These next two days are one of the few times in the year (along with some Sundays between November and January) where my sports mind isn’t more focused on baseball than other sports. I’m about to walk into a class, and you can bet I’ll be walking out at least once to go to the other side of the building and check the scores of the early March Madness games.
Since basketball and the Padres are sort of on my mind at the same time, I ultimately wondered what kind of a basketball team the Padres would make.
I got to thinking about it, and they’d make a pretty damn good one.
Chris Young, at 6’10,” has the size to make a good center, and, as you may know, he once was a good center for Princeton. He was good enough that he once got a guaranteed two-year contract offer from the Sacramento Kings. Few players (maybe Mark Hendrickson, but that’s about it) could boast such a strong background in hoops.
Big-bodied Kyle Blanks doesn’t have that sort of pedigree, but at 6’6″ and somewhere north of 270 pounds, he could at least take up space in the lane–few teams have players with Blanks’ size, and he’s more athletic than he looks. Heck, he even hit an inside-the-park homer last year.
Will Venable and Tony Gwynn could take care of the backcourt. Venable, like Young, was a standout at Princeton, earning All-Ivy League honors in both baseball and basketball. Gwynn has the speed to play point guard, and bloodlines too–Tony Gwynn Sr. was initially a basketball recruit at San Diego State (yes, really).
Those four alone could outdo most MLB teams, and the Padres would have many options for small forward. They could go big (6’8″ Adam Russell, 6’6″ Ryan Webb) and dominate the boards, small (adding someone like David Eckstein, Jerry Hairston, or Everth Cabrera and going with three guards), or medium (putting someone like Chase Headley, Sean Gallagher, or Clayton Richard in).
Anyway, I think my point is made: If the 30 MLB teams were to have a March Madness of their own, the Padres would probably be the favorite.