Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ultimate baseball league: Tucson Padres

San Diego's second unit is a bit of a patchwork crew, with a No. 1 starter who was charged with more losses than wins over his career. Still, it's a good sample of the Padres through all their mostly mediocre uniforms and frequent costume changes.

Can you believe those all-gold uniforms that Nate Colbert (pictured) wore in the '70s?

Our imagine Tucson Padres (who, by the way, are just in Arizona for a two-year stopover) are in a division that includes the Los Angeles Angels' and Seattle Mariners' second squads. In other words, it would be more watered-down than the current NL Central.

  1. 3B Bip Roberts,# 1990 (5.3). Not everyone was a fan of the 5-foot-7 leadoff man without a position, but he certainly speaks his mind. Working on the poachers/game warden paradox, has suggested Victor Conte be put in charge of MLB's anti-steroid enforcement.

  2. DH Brian Giles,* 2005 (5.3 oWAR). His best season with the Padres. Better ballplayer than a person, evidently. Drew a ton of walks toward the end (NL-high 119 in 2005) after losing his power to Petco Park.

  3. RF Sixto Lezcano, 1982 (7.2). Owns the fourth-best season ever by a Padre, which would surprise some people. One of many 1970s rightfielders with a cannon throwing arm.

  4. 1B Ryan Klesko,* 2001, (5.2) / Nate Colbert (pictured), 1972 (5.2). Colbert holds one record likely to never be broken, hitting five home runs in an Aug. 1, 1972 doubleheader earn a share of a mark held by Stan Musial. What might be less known is Colbert was in the stands 18 years earlier when Musial hit five big flies in a single day.

    A platoon makes sense, especially since wrong-armers were Klesko's kryptonite. Some extra plate appearances might be found for both as the DH, since the UBL is playing under modern baseball rules.

  5. C Terry Kennedy,* 1982 (5.4). The real-life Terry Kennedy is the manager of the actual Tucson Padres Triple-A team. You can't plan that stuff.

  6. LF Gene Richards,* 1978 (3.5) / Reggie Sanders, 1999 (4.3). There is some support for Richards as a generational Padre. Had more than twice as many triples (63) as home runs (26), so that tells you how he rolled. Had the highest career batting average by a Padre prior to the arrival of Tony Gwynn, which tells you how bad the team was prior to the arrival of Tony Gwynn.

    Sanders is easily the most anonymous member of the 300-home run, 300-stolen base club, largely since he changed teams every two years.

  7. CF Kevin McReynolds, 1984 (5.5). The lingering image of McReynolds dates from his Mets days, when he made it easy to portray him as an Arkansas yokel dropped into the Big Apple. However, he had his best season for the Padres' first pennant winner in '84, compiling a 2.0 defensive WAR.

  8. 2B Quilvio Veras,# 1998 (3.6). Our first appearance from the '98 Padres team that got a severe ass-forking from the Yankees in the World Series. It would have all been different if Mark Langston hadn't been squeezed in Game 1, Itellsya.

  9. SS Garry Templeton,# 1986 (3.0). Was traded straight up once for Ozzie Smith, who is in the Hall of Fame, while Templeton today is managing in the Golden Baseball League. It was kind of a big deal in 1979 when he became the first player to collect 100 hits in a season from each side of the plate; now lists him as collecting only 95 as a righty.
  • CF Jerry Mumphrey,# 1980 (3.0). In 1980, the Padres were the first team to have three players each steal at least 50 bases and they finished last in the National League West. Let that be a lesson. Mumphrey stole 52-of-57 that season.

  • C Fred Kendall, 1973 (2.3). Better known as Jason Kendall's father, but was an original Padre.

  • UT Tim Flannery,* 1985 (2.1). Could play second base, third and blues guitar.
(* left-handed hitter; # switch-hitter)


Superfun Happy Slide said...

Kevin McReynolds, there's a name from the past.

On occasion I would get to catch the '88 Mets on New York's WWOR superstation. It was gret because the satellite feed didn't switch to commercial. I forget the play-by-play guy's name but Ralph Kiner was always good for an off-colour slag.

That was a great team; Straw, Hernandez, HoJo, Carter, and that pitching staff. Doc, el Sid, Rog McDowell, a young Cone, and Darling.

Its hard to believe that Mets team only had two real big pushes in the post season. In a way, the wild card and whatever playoff monstrosity has stolen the magic of that long build up to the pennant clincher.

By the way, great article.

outofleftfield said...

Well, when expanded playoffs come in, that will restore some value to winning a division.