The Padres have made quite a few moves in the last few weeks. Keeps things exciting around here, I guess.
Last week we signed veteran Matt Stairs as our annual pinch-hitter/DH guy. I say annual because we’ve signed guys for this role at least three times in the last three years with little or no success. Example #1: Tony Clark in 2008. We signed him as our veteran bench guy who could be our DH and we traded him in the middle of the season, back to the team we got him from in the first place. Needless to say, he did not work out quite as the Padres had hoped.
Example #2: Cliff Floyd in 2009. Again, we signed him as our veteran pinch hitter dude who would be able to be our DH in our interleague games. I think he got hurt before the season even started and never really came back at all. So much for him.
So that brings us to our third attempt at a guy who can hit well off the bench late in a game and actually do well in the DH spot. If he’s not hurt by then.
I always get excited about these pinch-hitter-DH-type guys, but they always seem to let me down for some reason. I love it when a guy can come into the game late and get an essential hit or walk or whatever. But the Padres just haven’t been able to find a guy who’s really consistent. Let’s hope that this Stairs guy can change that. Welcome to the Padres.
The big signing of the week is pitcher Jon Garland. For some reason, I keep thinking that he was on the Angels. Wasn’t there a Garland on the Angels recently? Anyways, I think this is a very good move on the Padres’ part. He’ll be a great 3 or 4 spot starter, and will hopefully give us a lot of innings.
It keeps some of the younger guys in Triple-A for a while, and that way they can come up in the event of an injury.
The rotation is looking great: Chris Young, Kevin Correia, Jon Garland, Mat Latos, and Clayton Richard. LOVE IT!!
We’re going to have a great corps of starting pitchers this year. As long as they stay healthy and uninjured, it’s going to be a great year. I’m sooo excited!!
I’m also getting really excited about the Padres Fan Fest!! Just over two weeks away!!
Random Kouz picture of the entry:
First of, I would like to respond to a comment made by padres2050 a few days ago on my entry Baseball Q and A. The first question was, why do I think that we are improved enough to make the postseason this year? I think that we’ll make the postseason this year because of what we saw in the second half of the season last year. If we had played like that all year, we would have either been in the postseason or very, very close. Now, things are going to be a little different than they were last year, with the addition of the Hairston brothers and the subtraction of Kevin Kouzmanoff, but I still think that we’re going to be very good this year.
Plus, these are tough times for a San Diego sports fan. The Chargers have failed us for 50 years, and the Padres have failed us for 40. Thankfully, the Little League kids were finally able to do something big for San Diego, but I think we’re all getting just a little frustrated with the Chargers and Padres. We need to have some kind of hope and something’s gotta give here. Really soon.
Buddy Black is a great manager, and I personally think that he is one of the very best. I believe that it’s not his fault that we did so terribly the past two season, but that the stupid front office didn’t give him the pieces that he needed to make this team good. I know that in some cases you can blame the state of the team on the manager, but I don’t believe that that’s applicable in this situation. I love Buddy because he doesn’t yell at his players, he’s got a great relationship with them, and he plays smart baseball. He knows when to get fired up if he has to, but most of the time he just stays quiet. I think that a good quality of a manager is to keep the attention and focus on his players, and not on his fiery temper.
Number 1, I am a Padres fan. My loyalties go to the Padres first before anything. But I also am a huge fan of the game of baseball. It’s so amazing! Unfortunately, my family does not believe in watching TV of any sort, so the only way for me to follow sports is to listen to the games or check things out on the internet. Believe me, if I was able to, I would have to MLB Network and be watching it 24/7!!
I read many, many blogs here as much as possible. The blogosphere has been growing so much that it’s getting hard to read all of them! In terms of Padres blogs, Perpetual Padres Saga, Gaslamp Ball, RJ’s Fro, and The Friar Faithful are essential daily reading.
I can’t thank you guys enough for all your support!!!
So Kouz settled his contract with the A’s yesterday. He’s getting $3.1 million for the year!
Last year with the Padres, he made $432,000.
Jeff Moorad said that trading him had nothing to do with money, but I don’t believe it. There is absolutely no way the Padres would have given him that much money this year. Oh well.
I guess I should talk a little about the Hairston Brothers! We got Scotty Hairston back when we traded Kouz, which was kind of weird for me. I absolutely love Scotty. He was one of the best players in ’07 and ’08. I’ll never forget his walk-off homers after we got him in the middle of 2007 from the Diamondbacks. That was definitely a mistake on Arizona’s part. Because of him, we almost overtook them for the NL West!
Anyways, he is just a really amazing player. I always got so excited when he came up to bat late in a game with the score really close. I was pretty sad when we traded him to the A’s last season.
Now, I’m glad that we have him back, but you know, I lost Kouz. It’s just not as exciting as it would have been if the circumstances were different.
So then the next day we find out that we signed Jerry Hairston Jr.!! The Padres are kind of like the team of family reunions. We’ve had a lot of brother combinations on this team, most recently including Brian and Marcus Giles and Adrian and Edgar Gonzalez.
The GilesBros. only lasted a year. The GonzoBros. only lasted a year too. Let’s see how long the HairBros. last.
It’s going to be pretty cool to see them together, though. I’m really excited. I’m huge HairBros. fans, so it’s going to be so sweet to see them on the same team. Those guys are adorable.
I can’t believe the stupid Chargers!! It’s so crazy how they had the 11 game winning streak and it’s our year and all that and then they go a lose the very first playoff game. So stupid!!!!! Argh. I am just so frustrated about that. Not cool at all. San Diego needs some major help, that’s for sure. Goodness.
Well, I think that’s all I have for today. Miss you, Kouz
GO PADRES!!! GO KOUZ!!!!!
I got #20 in the 2009 Leaders list, which is so cool! To start off, I want to thank every single one of my readers. It means so much to me! Thank you so much for supporting me through everything. Without you guys, I would not have been able to get through losing Trevor Hoffman and Jake Peavy and I won’t be able to get over losing Kouz without you guys. Thank you so much!! I know I haven’t been blogging much lately, but things are definitely going to pick up with the millions of tributes I have to write for Kouz. Here’s the first of many.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that Kevin Kouzmanoff is my all-time favorite baseball. He still is, and always will be. I was devastated when I found out that he got traded. The worst part of it was that the trade talks had died down completely and it actually looked like he would be hanging around here for a while. This came out of the blue.
When I realized that the arbitration deadline was coming up, and that Heath Bell got a contract, I got really nervous. I’d been dying for the Padres to sign Kouz for weeks. I just wanted him safely locked up!
I was on a retreat all weekend, and my best friend’s brother had to tell me the bad news. It was not good. He told me not to let it ruin my day, but it was too late. I lost my favorite baseball player, my baby. I’m grieving for him.
Though he is not playing for the Padres anymore, I am still Kouz’s biggest fan. He may be wearing an A’s uniform, but he will forever be a Padre in my heart. Just because he’s with another team doesn’t mean I have to stop being a fan of his. I can’t wait to watch his new chance with Oakland. I’m going to be watching him and cheering for him as usual.
It’s going to be super weird without him here in San Diego, though. A highlight for going to a Padres game for me is getting to see him, to watch him play. This year, when I go to Petco for a few games, he’s not going to be there. We won’t get to “Kooooz” when he comes up to the plate or makes an incredible defensive play. I’m going to miss him like crazy!!
It’s going to be hard to cope with, but I will get over it…someday.
I give you 20 things I love about my dear Kevin Kouzmanoff.
1. His smile.
2. His passion for the game of baseball.
3. His commitment to being the best that he can be.
4. His baldness.
5. His defense.
6. The way he dives and snags a ball that you thought was going through.
7. The way he pops up, hurling the ball all the way across the infield.
8. His humor.
9. The way he interacts with the fans.
10. How casual he is. He’ll got to a formal occasion in a t-shirt and jeans.
11. How he goofs off on radio interviews.
12. His leadership in the clubhouse.
13. His love for San Diego and its fans.
14. How he hit a grand slam on the very first pitch he saw in the majors.
15. How he came up to four girls and gave us autographs and how I fell in love with him right there.
16. The tons of walk-offs and huge hits he’s given us over the past three years.
17. How excited he would get when a teammate got a huge walk-off.
18. The way he loves to do crazy things, like flying with the Blue Angels.
19. The way he went about his business quietly, never putting too much attention on himself.
20. The way he played Padres baseball.
I know I could go on and on with this list but I’ll stop here. He’s just an amazing guy, and he is going to be very missed here in San Diego.
Love you Kouz
Thank you all so much for your support. There were a bunch of questions in the comments in my Q&A entry, and I just wanted to let you guys know that I will be getting to those sometime this week. Also, I have a question about baseball statistics that will be adressed later in the week as well. Thank you so much for your interest in my opinion in these subjects!
GO PADRES!! GO KOUZ!!!
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I just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t died from grief…yet. I’ve been out of town all weekend and it was really tough to find out about my baby Kevin Kouzmanoff getting traded while I was at the retreat. I know it sounds kind of weird, but I wouldn’t mind some prayer right now. As I’m sure you’ve all experienced, it’s absolutely terrible to lose a favorite player. When I’ve gotten some rest and some time I’ll be back with thousands of tributes. Thank you all so much for your support. This is simply devastating.
Padres baseball will not be the same without him.
I love you Kouz.
I realized something yesterday: I am going into my fourth year as a Padres fan. Wow! It seems unbelievable that it’s been that long, but here I am, a month or so away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training.
A lot has happened over the past three years, that’s for sure. 2007 was a great year, let me tell you that. We were a great team, with a lot of marvelous players. Things were really clicking, but we didn’t quite make it. That fateful Game 163 knocked us out of the playoffs. It was heartbreaking to listen to Trevor Hoffman just totally fall apart in the 13th inning. Man that was a tough one to get over.
2008 wasn’t easy either. A lot of the prominent players of 2007 left the team, so we were left with a bottom-of-the-barrel group of guys who didn’t really qualify for the word “team.” It was not pretty at all. We were terrible. I was shocked at how a team who won two NL West titles in a row and then came within one game of the playoffs could suddenly have this major of a meltdown. It was literally depressing. And believe me, it was almost a relief to get that season over with.
2009 brought new hope, but a lot of heartbreak, too. We lost Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader, and Jake Peavy, Cy Young Award winner and Padres ace. That was tough. But after an average first half, the team rebounded with the help of a bunch of young guys and actually finished decently. It was a long, hard season, but it was great to see that improvement at the end there. We ended the season in fourth place in the NL West.
Now, we’re really hoping that the momentum from last year will carry over to this year. We’ve got a ton of amazingly talented young players, and I really think that they’re going to only get better. It’s going to be a good year. There’s hope. There’s excitement.
I am just so proud to be a Padres fan. There’s no other team I would rather be a fan of. Sometimes I wish I was a fan of a team who won more, who had more money to work with, who was actually good, but I don’t want to be a fan of the Yankees or Red Sox. My Padres are good enough. And you know what I think, I think that you have to be a true fan to stay commited to these Padres. Not to insult any Yankees fans, but it’s easy to be a fan of a team like the Yankees who gets all the good players and wins a lot of World Series. It’s not so easy to stay a fan of a team who can’t get any good players, who doesn’t win that often, who doesn’t have one World Series win under their belts.
My Padres are absolutely incredible. I love their uniforms, their gorgeous stadium, and this incredible city of San Diego. It truly is America’s Finest City. I love it!!!
I’ve met so many great people, Padres fans. I feel connected to all Padres fans because we all have a love for our team. It thrills me so much to discover new people who have a passion for Padres baseball like I do. I can’t wait to meet more and more Padres fans in the years ahead!
I’m a die-hard Padres fan and proud of it. I don’t care if we stink and never win anything. They’re my boys and I’ll defend them and argue for them anytime. I can’t wait to see what the years ahead hold for my San Diego Padres.
By the way, Everth Cabrera was awarded Nicaragua’s Athlete of the Year yesterday. Everth had an incredible season, and this is totally deserved. He was just amazing. Congrats, Everth!
Oh man, I just watched the video from Everth’s walk-off grand slam, and I’m getting the chills and tearing up. I love these guys so much, and I wouldn’t trade them for any other team!!
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Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe that it’s 2010 already? I certainly can’t. It’s unbelievable how fast the time is going by!
But I’m super excited about a new year, which means a new season of Padres baseball! Let’s see, it’s been about three months since I got to listen to a Padres game. It doesn’t seem like much, but it has been a really long time! On the bright side, we have just over a month until pitchers anc catchers report. This season is going to be here before we know it!
I would like to look at the team as it stands right now. I know we’ll probably make a few more moves before Opening Day, but as of right now, what does the team look like?
Pitching: I think we’re definitely going to have to add at least one more veteran guy to this rotation. Right now, we’ve got Kevin Correia, Mat Latos, Wade LeBlanc, Clayton Richard, and Chris Young in contention for the rotation, among others. Oh dear, I hope so much that CY will be able to stay healthy all year. I miss him sooo much!! These are all great guys, and great pitchers as well. That said, most of them are very young. If the Padres add a veteran pitcher or two, I think we can take that as a sign that some of these guys are going to be in the minors for the first half of the season. Latos, LeBlanc, Richard, are amazing pitchers, but there’s room to grow. I think that the Padres are going to try to get some more starting pitchers before Spring Training.
I think the bullpen is good to go, though. Sure, you can never have enough pitching, but we have a great group of guys out there right now: Mike Adams, Greg Burke, Mike Ekstrom, Luke Gregerson, Edward Mujica, Joe Thatcher, Ryan Webb, plus the closer, Heath Bell. I don’t think we’ll have too much of a problem with finding guys for that bullpen.
Catching: Catching is one of the biggest gaps that I see on this team right now. We only have Nick Hundley and Dusty Ryan on the roster right now, both very young guys. I’m still not sure how the Padres are going to sort out this position, but my best bet would be that they sign a veteran catcher. It would make a lot of sense. So, we definitely need a little help on the catching side.
Infield: I think we’re very well covered in the infield: we’ve got Adrian Gonzalez, David Eckstein, Everth Cabrera, and Kevin Kouzmanoff. All four are phenomenal defensive players, and they’re a blast the watch. You’ve got a two-time Gold Glove winner in Adrian Gonzalez. A veteran guy in Eck. A young, but excellent guy in Everth. Plus an almost-Gold-Glove winner in Kouz. I feel very safe with this infield. They’re amazing!
Outfield: Like Hyun Young said, this outfield is very, very young. We’ve got Kyle Blanks, Luis Durango, Tony Gwynn, Chase Headley, and Will Venable. Kyle really impressed last year. He’s a big kid with a lot of power, and I think he’s a fixture in the outfield.
Durango didn’t play much in the outfield when he was up here at the end of last year, but he can run. He caused quite the stir in San Diego after a few stunning games. If he gets on base, he’s going to get to second. Or third. I am really excited about seeing what this guy can do.
T. Gwynn’s been in the majors for a while, but I think he’s going to thrive here. It’s super exciting Chase has been in the outfield for a couple seasons, but is still pretty young. As long as he finds his bat, I think he’ll have a great season.
And Will. I love Will. He’s a great kid, and an amazing outfielder. I really hope he sticks around on the roster for the whole season.
We’ve got a great outfield, but very young. I think we definitely need to sign a veteran guy.
Bench: I’d say that the bench is the biggest problem. Our bench has always been terrible. We’ve tried guys like Tony Clark and Cliff Floyd, but they’ve always been hurt or not that great. It’s a really tough part to play, coming off the bench late in a game all the time, but hey, it has to be done. I definitely think that we need help in this area.
So, as you can see, things are looking pretty positive. I don’t think we’re 100%, but we’re getting close. A few pieces, and I really think that we can have a great winning season.
That’s the biggest thing that we need to work on this season: winning. The second half of last season was great. I really, really loved being a fan of a winning team. It was so much fun! But that’s gotta carry over to this season. Padres fans are getting excited about this team. Things are changing for the good, and I just really hope that we’re not wrong in placing our trust in this team.
No matter what happens, it’s going to be great to have baseball back. I miss it: the sound of a well-struck ball off the bat, long summer nights listening to Ted, Andy, and Jerry, the beauty of a ball snagged by an infielder and hurled across the infield. I miss it a lot!
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I can’t wait for 2010 Padres baseball. GO PADRES!!!