The All-Annoying Team

June 9, 2008

Seeing Coco Crisp get in a fight the other day made me think about how many annoying baseball players there are out there.  It also gave me the idea to create the 2008 (current players only) All-Annoying Team. There are certain guys out there that just really annoy me. While some of these guys may be true dicks, there are others who may actually be good guys but generally annoy me.

C: A.J. Pierzynski– Annoyed me ever since he was with the Giants in 2004. Also annoyed me when he got in a fight with Michael Barrett and the guy just looks like a jerk for some reason.

1B: Albert Pujols– Yeah okay…its probably because he is ridiculously good and kills the Padres every time he faces us…but something about the whole ultra cocky home run trot/point to God after after hit/annoying swagger really bugs me. Yeah we found out he is a nice guy in the way he helped Chris Young after he smacked a ball in his face and subsequently took out Josh Bard’s ankle, but still I hold a grudge.

2B: Jeff Kent- Officer Kent is probably annoys me more than anyone in the game. His highway patrol mustache and his overall arrogant personality really annoys me. He is so annoying that I was forced to actually took Barry Bond’s side in their famous Giants clubhouse squabble.

SS: David Eckstein– The guy is smaller than me and he looks like a third grader. His all out, extra-effort, everything I have attitude is really annoying to play against and brings back flashes of that annoying kid in tee-ball that would just dive for every single play. He just looks annoying.

3B: Alex Rodriguez– There weren’t too many annoying guys at 3B to pick from, so AROD sorta wins this by default. Just the ridiculous amount of media coverage this guy gets makes it so annoying to hear anything about him. We don’t hear about Kooz’s relationship with Greene everyday in the national media so why the hell should we have to sit through hours and hours of reports and news on the status of AROD and Jeter. The guy is an amazing player, but just the fact that he plays for the Yankees and has his every move reported like N’Sync, qualifies him for the most annoying third baseman in the game.

OF: Coco Crisp- Totally annoyed with the long hair style of the Red Sox and guys growing out their hair in dreds like Manny, but this guy adds an extra annoying element to his game: the bat fiddle. Watch this guy for one at bat and you just want to chop off his little fiddle fingers as they move up and down annoyingly on the bat. Then after watching the fight from the other day and his comments afterwards and the way he behaved through all of it makes me annoyed by him even more.

OF: Andruw Jones- This guy plays with the ultimate Hot Dog style of defense in centerfield. You will see this guy use two hands to make a catch just about as much as you will see him without a smirk on his face or giggling about something most likely unrealted to the game. Does this guy ever get focused? He always seems to be laughing, but his stats this year are just about the only thing laughable. Extra annoying points for the way his first name is spelled.

OF: Jayson Werth- Another guy who gets credit just for looking extremely annoying. If it isn’t his civil war beard he sported with the Dodgers, its his thin striped goatee that annoys me the most. The guy has acted like a dick to Padre fans (see gaslampball) and thinks he is hot shit, but really he is a less than average player who will most likely by more remembered for being annoying. I’m with GLB crew on this one.

Bench Players:

Matt Holliday-annoying jaw flap when he bats (like a large mouth bass), never touched home plate

Chone Figgins-Just for the way his name is spelled

Johny Damon- Annoying hairstyles with the sox, “does anyone even know who plays for the San Diego Padres?!?!”

Eric Byrnes– Flip flops and dives all around the outfield and tries to be ultra dramatic. A real nice guy though and I would love to have him on our team, but he is still annoying to play against because of his all out effort and overly dramatic plays.

Jim Edmonds- See above. Not only that but he is one of those guys who just seemed like he hated SD when he played here and he was terrible. Didn’t seem like a team player or a good all around guy to have in the clubhouse which is probably why we got rid of him.

Dough Mirabelli– I know he is retired, but if there ever was an all annoying team he would definitley have to come out of retirement to play for that team. “I’m going back to the big leagues” , this guy was one of the biggest dicks ever on the Padres, and nothing was better than watching him strike out 3 times against us in his first game back at PETCO last year.

PITCHING:

SP: Carlos Zambrano- This guy goes too nuts on the mound. He celebrates too much and goes too crazy for the smallest things. Nothing is more annoying than facing a guy like this who is a head case and who fights in the dugout and kicks coolers. Also have to mention the classic “belt off” during the Padres Cubs fight last year…what was he thinking? Glad Barrett got into it with him last year, don’t blame him.

SP: Brad Penny- See above. While he is not as crazy as Zambrano, this guy gets into it quite a bit and can still be equally as annoying. Not to mention he goes to his hair and gets grease after almost every pitch…and the Dodgers questioned Peavy of cheating.

SP: Tim Lincecum- Nobody likes getting dominated by an annoying looking 12 year old.

SP: Jeff Francis- see above.

SP: Pedro Martinez– Has been far too annoying over the years to not be put on this team. Always intentionally throwing at people, looking like a skinny floppy guy and then dominating you is really annoying.

RP: Jose Valverde- This guy is nuts. Absolutely crazy and annoying to play against. He celebrates game 12 of the season like it is a World Series victory. Needs to calm down and be less annoying.

RP: Jonathon Papelbon- The stare down and bulging eyes gets REAL REAL annoying really quick. This guy is another one of the crazies. His celebrating of the World Series was annoying as well.

RP: Eric Gagne- The glasses, “game-over”, the dodgers, roids

COACHES:

Tony La Russa- Pitcher batting 8th? this guy is far and away the most annoying guy ever. Thinks he is a genius and really he is just an a-hole.

1B Coach: Mariano Duncan- Yelling at Jake Peavy during the game was absolutely uncalled for and incredibly annoying.

3b Coach: Ozzie Gullien- Dude needs to stop talking forever.

Umpires:

Mike Winters will be the only ump. He is annoying and a dick enough to cover the whole umpire squad himself.

Wow this turned out to be much harsher then I imagined it would. Guess i just got into it a little bit. What do you think? Any changes?

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Torre has a bad memory

April 7, 2008

Padres won today in SF on a solid performance by Maddux and some good hitting from Gonzales. It was a solid game and a nice way to start the season out on the raod.

As you all may know, a picture was released of Peavy with black stains on his pitching fingers from after his complete game the other day. Looking at the picture it does look a little suspicious to me, it looks much darker then just dirt and it is on only a few of his fingers (the ones he uses to pitch) but I still think Peavy is going to be Peavy no matter what, and he is a nasty pitcher to face…. one things for sure, he will have to be much more careful in the future about that as now the umpires are going to be watching him closely.

my favorite part of the article about his “substance” comes from Joe Torre:

Dodgers manager Joe Torre was hesitant to discuss the issue with reporters yesterday, saying he didn’t “want to make excuses for not winning. I didn’t suspect anything (Saturday). It was the first time I’ve seen him pitch.”

First time you seen him pitch you say? Well you must have been blacked out the day Peavy made his major league debut against your Yankees in front of 60,000+ and held them to 1 run on 3 hits in 6 innings after he had just been called up from AA. 1 run on 3 hits, pretty similar to what he just did to your current club Joe..

It bugs me how he says its the first time hes seen him pitch as if he is some rookie. This is the NL Cy Young and possibly the BEST pitcher in baseball…are you telling me Torre has never even watched him pitch a game on TV or anything? Is he that tuned out of the baseball world? I know the Yanks feel like they are in a different league than everyone else, but come on. We do know for a fact he has seen Peavy pitch and seen Peavy pitch well in his MLB debut

I also find it funny that Torre has gone from the cream of the crop of the baseball world to managing the dirty dodgers in LA. Whereas before he never even had to think about the San Diego Padres, now he has to face us in 18 games and we are one of the main rivals of the Dodgers. All of a sudden Torre not only notices the Padres but I am sure is going to lose a lot more of what little hair he has left after dealing with us all season long.

Mr. Torre…I guarantee by the end of this season you will have seen WAY more Jake Peavy then you will EVER have wanted to.

Bud black and Trevor Hoffman have just cost the team yet another game.  With the score tied 2 to 2 in the ninth and Bell ready to go back out for a second inning, Black calls on Hoffman to pitch.  Any fan who has watched the Padres for the past decade knows that Trevor has a history of struggling in non-save situations.  Trevor had some struggled the other night when he blew a save and he has been pitched quite a bit, while Bell was relatively fresh and looked pretty sharp in his one inning….yet still Black called for Hoffman…and it came back to bite him in the ass.

Hoffman comes in and right away gives up a leadoff walk to Russ Martin.  Leadoff walks out of the bullpen are killer!  You have to go after the batter and force him to at least make contact, giving up a leadoff walk is a major cardinal sin.  Hoffman gets an easy ground ball which advances the runner to second and then gives up a line drive right down the left field line which scores the run.  Padres lose 3-2.

The was no reason for Hoffman to be in the game in that situation.  He consistently struggles in non save situations, and the Paders had Bell and many other excellent options to pitch the ninth instead.

I have been a huge huge Hoffman fan my whole life and I understand what he has done for the organization.  I would love for him to succeed right now and be dominate again, I just personally feel he is past his prime.  There is nothing really we can do about it either, we are going to have to deal with him for the entire season and my guess is he will retire at the end of the season.  We cannot remove him as our closer or force him to retire early, so instead it is going to be a long and frustrating year.  I feel bad for the people like Chris Young who have busted their butts and gone out there playing a great game only to have it blown by Trevor.  I know Trevor will rebound but it is frustrating to accept that he is not the dominate closer he once was.  Trevor is going to blow more games then ever before this year and he is not going to dominate and wow everyone like he has before, it is just something we need to accept.  We just need to avoid putting him in there when he should not be in there (such as instances like today).

Better managerial decisions must be made against division rivals.  As we found out last year…every game counts

I recently received a copy of MLB 08: The Show, the latest version of the long running officially licensed MLB video game. Since I only have a PSP I was unable to check out the PS3 version of the game, although I have seen it played on some of my friends systems. However, MLB the show is exclusive to Playstation systems and is known to be the best selling baseball game so I thought I would take advantage my good ol’ PSP and give this years model a try.

The PSP version of the game has improved by leaps and bounds from last years model of MLB the show. Just the look of the menu screens is sharper and cleaner then ever before, and the game play is improved as well. The game holds one of the most accurate depictions of Petco Park that I have ever seen on a video game. The details of the stadium are spot on which makes for a fun and realistic gaming experience. The speed and action of the game feels more real now as well. After playing MLB2k8 on the wii, the gameplay of MLB 08 The Show seemed so much faster and sharper which made it more realistic. Pitching with Peavy was ridiculously fun because his stuff is nasty in the game. I took a no hitter deep into the game and was actually enjoying choosing each pitch when usually I do not have the patience and am ALWAYS waiting to bat. One thing that I love is when you are throwing a slider you can see the direction the ball is going to go so you can plan to throw your pitches more strategically to hit the corner of the strike zone.

While the pitches thrown by Peavy were blowing by the opposition, when it was my turn to bat I had no trouble at all making contact and smacking solid gappers. You still have the option this year to guess the pitch in order to make better contact, and you have a good chance to read the pitch while it is on its way, even though it comes in fast. The Padres lineup was updated well and Iguchi had a solid game in the first game I played. Switching pitchers and making in game changes has become much simpler in this years model and everything runs and plays real smooth. I LOVE having Matty V. as the announcer and he had some great funny comments thrown in to make the commentary seem real. Unfortunately I am not a big Rex Hudler fan but to hear Matty sure is fun and makes up for Rex being on the game. The one thing I noticed missing was that there are still no umpires shown in the game, which is just a small minor technical glitch that does not affect the game play at all.

They have a new and improved Career mode as well as season modes and online play. I got hooked once again into playing the fun King of Show (not sure thats the correct name) mini game, which is basically a speedy version of a simulated game with lots of bonus targets and fun bonuses to make it even more enjoyable. I also have played Home Run Derby a lot which I enjoy because I love playing at the different parks and getting to see how realistically they are portrayed while being able to smack balls all over the place. Overall the game is great and it keeps getting better every year. I have started my season and I know I will be spending lots of time this summer logging games and getting deep into career mode.

The great part about the PSP version is I really can bring it anywhere and play whenever I want wherever I want, so it is great to have a handheld version of this game that seems more like it is a PS2 game. I wish I could review the PS3 version but I have only seen it for a few minutes. The graphics on the PS3 version are so amazing real and ridiculously sharp it is amazing. Hopefully in the future I will have a chance to play that more and see how that stacks up and compares to the version I have on my PSP. I dont have MLB2k8 for PSP so I cannot directly compare the two, but I do know that MLB08 The Show has raised the bar and set the standard for baseball games on the PSP.

Honestly, where was bud during that 7th inning today?

Thatcher gets an out and then goes and walks 3 batters to load the bases INCLUDING the pitcher, and Bud doesn’t take him out?  Rusch was up and ready in the pen so there was no reason why the switch couldn’t have been made.  The next batter (one of the best hitters on the Dodgers) then smacks a base hit to score two runs and make it a 3 to 1 game.  It seems one of the major flaws from Bud’s first year as a manager is still around in 08, and that is his sometimes blind faith in pitchers.  He has shown that he will let a pitcher work out of their own mess, and it has come back to bite the team many times, including tonight.  When a reliever comes in during a tie game in the seventh, walking the bases loaded should not be acceptable.  To think that the guy who just walked the bases loaded is going to get 2 outs against the heart of the Dodger’s lineup is having too much faith.  I understand Black was a pitcher and he has been a pitching coach and he knows the pitchers want to fix their own mistakes, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere.

In case you haven’t noticed now I always let my emotions get the best of me after a loss and therefore you will see a fair share of criticism and negativity after a loss.

Other Negatives:

-The Padres were just overpowered by Kuroda tonight.  Of course, none of the Padres had faced Kuroda before so he had that advantage going for him, but still….he looked real sharp and threw less than 80 pitches through his 7 innings.

The postives:

Our starting rotation has been lights out the first time through.  Peavy 0 ER, Germano 0 ER, Wolf 1 ER, CY 1 ER, Maddux 3 ER.  Wow.  If we could keep up pitching like this the Padres will be a force to reckon with in the NLwest.

So even though the season has started the battle for left field continues.  Once Edmonds comes back to centerfield PMac Hairston and even Gerut are going to battle for who can get the most starts in left.  PMac started great on opening day but Hairston seems to be looking the best after the first series.  With two home runs in the first series and a 3 for 3 day today Hairston is looking very similar to the kind of player we saw at the end of last year.  He is very exciting to watch and I am hoping he can keep this up through the next few series and earn a mostly permanent job there.

Iguchi came through in the clutch today and has had a nice start himself.  Hoffman bounced back (mustve read my last post and taken it personally…) and Wolf had a pretty nice start for our number four starter.

Tomorrow its the Dodgers, lets hope Germano can have a solid outing and take down Kuroda (supposedly one of the best pitchers brought in from Japan this offseason)

Okay, so maybe I am STILL not over the fact that Hoffman blew two saves that could have sent us to the playoffs last year.  To be honest I didn’t want to see him in the opener in a close clutch situation, I was way too nervous.  He came in last night and closed out the save rather easily, despite my constant predictions of a home run every at bat.  So I woke up this morning and said “ok, its  a new year, maybe he gathered his thoughts and got everything together and will have a solid year, I should really stop hating on him and doubting him”

Tonight:

Hoffman gives up 4 runs with 2 outs in the 9th to blow the save and lose the game for the Padres…even after they fought so hard to come back time and time again to get the lead into the 9th.

Its going to be a LONG season with Hoffy I’m afraid….

I love the guy, and I know he has done SO much for the organization and he is for sure a hall of famer and one of the best closers ever….BUT I think he is hitting the twilight stage of his career VERY quickly and things are not so easy anymore for him.  Watching him get beat by Tony Gwynn Jr. and then pounded by the Rockies and now smashed by the Astros really has left a bitter taste in my mouth.  I would be much happier if Bell got the chance to save some games or split save opportunities with Hoffy.  MLB is getting younger and younger and the stars of yesterday are fading away…unfortunately Hoffman is one of those stars of yesterday…but fortunately Heath Bell is looking more and more like one of the stars of tomorrow.

I’m ready for tomorrow today.

(and yes it is the 3rd game of the season and I am already over reacting)

Peavy is a Beast

April 1, 2008

beast.jpgI could not have asked for much more from my favorite day of the year. The Padres started the season out with a great game led by Jake Peavy’s 7 innings of 3 hit shut out ball and his 2 RBI’s. This guy can do it all. I don’t believe he had even close to his best stuff tonight but he blew right through a pretty tough and powerful lineup and the Padres came away with a 4-0 victory while compiling 14 hits (many against Oswalt, one of the more dominating pitchers in the game).

Other highlights:

  1. Tad Iguchi breaks out for three hits in his Padres debut including two doubles.
  2. PMAC has great at bats all around and ends up with a few solid base hits to start the season out.
  3. Adrian and Tony Clark come through in the clutch with big RBI’s
  4. The bullpen takes care of the 8th and 9th to close out the shutout
  5. Hairston throws out Miguel Tejada trying to stretch a leadoff single into a double in the top of the ninth.
  6. Petco Robbed the Astros of home runs on a few deep deep drives that would be out in other parks (especially Minute Maid Park)

  1. We didn’t have to see Trevor pitch in a clutch situation in a big game (my fear is if he were to choke he would have psychological issues after blowing the last two of last year)

The Few Lowlights:

  1. Padres leave 12 runners on base
  2. Padres fail to score in some 1 out runner on third situations (the same thing that plagued them all of last year)
  3. PETCO robbed us of some home runs on deep shots
  4. We didn’t get to see Hell’s Bells and Trevor come in and notch his first save. (woulda been fun with the sell out crowd of almost 45K

Astros manager Cecil Cooper said “It wasn’t by accident that he won the Cy Young last year. That won’t happen too often with us. Three hits, four hits? That won’t happen very often.”

Oh yeah Cecil, just wait until tonight….

CY is unleashed

PLAY BALL!

March 30, 2008

Tomorrow marks my absolute favorite day of the year…the official start of Padres baseball!  It should be an exciting matchup…Peavy vs. Oswalt with all the excitement of the new season and opening night at sold out Petco Park.   With the games getting underway I will have more to write about and hopefully more frequent updates.

After watching spring training and reading up on the team I have came up with my one and only prediction.

The Padres will finish with 88 wins.

Will that be enough to win the NL West?  Who knows?

We will start to find out tomorrow (technically today as it is past 12:00 AM)

More updates soon including a review of MLB 08 The Show for PSP

Last Tuesday I went out and bought my first baseball game for the Nintendo Wii: MLB2K8.  I never can resist buying these baseball video games when they come out, just to get a look at the new look Padres every year and see how the Padres are ranked.  This year they are ranked 10th in MLB2k8 on the Wii.  I believe they are ranked 3rd in pitching and 26th or 27th in batting.  The commentary on the game is really good with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan and when talking about the Padres they will either focus on Iguchi or Giles.  Morgan says in the commentary that he loves Iguchi and that Iguchi is one of the most underrated players in the game.  Needless to say he is pretty good in the game, he has pretty good speed (by far the best on the Padres) and has some pop to his bat and can hit one out at random times.  Edmonds also hits very well in the game as well as AGon. The pitching is pretty outstanding on the game.  I started a season and while it took me a while to adapt and I had a bad first game with Peavy, he almost threw a no hitter in his second start.  They have Maddux in the number 2 slot and he is controlled and solid, not overpowering but gets lots of outs.  Chris Young (is portrayed as an African American it looks like?) is overpowering and solid.  Wolf is solid and unfortunately they dont have Prior on the game but they have Germano as the number 5 and he is pretty solid himself.  Petco Park looks pretty terrible, not only are the Wii graphics not that great they really didnt do a good job accurately portraying Petco at all.  After seeing MLB the show 08 on the xbox 360 and how incredibly accurate and sharp it is, I realized it blew the wii out of the water in accuracy of the park.

As far as gameplay this game is totally different than most normal video games just because of the innovative wii controls.  You actually have to flick the controller to pitch each pitch and time it perfectly to get the right pitch while aiming it into the catchers mit.  The pithcing is really fun and it never has felt more satisfying to blow a pitch past a batter.  While batting you have to take a full swing and point your joystick on the nunchuck where you want to hit it.  There are some fun interactive parts such as pumping the nunchuck and wiimote up and down to sprint faster on the basebaths and thrusting them to slide into a base…or thrusting them both to make a diving play in the field or raising them both up quickly to make a catch in the outfield.  The baserunning is real hard, but the fielding is pretty simple and basic (all you need is to flick the wiimote and it will throw to the best base).  Overall it is a really fun game to play and the commentary is really great which makes it feel even more real.  I have a hard time playing it and relaxing though, because it is hard to sit back on the couch when you need to swing fully.  The other downside to the game for out of shape lazy people like me is that after playing 3 full games i woke up the next morning with a sore arm/elbow haha.  I have gotten sore after going intense boxing on the wii too so this is a general problem with the wii system.  But seriously, you have to flick that thing like 100 times each game for the pitches and just as many if not more times to swing the bat on offense.  You play 3 games and if you are swinging and pitching hard you are swinging/pitching 750-1000 times.  It gets tiring.  With more conditioning and maybe a days rest between starts 😉 it will get better.  Overall its a fun game and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a fun interactive realistic baseball game without incredibly accurate graphics.