Results tagged ‘ edgar gonzalez ’

It’s Back…

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I told you the story yesterday, but I gotta tell it to you again.

It’s always something

“My calf feels great,” third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff told Black Monday afternoon, “but I tweaked my back.”

Kouzmanoff, who was hoping to be able to return to the lineup Tuesday with a sufficiently recovered strain of his left calf, was more embarrassed than pained to report his latest injury. Evidently, he hurt himself when going back to sit in the chair in front of his locker at PNC Park, but the chair wasn’t there and he went straight to the floor on his backside.

Black said he thinks the tweaked back is not serious enough to keep Kouzmanoff from playing in Colorado.

Poor Kouz. He was just getting excited about coming back after the calf injury, and then his back acted up again. I know, it’s a terribly cheesy title, but it’s true. His back problem is back. And that’s not good news at all.

He was supposed to be back in the lineup last night. Now it looks like he won’t be able to play in this series at all!! Well, at least he’s got a lot of family in that area that he can spend time with, but I know it’s disappointing that he can’t be playing.

I’m going to the game next week against the Dodgers, and I really hope he’ll be ready to play by then. Just be ready by Tuesday, Kouz. Even if you don’t get to play in Colorado or Arizona. Make sure you can play in front of the home crowd next week!!

I wasn’t going to blog about last night’s game, but after watching some of the video I just have to. Last night, the Rockies got a two-run inside the park home run by Clint Barmes. When I saw it fold out on Gameday, I knew that one of our players had to be hurt for something like that to happen. Sure enough, Will Venable replaced Edgar Gonzalez in right field.

Edgar had done very well in the game up to that point. He had two hits and drove in three runs. He also scored a run. When the ball hit by Barmes was coming towards him, he dived for it and just missed. When he landed, his dislocated his left shoulder. He rolled around on the ground in obvious pain and the baseball stayed in the right field corner. Tony Gwynn ran over to get it back to the infield, but by the tim he got to the ball, Barmes had already scored. I can’t blame Barmes for being excited about that, but he got it at the expense of a player’s season. There’s no way that Edgar is going to play again this season. So, I think it was bad class for the Rockies to show Barmes, smiling like crazy, in the dugout. I didn’t like that at all. Oh, and the Rockies announcers couldn’t even get Edgar’s name right! They called him Luis.

Adrian and Eck and Buddy and the trainer all went out to Edgar. The trainer helped him off the field, but Edgar was in a ton of pain. It was so terrible to watch!!

Now let me tell you the sad story of Edgar’s misfortunes against the Rockies. First of all, he got hit in the head by a Rockies pitcher on July 18th. He could have died! Thankfully, he was OK, but he missed a lot of playing time. Then, he faces the Rockies again. He hit a three-run double against them, and then in that very same game, he dislocates his shoulder and ends his season. Bad form, Colorado. (I know Colorado couldn’t control what happened last night, but we’ve got to blame it on someone, right? Plus, all this seems a little fishy. What did Edgar ever do to you guys?)

Strange, miserable things always happen when the Padres and Rockies meet, especially at Coors Field. I’m getting kind of apprehensive about letting the boys play there. Players get hurt, playoff hopes are ruined, it’s 40 degrees and rains, and the scores often go out of control. Playing at Coors is too stressful!!

By the way, we lost 11-10 last night. We got four runs in the top of the ninth and left the tying and winning runs on. It was not good, but at least we were able to fight back. Very strange game. The Rockies scored in every inning except the sixth. But, I guess that’s Coors.

I really hope tonight’s game is not as stressing as last night. Like, the Padres get 10 runs in the first and keep adding on through the game. Tim Stauffer is pitching tonight. GO STAUFF!!

Be careful in that strange Coors Field, boys.

GO PADRES!!!

Padres Split Series!

I guess my Padres didn’t want to travel to Houston in a school bus.
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Chris Young started the game, going six innings, allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts. He had a great outing, he was battling hard.

On the other side, Dan Haren was doing a great job as well. He went six innings, giving up eight hits and three runs with two walks on four strikeouts.

In the third, the Diamondbacks struck first. After a single from Chris Snyder, Dan Haren of all people hit a double to help his own cause. He got to third on an error, and touched the plate on a sacrifice fly.

In the fifth, the Padres found a crack in Haren’s armor and were actually able to take advantage of it!

With two outs, Chris Young walked, Brian Giles singled, and Edgar Gonzalez drove in CY for our first run. Scott Hairston came to the plate and check-swinged on a pitch. Except the ball hit the bat and went into right field to drive in Giles. It was pretty bizarre!

In the sixth, the Diamondbacks added a run to take the lead. But in the bottom of the inning, we got that run right back.

With one out, my boy Kouz hit a single. Nick Hundley then doubled, and Kouz ran all the way home. I love this dude, but he’s really slow. It’s almost painfully to watch. He’s not as bad as say, Henry Blanco the Galapagos tortoise, but he’s still slow. So he almost got thrown out at the plate. But he scored safely, so that’s all that matters.

The game stayed tied for a long time. The Padres bullpen was able to hold the game, though. Barely.

Edwin Moreno came into the seventh, and got a few runners on with no outs, including two walks. I’m telling you, this guy is going to be on the bus to Triple-A very soon unless he stops walking people like he does. We just can’t have that, especially when he walks the first batter in a tie game. No no no.

Thankfully, Luke Gregerson came in and cleaned up Moreno’s mess, keeping the game tied. He also pitched a scoreless eighth.

Heath Bell took the ninth, allowing nothing and striking out one. Man, he’s sharp!

In the bottom of the ninth, Scott Hairston singled, but Adrian Gonzalez grounded into a double play.

Onto extra innings for the second time this week!

Cla Meredith pitched the top of the tenth, throwing five pitches to get three outs. He was sharp!

In the bottom of the tenth, it was time to close this thing down. Jody Gerut started it with a strikeout, but then Kouz doubled. Nick Hundley walked, and Chris Burke came to the plate. 

Burke had a great at-bat. He fouled off six pitches, keeping the count full for a long time. He made the pitcher throw ten pitches before finally taking ball four to load the bases. That at-bat was crucial to winning the game.

Next, Hyun Young’s boy David Eckstein came to the plate. He only needed to take a strike and a ball before lining a single past the first baseman to score my boy Kouz. 

We win!!

It was such a great game! We did leave 13 runners on base, which was very frustrating, but we were able to get some clutch hits and win the game.

I was very pleased with our pitching, especially the bullpen. They didn’t give up a run, which is so rare!

My boy Kouz had THREE hits, two singles and a double. He’s definitley been scuffling, so it’s great that he was able to have a good game like that. 

We had 13 hits total, which we haven’t had in a long time. I am so glad that we were hitting!

It was a great win for the Padres and their fans, but apparently the Diamondbacks aren’t too happy with their 12-17 record. Arizona fired manager Bob Melvin today. They’re replacing him with A.J. Hinch. Interesting…

Manny is a jerk. Unfortunately, the Padres are only going to play the Dodgers twice during his suspension. 

“It would have been nice if this had happened in spring training,” pitching ace Jake Peavy said. “I wouldn’t have had to face him.” 

The Dodgers finally lost last night. They built up a six run lead, but blew it and lost 11-9 against the Natinals. Of all teams. Wow. 

Well, I can’t say I’m entirely disappointed that Manny was suspended or that the Dodgers lost. My Padres are now only 7.5 games behind, third place in the NL West!

Well boys, I hope you enjoyed your luxury flight to Houston!

 
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Tonight Chad Gaudin is pitching against Wandy Rodriguez. It will be a very interesting game…

GO PADRES!!

(photo credits: Union-Tribune, flickr.com) 

Victory! We Have Victory!

Guess what?

THE PADRES WON!!


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(wow, that’s a really funny picture!)

It was an amazing game, very well played by both teams. But the Padres came out on top, and that’s all that matters :)

Josh Geer and Aaron Cook worked identically. They matched each other almost pitch for pitch. Both starters went eight innings, allowing one run on five hits. But Geer only walked two and struck out three, while Cook walked three and struck out five. Geer has a lower ERA though.

They were both excellent. It was a duel all the way, and both pitchers were really mowing. Looking at the boxscore is really incredible to see how their innings mirrored each other so closely. Like, they both would got 1-2-3 in one inning, and then both face four batters in the next, and it was almost creepy!

Josh Geer definitely had the best outing of his career, and we needed it. I think he’s definitely going to stick around up here for a while.

On the offensive side, we struck Cook early, and it was a good thing that we did. Brian Giles singled, David Eckstein doubled, and a few batters later, Jody Gerut sac-flied him in.

The score stayed 1-0 Padres until the eighth, when Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer to tie things up. That was Geer’s only glitch. I don’t really like Iannetta. He’s annoying, hitting all these homers against us.

In the ninth, Heath Bell came in after not pitching for 10 days. A little rust? Not at all. Heath was pumped up, throwing 96-MPH gas and tearing down the hitters he faced. He allowed a single in the ninth with two outs, but the next batter was blown away.

In the bottom of the ninth, we got a runner on, but couldn’t get him in.

Heath also pitched the tenth, and went 1-2-3. In both of his innings, he got four strikeouts. He was so sharp, it was almost unbelieveable.

To the top of the tenth…

Luis Rodriguez started the inning, making an out. Edgar Gonzalez pinch-hit for Heath Bell. This at-bat gave us the game. Edgar worked a walk on four straight pitches, putting the potential winning run on first.

Brian Giles came to the plate, with a single and two walks earlier in the night. It was a big at-bat. Gillies worked it. Four foul balls, two pickoff attempts and three balls later, Brian connected and sent the ball deep to right center field. It didn’t get out, but it bounced on the warning track and into the right fielder’s glove. He threw it into the infield, but it was too late. Edgar ran all the way from first to score with a slide. Padres win!!

It was such a great game! I couldn’t believe we actually won! I just sat there, laughing. “Wow, that feels good!!”

And it does, man. We hadn’t won since last Tuesday – a week ago! It was great to beat the Rockies and split the “series”.

But best of all, all the restrictions have now been removed since my boys played hard and got a win.

The boys can now have hot showers, grow out their beards, travel in their luxury plane to Houston, maybe they should leave Jeff the Ram’s Head though, eat lots of candy, have their luxury lockers back, get their money again, leave the ballpark and sleep in their own beds, and of course, no more Vegemite!

Good job, boys. See, having their special things taken away worked! It’s a good thing they won though, ’cause their showers were going to be next!

I knew we were going to have small crowds this homestand, but it is kind of disappointing that no one is out there. We only had 14,000 on Monday, and only 13,000 last night. That’s really sad. I know the Padres haven’t been playing that great, but we need to get out there and support our team. If I could, I would be out there everyday. But I can’t. Our boys played a stellar game last night, and only a few people got to see it.

I just hope we get better crowds in the next two games. Tonight Jake Peavy is pitching, so hopefully more people will come out to see them. Tomorrow is a 2-for-1 Getaway Day, so there will be a bigger crowd then. These Padres need our support. What is baseball without the fans?

Like I said, Jake Peavy is starting tonight. I expect a solid outing for Jakey, especially at home. He’s going to do great, and hopefully out bats can turn on against Jon Garland.

GO PADRES!!

(photo credit: padres.com)       

Padres Rally to WIN!!

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  • 4-3 Padres

What a great game! It looked like the Dodgers would prevail for a while there, but my Padres fought back and got the win.

Kevin Correia threw his first start of the season, going six innings, allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts. The first run he gave up was a bases-loaded walk. Matt Kemp drove in the other two with a double. I thought Correia did very well. The rotation looks really good so far!

Edwin Moreno and Cla Meredith threw one inning, giving up one hit and one walk each. Very good…our pitching is looking really great so far!

On the hitting side, we took a while to get it going. In the bottom of the fifth, David Eckstein drove in Luis Rodriguez to tie the game at one. Down 3-1 in the eighth, it was rally time. With one out, Adrian Gonzalez hit his first homer of the year. That was also the Padres’ first home run this week. Then Adrian’s older brother Edgar hit a triple on a ball that almost got out of the park.  Nick Hundley promptly smoked a single to tie the game. Luis Rodriguez doubled, driving in the winning run.

But the game wasn’t over yet. New closer Heath Bell came into the game to tie up the win. He gave up a triple, the potenital tying run, to Orlando Hudson. No outs. Wonders of wonders, Heath was able to get Manny to ground out. The runner at third froze. And then Andre Either walked.

We needed a double play. The guys on the radio mentioned it, and I was really hoping for it as well. That was the easiest way to get out of it.

Russell Martin, who hasn’t done the best in this series, was down 0-2 when he hit a ground ball to second. David Eckstein to Everth Cabrera to Adrian Gonzalez. Game over!

It was so exciting. That double play…if they hadn’t been able to get the runner at first, the tying run would have scored! It was a stressing inning, but we got out of it! I think that was really good for Heath to be able to work himself out of a jam like that and earn his second save of the year.

Now, I gotta talk about David Eckstein. What a pickup for the Padres! This guy has an incredible work ethic, and he’s just a great baseball player. He was out there working on stuff this morning even though it was a day game. Today he was finally rewarded with two hits in four ABs. This guy is going to be so good for us!

So, in review of this series, I think the Padres played very well. We only had one error, and that was Jake Peavy’s throwing error on Monday. We scored 11 runs to the Dodgers’ 14. The pitching was really great. I am so pleased. I mean, they weren’t perfect, but they were good.

I am really excited about this team. We were able to play well and split this series. I think we’re going to keep being good. At least, let’s hope so…

We are playing the San Francisco Giants for three games this weekend. And yes, Tim Lincecum is pitching on Sunday…

GO PADRES!!

(photo credit: cache.daylife.com)        

Review of a BUSY Weekend

Ah, it’s so great to be back to blogging after a busy weekend! I’ve got a lot to tell you guys, so hang in there! Lots of interesting stuff happened this weekend…

PADRES GAMES

  • Saturday against the Indians: 8-6 Indians

It was a pretty good game from the Padres’ side, actually. Cha Seung Baek started, not allowing a baserunner until he gave up a bunt single in the third. He pitched four innings, giving up two runs on two hits. I think he’s getting a little better. Justin Hampson has been falling apart a bit lately. He gave up four runs on three hits. Arturo Lopez gave up two runs. But the other three pitchers did well.

The hitting highlight of this game was probably outfielder Drew Macias. He had three hits and a great defensive game as well. Cliff Floyd drove in two runs, and Luis Rodriguez had an RBI. I think we did pretty well in this game. Obviously the pitching is still struggling, but I seriously think that the hitters are ready to go. They’ve been in camp for a while, and they are ready. But there are still a lot of roster decisions to be made, so it’s good that some of these guys are getting as many ABs as possible. This half of the Padres lost 8-6. 

  • Saturday against the Giants: 8-4 Padres

We won half of this split-squad thingy! If you had asked me, I would have said that the team in Peoria would have won, but no. It was the Scottsdale team that came out on top.

Cesar Ramos started the game and threw three scoreless innings. I am very pleased that he had a good outing. He probably won’t make the team out of Spring Training, but he has struggled this spring, so it’s good to see him put up some zeros there. Walter Silva pitched two scoreless innings, which is great! Silva is on loan to the Padres from a team in Mexico, and we’re taking a look at him for as potential starter in the rotation. Thing is, he hurt his ankle and Saturday was his first outing this spring. I am very glad that he pitched well, though! Jae Kuk Ryu and Will Inman each gave up two runs. But otherwise, the pitching did pretty well!

Chase Headley and Nick Hundley each hit a two-run double in this game. Kyle Blanks hit his second homer of the spring, driving in two runs. Very cool. My boy Kevin Kouzmanoff also had two hits. Yay! We seem to hit Matt Cain pretty well. At least lately. When we faced him in a game in September, we killed him, getting like five runs in the bottom of the first. And here again, he gave up five runs to us. Interesting. And so, this half (the better half?) of the Padres won 8-4. Great game!

  • Sunday against the Rangers: 10-7 Rangers

Well. Not so great game for my Padres, or should I say, their pitching!!! Let’s see…Wade LeBlanc gave up three runs in two innings, Nick Schmidt gave up six runs without getting an out, and Josh Banks gave up a run. I don’t remember who Josh Banks is. He might have come up to the majors last year, but I’m not sure…oh wait, I remember him now. He must have been in the minor league camp so far. Anyways, Joe Thatcher threw a scoreless inning, even getting three strikeouts around two hits. He still needs to go way down to the minors.

Chad Huffman hit a homer and got three hits. Pete Ciofrone also hit a homer. Chris Snelling (more about him later) had a double and drove in three runs. Brett Dowdy had two hits.

And so, we lost. But it was a great game on the hitting side. If you don’t have good pitching, you don’t win. Jerry Coleman is brilliant.

MY BROTHER’S GAME

So, my brother played his fourth game of the season on Saturday afternoon. It was a great game! Pirates against the Marlins, and the Pirates came out on top, 7-2. First of all, the Marlins pitching was not very good. My brother got on base for the very first time in his baseball career by getting walked on four really wide pitches. So, when he’s in the majors some 12-15 years from now, he can say that he got on base for the first time by getting walked on four pitches. How neat! The reporters will be all over that. Just kidding :)

 Anyways, in the last inning (which happened to be the fifth), the Marlin’s pitching was going nuts. Strikeout, walk, walk, hit by pitch, hit by pitch, walk, walk. Yeah, pretty crazy. In fact, their pitching gave up nine walk in five innings! But now, the most exciting part (to our family): my brother got hit-by-pitch! But not just any ordinary HBP. He got it with the bases loaded! Now he can tell the reporters when he makes his major league debut that he got his first ever RBI by getting hit-by-pitch from a pitcher who was not very good! And he didn’t get hit badly. I think he got it in the shoulder/upper arm area. It was certainly a little sore the next day, but he was fine. Pretty cool! My mom and I were just sitting there laughing. It was pretty amazing!

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

Now, the WBC. Mexico is very close to elimination, but with my Gonzalez boys on that team, they have a chance to get back into this thing. I think it was a really great weekend at Petco Park. Some great games were played. And Team USA is still in it for now.

JAKE PEAVY

But now I must have a little rant. About Jake Peavy. Yes, Padres ace and face of the organization is pitching with Team USA right now. He’s had two outings, and he’s given up eight runs in five innings. He’s also given up five walks. I am really worried about him. I feel like he’s pushing himself way too hard way too early. He only had two outings with the Padres before he left. He’s been put into this “playoff” atmosphere, and I know how much pride he has about playing with that USA on his chest. But I really think he is pushing himself too hard. And I’m worried that this will carry over to the season. Last time the WBC came around, Jake gave up three runs in eight innings. That was the year that he got hurt. Can you believe the blow it would be to this Padres team if Jake isn’t in top form this year?? Well, we saw it last year, when Jake was out with that elbow problem. That along with the 22-inning game killed our season. We can’t lose our ace. Not again. So, I hate to say it, but I really hope Jake can get back into camp soon. He really needs to slow it down. Come back to us, Jake!!!!!!!!!!

UM, EDGAR…??

edgar laughing.jpgI just had to share this picture. I mean, is that creepy or what? In the photo caption on MLB.com, it said that Edgar was sharing a laugh with his brother Adrian. Looks more like Edgar is yelling at his younger brother. Poor Adrian, always getting lectured by his older, shorter brother. Just kidding, the Gonzalez brothers have a great relationship. And though I have no doubt that Edgar really was laughing in this picture, I just had to poke fun at him. It is a pretty funny picture!

NEW SIGNEES

The Padres signed two players to minor league deals over the weekend: outfielder Chris Snelling and pitcher Duaner Sanchez. Now, the outfielder move is really questionable in my mind. We don’t need another outfielder! Maybe they want him for his bat. But I mean, our outfield is all locked up. We’ve got Jody Gerut in center, Brian Giles in right, and Chase Headley in left. Plus, we’ve got Scott Hairston and Will Venable, who are stellar outfielders. I don’t think we have a place for Snelling, but he sounds like a good player. As for the new pitcher, hey, we need arms that don’t give up ten runs a game. So let’s see if he can pitch!

CHECK IT OUT…

The Best Blog Out There! Get over to this blog and welcome a new die-hard Padres fan to the community. You can never have too many die-hards around here, especially Padres fans! I am very excited to read about another Padres fan’s opinions of our team!

Well, the Padres are off today. Tomorrow we will play The Angels Angels in Peoria. GO PADRES!!

(photo credit: MLB.com)   

Looking Ahead to the 2009 Padres

Welcome to 2009! I think this will be a great year in MLB. It will just be great to have baseball back! And I’m sure Spring Training will be here before we know it! I am very excited.

So, last night the MLB Network launched. It’s really exciting for the world of baseball fans. But not so much for me, because I don’t have cable, and as a result I don’t get to watch ANY baseball on TV, not to mention the MLB Network. So, am I less of a fan because I can’t watch baseball 24/7….just kidding. If I did have it, I would be glued to the TV 24/7 and my family and friends would hate me. It would also wear severely on my education, and I don’t think my parents would let me do that. Oh well.

But anyways, 2009 is here. The Padres this year are going to look a lot different than the team last year. I would like to look at some of the players who were on the team last year, and how different it will be this year.

 

year in review bud black st.jpgBUD BLACK, MANAGER

Last year, the second year manager was going into the season after a 89-74 record the year before. His team had been one game away from the playoffs. But last year, something went horribly wrong. He was put in charge of a team that lost 99 games. I really do not think it was his fault. He has the ability to coach a team far into the postseason, if he has the right pieces. He doesn’t have enough pieces here, though. In 2009, he’s going to have to lead a team made up of mostly rookies. Let’s see what he can do with them.

year in review catchers.jpgJOSH BARD AND MICHAEL BARRETT, CATCHERS

Josh Bard went into 2008 with a fairly good season under his belt. He was at one point in 2007 our best player with runners in scoring position. But 2008 was not so great for Bardo. He was riddled with injuries for the majority of the season. He did have a few good games, but he was not that great in 2008. Michael Barrett was not our guy. In 2007 and 2008, he was plagued with injuries, and in the time he did play, he was bad. He was very frustrating to the fans. He just never turned on. Josh Bard is going to the Red Sox for 2009. That will be very interesting, but very exciting for me. I love the Red Sox and I love Bardo, so it works out. I don’t know where Barrett will end up. Maybe he can go somewhere and have a good season. We’ll see.

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CHRIS YOUNG, STARTING PITCHER

Last year, CY came into Spring Training after a frustrating oblique strain in 2007. He was able to regain his old form for part of the season, but was never the same after he got hit in the face with a batted ball. He was able to salvage a bit of the season though. Going into 2009, he will be the #2 starter behind Jake Peavy. Hopefully he will be able to stay injury-free this season. This guy is a good pitcher, and he’s a solid part of our rotation. If he can stay healthy, he will be a positive part of this rotation.

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JAKE PEAVY, STARTING PITCHER

Jake went into the 2008 season with the NL CY Young award and a new contract extension. Things did not go very well for Jake, though. He was out with an injury, and his offense couldn’t score runs for him. He did do a fairly good job, considering, but he finished the season with a 10-11 record. You know that Jake was not happy about that. After enduring trade talks for the past few months, hopefully he is here to stay for the 2009 season. Believe me, we need this guy in our rotation. He brings so much to the team, and it would be a huge blow to give him away. Hopefully he can return to his form of 2007.

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ADRIAN GONZALEZ, FIRST BASEMAN

Adrian was really good in 2007. He was amazing in 2008. He was such a positive on this horrible team, it was incredible to see. Adrian’s all about teamwork, the team effort, but he had a wonderful season induvidually. 36 home runs, 119 RBIs, and he won a Gold Glove. I don’t think he had a game off during the season. He doesn’t complain, he just goes out there every day and plays baseball. He’s very humble, and he does a lot of charity work. It’s pretty amazing. This year, he will be the first baseman. He’s almost becoming a veteran on this team of young guys!

SCOTT HAIRSTON, OUTFIELDER                                                                         
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Last year, Scotty was fighting for a spot in the outfield. This year, he will be doing the same thing. He will probably be on the bench (again), but he’s not a bench player. He does a lot better when he can play every day. Unforunately, our outfield situation is pretty much locked up with Chase Headley, Jody Gerut, and Brian Giles. But we’ll see. Hopefully Scotty can find a spot on this team. He really is a great player; he’s hit 4 or 5 walk-offs for us in the last two years. Plus he can play a wonderful center and left. He filled in very nicely when Jody Gerut needed a day or two last year.

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EDGAR GONZALEZ, INFIELDER

Last offseason, Edgar was signed to a minor league deal with the Padres. This was pretty exciting because 1) He has grown up watching the Padres, and 2) he would be joining his younger brother Adrian. Edgar didn’t make the Opening Day roster, because Tadahito Iguchi had his position of second, but when Iguchi went down with an injury, Edgar was called up. He made his major league debut after 8 years in the minors. How incredible is that? And doing it on his younger brother’s team no less! He was really good with us, too. This year, he looks to be the starting second baseman.

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TREVOR HOFFMAN, CLOSER

Last year, Trevor was coming off a heartbreaking blown save. He did get a little cleanup surgery for his elbow in the offseason, and he was as good as new going into 2008. He wasn’t the best record-wise, but he was so sharp mechanics-wise. In fact, his stuff was the best it’s been in years. But the Trevor-bashers were out in hordes. A blown save, and they screamed to kick him off the team. It was pretty sad. Trevor finished pretty well. He had 30 saves. He is the best closer of our time, with 554 saves in his career. It’s pretty amazing. After bad negotiations with the Padres, he is now a free agent. Maybe the Padres will still be able to get him back. We’ll see. The fans would really like him back!!

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HEATH BELL, PITCHER

Last year, he was just getting ready for his role as set-up man to Trevor Hoffman. This year, he might have to replace Trevor Hoffman. How do you replace a guy like Trevor Hoffman? Heath has 1 career save; Trevor has 554. Heath has the closer’s mentality. He’s said that he would be willing to replace Trevor someday…but only if Trevor handed off the role to him. I’m sure Heath would be content with staying in the set-up role if Trevor was able to come back. But right now, it looks like Heath will be the closer for this team. That’s pretty sad. I mean, it’s great for Heath, but the Padres have had 1 closer for 15 years. We want that closer back.

Many other players have taken different directions, are doing different things. This team will be very different. But general manager Kevin Towers has said that the majority of our signings will be late January to early February. We could still have a great team. And I think it will be a pretty good year of Padres baseball.

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