36-39, Some Additional Thoughts

  • When I first walked into the stadium just before gametime, Padres employees were selling team programs with a picture of Vinny Castilla on the cover, the caption calling him "one of the best third basemen in baseball." According to The Hardball Times, Castilla has created 2.9 runs per game at the plate so far this year, good enough for 45th out of 55 guys who've manned the hot corner in 2006. So, as it turns out, the program is right - Castilla is one of the 45 best third basemen in baseball. An alternate interpretation is that by "baseball" they mean any league anywhere, as opposed to just MLB, which you'd think would swing the pendulum in Castilla's direction even more, until you realize that there are probably guys in Tee Ball who could out-produce him with the bat. Vinny Castilla: one of the 26,732 best third basemen in baseball!

  • When Mike Hargrove makes a double-switch, God manually declaws a kitten with a set of rusty pliers, uses a talon to scrape and pucture its corneas, chips its fangs with an ice pick, and sets it in a small fenced enclosure with a pack of bloodthirsty arctic wolves.

  • Unrelated, but from Fox's Saturday baseball broadcast just a second ago:

    Tim McCarver: In Scrabble, W's are worth 4 points. S's are only worth 1 point. But as far as Papelbon is concerned, S's are worth a lot more than W's.
    Joe Buck: Folks, feel free to turn off your TVs right now. Go do something else. Good Lord...


  • Julio Mateo's tenth inning appearance last night is exactly what I was worried about when JJ Putz became the team's nominal closer. In that situation there's absolutely no excuse to skip over one of the top firemen in baseball for a slop-throwing middle reliever who'd already worked three straight games. Hargrove's bullpen management has been tolerable for much of the year, but last night was a disaster.

  • Rob Bowen, meet the kinder, gentler Richie Sexson. Ashley Olsen could've delivered a better hit than that, as Sexson was torn between trying to bowl over the catcher or run screaming towards the dugout, eyes wide as saucers and arms flailing in the air behind him.

  • Exactly three different Padres fans turned around to make fun of me after Sexson was called out. I am embarrassed by the way I responded to one of them, who left with his family shortly thereafter.

  • According to Win Expectancy, the break-even rate for sending Sexson home from third on that single in the ninth is 27.6%. That's extraordinarily low, and serves to justify the decision to wave him around. The outcome sucked, but in that situation scoring a run is extremely valuable, and worth the attempt. Alas...

  • If the A's and Rangers continue winning at their current pace, and the Mariners are a "true" .480 team, Seattle has a 1.0% chance of winning the AL West.

  • If the A's and Rangers continue winning at their current pace, and the Mariners are a "true" .514 team (their Pythagorean winning percentage), Seattle has a 4.7% chance of winning the AL West.

  • If the A's and Rangers begin winning at their Pythagorean paces, and the Mariners are a "true" .514 team, Seattle has a 7.2% chance of winning the AL West.

  • Overheard at the ballpark:

    "Hey Ichiro, go back to China!"


  • Last night, fans were still showing up in the fourth inning, and several thousand called it a night before the game even went to extras. There was a beach ball sighting down the first base line, and at one point the game had to be stopped for a moment while one of the security guys ran out onto the field to pick up a paper airplane. Knowledge of the sport and teams involved was at a bare minimum, as it seemed like many of the people around me were there not for the game, but for the sake of finding something to do for a few hours before walking over and getting lit in the Gaslamp later that night. If anything, it was more a "there to be seen" than "there for the game" crowd. Per usual, they only ever got loud when the scoreboard told them to, or when Giles' single ended it. Bandwagoners were everywhere, with 20-something guys who don't know who Mike Cameron is shouting and screaming insults at the Mariners and the city of Seattle in general. San Diego: not a baseball town. Still love the park, though.

  • I was too high up to get much of an idea of how Gil Meche was pitching, but the box score tells me he did pretty well. This is starting to get weird.

  • Jeremy Reed now officially has a higher slugging percentage than Richie Sexson.

And so on and so forth. Game tonight. Please win.
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