I really, really miss Padres baseball.
I’ve been watching a lot of football since the season ended, and I’m really falling in love with the sport. I know, I know, I used to be a huge hater of football, but it’s been growing on me. It’s a fascinating sport. It’s new, it’s exciting, and it’s constantly moving. The atmosphere is so different from a baseball game to a football game though. Football is all about constant action, constant noise, but baseball is so laid-back, no stress. I miss it a lot.
I really miss listening to Padres baseball. I miss hearing about the guys like Kevin Kouzmanoff and Everth Cabrera and all our amazing new pitchers and everybody. I’ve been keeping busy ever since the season ended, but it’s finally hitting me how much I miss it.
Though football is really growing on me, baseball will always be my #1 sport. Baseball is just so much better in so many ways. Football is all about hitting guys and throwing a ball. Brutal chaos, basically. But baseball, ahhh. Football is like a wave of heat in the desert, but baseball is like a breath of cool air in the night. You get the point. Baseball has so much class, so much finesse. It’s an incredible sport. I miss it like crazy.
First off, I feel really bad about not blogging for the past few days, so I am really sorry about that. But I have a good excuse: I was really sick. When I was in the mountains last weekend, a bug was starting to go around. First it was a sore throat, then I got the stuffy nose and the coughing going, and finally I got the fever on Wednesday night, and it hung around until Sunday morning. It was a long, hard, weekend. I have never been sick this long before. I usually have the 24-hour-virus thing, but the fever stuck around forever! Anyways, I’m feeling much better now. The cough is still pretty bad, but I am definitely on the road to recovery. Hopefully I won’t have to keep away from blogging like that ever again!
Baseball! In the last week, there have been a lot of tidbits and reports coming out of the Padres camp. Lots of little things, really, but they are all pretty interesting. Kouz had shoulder surgery in the offseason, and he’s almost back to 100%. There’s this dude from Mexico, RHP Walter Silva, who looks like a really good pitcher, who the Padres have in camp this year, and he could get a spot in the rotation. Catcher Henry Blanco finally made it into camp on Friday, but I think we can excuse him because he was with his sick mom. Lots of interesting stuff going on!
I can’t believe the first Spring Training games are this week! I mean, they just reported like a week ago! This offseason really went by so much faster than the last offseason did. It’s so cool to think that I’ll be listening to Padres baseball this weekend! How amazing is that? After this long, dark, hard offseason, we are into the light and hope of spring. It’s going to be so much fun!
Wednesday is the Padres annual charity game against the Mariners (we share the Peroia Sports Complex with Seattle, so there’s a bit of a rivalry there). That game is not broadcast on the radio, even though Jake is starting it 🙂 Our second game is against the Mariners again, and presumably, Chris Young will be starting it. Friday is the Indians, probably Cha Seung Baek starting, and then Saturday is the Royals. I’m not sure who will be starting that one. This is pretty exciting…GO PADRES!!
Tomorrow = two words: pitchers and catchers. WHOOOHOOOO!!! We are finally back to baseball! Sure, they are basically just running and streching, but they are running and streching in preparation for baseball. It is so exciting! How many long, hard months have we been waiting for this? Too many. Way too many.
It’s going to be a tough season for me and all Padres fans. I just read a preview for the Padres and 2009 looks very bleak. It was a depressing article, actually. It seems very likely that Jake Peavy will not end the season with us. We’re not going to win that many games with the team we are planning to put on the field. And I mean, VERY depressing article. But I need to have hope that this team will play above expectations. I mean, who thought the Rockies or the Rays would get to where they went? We can win. I know that. I am dying for my team to prove that they are better than what people expect them to be. I am a Padres fan, and proud of it. We may lose a lot of games this year, we might lose our All-Star, CY Young winner and ace Jake Peavy, but I will stand by my team and I will support them through the good, the bad, and the ugly. It just won’t be easy.
But now, here is the most shocking news of all. You all know that I am super excited about tomorrow, and that the Padres’ 2009 season is finally getting started. But…I am not going to be here! *gasp*! No, I will not be in San Diego, and no, I will not be in Arizona (that would be amazing!!), but I will be up in the mountains with a group from my church. We will be serving a group of about 700 teenagers in a camp up there. We serve them all their meals, but we get some time to ourselves to have Bible studies and stuff too. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I am really looking forward to it. There is two feet of snow up there right now from the storm last weekend, and there’s another storm coming in today. It is going to be very cold. I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to get up there before it starts snowing. It would be a big hassle to try to drive through the snow and everything. I have never been in falling snow in my life, but I have a pretty good feeling that I will be this weekend. It’s going to be very cold, but I am very thankful that we have heated cabins with bathrooms on the inside. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure. So, if any of you think of it, we would really appreciate prayer as we minister to a lot of hurting teenagers, and also safety on the road with the inclement weather.
We’re leaving this afternoon, and we’ll be back on Monday afternoon. Also, if there’s any big news in the baseball world, feel free to leave me a comment so I can catch up on everything when I get back. Of course, you can also just leave a comment saying how much you miss me 🙂 I’m really going to miss blogging and reading all of your blogs! Hey, you could also post links to entries you write so I can definitely read them when I get back! OK, OK, I do want a lot of comments when I get back 🙂 See you Monday! And GO PADRES!!!
(photo credit: longbeachrealestatehome.com)
Today felt like a summer day in San Diego. It’ s about 80 degrees outside, but with a bit of a breeze. The air is so clear and clean, it’s just a beautiful day. A day like this got me thinking about summer, as baseball is coming up.
I love summer, but I hate the heat. I mean, summer is all about heat, but I don’t like it boiling hot, just warm. In fact, I would rather freeze than boil to death. But anyways, though I don’t like summer because of the heat, I do love summertime. I love the smell of barbeques, eating hamburgers that aren’t like the ones at a fast food place but so much better. I love it being light later, like when the sun goes down around 7:30 pm. What I love about San Diego weather is that no matter how hot it is during the day, it will always cool down at night. Today is 80 degrees, but it’s going to be very cold tonight. If I go outside, I’m going to need a jacket. I love that about San Diego.
But the best thing about summer is baseball. To me, the perfect summer evening is eating grilled hamburgers and sweet watermelon or fresh strawberries, settling down as the day cools off, and listening to some Padres baseball on the radio. Just relaxing and listening to the voices of Jerry Coleman, Ted Leitner, and Andy Masur, as they call all the action from Petco Park. That’s what my summer evenings have been like for the last two years. I remember a long time ago, way before I became a Padres fan, my parents would have the game on during summer evenings. That will always be a part of some of my earliest memories of summer. It’s a wonderful season, it really is.
Our summer last year was pretty mild. We got the worst of it in September, I think. It really wasn’t that hot. Though I don’t like the heat, summer = baseball. You have got to love that.
Now, I guess I should mention football. I threw around the old pigskin with a bunch of friends earlier. We were out in the 80 degree heat, but it was lot of fun. Usually I’m not one to play with the football, since I’m still on my football hate thing right now, but today I gave in and it was really fun. I hate big, hard balls, though. We were actually throwing around three different balls, and my favorite was the tiny one that was slightly deflating. Anyways, on one throw to me the biggest, hardest ball came up and hit me pretty badly in the finger. It is not broken, but it hurts. I am not quite sure why I mentioned that, maybe because it has something to do with sports and it’s bugging me right now.
I guess I should also mention something about the Super Bowl. I will not be watching it, but I will be keeping track of the score. I think I am going for the Cardinals. I just kind of decided that this morning. I think Pittsburgh will win, but they knocked off the Chargers, plus all my friends are going for Arizona. I know, bad way to choose your team, but it makes sense. So, go Cardinals!
Oh yeah, in Mark’s latest J-Blog School, he said that contractions should be spelled out. While that’s a great tip for journalism, I don’t think I can handle eliminating them on my blog. Contractions make my blog more personal and casual, and that’s what I want my blog to be. So, if it starts bugging anyone, I apologize in advance. I don’t want my blog to be perfect and stiff. I want it to be personal. I want it to sound like I’m a human and not a robot. When I get into a professional writing career, that tip will be most helpful. Thanks, Mark!
In the Latest Leaders this week, I got #22!! Last week, I was #23, so I’m moving along slowly but steadily. In continuation of Jimmy’s “dedication” tradition, I will dedicate this ranking to one Marcus Giles.
Marcus played with the Padres in 2007. He is Brian Giles’ younger brother, and it was really cool to watch them play together that year. Marcus played second base for the majority of the year, but was released at the end of the ’07 season.
I think he’s the only guy that has had #22 in the last few years, so he’s the man. He signed a minor league deal with the Rockies for 2008, but I think he was released after Spring Training. He spend 2008 just living in San Diego with his wife and three little girls. Just a few weeks ago he was signed by the Phillies and invited to Spring Training. I hope he does very well!
In other news, the Padres signed a new play-by-play guy: Mark Neely. I think he’s related to bigpapi72, right?
Baseball is coming…I can feel it…but I think I’m going through a bit of writer’s block, so if this entry seemed a little strained, that’s why. I just can’t seem to be writing as well…AHHH!!!
Anyways, thanks to all my readers for getting me to #22. I would love to be able to dedicate a ranking to my favorite player, Kevin Kouzmanoff, soon…he’s #5…
Right now, I am reading the book The Code: Baseball’s Unwritten Rules and Its Ignore-at-Your-Own-Risk Code of Conduct by Ross Bernstein. It’s a facinating book, very interesting. In this book, I discovered the story of a pitcher named Steve Dalkowski.
He was a minor league pitcher from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. He is considered by some to be the fastest pitcher ever. It was reported that his fastball reached 110 mph, but others think it was only 105 mph. Thing is, the radar guns back then were not that good, so there are very few accurate readings of him.
He was never able to get to the majors because though he was very fast, he was also very wild. In 1960, he had 262 strikeouts in the California League. But he also gave up 262 walks!
When he was first signed by the Orioles, he threw a pitch that took off a part of a hitter’s ear and gave him a concussion. He would stand 15 feet away from a wooden fence and throw a pitch through it. He also threw a ball over a fence 440 feet away.
Though he was insanely fast (many players were utterly scared of him), he was terribly wild. Some think that his confidence deteriorated because he was scared about killing someone with his pitches. Evidently, he hurt his arm in his first major league call-up, and never came back effectively. The rest of his story is pretty sad. He had major problems with alcohol. He was placed in Walnut Hill Care Center in 1994. He has since been able to stay sober, but is still suffering from the effects of his alcoholism.
He was certainly very fast, and he had a very interesting career. Here are some facts on Steve Dalkowski:
- One time in a minor league game, he threw three pitches that went through the backstop.
- When he was in high school, he threw a no-hit shutout…with 18 strikeouts and 18 walks.
- One time, he struck out 27 batters but walked 16. He threw 283 pitches. (I think that was an extra inning game)
- Another time, he got pulled out of the game in the second inning after throwing 120 pitches.
- When he was in the Northern League, he threw a one-hitter but lost 9-8.
- At Stockton, he threw a pitch that knocked an umpire back 18 feet, broke his mask in three places, and put him in the hospital for three days with a concussion.
- In a game in the California League, he walked nine batters, gave up only 4 hits, and struck out 19. But he lost 8-3.
Some pretty crazy stuff there!