Monday, February 28, 2005

Padres GM knew Caminiti on Steroids

NBCSports.com is reporting on the Towers/Caminiti story.

- San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers said he knew late star Ken Caminiti was using steroids but kept quiet about it because the team was doing well at the box office partly because of Caminiti's hitting, ESPN reported.

- Click on the title link to view entire article

Did Tower's know about Cami's Steroid Use?

Nothing substantial to report here but as I was treading along on the treadmill this morning I read a story on tv (you know, the little captions scrolling across the bottom with a slew of mispellings) being reported on ESPN that is due out in this weeks ESPN Magazine.

Apparently Kevin Tower's is going on record as saying he feels he may have known about Ken Caminiti's steroid use when he was with the Padres. He'll be the first GM to come forward on the subject.

Stay tuned...I'll try and dig up some more info on this between meetings throughout the day. I hate when my job gets in the way of the real important stuff!

UPDATE - Seems PFS76 are on top of this story as well...check there post for some additional info.

Peavy through 2009 for $15 Million!

Done deal! This is GREAT news for Padres fans. Click on the title link to view Tom Krasovic's article in today's UT.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Padres scouring the globe for talent (UT)

"Padres!...Australian for Baseball." Sound interesting? If the Padre's current scouting philosophies pan out the way their hoping, Australia and Mexico may be the future of San Diego Padres baseball.

- Click on the title link to view Krasovic's entire article in today's UT.

Greene glad he's no longer a rookie (AP)

Throughout his first full season in the major leagues, San Diego Padres shortstop Khalil Greene was singled out for his defensive wizardry, preternatural calm and, by years end, his hot bat.

All along, though, he couldn't wait for the day when he was no longer a rookie.

"I felt there was a certain stigma attached to being a rookie," Greene said recently at spring training. "You're separated from everybody else, and it was my intent originally to try to feel like everybody else and fit in on the field, off the field. The constant questions about being a first-year player always seemed to arise, and it separates you that much more, like you haven't arrived.

"So I feel now that I'm just like everybody else and there's no questions about whether I'm the best first-year player. I'm just a good player."

That's as good an explanation as any for why Greene went out of his way to distance himself from the buzz surrounding the NL Rookie of the Year race in 2004. After being billed as the early favorite, he finished second to Pittsburgh outfielder Jason Bay, a former Padres farmhand who roomed with Greene when both played for Triple-A Portland.

When the award was announced last November, Greene said he was glad Bay won.

The past few months have done nothing to change his mind.

"I wasn't too concerned about it then and I'm less concerned about it now," he said. "Its my second year, so there are no sophomore-year trophies out there to win."

Bay won the award after hitting 26 homers and driving in 82 runs in only 411 at-bats.

Greene's coaches and teammates, however, believe they know who was more valuable. Greene, a 2002 first-round pick from Clemson, couldn't match Bays offensive numbers - he hit .273 with 15 home runs and 65 RBIs - but his glovework made the highlight reels almost nightly and his remarkably even-keeled demeanor was a positive clubhouse influence.

"I think he took everybody by surprise," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We knew Khalil was talented, but I dont think anybody knew he was going to have that kind of year."

Plus, Greene heated up as the weather cooled. Far from smacking into the so-called rookie wall, Greene was at his best when the Padres were locked in a late-season pennant race. In August, he batted .311 with five homers and 16 RBIs. In mid-September, he homered four times during a three-game series against Colorado at Coors Field.

"I just think it was his work ethic, his conditioning," Bochy said. "He just takes such good care of himself. Its a tribute to how consistent his is with his routine. He never appeared fatigued."

All the conditioning in the world, though, couldn't prevent the fluke play that ended Greene's season. On Sept. 13 in Los Angeles, he broke his right index finger while trying to field a hard grounder off the bat of the Dodgers Antonio Perez, limiting him to pinch-running duty for the final three weeks.

"It was somewhat disappointing in the way it happened, the fact that we were still in the playoff race and I felt like I was starting to play better than I had up until that point offensively," Greene said. "But I was never bitter about it or anything. That's part of the game."

Greene is now preparing for a season in which he will hit two spots higher in the lineup, jumping from eighth to sixth, and in which his starters role is unchallenged.

Last spring, the Padres brought veteran shortstop Rey Ordonez to Arizona to compete with Greene and provide a fallback in case he wasn't ready to handle everyday duty. A few weeks into camp, Ordonez walked out, reportedly because he saw the writing on the wall.

"Regardless of whether I'm battling for a starting spot, there are a lot of things I want to do and get better at," Greene said. "Honestly, I'm not looking at this year any different than I did last year or the year before."

Spoken like a true non-rookie.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

PADRES PRESS ORIGINAL - Winners? Or Whiners in '05

Tom Krasovic's article in today's UT entitled "Bochy wants to nip whining in the bud", focuses mostly on Bochy's first pep talk with players yesterday. Reading the article I soon realized it had sparked a nerve in me left over from last season...and in this case, I'm not using that term lightly.

With Petco Park's inaugural season in the books, Bochy is hoping last year's whining has followed suit. All the hoopla surrounding the park and it's inherent difficulty to lift the ball over the fence, it seems this has become the "corporate answer" regarding the lack of production from our sluggers last year. Friar frankly, I think that's a load of crap. Once Nevin snapped back into "Nevin" form he began stroking the ball out of Petco. Even Giles managed to find his stroke at home considering his lackluster season. And Klesko was coming off shoulder surgery and was noticibly a more slimmed down, leaner version of Ryan Klesko than we're used to seeing. (Hmmm?)

I think these guys managed to cause their own issues by their constant whining throughout the season regarding Petco's generous dimensions. In my humble opinion they got into their own heads by making excuses why they weren't performing as expected, as evident in this comment by Ryan Klesko, "They paid a lot of money for me and Giles and Nevin to come in here and drive the long ball, and to build something like that is their own fault," Klesko said on his first day at camp. "They can't blame us." Are you kidding me Ryan? That's just the sort of excuse I'd expect from Chris Schaefer, another classic whiner. Don't know who Chris Schaefer is? I'm sorry, he was a team mate of mine in HIGH SCHOOL! Get my point? These guys are professional baseball players and should be able to make adjustments, which they did towards the end of the season last year once they saw visions of a pennant in site. I hope they pick up this season on that same positive note. If they don't, Giles and Klesko will surely become the first Petco casualties certain to be replaced by a couple of right-handed sluggers more suited for the "unfriendly" confines of Petco Park.

The Padres should take advantage of their new ballpark and play good, sound, fundamental baseball. Now, I realize that may sound a bit out-dated in this "steroid era" we find ourselves in but, how refreshing would it be to see a team play good baseball? The Padres have a great opportunity here to make a splash. A "small market" team makes good in their new home. A true home field advantage. Drive the deep gaps, steal bases, execute sacrifices EVERY time, pitch light's-out, and now and again drive a perfectly timed ball off the top of the Western Metals Building.

So, what's it going to be guys? Winners? Or whiners in '05? It's your division to lose this year.

Peavy through 2008!

This morning Tom Krasovic is reporting in his "A Day in Camp" piece that Tower's will have a deal signed with Jake Peavy by Tuesday to keep him in a Padre uniform through the 2008 season. Seeing this news this morning has made my weekend. Now I have to go make waffles for my...oh, excuse me...make that, cinnamon waffles...for my feisty 3 year old daughter who's currently tugging at my jammies.

Here's the Krasovic piece:

Peavy's payday: General Manager Kevin Towers said he's excited the Padres likely will avoid the arbitration process with pitcher Jake Peavy by signing him to a guarantee through 2008. Towers said it's likely that he and Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, will reach an accord by Tuesday. "You want to avoid arbitration, especially with a class individual like Jake," said Towers, adding that he would dread "going into an arbitration setting and having to dredge up something negative on the kid." Towers also said it could have been a difficult arbitration case if Peavy had another strong season and then had the option of pursuing arbitration to set his 2006 salary.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Tower's Neck out there for Robert's

(UT/Krasovic) PEORIA, Ariz. – As he watched speedy newcomer Dave Roberts yesterday, Padres General Manager Kevin Towers talked like a guy driving a spiffy, if worn, sports car off the sales lot. He acknowledged that a savvy salesman, Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, extracted more than Towers wanted to pay, but Towers said Roberts could put the Padres over the top.
"I was willing to overpay to get him," said Towers, who sent three players and $2.65 million – the largest cash payment to another club in his 10-year tenure as GM – to acquire Roberts from Boston. "There are going to be times that you do overpay, and as long as the player you get performs the way you hope for, it doesn't really matter. There's not a lot of leadoff hitters out there."
Roberts, 32, excites the Padres for the same reason he can thrill the fan munching popcorn in the upper deck: When on the basepaths, the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder is a sure thief.

- Click on the title link to read on

Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Last year wasn't a total dog" - Ryan Klesko

(AP) Everywhere the San Diego Padres left fielder went during the offseason - to his hunting ranch in Oregon, to his gym in Georgia, then back to San Diego for January workouts at Petco Park - he heard the talk.

He heard that his 2004 season was for the dogs and that if he had managed merely passable offensive production, it might have been sufficient to lift the Padres into the playoffs.

The thing is, Klesko doesnt see the same statistics others see.

"People cant point fingers and say, You had a bad year last year, " Klesko said. "Did I have the year I wanted? No. But I put up pretty decent numbers for the way I started the season and considering I was coming off surgery."

Klesko was an easy target for fans because he hit just nine home runs and was one of the Padres who complained bitterly about how their new ballpark robbed them of home runs.

- Click on the title link to read on.

"It's time to take the bull by the horns." - Adam Eaton

- Excerpts from Tom Krasovic's UT article:

Adam on last season - "It's time to take the bull by the horns," Eaton said at the team's spring-training complex. "Getting better is great. But if you're not able to put it together on the field – my feeling about last year is I had good stuff, but at the same time I wasn't performing like I wanted to."

Darren Balsey on Adam - "It's time for him," said pitching coach Darren Balsley. "He's too talented to not put up 15 wins a year for the rest of his career, no matter how long it lasts. And Adam is great to work with. He knows he's talented. He's a little frustrated because he doesn't get the results."

Woody on Adam - "Adam Eaton is going to be a big key to our success this year, just because his potential is unbelievable, and sometimes it takes awhile for a guy to get to that point," said Williams, 38, who went 45-22 for the Cardinals after leaving the Padres."

Adam on poker - "You need to know when the odds are in your favor and what can beat you," he said. "It's a risk-reward thing. I bluffed the heck out of this one guy."

- To view the entire article click on the title link.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

PADRES PRESS ORIGINAL - "Coleman Clips"

Oh, Doctor! In honor of Jerry Coleman, our beloved Padres announcer and newly crowned Hall of Fame inductee, The Padres Press is kicking off it's very first "PRESS ORIGINAL". We're calling it "Coleman Clips".

Coleman Clips will be a weekly segmant intended to highlight the colonel's more "classic" game-calling quotes of the upcoming 2005 season. For all you Padre fans I'm sure you know what I mean when I say "classic".

We love ya Jerry! And you can hang a star on that!

To help kick off Coleman Clips, here are a few of Jerry's classics from season's past. Enjoy!

"Johnny Grubb slides into second with a standup double."

"All the Padres need is a flyball in the air."

"Winfield goes back to the wall. He hits his head on the wall — and it rolls off! It’s rolling all the way back to second base! This is a terrible thing for the Padres!”

"It's a base hit on the error by Roberts."

"Thomas is racing for it, but McCovey is there and can't get his glove to it. That play shows the inexperience, not on Thomas' part, but on the part of Willie McC... well, not on McCovey's part either."

"They throw Winfield out at second, but he's safe."

"Hats off to drug abusers everywhere."

"Sanguillen is totally unpredictable to pitch to because he's so unpredicatable."

"The Phillies beat the Cubs today in a doubleheader. That puts another keg in the Cubs' coffin."

"At Royals Stadium: "The sky is so clear today you can see all the way to Missouri"

"Mike Caldwell, the Padres' right-handed southpaw, will pitch tonight."

"Well, it looks like the all-star balloting is about over, especially in the National and American Leagues."

"The first pitch to Tucker Ashford is grounded into left field. No, wait a minute. It's ball one. Low and outside."

Ok, that should be enough to wet your whistle. Please check back throughout the season for more "Coleman Clips".

(Thanks to sportshollywood.com for the list of quotes.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

St Louis was a special place for Williams

Ron Forbes of The Hillsboro Argus writes, "Williams is a class act. It's too bad that others aren't on the same page or in a city like St. Louis that appreciates and spoils its players."

Well said, Ron.

- Here are some comments by Williams regarding his time in St Louis:

On the fans - "I was spoiled," Williams said of the St. Louis Cardinals' fans. "They spoiled my family with the way they were treated inside the stadium. You don't look to replace that because you realize how special it is. St. Louis is baseball. I know they have the (National Football League) Rams but you don't think about it."

On the team - "It put me on another level as far as my career was concerned," Williams said. "My numbers and stature in the (National) league improved. It was just a perfect fit." "The uniform just fit me a different way," Williams said. "I get goose bumps thinking about that experience. There (St. Louis), you're playing professional baseball in a college football surrounding. They all wear red and they're all diehards. They don't care about the bottom line. They care about the people. So many times things get watered down. Most times people's appreciation only goes as far as wins on the board. These fans appreciate the people."

- Click on the title link to view entire article.

Coleman Honored with Frick Award

Way to go Jerry!

- Excerpt from Mike Scarr's article on MLB.com:

"Jerry Coleman's name is synonymous with baseball in San Diego after 32 years of calling Padres games," said Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey. "He has a strong and concise play-by-play calling style, which he effectively mixes with malapropisms, much to the delight of his listening audience. Jerry's nationally renowned as a fan favorite after so many seasons on CBS Radio Game of the Week broadcasts. We look forward to being with Jerry and his family when we honor him July 31 at the induction ceremony in Cooperstown."

- Click on the title link to view entire article.

Spotlight on the Farm - Travis Chick

We picked him up in the Valdes trade with the Marlins last year...this is the guy Tower's held out for to make the trade happen. Click on the title link to view the article by Tom Krasovic(UT).

Monday, February 21, 2005

"...I want the ball when it matters." - Jake Peavy

- Excerpt from Tim Sullivan's UT article:

"I don't think he consciously does it, (but) his game charts are always different. One time he might start everybody with a fastball and the very next time he faces the same team, he'll start guys 90 percent (with) sliders."

Because Peavy throws four effective pitches – a fastball, slider, change-up and curveball – a guess hitter attacks him at a decided disadvantage. A starting pitcher can survive in the big leagues if he can command two pitches. The pitcher who can command four pitches can dominate.

What the Padres must weigh is whether less can be more with Peavy, whether he should throttle back a little to attain greater efficiency and/or longevity. Just before Peavy was put on the disabled list, he struck out nine Pittsburgh Pirates in six innings while sticking exclusively with his fastball and change-up. During the major league exhibition tour of Japan in November, Bochy was struck by Peavy's willingness to forsake strikeouts and his ability to get groundouts with sinking fastballs in the high 80s.


"It's a learning process," Peavy said. "You come from the minor leagues, where strikeouts get your name on the map, but I think there's a time and a place for striking somebody out and I think all pitchers have to recognize that.

- Click on the title link to view entire article.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

"Last year I felt more comfortable than I had since I was in college" - Khalil Greene

Khalil Greene is the best shortstop in the National League, and he's all ours! Bold statement? Maybe so, but this is a Padres site and I reserve the right to be..well, bold on occasion. This kid, even after missing the last month and a-half of last season, was still my Rookie of the Year. I've been waiting all winter long to see him patrol the middle infield (and beyond) again this season. I have high, high hopes for this guy. And at the risk of jynxing a great thing, I can't help but see visions of a Cal Ripken-esk career forming before our eyes right here in San Diego.

- Excerpts from Tom Krasovic's article in the UT:

When Khalil Greene freed up his hands last summer it translated into a faster bat and enough doubles and home runs to suit a cleanup hitter.

Greene became the most dangerous shortstop in the National League, pounding out slugging percentages of .524 in August and .630 in September.

"Last year I felt more comfortable than I had since I was in college," Greene said yesterday from the Padres' training complex, where he arrived a week before position players are due to report. "I felt that's where my swing needed to be."


- Click on the link to view the entire article.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

"I want to put a ring on my finger" - Trevor Hoffman

We all knew what was on Trevor Hoffman's mind entering camp last spring after coming off shoulder surgery and only pitching the final month of the season. So what's on Trevor's mind as he enters spring training this year? One thing we know is he'd like to add a ring to a career full of personal accomplishments.

- Here's an excerpt from SI.com:

"I felt confident that I was going to be able to produce what I thought I was capable of producing," Hoffman said. "But it is nice not to have to worry about that and answering the questions on how you're feeling physically. It's nice to have that behind me."

Ahead for Hoffman is what he hopes will be his first playoff appearance since 1998 after the Padres fell just short last year. Individually, it could be another rung on the career save charts.

- Click on the title link to view entire article.

"I'd really like to get something done." - Jake Peavy

Jake Peavy wants a long term deal and he wants it signed, sealed and delivered before his first pitch is thrown on April 7th at Petco Park. I'd like to see Towers and the Padres get this deal done. Regardless of the veteren's we're signing to lead this rotation now (Wells, Woody) Peavy is, in my mind, the future of this staff. And the future may already be here. Get him signed!

Here's an excerpt from Tom Krasovic's article in today's UT:

- "No question, we've got enough here to win the West, for sure, absolutely," Peavy said from the team's clubhouse. "I'm not saying we are going to win the West, but we have what it takes. I'm going to try my best to pull my load."

Peavy has another plan, one he'd prefer gets scrapped. Unless he and the Padres can agree on a multiyear contract, Peavy said he and his agent are prepared to take the team to arbitration after the season.

"We stand pretty firm," he said as rain fell on tarp-covered mounds. "We're saying if we don't get something done (in spring training), we'll probably end up going to arbitration. We hope that doesn't happen. I really don't want that to happen.

Click on the link to read the entire article.

Q&A With Tony Gwynn

(Raleigh News & Observer) Here's an excerpt from a nice T.Gwynn interview from yesterday's RN&O.

Tony Gwynn, won a record-tying eight National League batting titles and posted a .338 career average in 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres. He batted better than .300 in 19 consecutive seasons.

Gwynn, who is 66-66 in two-plus seasons as head coach at San Diego State, answered questions on a number of baseball subjects Thursday night, including life as a college coach and Jose Canseco's steroid allegations.

- Click on the link to read on. No subscription req'd.

Friday, February 18, 2005

"The guy shows up and he pitches." - C. Schilling on David Wells

(St. Petersburg Times) I was checking in on Red Sox Nation and came across this article on David Wells. I always liked this guy. He's a throw-back. I was sad to see him leave San Diego but...quite pleased he landed in Boston. Some fun comments and points in here. I thought Padres fans might be interested to know what Well's is up to with his new mates.

Buster Olney's Pre-Season Rankings

(ESPN The Magazine) Olney has the Padres slotted in at number 11 in his pre-season rankings sandwiched between the Giants(9) and the Dodgers(16).

Reporting Day

Pitchers and Catchers report to camp today. Check back here often for complete coverage from Peoria.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

There's a new Frank in Town

The Padres are asking fans to choose the new hotdog to be served at Petco Park this year as part of the "Great Friar Frank Taste Test". Four such events will be held around San Diego over the next month.

Buster Olney Breaks Down the National League

(ESPN The Magazine) Buster Olney breaks down the National League in a "What must go right" and "What could go wrong" format.

- Not alot of new insight regarding his Padres analysis but a quick and interesting look at the rest of the division and league.

Woody to Pitch Opening Day

The Union Tribune is reporting today that Woody Williams is going to pitch opening day in Denver on April 4th.

- I was hoping Peavy would get the nod here, securing his role as the ace in the rotation. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Welcome to Padres Press

Greetings all and welcome to my brand spanking new blog where I intend to offer up my rants, musings, and undeniable insight and knowledge into the world of San Diego Padres baseball.

My vision is to create a resource for Padres fans to sound off, catch up on the latest news and voice your opinions on the subject.

A bit about me:
I'm a husband and father of two in my mid-thirties. I live in Carlsbad, CA which is located in coastal northern San Diego county. I grew up on the east coast and am a diehard Boston Red Sox fan...as I'm sure hints of RedSox Nation will surface from time to time in here...however, since relocating to San Diego in January of '91 I have become a huge Padres fan.

I hope you enjoy this blog and please feel free to offer up any suggestions or critisisms.

Thanks.