Tuesday Oct 02, 2007

Good luck in the playoffs, Rockies. You earned it.

Here's what I have to say about the Padres' loss and failure to advance to the playoffs this season:

19 wins, 2.36 ERA and 234 K's by your ace pitcher don't matter because 6.1 IP, 10 H, 6 ERs in game #163 does.

42 saves don't matter because 7 blown saves does. Especially the last 2.

162 games in a season. It goes to 163 games. And the Padres couldn't win (enough).
Every game matters, especially the extra, tiebreaker game.

And Holliday didn't touch home plate. At least he got a mouthful of dirt.

Maybe its for the best and end it now, otherwise Philly would have dominated them in the NLDS anyways. Saved us (Padres fans) from further pain, misery and the false hope for a third consecutive season.

Props to Adrian Gonzalez and Khalil Greene for having great seasons, offensively and defensively.
Props to the bullpen for keeping our team in contention all season.

Trevor Hoffman and Jake Peavy have gone down a couple notches in my book. Its a shame for Trevor.
And I really miss Tony Gwynn. I can still remember his last season when he wasn't playing much, but would come in to PH and get hits. He was magic. That was Padres clutch.


Tuesday Apr 03, 2007

Baseball is back! Let's go Padres! And its time for a road trip!

Alright, baseball is back! And my team, the (NL West Champion) San Diego Padres, kick off their 2007 season today in San Francisco against the Giants. Its always an exciting time of year for players and fans because everyone is optimistic for the upcoming season - maybe this will be our year. Everyone starts off with a clean slate and then its six months, 162 games, of baseball that ends with the playoffs and World Series in October.

And of course, I'm excited about the Padres' prospects this year. There are some new faces, young and old, that will hopefully help this team win a third division crown in a row, and even get further in the playoffs too. The pitching staff looks poised to have another great season. But there are a lot of other question marks, and the biggest one for me is whether the team can get the clutch and timely hitting to win games. So often last season, especially in the playoffs, the Padres' rallies would fall short and they couldn't produce hits and runs when the game was close or when they were behind. Thanks to the bullpen, they had a winning percentage in 1-run games last season, but when the team falls behind, they rarely come back to win it. If they find a way to do well in those clutch situations, the Padres will win a lot of games and they definitely be a lot of fun to watch this season. And with their new coach, Bud Black, I think they can do it. Go Padres!!!

I'm also excited to share the news that I will be going on a baseball-themed road trip with some friends this summer. Woo hoo! The goal of our trip is to see as many baseball games as we can at ballparks that we really want to visit. We've talked about doing this trip for years but couldn't make it happen. But when the news came last August that groundbreaking was going to commence on the new Yankee ballpark, that's what made us realize we're running out of time. We finally got serious about it and decided to do it this season. I anxiously waited for the season schedule to come out and when it finally did, I found the perfect time for us to go. I won't be giving all of our info now, but we're going to 9 games in 7 cities in 13 days! We'll be going to Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York, and Washington DC. So we'll be hitting the 3 oldest ballparks(Fenway, Yankee, Wrigley) and the 3 ballparks(Yankee, Shea, RFK) getting replacements within the next 3 years. Too bad we couldn't do more cities/games, but I'm really happy that me and my friends are able to do this schedule. Of course I plan to bring my laptop and blog our trip as it happens. So stay tuned for more info on our road trip as it gets closer!

Tuesday Feb 13, 2007

No More Martyball in SD

I can't believe it when I heard the news that Marty Schottenheimer was fired by the Chargers. What?!? That's shocking...or maybe it shouldn't be. Further proof of what a mess the Chargers Organization is and its not helping me want to jump back on that wagon anytime soon.

This topic will make a great discussion, especially amongst Chargers and Schottenheimer fans, because of all the factors that surround this decision. It will be interesting to see who AJ Smith hires to be the new coach, and who fills in the positions of Defensive Coordinator, tight ends coach, linebackers coach and running backs coach. I know that the team ultimately comes down to its players, and the Chargers have one of the best rosters in the NFL, but you still need the coaching to keep the team focused and going the right direction. Finding a good and qualified coach at this point of the season will be very difficult. But I'm sure AJ Smith will prove that he can build this team and create a championship team on his terms. He got close this year despite my opinions.

Just when the season ended and I was trying to be a reasonable Chargers fan, this has to happen and throw things up in the air again. I think this was a horrible decision, even if you factor everything in. You may tell me that someone had to go - How can you have an organization when the general manager and the coach don't get along? In this case, then you should get rid of the general manager but I know that won't happen and that's why Marty had to go.

There was an interesting article in this past Sunday's San Diego Union Tribune about why the city of San Diego hasn't been able to win a major sports championship. The owners and management are definitely one of the reasons.

Friday Jan 19, 2007

Saints win over Bears - well that's what Madden NFL 07 says

Dilly mentioned that the Patriots narrowly won and was asking for Saints/Bears score. Well I found this Madden 07 Forecast from ESPN and the Saints win, 17-14. I feel this is a fitting post after my previous entry.

Stay tuned for my "Five things most people don't know about me" post. I've been seeing it go around for quite awhile and never thought it would get to me. But I was wrong and Dilly got me.

Tuesday Jan 16, 2007

You're my man, Drew!

A few emails going around and sports articles I've read have compelled me to step onto my soapblog box regarding the San Diego Chargers and their recent playoff demise to the New England Patriots.

First, this statement may be a little dramatic but here it is anyways - The feeling of loss and shock that the Charger fans felt this last Sunday was about the same magnitude of emotion I went through at the end of last season when Drew Brees was given free agent status and he decided to sign with the New Orleans Saints.

(NOTE: I tried to keep this short, but as I typed, I realized I have a lot to say about this.)

I thought that with Drew leaving the team before the start of this season, we(San Diego) lost our best chance at the playoffs and even a Championship. I didn't feel that Phillip Rivers, in his first season as starting QB, could carry the team through the season with a winning record, let alone the playoffs. But I knew Brees could do it. The Chargers were improving and playing well together, and I felt that their next season would be much better after having a season of experience together. But it was also known that the current Chargers EVP and GM, AJ Smith, was not a big fan of Brees and was anxious to get Rivers on the field. After all, it was Smith who drafted Rivers (as part of the Eli Manning trade) and it was John Butler, the previous GM, who drafted Brees. But then Brees had to get hurt, on the last play of the last game last season, and it gave Smith, the easy out to let Brees leave and go to another team and allow Rivers step up into the QB role. That was when I was at a loss and very disappointed with the Chargers. And before this (2006)season even began, I already thought it was at a loss, and I didn't have any hope. And all my friends knew this, and knew how upset I was, and I kept my loyalty with Drew and it followed him when he signed with the Saints.

And I want to be clear on where my loyalties lie.

I am a fan of Drew Brees. I enjoy watching and rooting for him. I admire him for his work ethic and for his comeback after a lowsy 2003 season (11TD/15Int) to a Pro-Bowl 2004 season(27TD/7Int). I've even met him and he was really nice to me and the rest of the fans. I have a lot of confidence in him as a player and wanted to see him do well with the Chargers. I am also a life-long Chargers fan, despite the many disappointing seasons we've had. I even had season tickets in 1998, but they didn't treat me well and so I cancelled my season tickets. Add that and other Chargers' front office moves and management decisions regarding trades and signings that I was disappointed and upset with, I was losing faith in the Chargers. So when the Chargers let Brees go and didn't try hard to keep him and didn't believe in him, I lost further faith in the Chargers' management, mainly AJ Smith, and became anti-Rivers. I couldn't be against the team, that was hard for me to do, so I chose to go against Rivers, which may end up making me go against the team. But I am really unhappy with the Chargers organization, as a whole.

I maintained my faith in Brees and followed him to the Saints, which became the other team I was rooting for. And it became a great team to root for, as it quickly became "America's team" and symbolized the city of New Orleans for its resiliency and bouncing back from the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. I was happy for Brees and hoped for the best for him and the Saints. And I read in an article that Brees wanted so badly to turn the Saints around, who were 3-13 the previous season, and prove to everyone, especially the Chargers Management that he can lead a team into the playoffs. And now he IS. And he's playing in the franchise's first ever Conference Championship this weekend where the winner will play in the Super Bowl. How can you not cheer for a story like that?!? Go Saints! You're no longer the 'Aints!

So how do I feel about the Chargers at this point? First, they exceeded my expectations (and everyone else's) this season by far. Rivers played well. I commend him for that. And L.T. is awesome. Well done, MVP. But then to end the season like they did....Everyone(except me) had huge expectations going into the playoffs and already had thoughts of a Super Bowl dancing in their heads. But I knew this was the real test, and when Rivers would need to prove his worth.

If I didn't choose sides already, I would have been sick to my stomach watching the game last Sunday. It was sickening to watch unfold. The Chargers had the lead and were winning most of the game, but you could just feel the game slip through their fingers. Mistake after mistake was happening and the Patriots kept fighting and taking advantage of the Chargers play. You can blame all the Chargers you want, but you must also admit and applaud the Patriots for executing well. They still had to execute because they were losing. They were able to recover the punt return that Parker failed to catch. Props to Caldwell for having the mindset and ability to strip the ball from McCree after just intercepting the ball, and New England still had to recover the ball. Props to Brady for staying focused and driving the team downfield for a touchdown to Caldwell(a former Charger). And immediate props to New England for converting on the two-point conversion to TIE the game. And props to the New England defense for stopping the Chargers offense on the ensuing possesion. And props to Brady for making that final drive, and great throw to Caldwell(again) to get into field goal range. And finally props to the rookie kicker, for sending in the winning field goal. If the Patriots didn't do ALL that, despite the Charger mistakes, the Chargers could have still won. And then I leave it to Rivers, who had two possessions late in the 4th quarter, to control his team and lead them to victory. Right after the Patriots tied the game, the Chargers had the chance to drive for the win, but they went 3 and out. And on the last possession of the game, the Chargers simply ran out of time. Rivers had the chance to prove his worth to me, but he didn't. Charger fans can blame the Chargers (offense AND defense) for all their mistakes and failures, but they should also blame the Patriouts, especially Tom Brady and Reche Caldwell, for executing in the end and getting the win. They earned it. And I cheered for the Patriots.

But hours later, the outcome really hit me, and I became sad for the Charger players, to end the season like they did. And it was a home game. But I was especially sad for the Chargers fans. I would have been just like them - shocked, upset and disappointed. I had already expected this outcome and was prepared for it. But I didn't expect the journey to be like this - from such an extreme high and all the expectations that went along with it - to a devasting, heartbreaking blow to end the season sooner than expected. That's what makes it even more painful and I am sorry for the fans and the players. But I am not sorry for the Chargers' front office and management. I am still too bitter to them. And with my current loyalty situation, I can't help but enjoy the fact that the Chargers are out of the playoffs while Drew Brees and the Saints are still in it. And they have a fighting chance to make it to the Super Bowl and even win!

I will jump back on the Chargers' bandwagon, one day, if I'm allowed. But right now, there's plenty of room to join the Saints' bandwagon and root for them!

I am now stepping down from my soapblog box. If you made it this far, thank you for listening.

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