Is ownership telling Padres fans to shut up?


San Diego Padres fans are trying to send a message.

A recent article by San Diego Union-Tribune writer Bill Center quoted Padres CEO Jeff Moorad as saying, “We are not changing the distances at PETCO Park.”

This is not a change in the Padres philosophy or stance. However, Center went on to write “Moorad also said fans hoping to see changes made to the dimensions at PETCO Park should find another cause to champion, although some in the organization would favor a shortening of the fences in right field.” Moorad also was quoted as saying, “I’ve been consistent. PETCO Park, as it is constructed, presents opportunities that few teams have to contour a team to the ballpark.”

I would love to know the context of the questioning by Mr. Center. Was Moorad’s comment in jest? That wasn’t my interpretation. If not, it doesn’t sit well with me as a lifelong Padres fan, nor should it with other devoted fans. The “new regime” essentially tells fans to reserve the right to voice their opinions.

Center conducts a weekly chat answering many Padres-related questions. I commend him for doing so. However, I find what seems to be an obvious bias against a possible PETCO Park fence modification in right field, and his disdain to answer direct questions, rather smug. Having said that, he has no problem explaining to fans ad nauseum that Chase Headley or Jesus Guzman will not be moved to second base. Hey, don’t get me wrong, he has every right to conduct his weekly chat the way he sees fit. However, I find it disturbing when posters present rational arguments regarding the fences and he doesn’t post them, but will take posters who use an alias using my name (and misrepresenting my opinion) or other avid supporters of a modification. Is this a bias, agenda or censorship by Mr Center … or the front office?

Without bombarding you with a plethora of numbers that suggest PETCO Park has not been an advantage for the home team (possibly the contrary), skip past the numbers and the fact that a team tailored to a ballpark extremely limits your options. It limits the players you can draft, attract, sign from free agency and retain. Case in point: Anthony Rizzo being dealt to Chicago and Yonder Alonso being brought in from Cincinnati to be a player who (in theory) could fit PETCO Park more favorably. While I liked both trades, I dislike the reasoning.

For me, not only is PETCO Park arguably the most boring venue in baseball because of the way it plays, it’s also the most beautiful. So, suffice it to say, it’s frustrating and has been an ongoing topic of conversation for fans since the park opened in 2004. You know, before “the new guys” — before the revolving door of new regimes and compensation cases for former general manager Jed Hoyer’s non-lateral move to Chicago. Ironically enough, one member of the old regime, Sandy Alderson, listened to the fans of his team and has made modifications to Citi Field in New York this offseason. Something that his ownership group was planning in San Diego before the John and Becky Moores divorce debacle.

In an article by Adam Rubin of ESPN, Alderson made comments about Citi Field I find myself saying daily regarding PETCO Park. The article suggested at least “one motivation would be to make the ballpark more fair for hitters.” What a concept. Alderson went on saying “we’re not looking for an advantage with respect to home runs versus visitors’ home runs. At the same time, I think there is some sense that the park is a little more overwhelming to a team that spends half its time there as opposed to a team that comes in for three games and doesn’t really have to alter an approach or think about it too much and leaves.” Smart guy. The piece touches on entertainment value, which has been my biggest problem with PETCO Park. Alderson acknowledges this, and goes on saying, “To some extent, it’s a question of entertainment. The hardcore baseball fan enjoys the 2-1, the 3-2 (score). We’re appealing to a little broader segment. I think offense is appealing. Offense sells.” Maybe Moorad should take notes.

I suggest, Mr. Moorad, you have someone else handle public relations for the Padres in the future. You have committed a major blunder. By telling Padres fans to stop championing the cause for moving in the right-field fence, you, in effect, have told many devoted fans to shut up. I do not condemn you for being against such a change today, but I do criticize you for closing your mind completely to a possible change in the future, which a failure of your philosophy might warrant. Being so obstinate smacks of elitism and arrogance, which is an insult to Padres fans and a foolish way to encourage support and increased attendance. Furthermore, I will continue to passionately campaign for moving in the right-field fence, because, among other reasons, it would be the simplest way to add exciting offense. It is wrong to limit the talent of a good hitter by settling for a playing field that is so extremely unfair? Instead of spending millions on a new scoreboard, you should give fans what they need most: a playing field that encourages the exciting performance of great talent. The test of a good baseball organization is not to take advantage of a ballpark’s quirks or gimmicks, it’s to produce an exciting and winning team based on the acquisition of superior talent. Our park rewards mediocre pitchers and handicaps star hitters. Fans like me deserve and only desire a fair park which rewards talent instead of stifling it.

So, is it all about money? I find these comments disturbing for a new regime that came on board and expected fans to automatically show up and “keep the faith” in order to increase revenue. Is this a new regime that promised to listen to what the fans wanted or is this a public-relations spin to, once again, shut up fans from being informed and to ease pressure of the ownership group financially?

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  1. “You missed the point.”

    I think I would direct that back at you.

    “I am saying in this specific incident, the way you’re going about it is somewhat childish and irresponsible.”

    You’re welcome to that opinion.

    “You aren’t getting your way, so you’re making wild, outlandish
    accusations of conspiracy, censorship, etc.  Those sorts of accusations
    erode your credibility as a blogger, which lessens your voice and
    demeans your argument.  Maybe childish was strong – maybe irrational,
    indignant would have been better.”

    That’s not true at all. This particular piece was not about the fence issue, as much as it is about the way ownership is handling public relations. That’s your interpretation, you’re welcome to that. I am not stating any concperocy theories. Now, that is reckless. Passionate would an appropriate word. I don’t like hearing the fans consistently dog the Front Office when they have made great strides in many aspects of the game. However, I am not satisfied with status quo, and that doesn’t begin and end with the fences. That maybe your interpretation. However, if you have followed the majority of my work, you would know I am one of the most positive fans. So, your claims seem to be a reflection of your bias. You’re not being objective.

    “While the debate does annoy me and does piss me off, I am not suggesting
    you shouldn’t voice your opinion.  I am saying that, as someone who I
    assume would like to get paid to be a sportswriter and is trying to get
    recognized, you might want to consider being more professional and
    responsible in the way you pose your opinion.”

    First of all, I am doing exactly what I want to do. I’ve never sought out any writing platform. Again, you’re welcome to your opinion. I can assure you that many people in the industry would disagree with you. If I wasn’t being professional as you suggest, I wouldn’t have the daily opportunities, nor connections I do. Anything in a desperate attempt to discretit me. Why am I surprised coming from a career U-T poster. Rhetorical.

    “The accusations and suspicions don’t further your argument, they cheapen it.”

    Facts>opinions.

    “You’re very hostile in your approach in this article and in the comments
    attached to it, so I can only imagine how your comments/questions to
    and for Center come across (particularly the ones he doesn’t answer).”

    Am I hostile? Or are you just pissed off because you disagree? That’s how it appears. I am answering direct questions and welcome that. If you’re going to be critical of me, claiming I’m childish (because you also don’t like my style or opinions), don’t expect teddy bear rebuttals. I’m not atacking your character, I am attacking your claims and opinions. Maybe you should do the same. Instead of attacking my professionalism, stay a little bit more on topic.

    “If you’re this passionate about this topic (or any other), there are
    better ways to approach it.  Write an open letter in the UT.  Start a
    petition and see how many signatures you can get. ”

    That’s your opinion. There has been letters written to the Padres directly. Let me know, I can give you a copy. The Union Tribune is my last stop to Padres information.

    ]
    Again, I am not the only one. There are people in the Padres organization that are for the modification in right field. Obviously it’s a very serious discussion many would like to sweep under the rug. In my opinion, it’s about money. Given the state of the Front Office, I wouldn’t say that’s a stretch. Sandy Alderson may not have been the most popular person when he was here, or revamped the system like we had liked. However, when it came to the entertainment value, the fence issue, he was spot on.

  2. You missed the point.  I am not saying it’s childish to voice your opinion.  Neither am I saying that bloggers are a problem.  I am saying in this specific incident, the way you’re going about it is somewhat childish and irresponsible.  There is a difference.  You aren’t getting your way, so you’re making wild, outlandish accusations of conspiracy, censorship, etc.  Those sorts of accusations erode your credibility as a blogger, which lessens your voice and demeans your argument.  Maybe childish was strong – maybe irrational, indignant would have been better.

    As far as the Center/Moorad debate goes, again, I think you’re so entrenched in your side of the “movement”, that you’re not seeing clearly.  Center has nothing to do with the decision.  When he answers questions on the topic, he isn’t answering based on what he thinks is best.  Similarly, if/when he avoids certain questions on the topic, he isn’t avoiding questions or arguments that refute HIS view point.  He’s avoiding questions that refute Moorad’s view point.  It’s not his job to defend Moorad, it’s his job to report on it.  Big difference.

    While the debate does annoy me and does piss me off, I am not suggesting you shouldn’t voice your opinion.  I am saying that, as someone who I assume would like to get paid to be a sportswriter and is trying to get recognized, you might want to consider being more professional and responsible in the way you pose your opinion.  

    The accusations and suspicions don’t further your argument, they cheapen it.  You’re very hostile in your approach in this article and in the comments attached to it, so I can only imagine how your comments/questions to and for Center come across (particularly the ones he doesn’t answer).  Maybe that’s why he doesn’t respond to the same questions over and over – he feels like it doesn’t matter what he says or how he says it, you’re going to remain indignant and irrational and continue to attack him despite the fact that it isn’t his decision to make.

    If you’re this passionate about this topic (or any other), there are better ways to approach it.  Write an open letter in the UT.  Start a petition and see how many signatures you can get.  Organize some sort of sit-in or protest at the stadium.  It’s at that point that it becomes a movement, or cause.  Right now, to Moorad, it’s a vocal minority of irrational fans.  And as a business man, frankly, it would be an enormous mistake for him to alter his business practices.  There is no reason for him to change his stance until it begins to affect his business, or until it’s clear it’s not just a vocal minority.

  3.   “I read all of Center’s chats, even if I don’t participate in them.  I don’t see the bias to which you refer.” No kidding. You can’t see something he doesn’t post or take.”In fact, I think I’ve even heard him say he’d be in favor of some sort of modification.”I believe you are referring to when he said initially he was in favor of a study. also, his weak argument that Tony Gwynn could have hit in Petco is ridiculous. Again, the standard to hitting in Petco should not be held to a HOF player! An exception to the game. ” How does one accuse another of ignoring fans when the accused hosts and
    moderates a weekly public forum for the express purpose of addressing
    the fans? Where is the logic in that?”I’ll answer this again, it’s pretty simple and not hard to comprehend. He’s not answering questions that challenge him. That would refute his statements, or maybe he just doesn’t know. Why would someone answer questions that make their argument look bad, or oppose it based upon facts?”You also state that “informed fans” are in favor of a modification.  I
    consider myself informed.  I’ve played, watched and studied baseball
    since I was a kid.  I think I know the game.  So am I misinformed
    because I don’t favor a modification?  It isn’t a matter of informed or
    misinformed, Mickey.  It isn’t as black and white as right or wrong.
     It’s just a difference of opinion.” Some informed fans. I will say this again, because it seems to fly by your head. It’s more about entertainment value to me. However, there are many misconceptions by casual fans. Or even informed fans like yourself. People who claim the opposing teams rake in Petco or out perform the Padres offensively by any wide margin. Wrong! There are still informed Padre fans who make baseball claims about the Padres. Claiming Alonso will do well In Petco. Well, we don’t know that yet, obviously! I’ve heard from knowledgeable fans claim Headley as a good Petco player. As I have with Maybin. Yet their splits speak otherwise. “Do you think if we had Adrian at first, Beltre at third, Braun in left
    and Stanton in right we’d ever hear a peep about PetCo?  I doubt it.”A. Will never happen because of payroll. B. No doubt in my mind. The players would not be happy with the playing atmosphere. You;re acting like ONLY the Padres players have complained about Petco. Players don’t want their talent hindered dramatically. Their stats hindered, their salaries. So, absolutely and we still heard this in 2010. Not as magnified, but we still heard this. Boring baseball wins. And no, not just by me.”but what happens when (not if) they move the fences in and the team still sucks, but now the opposition is scoring more?Well, the production is so similar the focus would be on the talent, not the park. Again, the opposition does NOT out produce the Padres by a wide margin by ANY means. It’s almost identical offensively. The pitching would suffer to some degree. Lastly, if this was not such an important debate, the Padres wouldn’t have such pressure on them internally to continually answer questions and even have some in the organization that are FOR a modification. I guess I am not alone. Not JUST bloggers, people who work for the Padres.

  4. “I’m tired of Padres players who whine about the park.  I’m tired of
    fans who whine about the park.  At some point, it’s time to realize it
    is what it is, and move on.”

    It’s not whining. It’s that extreme. It’s warranted. Should fans be satisfied with status quo? Should fans be satisfied with a 55M payroll too, because the ownership who can’t get enough votes for his ownership transfer? Yeah, I guess long time fans should settle because he shrugs off a championing of passionate causes. What about the bring back the brown movement? If Moorad said the same thing about that topic, should that movement, as devoted long time fans let it go? Seriously?

    “Moorad isn’t telling fans to shut up.”

    Of course he is! By telling fans to stop championing for that particular cause, in turn is doing exactly that.  I am criticizing Moorad for his closed mindedness to a possible change in the future. How he is conveying his opinion, his view. He’s telling fans to stifle their voice. Forget it, it’s not happening. From the new guy who can’t even make a ownership transfer? Seriously? Things change. If the Padres can’t improve their home record an ownership should NEVER tell long time devoted fans to stop championing a cause.

    “To accuse he and Center of having a bias or an agenda in the chats is
    simply irresponsible.  When you post an article like this, it robs other
    bloggers of credibility and lessens the impact of the voice you have
    because you come across as some sort of child”

    Well, his bias is obvious. Why else would you not answer (or even take) questions that refute your opposing view? Of course you don’t want to answer questions that expose misconceptions of their opposing view. Or, don’t have the answers to? It would seem so. He makes many claims based on theories as opposed to facts. I am not speaking for all bloggers. However, it’s not like I am the only one over the years to speak out. You act as if I am the only one here. I know you’re an avid poster on the Union Tribune, so.. you have seen the on going debate.

    “In other words, you aren’t getting your way, so you’re going to fuss and
    point fingers until you get someone to listen to you.  Unfortunately,
    all it does is turn people off.”

    So, you admit you have a bias against a modification, and speak out against those who do. Saying you’re sick of it. So, in another words, it’s ok for you to criticize my right, my view as a Padre fan to voice my opinion based upon years of data, but I’m the one who is whining, and not you against the opposing view? It’s on for you, but not for me? Hmm…

    “Also, I continue to disagree with your stance that good hitters can’t
    succeed in PetCo.  Adrian, even as a .260 hitter, was tremendously
    successful in PetCo.  He was successful because he used the whole field,
    which is something most Padres hitters have proven either unable or
    unwilling to do since the park opened.  Unfortunately, there were times
    when I thought he gave at bats away because he didn’t like PetCo. ”

    Adrian is one of the best hitters in baseball! It hindered him dramatically. The point is, we shouldn’t hold such a gifted hitter to the standard of which players can be successful in Petco. The Padres have often been in the top of the rankings on the road since 2004, but near or dead last at home every year. Yes, the padres need better players. Yes, they need to cut down on K’s. Again, my stance has, and always will be about entertainment value! Something that ownership should never shy away from. Being open to what the fans want. Never telling fans to STOP championing a cause. Especially if the theory of playing Petco into an advantage does not happen. Which thus far, in regards to when compared to other teams home records has not happened. It extremely limits the playing field.

    “By the way, your argument that Adrian hitting the ball the other way is
    “avoiding the marine layer” is inaccurate.  The marine layer is a
    weather phenomenon that engulfs the whole stadium (and city), it isn’t
    unique to RF in PetCo.  The marine layer is refers to heavy air caused
    by cloud cover (admittedly an oversimplification), not a wind blowing in
    from RF.”

    No it’s not. Yes, the atmospheric conditions are not solely limited to RF, but they are more dramatic in RF/RCF.. Anyone who has played in Petco will contest to this. This is also not a new theory. The ball carries much better to LF.

    “We’ve seen teams come in here and score runs.  Teams like the Brewers
    can make PetCo look small.  We’ve seen the Phillies make PetCo look
    small.  Same with the Cardinals at times.  It can be done, with talent
    and legit big leagues hitters.”

    Another misconception. Other teams have an almost identical offensive production since 2004 vs the opposition. It’s different coming into Petco for a series as oppose to playing your home games there.

    Also, look at what teams and the payroll of the teams you just mentioned.

    “All in all, I’m just beyond tired of this topic.  Frankly, it annoys me
    and pisses me off.  It’s an excuse, that’s all it is.  It has become a
    crutch.  Just find legitimate talent and the rest will take care of its
    self.”

    For someone who is tired of this topic sure just wrote two novels opposing the cause (a bit off topic). it annoys you, it’s ok for you to voice and share your displeasure with an opposing view, but not me? As Chase Headley said, “I don’t care who you bring into this ballpark, it’s not going to be an offensive  club.”

    How exciting. again, there’s nothing wrong with you voicing your opinion. just like there’s nothing wrong with me, or other supporters championing a cause that’s important to them, and has been since 2004. However, by telling me that I am acting childish, when in the same breath you’re writing two novels to me against that, is a tad hypocritical. So tired, but yet seem so defensive. An admittedly pisses you off. No one should try to stiffle your opinion regardoing the fence, as no one, ESPECIALLY ownership that I have supported since I can remember should tell us to stop championing a popular cause.

  5.   “I didn’t respond to your rebuttals because they had no real substance,
    particularly the one regarding the Padres pitching advantage”

    Of course they do. Not real for you because it opposes your theories. You know, in contrast to factual evidence. Your ridiculous claim about how a player who hasn’t even played in Petco won’t have a problem in Petco (Alonso) is theory. Statistically speaking, VERY few players have played well In Petco. You have zero basis for that claim. Data since 2004 would suggest otherwise. Quentin, another ridiculous claim. It’s not about RF as much for him because he’s a dead pull hitter. No response?

    “What does that mean? Are you saying that the Padre pitchers are less than effective?”

    When someone says pitchers in Petco “perform” better is ridiculous. 
    Petco makes pitchers appear better than they are. Then they are exposed on the road. The hitters are hindered MORE than the pitchers are benefited.

    “To say that I’m “uninformed,” and to accuse Center of taking Moorad’s
    side is irresponsible on your part, and so is your assessment that you
    and your pals speak for everyone else on this subject.”

    I can only come to that conclusion based on reading your misinformed comments. If you’re making baseless statements like you did above, yes you’re proving you are not as privy to the situation. I didn’t say me and my “pals” speak for everyone else. Where did I say that?  I said that if you look around SD since  2004 (I gave some examples other than my own preference) it’s been a popular debate. If you are informed, which you claim, you would be aware of the outcry beyond my pieces if you’re truly being objective. Gaslampball, TheSacBunt, Friarhood, Chickenfriars is “warming up to a modification” etc etc etc. Then, there’s the casual fan who calls Petco boring Ad nauseum. I’m not suggesting Center is necessarily taking his side, but that’s the impression. I gave examples. Why else would you only answer questions that don’t oppose your argument? Why not be objective and take any questions pertaining to that subject? Bias.

    “Again, no hard feelings here. I enjoy reading your coverage of the Padres.”

    None at all. I welcome the opposing view and constructive criticism. It also exposes more missconceptions regarding Petco park, and educates ones who may not follow the advanced statistics that many casual fans are unaware of. One of the reasons I get on Center for dodging questions that challenge what I believe is his bias.

    “But if you wish to express your personal views in every piece
    you write, maybe you should use a column-type format instead.”

    These are not JUST personal views. I am not claiming solely my personal theories as fact, Answer how Adrian did well here despite petco, yet was hindered that bad? Answer Headley’s splits? answer how Alonso will (without even playing a game in Petco) have no problem in Petco? I am attacking your opiniojn and substance,(or lack there of) not you personally. I enjoy the spirited debates.

  6. I read all of Center’s chats, even if I don’t participate in them.  I don’t see the bias to which you refer.  I see a reporter who gives his time for an hour a week to answer questions from fans, only to be peppered with probably hundreds of versions of the same question for sixty minutes.  

    And, to his credit, he probably posts some version of that question every couple minutes despite what I assume is a loathsome attitude toward that question.  He answers it without end, and yet it keeps coming.  He’s not necessarily giving his opinion so much as he’s repeating the club’s stance on it.  What else can he do?  

    In fact, I think I’ve even heard him say he’d be in favor of some sort of modification.  But how many times does he need to answer the same question, based on someone else’s beliefs and with their words, before people realize he isn’t the one making the decision?

    Then, he has people accusing him of towing the company line.  Accusing him of censoring.  Accusing him of ignoring fans.  How does one accuse another of ignoring fans when the accused hosts and moderates a weekly public forum for the express purpose of addressing the fans? Where is the logic in that?

    You confuse making a business decision based on the facts at hand with being biased.  Moorad has made a decision not to move the fences in and it’s his decision to make.  Not yours, not mine, his.  He’s not obligated to cater to our wishes as fans.  It would be impossible to make everyone happy.

    You also state that “informed fans” are in favor of a modification.  I consider myself informed.  I’ve played, watched and studied baseball since I was a kid.  I think I know the game.  So am I misinformed because I don’t favor a modification?  It isn’t a matter of informed or misinformed, Mickey.  It isn’t as black and white as right or wrong.  It’s just a difference of opinion.  

    If the Padres had more talent, this wouldn’t be an issue – and I stand by that.  Do you think if we had Adrian at first, Beltre at third, Braun in left and Stanton in right we’d ever hear a peep about PetCo?  I doubt it.

    But what happens when (not if) they move the fences in and the team still sucks, but now the opposition is scoring more?  Moving the fences in doesn’t lead to increased contact and fewer strike outs.  Now it’s even more clear that the talent is lacking AND the organization has exposed the players.  Where do they go from there?  

    Give them a chance to build a team around the park.  The fact is, if they find guys who can make contact, get on base, and run, they can and should succeed anywhere.  Plenty of teams have won this way, the Cardinals of the 80’s come to mind.  You always bring speed to the ballpark, but power is fleeting because strike outs usually accompany it.  

    If the next wave of kids doesn’t turn their fortunes around, specifically the hitters, then there is a legitimate argument for modification.  The Padres haven’t drafted well until recently, so they’ve really never stuck to a plan long enough to see it through.  Hopefully these last few drafts will change that.

  7. Mickey, we’ve gone back and forth on this and many other Padres related topics over the years.  Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t.  I applaud your passionate approach to this and any other Padres topics.

    Having said that, as someone who has followed the Padres as a devoted fan for more than twenty years, I am sick and tired of this particular topic.  I’m tired of Padres players who whine about the park.  I’m tired of fans who whine about the park.  At some point, it’s time to realize it is what it is, and move on.

    Moorad isn’t telling fans to shut up.  He isn’t spitting in their face.  He isn’t censoring them.  He’s heard their complaints, considered them, and made a decision.  It’s his business, which means it’s his decision.  He isn’t required to make changes to the park.  Honestly, he isn’t even required to dignify the complaints of fans who think its necessary to change the park.

    To accuse he and Center of having a bias or an agenda in the chats is simply irresponsible.  When you post an article like this, it robs other bloggers of credibility and lessens the impact of the voice you have because you come across as some sort of child.  In other words, you aren’t getting your way, so you’re going to fuss and point fingers until you get someone to listen to you.  Unfortunately, all it does is turn people off.

    I am not saying this because I don’t respect you or your opinion (I think you know I do), but because you have a unique opportunity to share your thoughts in a very public forum.  As such, I’d hope you’d take advantage of that by behaving in a more responsible and/or professional manner.  

    Also, I continue to disagree with your stance that good hitters can’t succeed in PetCo.  Adrian, even as a .260 hitter, was tremendously successful in PetCo.  He was successful because he used the whole field, which is something most Padres hitters have proven either unable or unwilling to do since the park opened.  Unfortunately, there were times when I thought he gave at bats away because he didn’t like PetCo.  

    By the way, your argument that Adrian hitting the ball the other way is “avoiding the marine layer” is inaccurate.  The marine layer is a weather phenomenon that engulfs the whole stadium (and city), it isn’t unique to RF in PetCo.  The marine layer is refers to heavy air caused by cloud cover (admittedly an oversimplification), not a wind blowing in from RF.

    The Padres primary problem over the years hasn’t been PetCo’s dimensions, or even the marine layer.  It has been a distinct lack of talent.  They struck out too much, always have.  They can move the fences in 100 feet if they want to, but if you have teams that (a) don’t walk, (b) don’t make consistent contact, and (c) strike out as much as they do/have, the dimensions of the park won’t matter.

    They’ve been trying to win with what was largely a minor league (AAAA) team built around Adrian (prior to last year).  Sure, they sprinkle in a couple decent major leaguers, but they basically plug holes with journeymen and kids who aren’t ready.  That’s the crux of the problem, not the dimensions of their home park.  They just have been talent deficient.

    We’ve seen teams come in here and score runs.  Teams like the Brewers can make PetCo look small.  We’ve seen the Phillies make PetCo look small.  Same with the Cardinals at times.  It can be done, with talent and legit big leagues hitters.

    All in all, I’m just beyond tired of this topic.  Frankly, it annoys me and pisses me off.  It’s an excuse, that’s all it is.  It has become a crutch.  Just find legitimate talent and the rest will take care of its self.

  8. Yes, I do live in San Diego, born in La Jolla, and used to work for the Padres. I didn’t respond to your rebuttals because they had no real substance, particularly the one regarding the Padres pitching advantage.

    “So, bring in pitchers who are not as aided by Petco park.”

    What does that mean? Are you saying that the Padre pitchers are less than effective? And regarding Center, are you saying that’s he’s Moorad’s media spokesman?

    To sum this up, you and I obviously have a difference in opinion. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as there is mutual respect on both sides. To say that I’m “uninformed,” and to accuse Center of taking Moorad’s side is irresponsible on your part, and so is your assessment that you and your pals speak for everyone else on this subject.

    Again, no hard feelings here. I enjoy reading your coverage of the Padres. But if you wish to express your personal views in every piece you write, maybe you should use a column-type format instead.

  9. They need to quit making a team to fit the park! Start making a team that can compete in there division. But more to the point, could the ROCKIES have had there ROCKTOBER in PETCO! whens the last time anybody ever heard of a pitcher’s rally? that’s right, never! because you need runs to constitute a rally. PETCO’s the biggest ballpark in the majors but why? Does seeing balls fall on the warning track bring in crowds with lots of money? 

  10.  “I see no majority fan support in favor of moving in the fences, but rather a healthy difference of opinion between two camps.”

    Do you live and San Diego? Do you frequent the Padres message boards, go to games in Petco? Hear the fans yelling, “Petco’d!”? Everytime a player is dealt for, the first question (pitcher or position player) is how he will benefit of be stifled by Petco. I hear it all the time! I don’t hear many informed fans against a modification, I know many for the cause. The feeling around here is not many people would be “against” a modification. However, there are many for a modification. There are several SD social media platforms that have covered this since 2004, it’s not new.

    Well, it’s obvious there’s is a bias if you partake in any weekly chats Center gives. As I pointed out above, any direct questions that challenge the opposing view, refuting the misinterpretations of Petco (as you did earlier), they do not post. Of course people don’t want to answer direct questions that make their arguments Swiss Cheese. I didn’t see you address any of my responses to you directly. You know, the substance, the facts I gave you as oppose to your theory on Petco.

    Center knows Moorad’s bias against such a change, and if you read Center’s chat it becomes very obvious of his as well.

  11. As usual, my friend, I guess we must agree to disagree. But why didn’t you respond to one of my closing quotes, probably one of the most important regarding your story?

    “I see no majority fan support in favor of moving in the fences, but rather a healthy difference of opinion between two camps.”

    I’m not a big fan of Moorad, as you may or may not know. But I can’t believe you would accuse him or Bill Center of being bias against folks who agree with you on fence modifications, or use an “alias using my name (to misrepresent my opinions…”). Are you actually saying that Center, who has been with the Union-Tribune for 40 some-odd years, of taking cues from Moorad? I find that to be a real stretch.

  12. “Good hitters like Adrian did just fine at Petco, Mickey”

    Not really. He was a 260 hitter in Petco. 300 away. Dramatic for one of the best hitters in baseball. Especially who had the extrodinary ability to go the other way away from the marine layer. The standard should be of one of the best hitters in baseball?

    “And so do any other decent players from opposing teams.”

    Playing 81 games in Petco as the home team, is MUCH different from coming in for a series. There is a huge psychological factor.

    ” Moving in any fence serves no purpose because it will make it even easier for visiting teams to score.”

    Again, for me it’s about entertainment. However, the opposition since 2004 has been almost identical to the Padres. So, while the pitching would suffer to some degree, it would alter the extremities some. However, because the hitting by far is hindered more than the pitching is benefited, there would be an equal playing field without an obvious opposing advantage. In fact, there’s evidence that supports the contrary.

    “And it would be a disadvantage to San Diego’s pitchers, who have been the club’s strongest link in the past.”

    Again, there is evidence that supports the contrary. The San Diego pitchers are obviously Petco aided. So, bring in pitchers who are not as aided by Petco park.

    “The only player who might benefit from shorter distances would be Quentin, a notorious fly ball hitter.”

    That’s ridiculous. The park hinders all offensive production, but dramatically to left hander’s. Headley’s splits speak for themselves. Also, Quentin is a dead pull hitter. We’re not talking about an overhaul of a modification all the way around the park like Citi Field. Right Field only.

    “For guys like Guzman and Alonso, it wouldn’t matter.”

    Of course it will. It hinders all offensive production statistically, even singles. Doubles as well.

    “And players like Maybin would be better served to quit swinging for a
    bomb, cutting down on strikeouts and getting on base to utilize his
    speed.”

    The Padres were one of the best teams in baseball at stealing bases and outfield defense. That didn’t seem to play Petco park into an advantage. Maybin went the other way a lot last year and florished. His overall numbers are also dwarfed because of Petco. Look at his splits. Petco (admittedly by just about any player in baseball) alters the batters approaches. That goes against just about every basic hitting philosophy.

    “I don’t mean to be harsh, but I think you are the one who is being obstinate, Mickey”

    You’re not being harsh in my view, but obviously uninformed when it comes to this subject.

  13. Good hitters like Adrian did just fine at Petco, Mickey. And so do any other decent players from opposing teams. On the other hand, the Padres struggled just as much on the road last year as they did at home.

    The Padres have improved their offense, but they are hardly a powerhouse. Moving in any fence serves no purpose because it will make it even easier for visiting teams to score. And it would be a disadvantage to San Diego’s pitchers, who have been the club’s strongest link in the past.

    The only player who might benefit from shorter distances would be Quentin, a notorious fly ball hitter. For guys like Guzman and Alonso, it wouldn’t matter. And players like Maybin would be better served to quit swinging for a bomb, cutting down on strikeouts and getting on base to utilize his speed.

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but I think you are the one who is being obstinate, Mickey. I see no majority fan support in favor of moving in the fences, but rather a healthy difference of opinion between two camps. Baseball might be “boring” at Petco, but Padre pitchers aren’t complaining.

  14. That’s exactly what he’s saying. Would you have preferred if I said, be quite and not voice their opinion? Ownership is feeling pressure on many fronts. They’re tired of answering the daily questions, (which I did blame them) regarding such a dramatic ballpark. It’s in the manor of the differences of opinion, and how it is conveyed to fans I have a problem with. Bill Center has admitted they feel some pressure by fans in the regards to the fence issue. Ownership telling long-time devoted fans to stop championing for a popular cause is pretty straight forward. So, the fans should be satisfied with status quo, (on a popular issue for many fans since 2004) from an new (scratch that) CEO-partial owner who can’t seem to get enough votes from MLB for the transfer of ownership? What a joke.

    “If he can build a team to fit he park with a $40 million dollar payroll is the real question.”

    Not just a team to fit the park, but a team that plays Petco into an advantage. Unfortunately that’s Something that has yet to show any evidence of since 2004. In fact, there is evidence that supports the contrary. Also, my argument has, and always will be about entertainment value. And $40M is a joke. Fans should be satisfied with a boring park (to many casual to die-hard fans), a Little League revenue, ownership that can’t even win over MLB votes to transfer, while being as arrogant, as to tell fans to stop lobbing for a cause in which has ben such a strong topic since 2004? No. The fans in San Diego deserve more. This ownership promised to listen to the fans. His response, is a direct slap in the face to any Padre fan no matter your “stance” regarding the fence issue.

    “He just has a difference of opinion with you about how to manage a baseball team and I think he makes a point”

    If that point is to deter long time Padre fans away from Petco park, he’s doing a fantastic job.

  15. Frankly I don’t see where he is spiting the fans at all, this headline is over the top.  He just has a difference of opinion with you about how to manage a baseball team and I think he makes a point.  If he can build a team to fit he park with a $40 million dollar payroll is the real question.

  16.  I suspect it is a way to cheaply have teams that will at least contend on decent years and calm the fanbase.

    i’d like to see a cummulative spray chart for away teams and for home teams at petco. and compare that to some of the others for other stadiums. I would bet Petco’s out density area would look much larger than the other stadiums.

  17. Well said, good points. And I agree that Gwynn may have had a negative impact. I remember Barry Bonds for YEARS shading very shallow in LF taking away SO many of Tony’s hits. We should think that wouldn’t happen in a park where the air holds the ball up even more?

    If a player (opposing or our home team) hits a ball that far, they deserve that double or HR. They have earned it! The splits since 2004 speak for themselves.

    Another good point. We may have traded away a great defender also. We heard Gold Glove caliber with Rizzo. Defense is suppose to be at a premium in Petco. Although, I would say the park neutralizes pitching against the opposition, (in a sense) and does put the emphasis on offense. Still, how many balls did we see Adrian save from the infielders in 2010?

    Bottom line, hitters changing their approaches for the park is horrific. That goes against almost every basic hitting philosophy.

    Is it because it’s cheaper to retain players with speed, defence, knowing they will have their numbers dwarfed and in turn will be cheaper overall to retain THAT type of player? Rip off! The Padres fans deserve and offensive MVP.

  18.  I just like to point that out in case anyone who thinks that could read that. It blows my mind how many times i hear ppl say, especially in the ut comments, how tony would have done better. yes, but what is better? would he still be the the tony we all love? would he be enshrined in the hof? I mean, let’s not forget how weird their voting gets. would he have earned all those silver slggers? would he have tied honus wagner?

    considering award voting now…i say no. then i look at chase and i think, oh god no.

    i do ultimately feel the sameway about the alonso rizzo situation, but if i trade in rizzo for a great 1b and great catcher? i’d take that even though the 1b might only be great, bt rizzo is hof. that’d temper my feelings if i saw rizzo go nuts in wrigley while alonso performs like…i guess like chase. underappreciated, not always consistent but pretty darn good.

    what i’m more curious about is alonso’s defense. i’m bothered by the thought of not having a good defensive 1b. especially after the hawpe debacle.

  19. There’s no reason to suggest he would have done better. Would he have done what he did, possibly. Could it have had a negative affect, absolutely.

     I agree, tailoring a team to a park is extremely limited. Especially in Petco. You can’t compare say Petco to a park like Fenway for example. How realistic is it to find those types of players, and ones that are also not affected by the park psychologically? Also, I don’t want to see certain player who could have a higher ceiling passed by in the draft because they may not fit Petco’s mold. Alonso vs Rizzo’s ceiling maybe a decent example.

    The best baseball teams, are balanced teams.

    No one wants to answer direct questions that refutes their arguments.

  20.  how well he wold have hit here is debatable. honestly, we’ll never know but considering his k rate…he clearly would have done better than adrian’s 267 home ba. how much better…i couldn’t say. 290s maybe?

    one thing that bothers me is the comments section of the sdut everytime the fences are discussed. people still champion the idea of tailoring a team to a ballpark when after 8 years we still haven’t been able to do that and considering our payroll now, and what it will eventually be, we will never be able to afford to really do that. good tailoring costs money, just like a suit and we’d still have to win in at least 15 other ballparks every year in order to be able to bring home a championship

  21.  To me, both players have had such limited sample size of success it’s hard to say. Then again we have 8 years of other players. Can we deduce that the players are few and far between? Yes. Very limited. I love when people say, Tony Gwynn could have hit here. Yeah, he’s a HOF and one of the best pure hitters ever. So, we should hold our hopes and standards to a HOF player? What a joke. Gwynn was an exception to the game.

  22. It’ll be interesting to see how Quentin is affected by the park. I think guys that come up in the system are less affected by the psych out factor. Blanks’ ISO is just fine at Petco (not that the team seems to care about him). Hundley is fine, too.

  23.  Why build a park tailored to any player? What a limitation that puts on the way you draft, sign, and are able to retain players. What offensive player is attracted to Petco? Cast off players from other teams, over the hill players looking to surf and make SD their home.  Even players of the non-power variety can’t wait to leave town. In such a psychological game, that doesn’t sound like an advantage to me. Our home team should thrive at home. Or, how about knowing that our team will probably never have an offensive MVP? What a rip off.

    The offense is hindered more than the pitching is aided going back to 2004. No one is asking for Petco to be Coors Field, only a MORE neutral playing field where we (devoted to the casual fans) can see more aspects of the game we love so much. I love a pitchers duel just as much as I love a slug fest. However, there’s nothing I loath more, than watching two scrub pitchers look like Cy Young because of the way the park plays. Because of a gimmick park.

    People dismiss the psychological affect. Yet, we’ve seen players over and over again get psyched out by the park. Not just Nevin and Klesko.

    The misconceptions regarding Petco, and a possible modification are still staggering to me. People claiming it’s all about homeruns, or advantage. For me, the entertaiment value is one of the main reasons. Eliminating some of the psychological affect as well. Bottom line, if ownership that has told Padre fans they will listen, having the ownership transfer on layaway, is in turn telling us to shut up, the championing for a modification will be even loader and broader than ever. It’s almost laughable when people say “we didn’t hear this outcry in 2010 when we were winning”. Yes we did. That’s a nice political spin tactic . Padres.com forum has thousands of posts all over, during that season of how boring the WINNING games were. Want a sticker? Let me know.

    Go Padres!

  24. Well said. I’ve gotta throw my two cents in, though. I think I would have taken the personnel angle. A pitcher is only one player affecting the game’s outcome at a time (granted…a pretty big affect). But…you have 8 position players that can all impact the game. Why build a park tailored for one player? Then there’s the added complication of the marine layer…

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