Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Day After Rain

It's always the most beautiful day in San Diego.  The sky is cloudless with a cold breeze, but even more blue than usual.  Most of the puddles have receded.  The walk around the park today was particularly nice.  Pogi seemed to enjoy it too.  

I'm going to wait to gather my thoughts on the Padres trickling into camp as opposed to just reacting to what's in the paper each day.  Certainly, Brian Giles isn't going to make a lot of friends with his non-renouncement of spousal abuse and violence in a relationship.  Peavy seems like a free spirit who's ready for whatever wave carries him out of here, and David Eckstein is, well...plucky.  If the Padres fail to execute a "David Eckstein Dirty T-Shirt Night" this year then Charles Steinberg will roll over in his bed.  But that's it for now on the Pads, there's plenty of spring and summer for their tales.  I am planning and plotting a trip to Arizona for next month, stay tuned...

OH WAIT!  One more thing!  I was laughing pretty hard yesterday listening to Darren Smith (who I like, don't get me wrong) talk about Greg Maddux the coach and how you get the whole package, pitching and hitting and fielding, and on and on and on...he spent a whole segment just about how great an addition this was for the Padres.

First things first: He's gonna be there for a week.  Then, gone for a few weeks, then back for another week or so.  Let's not spend 10 minutes inflating the virtue of the spring training coach that's gonna hang around for a couple of weeks, OK?  Here's the quote from the bottom of the Kras article:

Black said Maddux probably will leave the club after next week, then rejoin the team later in spring camp. He said Maddux likely will ask questions of Black and Padres coaches during games and also will spend time with General Manager Kevin Towers.

“He's going to be part of our spring training staff,” Black said. “The role is probably undefined.”

Second things second: Wasn't he on the team last year?  Just trying to remember...yeah he was!  So all that amazing lore and knowledge, all that Professorial Wisdom, that translated into exactly what last year?  Was he not imparting as much wisdom as a typical Maddux season?  Was there something off his wisdom fastball just like there was off his real fastball?  Or were the Padres just that bad, so that Maddux's wisdom and lore and brilliance averted an even greater disaster, like (GASP!) 102 losses? 

I think this is a brilliant swindle on Maddux's part.  Hang out in the Valley for a couple of weeks in February and March.  In the morning, do a little Pitchers Fielding Practice and hit some fungos, maybe say this and that to pitchers X, Y, and Z.  Then, it's off to the links with Peavy and CY.  Meanwhile everyone writes and sings songs about his brilliance and impossible-to-measure-so-it's-got-to-be-great impact, and he gets a paycheck without throwing a pitch.  Where do I sign up?  

An announcement like that isn't a positive worthy of a puff piece column and a segment of talk radio!  It's a sign of the hopelessness of the situation: instead of talking about the talented pitcher that's here to replace Maddux this year, we've got Cha Seung Beck and Maddux getting a check to hang out for a couple of weeks and shag flies.  But this is why Brian Giles figures he can skate through abuse allegations while playing right field this year: in this town you can spin it any way you want and be guaranteed to have it eaten up without question.  

Tonight, I'm going back to my tainted gym and then off to the PCC for another night of slinging cards and chips.  I will be testing my latest theory at the gym again tonight, maybe I'll tell you about it later...Elsten's Theory of Relative Position To The Naked Guy.  Is that a tease, or what?

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