Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Et tu, Tom Garfinkel, et tu? All of this talk about bringing in the fences at Petco Park. And so many are nodding in agreement. I'm left wondering exactly which Padres club I've been following for all of these years. What in the hell am I missing here?
I think about taking the trolley home here in San Diego. I love the trolley system, it embodies this wonderful city, it drives me everywhere I want to go. And so, I'm thinking about the time I was on the platform and not paying good enough attention. And then I get on the wrong trolley.
Hey, it's my fault. I was excited, the Padres won, I just climbed on like everyone else. And I was talking to someone on the cell phone, happy and elated. And I got off of the trolley at Lemon Grove. I don't live in Lemon Grove. I live in Mexico. Wrong trolley. No offense what-so-ever to the fine people that live near the Lemon Grove trolley station, but for me, that might have well been the moon.
This is what happens.
And so, here we go with bringing in the fences at Petco again. Right. Give up your only advantage. For the good of the game. Or whatever. It makes no sense. When you have an advantage, you bank on that. You don't give that up to the opposition.
Here's some news that everyone has already figured out: The Padres have no offense. They have a great group of guys, and none of them seems to be able to hit a baseball consistently. They try, they work their asses off, I see it, everyone paying attention sees it, but good luck finding some power hitter in that line-up.
Hey, Tom, you going to dump pitching for hitting? You shouldn't. Yes, the Padres aren't so swell this season so far. So what? We all knew this would be a transition year. Hey, man, we're patient. You want to put butts in the seats in the meanwhile? Forget the talk about bringing the fences in, just give more stuff away. Burn some disco records. Dollar beer night. Just keep the lamp lit. You have some good meat down in the farm.
Let me tell you why you don't want to bring the fences in. Edinson Volquez. Cory Luebke. Anthony Bass. Joe Wieland. Tom, you've invested a ton of cash in these guys. Why throw them under the bus now? Man, Luebke isn't going to have a chance in hell at that no-hitter if you bring right field in, he has one in him otherwise. You really want to move the fences in? Seriously?
Okay then, let's look at your offense. You got Yonder Alonso. Seen him hit? Sweet swing, that guy is nails. Gap hitter. Yeah, I saw the look he gave the other night when he blasted a shot to center field and it died against the fence. He was standing on second base shaking his head. My advice? Hey, Yonder, get over it. You got a double, my man.
Tom, you don't need to bring the fences in. You need to pat Yonder on the butt, that double was stellar.
Oh, and forget that crap about some old man stuck on tradition. I love to see pitchers hit, you throw and then you get thrown at, but I know what's good for baseball. The designated hitter packs the stands. I'm all for that. Inter-league play, bring it on. I get that. But the fences? Really?
Charlie Finley got it right. He knew what baseball needed. And he did it, and he never brought in the walls. He never had to. His Athletics hit the ball. And they played in a big giant stadium.
I'm on an island here, Tom. Rookie baseball reporter guy begging you to reconsider your position. Look, Byrnes just signed two guys long-term, Hundley and Maybin. Both hit the gaps, right? Isn't that how you draft and sign? Why screw with how you draft and sign?
You now have Gyorko playing second base in the minors, so do you have mad designs on Headley? The middle infield isn't so hot, and you have little in the minors ready to step up, are there power hitters down there I'm not aware of?
Mr. Garfinkel, leave those walls alone. You have an advantage, keep it. You want more people in the stands? Sign some hitters. Sign some guys that hit the gaps. Give me something good to write about. And don't throw your pitchers to the wolves for ten feet that probably wont matter after 8 PM anyway.
Lemon Grove is nice, but that's not where I belong. And the Padres don't belong in a smaller park. Leave the fences alone. You have an amazing advantage. You roll with that. You pin your chances on your pitching and you hire guns that hit the gaps.
You listening, Tom Garfinkel? Don't tear down those walls.
More like this:
- Padres President and CEO Tom Garfinkel resigns — July 9, 2013
- Garfinkel keeps talking — April 19, 2013
- Tom Garfinkel in damage control mode over comments — April 18, 2013
- Padres Reel In The Fences — Oct. 22, 2012
- Wieland Good, Zimmerman Better as Nats Beat Pads — April 26, 2012