored already with the endless cascade of so called “predictions ” about the 2016 season even before Spring Training officially begins. Two days ago, for instance, the USA Today crowned the Nationals, Giants, and Boston among others as Division winners. The New York Mets don’t even make the cut for the playoffs.

All of what they predict may turn out to be true, but if we step back and remember that 162 games remain to be played , it does get kind of ridiculous…..no?

What is the use, for example, of predicting anything when injuries play as much a role in a team’s success as home runs and batting averages? And yet, we can expect a continuing barrage of these procrastinations from media who need to fill print and talk radio space…

But here are the questions they should  be asking…… And not answering…..

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THE THREE BIGGEST TEAM FLOPS THIS YEAR

So you think back to April when all the Hot Stove trades and free agent signings are over with and the season is young and fresh – and we looked to see where our favorite team was predicted by the “experts” to land in the Division Standings after 162 games……except one thing happened along the way……..they had to play those games. What was thought to be then isn’t now. Some would even argue the standings are upside down, except when you think about it they’re not. These teams deserve to be exactly where they are.

With virtually no argument expected, the Washington Nationals take the prize as the biggest flop of 2015. Just for example, name one playerimages-45 who has lived up to his expectations (and you can’t say Bryce Harper because he’s finally becoming everything they said he was supposed to be) this season. Matt Williams was an ill advised hiring and it’s surprising he’s even still there. Max Scherzer (right)……..where was he?….Look, every team like every player can have a “off year”…..but this was total demolition.  Put a team together guys……..have a plan…..

The next team on my list is the San Diego Padres, if only because of the big splash they made in the off season with a new GM and a cadre of “moves” images-57made virtually every week. Except for one thing again……it’s not the quantity of moves you make it’s the quality of those moves and how they fit into your overall strategy…..if you have one………Or are you just taking your six gun out into Dodge and firing everywhere? Matt Kemp (left) is a good example of where the wheels came off even before they knew it did. Matt Kemp has had trouble hitting home runs in Dodgers Stadium for five years and now you’re bringing him into cavernous Petco??? What were they thinking? Besides, he’s totally “L.A.” (see photo) 

My final team is more of a disappointment than a flop. And we all know the odd even thing going on here images-62and how this was mapped to be a “off year” for the Giants (as my friend Ronnie Redmond laments)…..and I get thatimages-53 but we are talking about a team with immense talent battling the “soft” and very beatable Dodgers……and they just evaporated into nothing in the final 40 games, and maybe even sooner. The loss of a very underrated Jeff Panik hurt…..same with Angel Pagan……but somebody’s gotta pick it up……..and nobody did. Kudos to “Bum” (upper left) and MVP Candidate Buster Posey (upper right) for doing all they could. Gotta strengthen that starting  pitching though for next year…….Cain (ouch – big money lost so far), Lincecum (make him a seventh/eighth inning man?), and Peavy (his last stop in a very pedestrian career)…..have to do better than that versus Kershaw/ Greinke……..

Next post……the three biggest Surprise Teams of 2015.

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Winners And Losers – One Third Thru The Season

At the one-third mark in the 2015 season, it’s a good time to take a look at the winners and losers weighing a team’s performance against the predictions made  during the Hot Stove winter league. Not surprisingly, there are more losers than winners….but we’ll start with the….

WINNERS 

HOUSTON ASTROS

 This team was on no one’s radar when the season began. 150px-Houston-Astros-Logo.svgTheir treasureload of young talent was supposed to be on the way and ready next year. The question is how far can their young pitching take them and how long can they continue to win games only when they hit two or more home runs. It’s a weak division so it’ll be fun to watch as the season plays out.

MINNESOTA TWINS

Like the Astros, they’ve come out of nowhere with a no name roster. The infusion of Tori Hunter1987-2009-Twins-primary-logo-150x150 in the lineup and more importantly the clubhouse cannot be overestimated. Mike Pelfrey may finally “get it” and looks more like pitcher instead of a thrower. Still, it’ll take a miracle to compete over a whole season with the Royals and Tigers.

NEW YORK METS:

They’ll need to stay healthy and get a big bat in return forimages-16 some of their pitching. Terry Collins is underrated as a manager and Sandy Alderson is overrated as a GM. The good news is that the Nationals can’t get out of their own way leaving the Mets a way to sneak in there if Matt Harvey can be Matt Harvey again.

NEW YORK YANKEES:

For a team that is expected to be in the playoffs every year, even the most diehard Yankee fans have to be heartened by the way this team is playing. images-13A-Rod and Tex are managing to carry a team that is woefully lacking in hitting, especially at the bottom of the lineup. Working for them is competing in the American League Least.  Tanaka and Pineda can take them a long way in the playoffs.

THE LOSERS

SAN DIEGO PADRES:

No team made a bigger splash than the Padres during the off season. Will Myers, Matt Kemp, James Shields………..images-14but here they are struggling even to get to .500. Fan excitement lasted about as long as a San Diego winter. They’ll make a run……..but it’ll be too little too late.

CLEVELAND INDIANS:

The Sports Illustrated curse seems to have affected images-20the the Indians  again. Picked to win the World Series no less……….they find themselves in the basement looking up at some very good teams. They still look good on paper but that’s the problem……it’s only paper.

WASHINGTON  NATIONALS  / DETROIT TIGERS

These two teams are lumped together as the biggest underachievers of the season

 

Both teams appear to be sleepwalking through a season that can easily get away from them.images-17 As Yogi Berra used to say “It’s getting late here early”. No doubt, they have All Star teams. And maybe that’s exactly what the problem is. They’re both playing a very dangerous game.

SEATTLE MARINERS:

A total embarrassment (except for the best pitcher in baseball).images-19 Robbie Cano non chalants his way through another season while  Justin Smoak continues to suck up $$ based on what he might do tomorrow.  And Lloyd McClendon is a powder keg on the brink of exploding. In a small market town the Seahawks own………why even bother?

MIAMI MARLINS:

Here’s another team playing well enough to lose. images-18Despite the influx of $$, the Marlins appear to be dysfunctional not only on the field but in the clubhouse as well. Maybe the  re infusion of their ace Fernandez will energize this team but again time is not on their side.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX:

Yet another team that captured the Hot Stove season…….but now…..nothing. images-11Win two lose two will not cut it in this division. What’s wrong….Chris Sale only pitches every fifth day. Plus…….there are too many teams ahead of them in a very crowded and competitive division.

DEAD ON ARRIVAL

BOSTON RED SOX

Big Papi often looks overmatched, Mike Napoli is usually overmatched,images-26 and Pablo Sandoval should be arrested for robbery.  It’s no accident this team has a firm hold on last place in a very winnable division.  Still, the $$ keeps pouring in at perennially sold out Fenway.

CINCINNATI REDS

With  three solid everyday players (Votto, Frazier, and Phillips), images-24 along with a menacing closer you have to wonder if there isn’t something  going on  in that clubhouse. They’re no match for the Cardinals and the Pirates and seem content to just play out the season.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

While the rest of baseball is whizzing by them, the Philliesimages-29 seem mired in limbo with their aging and highly paid stars.  Meanwhile, Cole Hamels languishes on the mound every fifth day as the front office dreams of landing a package of young talent before hell freezes over.

OAKLAND A’S

The Midas Touch of Billy Beane can now only be seen in Hollywood in the form of Brad Pitt. Oaklandimages-3 is not a major league city,  and neither is the team they run out there every night. Commissioner Manfred needs to step up and step in forcing the Giants to abandon their non existent fears and let this poor team move to San Jose.

RECAP

It ain’t over till it’s over………but for teams not taking games in April and May …and now June….seriously…….waiting for that magic moment when they catch fire and everyone around them freezes in time……it rarely works that way. But then again…….you never know…..remember the Royals last year ……