Friday, April 18, 2014

Man, Do I Hate Those Giants - A Rebuke of the Stupid San Francisco Giants and Their Stupid Stadium

So yesterday didn't go according to plan for the Padres.  Needing one win to get back to .500, the team blew it.  The Padres new/old BIG BAT, Xavier Nady, cleanup hitter extraordinaire, hit a bomb, and that was about it for the offense.  Ian Kennedy threw 6 great innings, and then coinciding with me reaching the black zone, started to implode and gave up 3 runs and that was that.

Now the stupid Giants are in town.  That means stupid Giants fans are in town also.  A lot of people hate the Dogers the most, but call me a non-conformist, I kind of hate the Giants the most.  They are managed by ol' Big Head McGee Bochy, a man that could take losing Padres baseball better than anyone, easing into a simple "gotta tip your cap to them" quote after every terrible loss.  Their stadium is OK and all, but I will go to the grave saying that Petco is about equal to AT&T.  You walk in and are met with a hot pink glowing escalator to Virgin America level at AT&T with bumping, lame club music and neon.  Ha ha, key word: virgins.  Meanwhile us Padres fans are knee deep in poon, pounding slit left and right, AMIRITE GUYS?!?!?  Especially us bloggers!  Sure CF is cool with all the food and crap, but it's not a great place to watch the game.  And WOW, you can kayak in the frigid waters off RF that's named for former Padres great Willie McCovey.  GET YOUR OWN LEGENDS TO NAME STUFF AFTER, GIANTS!  Next thing you know, they'll be naming their left field bleachers the Kevin Mitchell Porch.  HE'S OUR KEVIN MITCHELL!  I had the pleasure/horror of sitting in their RF upper deck last season.  You feel so much further from the field there than you do in similar seats at Petco.  The food wasn't as good, the beer wasn't nearly as good.  Anchor Steam is available in every grocery store from here to Augusta, Maine.  It's not a special microbrew you can only get in San Francisco, yet it's pushed everywhere.  Get back to me when you have something of the quality of Speedway Stout on tap at your stupid park. 

Tonight, noted penis-eater Matt Cain takes the hill for the putrid Giants.  Future All Star Tyson Ross is on the hill for the Padres and I've got a real feeling we are looking at the first no-hitter in Padres history.  What, you think human garbage disposal Pablo Sandoval is going to hit Ross' unfair slider?  Doubtful, he hasn't been able to see his penis when looking down for going on 13 years now.  Hunter Pence?  Not even worth a half pence (CURRENCY HUMOR!).  So everyone sit back, and let's watch the Giants get totally dismantled before our FEARSOME offense (Mike Dee said today, if we are just patient enough, the team will come alive offensively.  Huston Street also said verbatim "we don't have an outstanding offense".  CONFIDENCE!). 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Staring .500 in the Face - BEAT THE SUPER LAME ROCKIES

After an all around crushing victory by the Padres last night, led by totally awesome Andrew Cashner, future mayor of San Diego, the Padres have clawed to within one win from the vaunted .500 mark.  This means big things for the team.  Mainly the people that jumped off the tiny bandwagon at the start of the season may start trying to jump back on.  We'll make room, it's fine.  If they win today, it's like the season is starting all over again this weekend against the stupid Giants.  Son of Troy Ian Kennedy is on the mound today, let's hope he doesn't keep up his weakest link act and shuts down the Rockies.  CarGo hasn't really gotten going and hopefully they can keep it that way.  The Padres face complete nobody Franklin Morales who seems much more interested in satisfying his base instincts than throwing dominating pitches (see above!).  I fully expect Jedd Gyorko to have 5 RBIs today as he is just getting warmed up for his RBI night on his jersey night Saturday. 

Here at Padres Jagoff HQ, we are looking at debuting a new mythological rally animal, IF NEEDED for today.  We will also be at the game after several hours of downtown binge drinking.  Come join, I have a Southpaw Social Livingsocial voucher to burn today.  Go Padres!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Padres To Keep the Roll Going Versus Stupid Rockies and Buttface Troy Tulowitzki

After a riveting and hilarious victory last night over the putrid Rockies, the Padres are set to keep the roll going against their hated rivals tonight.  Led by Rowdy Robbie Erlin, I really can't see any way they'll lose.  They are slowly clawing their way towards .500 and have a firm grasp on the coveted 3rd place spot in the standings.  Things are really coming up Padres!  The only real problem is Bud Black's continued insistence on putting Alexi Amarista into CF, and worse, 2nd in the lineup.  I'm sure ol' sabermetric Bud is all like, HEY, Lil' Ninja is 2nd on the team in OPS (After NICK HUNDLEY), I'm just using the math.  Let's face it, we all love him because he's the Tyrion Lannister of the team.  But even Tywin knows not to put Tyrion 2nd in his jousting lineup.  Alexi is a great end of the bench option that can play a lot of positions.  He's not a batting star, and really embodies jack of many, expert at none.  At this point, I think it's fair to argue that Will Venable in CF is a superior option with some combination of Tommy Medica, Kyle Blanks and even Jeff Francoeur in RF.  Francoeur might be kind of washed up, but he can still field the position and there's more upside to his hitting than there is for Alexi.  So come on Bud, Ghost of Ray Kroc is going to have a coronary if you don't do something about this.  Do it for him. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Are the Padres Bloggers Shills for the Team?

There was a debate on the Tweeters last week about whether the Padres were just lavishing food, booze, tickets and access to selected Padres blogs to curry favor and ensure positive coverage.  Some on the Tweeter, Nacho Padre to be specific, blew up the issue and stated that the Padres were more concerned with getting good social media coverage than they were in fielding a team that will win THE RING (tm), and that bloggers were playing right into their hands - that discussing new food and beer at Petco was trumping potential coverage of the lackluster offseason and seeming acceptance of the front office of merely "being competitive" rather than fielding a World Series caliber team. 

I think an important distinction needs to be made between the Padres bloggers and journalists.  I really don't see Gaslamp Ball, the Friarhood, Padres Public or really any blog out there as journalism.  Let's get real, Gaslamp Ball has discussions of magical win-bringing unicorns and Padres Public regularly focuses on poop and binge drinking.  Nothing wrong with that, I totally embrace that here at Padres Jagoff.  And yeah, they cover news out of the Padres, but if anything, they are like the opinion section in the newspaper.  As a result, you can't really expect the blogs to maintain the same level of journalistic ethics as the Washington Post.  Most bloggers are just fans, and as super fans, when the team comes offering free front row tix and food, you take it.  When they offer you a chance to take batting practice every season at media night, you take it.  Because they're fans.

Ghost of Ray Kroc took particular offense to Nacho Padres' comments and offered him a chance to have something published unedited on Padres Public, which Nacho Padres responded to by blabbering about meeting in person and guaranteeing GoRK's safety or something.  I don't think there's any doubt that the Padres providing access, tix and food is going to influence their coverage.  Sac Bunt Chris stated that they have written negative coverage of the team, which is true.  But I think it will become harder and harder for them to openly criticize anything done by noted blog briber and Padres executive Wayne Partello, lest they lose their access and FSSD appearances.  Wayne Partello on Twitter even stated that of course they were treating the bloggers to free food, it provides positive coverage of the team.  I don't want to say it's a quid pro quo, but I also think it's pretty clear that it becomes harder and harder to be objective about a team when they are continually throwing out perks for the bloggers.  I also can't imagine a scenario where someone like RJs Fro would be comfortable openly criticizing Jesse Eagler, for instance, as they are now TV colleagues (and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Rick on FSSD more and more, he's great on it). 

Anyways, what I'm basically saying is yeah, if the Padres keep offering up free stuff, access, experiences and tickets to bloggers, it totally ruins their objectivity and in all likelihood will lead to more positive coverage and much more measured criticism.  At the same time, I'd like to say that yes, I am open to also providing ample positive coverage in exchange for free tickets, access, food, beer, and on-field batting practices.  My ethics are fuzzy at best, call me Wayne! (he won't, he doesn't even bother to follow@padresjagoff)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ignore the Negative Nancys - Padres to Literally Eviscerate Tigers Tonight

A lot of Fatalist Friedas out there pretty much assumed the Padres would get swept by the Tigers this weekend.  After all, they can't hit and Chase Headley is the worst 3B since Mike Pagliarulo, right?!  I mean, who could even imagine them beating up on the vaunted RICK PORCELLO.  The same Rick Porcello that was rumored last season to be on the chopping block, the same one who a lot thought was going to be traded here for Luke Gregerson (who?!).  Anyways, the Padres totally clubbed Porcello and Andrew Cashner has really endeared himself as San Diego's hot new sweetheart.  STEP ASIDE DAGMAR MIDCAP!!!

More than that, last night's game gave the Padres fans hope.  It's one of those games that at least for the next month, fans can say they totally can't hit and they kind of suck, but just think... they've got the potential to play as well as that one game where Cash threw a 1 hitter and they won 6-0.  That means something when you're sitting in Petco with 14,000 other fans and it's cold and it's a 1-0 game with no offense. 

Anyways, Justin Verlander is pitching tonight.  I was going to draw a picture of him swallowing a dong, but he's dating Kate Upton.  So I guess he gets a pass tonight.  UNLIKE STUPID MIGUEL CABRERA.  I'm also hearing that the Rally Unicorn is getting testy in his stable for tonight's game. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Petco Park Food Report 2K14 - Bringing Encinitas/Cardiff to Petco Park

With decades of mediocre Padres baseball under my belt, I've learned that one thing about going to Padres games that will always excite is new food options.  This year's club does not disappoint.  The Padres brass invited their chosen bloggers down for a media night and a food tasting experience at another game to test out all of the new options.  For whatever, Wayne Partello and the Padres do not afford Padres Jagoff the respect we duly afford and blew us off.  Whatever.  I still took a nice constitutional around the park on Opening Day to check out and catalog the new options.

To start, I've long thought that someone high up in the Padres lives in my hometown of Encinitas, and possibly, to be more specific, in Cardiff.  A couple years ago, they brought in Cardiff's Bull Taco, and were very close to bringing in Cardiff's El Pueblo.  This year, the Padres brought in two more Cardiff joints.  Rimel's Rotisserie sits on top of the Western Metal Supply building.  The big addition is Cardiff's Seaside Market, an upscale grocery store, that is now sitting in prime real estate behind 1st base on field level. Cardiff is an awesome place, but it's not really where I would have guessed the Padres concession talent scouts were patrolling.  I swear some Padres exec must live in the hills overlooking the ocean in Cardiff and just wanted to bring their favorite places at home to their workplace.

When I first read about Seaside Market being added to Petco, I thought it was going to just be a small kiosk selling some salads and other assorted health foods that weren't going to sell that well.  Then I learned they were selling their famous Cardiff Crack tri-tip, which in my head, dramatically upped their Petco presence.  But I had no idea the true scope.  First, the tri-tip from Seaside Market can't be beaten.  It's better than overrated Phil's in that it doesn't taste like some simpleton just dumped a bottle of liquid smoke on it.  It's burgundy and pepper marinated, it's cooked perfectly, and there is no doubt in mind that Seaside Market is putting out the best tri-tip in the area.  It's also fifteen bucks, so I mean, you're paying for it.  There was a long line for Cardiff Crack sandwiches the several times I walked by so the price isn't really scaring people off.

But that's not all that Seaside Market has to offer.  It's basically the entire Seaside Market deli counter, brought to a ballpark at double the price.  They've got a pasta salad/cold stuff counter, a pizza station, a panini sandwich station, and a hot bar.  The pizzas and sandwiches were $12, the hot bar was $15 for an entree and sides.  So, not cheap.  But I can vouch for the normal Seaside Market location, their sandwiches are excellent.  The hot bar looked OK, but didn't really look that different from the hot bar at your local Grocery Bargain Outlet.  Not $15 good at least.  

I didn't take a photo of it but Seaside Market also has a wall of beer.  It's basically the 22 oz options that the Craft Beers of San Diego stands sell, but out on display better and you can grab one and check out at the register.  It'll probably be faster to get one of these at Seaside than it will be to wait in line at the field level Craft Beers of San Diego.  

Speaking of the Craft Beers of San Diego stand, I saw one interesting note.  While they are still offering 22 oz beers for $15 (my theory is that increasing draft beer prices to $11.50 this season is an effort to make the 22 oz bombers less of a terrible, maddening deal), they are going to be offering Firkin Fridays.  Maybe they offered this last season.  I generally avoided these stands to hit up draft offerings and non $15 beers.  Firkin Fridays, assuming it's new, is cool to see.  It said coming soon, so who knows when that will actually be.  I'm still holding out hope that the team can have more rotating offerings, maybe at a permanent stand behind home plate.  Like offer Belching Beaver one weekend, Manzanita the next, etc.  Keep things spicy.  Like in the bedroom.

 While we're on beer, which is of course the most important topic, the Padres took my advice and dumped the non-San Diego offerings behind home plate.  This means no more middling Kona Brewing and no hippie Widmer.  Instead, they've brought in Mission, Stone and Green Flash to sit alongside Karl Strauss and Ballast Point.  It looked to me that the Stone stand was the most popular, and definitely most popular with the bro-dogg population at the park.  It should be noted that Stone Pale Ale was sold at Petco last season, just not at Stone branded stands.  Mission has a huge presence, and has little missions (missions, get it?!) scattered around.  They also sell margaritas.


The Padres teased us in 2012 by putting Lucha Libre in the opening homestand's program and then cruelly yanked it away.  I'm sure Tom Garfinkel had a hearty guffaw about this.  They finally made good on the tease and put in Lucha Libre on the Toyota Terrace where I think Randy Jones BBQ was last season (1st base side)(Randy Jones BBQ has many more stands around the park, and in more conspicuous locations)(I think the popularity of RJ's Fro has really raised the Randy Jones awareness in the general public).  They were offering a surprisingly large selection of items to include their California burrito and their surf and turf tacos.  Along with the new Phil's BBQ locations in the Park at the Park and on field level, I think the Padres are really targeting the conventioneer crowd and out of towners that basically plan all of their travel dining around Man Vs. Food and terrible Guy Fieri.  Now they can just grab food at the park, watch a Padres game, and cheer for neither team.  The California burrito was $11.50, and I like Lucha Libre and all, but I'll probably still just walk across the street around the 5th inning to grab food at Lolita's.

I didn't take pictures of Rimel's, but I can speak for Rimel's as I've eaten at the one in Cardiff many times.  It's a place that does rotisserie chicken and grilled fish as well as anyone.  I walked through on the way to my seat, and the Rimel's Rooftop is not just a food stand, it's basically an outdoor lounge.  They've put in high top tables, counters and outdoor lounge furniture.  So when you really want to sit outside at a baseball game while not watching any of the baseball game, this is the place for you!  Half chickens were going for $15, quarter chickens for $12.  Don't underestimate their fish tacos, they are outstanding.  I'm also a fan because it is adding to the life on the 300 level where my season tickets are.  It was almost mandatory to go downstairs to field level if you wanted anything decent last year.  This season, with Rimel's and the new Stone beer garden, there is life in the upper deck! 

Just a few other notes.  The Padres added a Ballast Point bar below Hodad's.  It used to just be spillover seating for Hodad's, now it's a full on bar.  They serve the beers in glass pint glasses, meaning you need to drink it there.  Definitely don't go here if you plan on getting a beer for your seat.  Do plan on going here if you want good beer and a wider complement of Ballast Point beers.  There is an auxillary Hodad's location in the Park at the Park.  Hodad's added some outdoor seating to help with the crush of people.  I think last year, this spot was just used for employee's to yammer on their breaks.  
There are also some new, more pedestrian food options.  Or maybe I just didn't notice them last season.  At the top of the escalator from the 10th St. gate there's a street taco stand selling 3 tacos for $8.50.  I'm going to miss having Kotsay tacos this season.  There were also several Diego Steak and Cheese stands behind home plate.  Apparently San Diego is well known for our signature cheesesteak, which is a normal cheesesteak PLUS QUESO.  Groundbreaking.

All in all, this season brought the biggest changes I've seen to Petco Park concessions.  They aren't cheap, and you still can always just grab Lolita's and bring it back into the stadium, but for now, it's nice to be able to take out of town guests to actual San Diego joints and then wash it down with actual San Diego beer, something I've long advocated for.  Who knows, with this in-depth, legitimate journalist, maybe the Padres will invite me to next season's media night where we can talk MS Paint dongs and tacos.

Andrew Cashner is Daryl Dixon

With no Padres baseball today, we all get a chance to catch up on Walking Dead on our DVRs.  I couldn't help but notice that all time fan favorite Daryl Dixon is basically Andrew Cashner.  Trained with a crossbow, a skilled cocksman, experienced at dressing the deer, although Daryl has slightly less awesome hair.