Kevin Kouzmanoff has been gone from the Padres for about four months. I haven’t really dedicated an entry to him at all since the season started, so I’d like to update you all on how he’s been doing over with the A’s.
First of all, I really miss him. I think I would probably miss him even more if my Padres weren’t doing so well. I mean, if we were down in the cellar, I would be a lot more upset. So far, the Padres have been playing so well that I haven’t really had time to think about my baby. But I still miss him like crazy.
On Friday, I’m going to my first game of the year, which also marks my first Padres game since Kouz got traded. It’s going to be very sad not to have him there. I LOVE going to games, but I was always extra excited about it because I would get to see Kouz. It’s going to be very sad without him there.
Kouz has been doing very well with Oakland. I’m just really glad that he didn’t leave and then completely bomb like some other people who left San Diego did (*cough Trevor and Jake cough*).
Right now he’s hitting .265 with three home runs and 21 RBIs. But on the defensive side, he already has four errors. Last year he had three total. I think he’s really provided a lot to Oakland, and for that I’m thankful.
I think I would also miss him a lot more if Chase was a total bust at third for us. But as it is, he’s been pretty decent, and I’m thankful for that too.
I do miss him a lot though. It’s so sad that he had to leave. But no matter what, this dude will always be my number one favorite baseball player. I’m going to be out there on Friday night with my special Kouzmanoff jersey, and maybe I’ll even break out a picture of Kouz to put on my sleeve. I know that it’s going to be a special night. Since we’re playing against the Nationals, I’m really hoping that we’ll get a big win. The Nationals actually aren’t doing too bad this season, but still.
But first, we’ve got the Cardinals to deal with. I think this is going to be a huge series. By the way, I’m really really glad that we were able to come back and win the series over the weekend over the Mariners. We like NEVER win a series against the Mariners, or any Interleague games for that matter, so I was really, really glad we were able to get that. Plus, we got our one-run first-place lead back, so we’re good. But the Cards are going to be an extremely tough team to beat. I think. Looking at the records alone, we are actually very close. It’s going to be a very well-matched series, so it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top. Hopefully, it will be my Padres!
I’m so excited. It’s going to be a great week of Padres baseball.
GO FIRST-PLACE PADRES!!
So at FanFest last Saturday, Hyun Young and I were talking about our baseball crushes with jbox from Gaslamp Ball. jbox asked me who my new Padres crush would be now that Kouz is gone and gave me some suggestions. I wasn’t really sure who I wanted to make my new crush, but I’ve finally realized who they are going to be! I can’t believe I didn’t think of them before, but let me present to you, my new Padres crushes!
I LOVE THESE GUYS!!!! LIKE CRAZY!!!! I guess just through chasing after them all day at FanFest, I really fell in love with them. I’ve always really liked Scotty, especially with how well he did for us, but I had Kouz then. It’s really ironic that we got Scotty for Kouz. I was so sad about losing Kouz that I couldn’t be too happy about getting Scotty in return. But now that we’ve got Jerry, I’m doing a lot better with it. Now, I’m super excited about having both the brothers here.
They are so adorable!!!
I’ve always loved the brother combinations: the GilesBros, the GonzoBros. Neither of those worked out that great, but I’ve got a feeling that the HairBros are going to be AMAZING together.
You have no idea how much more excited about this team I am now that I’ve got two guys who I’m a little more attached to than the others. Don’t get me wrong, I would still be very excited about this team even if I didn’t have the HairBros, but it just helps to keep excitement in the team.
It’s still going to be an adjustment to get used to not having Kouz around, though. Every spring, padres.com interviews a bunch of players and usually put a video up every day of the interview and then players working out. For the last two years, I was super excited about watching those videos because I couldn’t wait to see Kouz out there. It was so cool to be able to see him batting and running around and get ready for the season. This year, I won’t get to do that. And that’s pretty sad. But I will be able to look for the HairBros.
Argh it’s going to be weird not to have Kouz here. But you know what? I’m still his biggest fan. He’s still my all-time-forever FAVORITE player in all of baseball ever. And when I say ALL of baseball, I mean ALL of baseball: any Little League, high school, college, Major League, anything. He’s my favorite player out of ANY baseball. There’s no way he can stop being my favorite, no matter where he’s playing. So I’m still cheering for him like crazy up in Oakland. Believe me, I’m going to be following him, every game. I don’t think I’ll become a A’s fan, but I’ll sure be following their games like one!
Love you, Kouz.
I can’t wait for a real baseball game to start!!!!! It’s been waaaay too long.
So did you see that we signed Josh Barfield to a minor league contract? Crazy! That’s the guy we traded to the Indians to get Kouz in the first place! Hmm. It would be very interesting if he made the roster.
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So much of my fanhood is based around Kevin Kouzmanoff. It’s pretty crazy, actually. It was amazing to enjoy having a player here so much that he just made Padres baseball for me. Every day that there was a game, I was excited about the whole team, but especially about Kouz. I loved cheering for him, whether it was here in my living room or at Petco Park. Whenever the lineups were announced, I usually memorized the whole thing, but especially where Kouz was.
My first memory of Kouz was watching a game on Easter 2007. I don’t remember the exact details, but he hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth to win the game 2-1 for the Padres. I wasn’t sure who this dude was, but I was happy that he got the walk-off for us. This was the time when Kouz was going through a horrible slump in the beginning of his rookie season. It was awful, but he pulled out of it eventually.
Anyways, I remember going outside to tell my mom about some guy named Kouzmanoff who hit a walk-off. It seems unbelievable to me that I didn’t really know who he was before that game, but I was a very young Padres fan.
Which brings me to another thing that I’ve been really proud to share with Kouz: our “rookie” seasons. We had both had some major league experience in late 2006, but it was really the beginning for both of us in 2007. I had gone to a game in August 2006 and fallen in love with Padres baseball. 2007 was really my rookie season as a Padres fan. Kouz got some time in September 2006, hitting a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the majors. He was then traded to the Padres in the offseason, and his rookie season began here in San Diego in 2007. I’ve always been really proud to say that Kouz and I were both rookies in 2007 🙂
I went to a game on May 25, 2007, where Kouz hit a grand slam. It was so amazing! I don’t really remember it that well, but I know it was really, really cool to see. Kouz seems to like to hit grand slams 🙂
Now, the day I fell in love with Kevin Kouzmanoff was September 21, 2007. I was at the game with my sister and two friends for my birthday celebration. We arrived at the park early, before the gates opened. So we were kind of hanging out around the gate that’s under the Western Metal Supply building when a Padres player walked towards us from the inside of the gate. I didn’t know who he was right away, but as soon as I could see his face. I realized that it was Kevin Kouzmanoff!
He rolled a ball under the gate and then stood there expectantly. We all quickly dug out paper and pens and handed them to him through the gate. We seriously didn’t say anything to him because we were so awestruck! All we could say was, “THANK YOU!!!” After he signed for us, he walked away.
We were so shocked that a baseball player had actually come up to us and signed autographs…for us!!! We were the only ones in the area at that time, so he just signed for us and for this one lady who randomly walked by. It was so amazing! I was so touched by his kindness that he became my favorite player right there.
During the game he did very, very well, and we cheered hard for him. It was a frustrating game in the end (we lost like 2-1 in 13 innings), but Kouz had a great game, and he gained four very grateful fans that night.
The amazing thing was, I had really wanted to meet Kouz and was thinking about it in the week before we went. I think I might have even prayed about it! All I really remember is that I thought it would be really cool if I got to meet Kouz at the game, and we did!
Well, we didn’t technically “meet” him since we didn’t say a word to him. After that night, I determined that someday I would meet him, as in shake his hand and tell him my name and maybe talk a while with him. It never happened. So, I still have that desire, but it will obviously have to wait for a while.
In June 2008, I discovered that a local car dealership was going to have Kevin Kouzmanoff and Tony Clark signing autographs on a Saturday morning. I was super excited, ’cause I really wanted to talk to Kouz. I’ve always had a problem talking to baseball players besides “thank you,” so I really wanted to say something more worthwhile.
Earlier that week, Kouz hurt his back, and so he didn’t play all week. The night before the signing was Kevin Kouzmanoff Koozie night. I think the Padres lost, though, and of course, Kouz wasn’t playing on his big night.
So going to the signing, which was probably ten minutes away from my house, I thought, well, I’ll ask him how his back is. I’m sure that everyone was going to ask him that, but hey, it’s something to talk about, right?
Naturally, nothing happened. The weather that day was insane. It was like over 100 degrees, and the autograph session was outside. Thankfully, Kouz was under a canopy, but still. It was hot!
When we got up to Kouz, he had all these papers with a picture of him and a place to sign. I asked him to sign it to me, which was really cool 🙂 Once he signed to me, I went and stood right next to him ’cause I wanted to get a picture with him. But first, he signed for the rest of my siblings. So it was a little awkward just standing right next to him. I was close enough to see the little hairs on his bald head.
So then I got a picture with him, which was a little blurry because my mom was nervous, but it’s still very, very cool. I’m very thankful that I was able to get a picture with him. Then the rest of my siblings came around him and we got a picture there. As we left, he said, “See you soon.”
I just love this guy. It’s really amazing to see how much a person that you hold up to a hero status affects your life. I got a pack of 2008 Padres baseball cards a couple years ago. Each one of them had a printed autograph of the player. Kouz’s was very interesting to me. His K’s were written very uniquely, and I changed the way I wrote my first name to that unique K. I still use it to this day and probably will for the rest of my life.
The number five has become something really big for me. I use 5’s all the time, in everything that needs a number, essentially. I don’t believe in “lucky” numbers, but 5 is definitely my FAVORITE number all-time. If I need to make multiple copies of something, I’ll make five. If I make a username and it needs a number in it, it’ll be 5. I LOVE the number 5!!!!!
Of course, I love third base and the name Kevin and any of Kouz interviews or articles about him or videos or anything. I just love this guy, and though I’m very sad that he’s no longer in San Diego, I’m so glad that I can still cheer for him just up the road.
For some reason I’ve always thought that Oakland was out-of-state or something, but it’s really not that far. It’s only seven hours away from my house 🙂
I love you, Kouz, and I miss you like crazy, but thank you so much for the fun and memories of the past three years. It’s been a blast cheering for you and I hope that you have continued success in Oakland. And who knows? Maybe your career will someday bring you back to San Diego. Thanks for everything, man. Thanks for keeping me laughing and keeping me close to Padres baseball. Thank you for giving me a reason to cheer and to be excited about Padres baseball even when things weren’t going so great. I miss you!!!!
GO PADRES!!! GO KOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
There was the most hilarious interview of Kouz last night on the Padres BP show. I love it when he’s inteviewed on a more casual show, because he’s soooo funny when he’s talking about stuff other than baseball. This is the kind of guy who seems like he would be a ton of fun to hang around with. I used to think he was kind of shy, but man, when he gets on that radio, he’s cracking jokes all over the place, and he’s sooo funny!!
The interview started out with talking about the section in the Union-Tribune called “Who’s Hot Who’s Not.” That day, Kouz was the “Who’s Hot.” Darren Smith said, “Congratulations Kouz, you made the Who’s Hot list for the Union Tribune.”
“Hey, that is awesome, thanks guys,” Kouz said enthusiastically.
Randy Jones said that he was sure that Kouz had cut it out, you know, put it in a scrapbook. Kouz joked that when he got his paper that morning, it was the first section he opened to see his picture in there. “Yes, I made it this time!”
Darren Smith asked him if on the days that he thinks he might be in the Who’s Not section, does he just not pick it up?
“Well, actually guys, I don’t pick it up either way.”
Then they went on to talk about the Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation’s big dinner this Sunday, where Kouz is going to be auctioning himself off for a date!!
“…this is perfect timing to announce that Kevin Kouzmanoff is HOT!” said Darren.
“That’s right,” said Kouz,”So for all you single, good-looking ladies who want a date with myself, Kevin Kouzmanoff, I’ll be available at Adrian’s event!!”
Now, time for some side commentary. AHHHHHHHHH!!!! I was cracking up during this whole thing because they kept talking about how Kouz is hot, not just baseball-wise, and I think he’s really hot, and this whole auctioning-off-for-a-date thing is pretty funny.
(OK, back to the interview)
Kouz has been doing a lot of different events in the community lately. He says that it mixes things up instead of baseball every day, every day.
They then talked about baseball, like Kouz’s defense, and how they think he should be mentioned more often on a national scale, and that he should win Gold Glove.
Randy Jones said, “Hey, I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you hit .350, hit about 35 dingers one year and you might get a Golden Glove?”
“Alright, I think, I think, I’ll do that.” Kouz said casually.
About Everth Cabrera, Darren asked, “What’s better?…your Spanish or his English?”
Kouz hemmed and hawed and had no idea how to answer that question, so he just went with Everth’s English. “Gotta call a timeout and run over there and talk really slow to him.” But then he said that Everth understands, he gets it.
They then talked about David Eckstein, Kouz saying that if there’s one guy in baseball that kids should watch, it’s David Eckstein. I agree completely.
Next they talked about Kouz’s success in the second half. He’s a lot better in the second half than the first. Why is that?
“I think it’s the way the fish are biting…maybe I need to change my bait earlier in the season.”
It was a hilarious interview, and I really enjoyed listening to it. If you want to listen to the whole thing, go to this link and look for it under the “BP Show Interviews” column.
To learn more about the Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation and their big dinner this Sunday, check out Adrian’s website. There’s no way I’m going, but I’m sure it will be a great event to raise money for their charity.
I’m not going to blog about the game last night other than to say that it was terrible. 7-1 loss, but at least we won the series.
Tonight we are starting a four-game series against the Cardinals. All I can ask of my boys is at least a series split. Especially after getting swept last weekend. I would be good with just two games out of these four. I know you can do it!!!
Tim Stauffer and his 1-5 record is pitching tonight. GO TIM!!!
And GO KOUZ!! I love that dude.
I am getting so excited, it’s not even funny.
Or maybe it is 🙂
I’m going to my second Padres game of the year this Sunday, a 1:05 pm start against the Reds. Seriously, I was getting so pumped up last night that I couldn’t sleep. Notice that today is Tuesday and the game is on Sunday. I’ve got a ways to go, but I can’t wait!
Daydreaming is half the fun of going to a game, isn’t it? I keep dreaming up these senarios of me talking to players, getting autographs, catching a ball, or having something big happen. Now, I don’t know how many if any of the Padres players will still be out on the field by the time we get to the ballpark (about an hour before the game), but it can’t hurt to dream, right?
Our seats are going to be really amazing as well. We’re sitting field level, down the left field line. We’re not going to be right in front of third base, but I’m going to have the perfect location to take lots of zoomed-in pitcures of my Kouz. It’s going to be so much fun 🙂
My three younger siblings are going to get one of these when they walk in the door:
When I head in, I’ll be going for:
5 for $5 deal!
It’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to take a ton of pictures and share my adventures with you guys!
Yesterday, my mom got me this amazing Padres shirt.
I was so excited to see it, because he’s my baby, and this is the first shirt that has his name on it that I’ve seen in San Diego since he came here! This is his third season as a Padre (just as it’s my third season as a Padres fan), so it’s been a while in coming! This shirt is just beautiful, and I love it. So cool that he’s got his own shirt now! (BTW, it was in the women’s section. Figures :D)
Well, Jake Peavy and his 2-4 record is pitching tonight against Rich Harden and his 3-1 record. Jake should be 3-1. Jake should be more like 5-1!!
Let’s hope that he can go out there and give us a solid outing. I know that he’s going for perfection, and he may need it. If we don’t score any runs for him…oh boy. I’m going to have to take drastic measures. Your cell phones are next, boys!! So you better get out there and score some runs for Jake!!
(photo credits: padres.com, padres.mlblogs.com, me)
I don’t think I’ve ever really dedicated a blog entry to this man. Which is really strange, considering that he’s my favorite Padre all-time. Now, all of you know that I am a huge fan of Trevor Hoffman, and he is one of my favorite players. But notice that he’s ONE of my faves. Yes, there is another player who holds a place in my heart. That man is Kevin Kouzmanoff.
I love that picture 🙂
Anyways, this guy is like my celebrity crush. Well, not really. But sort of. The main reason I love Kouz is because of his performance on the field. But I also like him because he’s a great guy off the field. I think we need a story.
It was Friday, September 21, 2007. I went down to the game with three of my friends to celebrate my birthday. We got to the game early, before the gates opened. As we were walking toward the left field gate, we stopped by this place under the Western Metal Supply Building where you can look through a tunnel out onto the field. The Padres were already on the field, so I was trying to check them out. But there was this guy coming towards us and he was blocking our view. Now, you have to understand that there was a glare coming through, so I couldn’t see the guy’s face. But then he rolled a ball under the gate.
I instantly thought, “It’s Marcus Giles!” When I was at another game earlier that year, I had seen a different player walking on the field and I thought he was Marcus too. I though a lot of guys were Marcus that year.
Anyways, this guy was not Marcus Giles. It was Kevin Kouzmanoff. My friends and I were awestruck. We seriously didn’t say a thing to him. We just breathlessly pulled out pens and paper and he signed autographs for us.
It was so amazing. I became his biggest fan right after that. During BP that day we also got balls from the groundskeeper and got Trevor Hoffman’s autograph, so it was a pretty amazing night. The game went 14 innings, but the Padres lost 2-1. It was a sad game, but my guy had a few hits, a couple walks, and a hit-by-pitch. It was a lot of fun!
So, that act of kindness to some Padres fans made me a huge fan of him. He’s a really great guy. I love listening to interviews of him, reading articles about him, and watching interviews on him. But most of all, I love watching him play baseball. He’s a stellar third baseman, he’s got a great glove. And he’s been growing in his hitting too. But he does have a chronic back problem, so he has to work really hard to keep himself healthy and able to play. He did have to miss time in the last two seasons because of it, but he takes great care of himself. He’s kind of a quiet guy, he doesn’t talk to the media as much as some guys. I love watching him flash that leather at third. He’s good.
I love “Kooz-ing” when I’m at the ballpark. Similar to the Red Sox’s player Kevin YOOOOOUKalis, we “Kooz” whenever Kouz comes to the plate or makes a great play. It’s a lot of fun. It’s kind of sounds like we’re booing him or mooing like cows. But no. We’re “Koooooz-ing”!! Another thing, I never call him Kevin. That’s just weird. It’s just doesn’t sound right. I mean, Kevin? No, KOOOOOOOOZ!!
Last year, I had the opportunity to go to an autograph session that Kouz was signing at. It was outdoors, probably over 100 degrees outside. It was hot!! After that encounter at the game, I was very frustrated with myself because I didn’t say anything to him. This time, I wanted to actually say something useful to him. I had no idea what, but I wanted to say something besides “hi” and “thank you”. You know, it really helps if the player is funny and outgoing. When I met AC Green last week, it was really easy to talk to him because he was really funny, and he got a conversation going. But Kouz is not outgoing enough!!! So it’s hard to talk to him. He needs to work on that. Anyways, I got his autograph without saying anything useful to him. Oh well. Maybe I was just too hot to think clearly. Hopefully I will have other chances to really talk to him.
There has been a teeny bit of talk that Kouz could get traded this offseason. Our rookie and highest-rated prospect, Chase Headley, is a natural third baseman, but because Kouz has that covered, Chase moved to left field last season. The Padres might eventually want their prized rookie to play his natural position. I would be devastated if they traded my dude, but I think I’m getting used to losing players. That doesn’t make it any easier. But I think Kouz will be sticking around for a while. He doesn’t get that much notice, but he’s a good player. Did you know that he hit a grand slam on the first pitch he ever saw in the major leagues, first AB and first game? Pretty incredible. He’s a great player, and great guy, and I really really like him. I hope he has a wonderful season, and hopefully his shoulder and back will be good all year. Go Kooooooooooz!!!