San Diego Padres Update (1/20)

Hello baseball fans!

It’s official! Spring training is less than a month away and it’s becoming more and more clear which teams have the potential to compete. Before this off season it looked as if the Padres may be able to compete for a second wild card spot, however, now that the upcoming season can be seen with a touch more clarity, it looks like the dream of competing this year is slipping away. It’s not because GM A.J. Preller hasn’t done anything this off season (which he has, trading Craig Kimbrel for a huge haul of promising prospects, picking up a LHP in Drew Pomeranz at the cost of Yonder Alonso, dealing Gyorko to the Cardinals for Jon Jay, signing FA SS Alexei Ramirez, and just as recent as this morning filling the closer role with veteran CP Fernando Rodney) it’s more because of how much more the rest of the NL West has done. The D-Backs have seemed to have made the biggest splash thus far signing CY Young runner up Zach Grienke to a huge 6yr/$206.5 million deal, the Giants have brought in pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto along with OF Denard Span, and as for the Dodgers… they are the Dodgers and are sure to compete. The bottom line is that it appears the Padres won’t be big factors in the NL West but there’s always the hope that the Padres turn into that one team that come out of nowhere to shock everyone.

Although it does not appear the Padres will be bringing playoffs to Petco Park this year, it will still be a very exciting time with everything going on.  The biggest being the All-Star game which makes it’s return to San Diego for the first time in twenty-four years. On top of the mid summer classic, the Padres also have a brand new look which includes commemorative All-Star season home jerseys, a new blue and yellow hat, new navy camouflage jerseys, and, my personal favorite, the return of the brown jerseys which will be worn on every Friday home game. The excitement does not end there however, as this years draft looks to add quite a bit of talent to the Padres organization with the friars having six picks out of the top 100.

Regardless of how the Padres season goes, this is an exciting time in San Diego and with the youth of the players they have now its only going to get better from here. So to my local readers do me and our Padres a favor. Show up. Be loud. Cheer for this team like it’s the only pro team left in our city because it could become that any day now. This is an organization that is trying now and as a fan base we should too.

Thanks as always for reading and don’t forget to check back to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole!

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The Pete Rose Dilemma

Hello baseball fans! It’s that time of the year again, Hall of Fame Weekend. With no disrespect to the current incoming class, it is yet another year that Pete Rose is not being inducted. We all know the story by now, Pete Rose has a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for betting on the game. But was the punishment too severe? Did Pete Rose hurt the game more then steroid users such as Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez, who can freely be a part of the game? Does a new commissioner increase his chances of being reinstated? These are just some of the questions that have once again began to swirl around the baseball world, and chances are you would be given a completely different answer depending on who you asked. Here’s my two cents on what they should do and why I think Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

4256 hits. That’s it. That’s what matters. Did Rose make a mistake? Yes, of course he did. He knows it. I know it. You know it. Baseball knows it. The long-time argument has been that his faults as a manager should not overshadow his accomplishments as a player. However, recent evidence has shown that he did bet on baseball while playing for the Cincinnati Reds, and this evidence will likely keep him out of the Hall for quite some time longer, and possibly forever. The one ray of hope still remaining for Rose is that he has never bet against himself or his team. This could prove to be enough to get him in the Hall of Fame, but only time will tell. Then there’s the steroid comparison. Many people will say that if baseball decides to let Rose in, then baseball will be forced to let Bonds, Rodriguez, McGuire, Sosa, Clemens, etc. in as well. But that’s simply not the case. Betting on himself or his team didn’t make it easier for Rose to hit, it didn’t make pitchers scared to pitch to him, and it didn’t change his amount of hustle and all around play. The same can’t be said about the steroid users.

When Rob Manfred became commissioner of baseball, Rose reached out to him and asked if his case could be reevaluated. For the first time, Rose was not immediately shut down. There was a growing sense around baseball that this could be his chance, but with the recent evidence that I stated above, it doesn’t look good. The chance is still there however, as Rose’s appeal process will not conclude until August, but at this point it will take a miracle.

There is a divide in baseball when it comes to Rose’s fate and, regardless of the decision reached in August, this is one of those things that will be debated for years and years to come. Thanks for stopping by and check back soon to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole!

Spring Training Performances

Hello Baseball Fans!

Spring training is in full swing which means we finally get to see how all of the off-season moves start to effect a team and how the players are doing in their new environments. With the plethora of moves that had the potential to drastically change a teams outlook on the upcoming season we can now take a look at how some of these players have performed thus far.

Starting out in the Cactus League with the Padres. Fans have valid reason for excitement as Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Will Middlebrooks and Wil Myers are off to hot starts. Just yesterday Middlebrooks homered in the 2nd inning then Upton and Kemp went back-to-back in the 4th against the division rival Giants giving fans a sneak peak of the power they bring to the team. Those haven’t been the only highlights for the Padre newcomers as Myers currently sits at a .308 avg with 1 HR, Upton and Middlebrooks are both hitting .400 with 2 HRs, and Matt Kemp is crushing the ball hitting .545 with 1 HR.

Out in Mesa, AZ the Cubs were able to see new ace, and recently named opening night starter, Jon Lester for the second time this spring, as he pitched 3 innings, allowed 3 hits, no runs, and recorded 3 k’s. Lester’s first appearance, which came last Friday against the Reds, was just as dominate as he only allowed only 1 hit and recorded 3 k’s in two innings on the bump.

Moving to some of the new additions out in the Grapefruit League. The Red Sox added both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval on the same day this off-season however the two players have preformed very differently so far this spring with Ramirez hitting .444 in 3 games while Sandoval is hitting just .125 in 3 games. For Ramirez this off-season’s focus won’t be his offense however, it will be his transition from SS to LF which will be closely monitored for the rest of Spring.

Finally over to the Nationals, who signed Max Scherzer to a 7 yr/ 210 million dollar contract this off-season. It’s been said that with the addition of Scherzer the Nationals have the best pitching rotation in all of baseball and if he can put up numbers anywhere near his 2013 and 2014 campaigns it’s going to be tough to argue with that statement. So far this Spring, Scherzer has appeared in two games, throwing a combined 5 innings, giving up 8 hits, 2 earned runs, and striking out 5. Although these numbers aren’t great there’s no reason to worry and he should be getting into regular season form very shortly.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you check back to see what else is making its way through the five point five hole.

-Matthew Green

Introduction

Hello baseball fans! This is the first of many posts to the brand new Fivepointfivehole baseball blog. First off, I would like to thank you for coming here to check out my new website because without readership there is no journalism and thus no platform to share my passion.

As you may have seen in my “about” section my name is Matthew Green, I’m a 19 year old San Diego native, and I have a never ending love for the game of baseball. When it comes to sports (with the exception of soccer) I can talk for hours and hours but I have made the decision to write solely about baseball because in my mind baseball is the best. I’ve played baseball from the age of five until just recently when I made the decision to take a break until next spring. When trying to describe my love for baseball to people I need only look to my favorite movie The Sandlot to do all the explaining necessary as the narrator David M. Evans puts it, “Even as a kid, for most baseball is a game, but for Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, baseball was life.” The same goes for me. Baseball is, and always will be, more then just a game.

This blog is going to be covering all things baseball from the offseason to the world series and every bit in-between. I’m fully open to any critiques, questions, suggestions, or opinions you may have so you can always email me at fivepointfivehole@yahoo.com. This is my first attempt at publishing anything on my own but have previously written for my high school newspaper. You can find all my past articles at http://saga.guhsd.net/?author=55. Once again thanks for stopping by and I hope you check back in the future.

-Matthew Green