Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
After sweeping Dodgers, Padres hire local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master as combat consultant
"Apparently, beating them helps us beat them."
Quentin kept his center of gravity low, but allowed himself to get off-balance.
"Remember how [San Francisco 49ers receiving great] Jerry Rice took ballet?," asks Padres manager Bud Black. "Well, this is kind of like that. Excellence in baseball is still the goal, but sometimes, it's wise to look to other disciplines for help. When we played the Dodgers on April 11, we were 2-6. As everybody knows, there was a fight that night, and while we lost the game, we won the brawl. [Padres left-fielder Carlos] Quentin broke [Dodgers pitcher Zack] Grienke's collarbone. After that, we dropped three straight to the Rockies, putting us at a dismal 2-10. But lo and behold, our next opponent was the Dodgers, and we swept 'em - in LA. Clearly, Quentin's victory put us in a position to win some ballgames."
To that end, Black brought in Royler Gracie to evaluate his players' fighting skills. "Royler Gracie is the son of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu founder Grandmaster Helio Gracie, and he's based here in San Diego. Right away, I knew we'd be foolish not to use him. He went over the tape of the brawl, and just like that, he identified four ways that Quentin's initial attack could have been more effective. Also, how he could have avoided being tackled by [Dodgers catcher A.J.] Ellis. We're looking forward to our collaboration with Gracie, and also to winning some more brawls. Games. I meant games."
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