Monday, April 28, 2008

The San Diego Experiment

Avid readers will know that the San Diego Padres are no stranger to my wrath. Now, a few years have passed since I advocated the dissolution of the NL West, (I would link to that post, but I can't dig through my old site on MLBlogs, it's all just too discombobulated now.) In any case, I was watching Brandon Webb attempt pickoff after pickoff after pickoff on one Kevin Kouzmanoff -- a man who has stolen only one base in the last three years -- and, knowing that the Padres lineup would be equally illogical, took a look. I did this while Webb, still believing Kevin was going to swipe 2nd base, attempted a pitchout. Seriously, I have never seen a guy so distracted by a complete non-threat. In any case, one look explained to me why I felt that my fantasy star, World Beater Jake Peavy, has been getting less than stellar run support of late. You see, while the rest of the league plays baseball, the Padres are playing a new game. It's called, "let's see how many games we can win without any hitters hitting over .280." And they are dominating.

I know this sounds unbelievable, but it's true. Looking over that lineup, the only position player on the bench or in the field batting over .280 was Adrian Gonzalez, .280. Kouzmanoff, .257. Brian Giles, .255. Then you throw in a few, (literally, three) guys around .230, and the rest are below .200. As I have said before, I know we are past using the batting average as a judge of skill. But there's a reason it's still used to some degree -- if you can't hit, you can't win.

And normally this wouldn't bother me. I could care less about any team in the NL West. Except that, unable to attend my league's draft, I had three Padres forced on me. Worst luck. Ever. Peavy, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hoffman. I might catch some flak for this, but Trevor Hoffman is no longer a very good closer. Certainly over paid for him. Peavy is the best pitcher in the league, hands down. But, he is on the Padres, which means you have to put up with days like today -- when he goes seven strong, allows two runs, four hits, three walks, nine K's, and takes the loss.

I guess I just can't stand this idea in the NL West that hitting is not a priority. Pitching, as we will probably see in a future post, if I ever get to it, is not either. So this leaves us back to where we started in 2005. What's the point, NL West?