Jul 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; The San Diego Padres mascot cheers from the top of the dugout during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
If you listen to sports talk radio this week, everybody thinks the Padres need to change something. But nobody really knows what to change. “Bud Black needs to do something!” What should he do? “I don’t know, send everyone down to the minors and bring up all the minor leaguers.” “Cut some high-priced player from the team as an example.” “Fire the hitting coach.” These are all options (some more realistic than others), but will they actually change the results on the field?
What do we do? How do we fix this? The Padres offense is broken, and needs mending. But how? Nobody seems to have a plan that’s really better than “just wait, these guys have all had success hitting in the major leagues before, and it’s extremely unlikely that they will just all hit much, much worse than their career norms all year.” But that’s not fun, it’s not interesting. It doesn’t help us in tomorrow’s game. And we’re bored to death!
So here are some other ideas. They’re unlikely to yield results much worse than we’re seeing now. And maybe they’d add a bit of interest for fans.
Change up the positions guys are playing. You know the numbers that you use on a scorecard to designate specific positions – Pitcher is 1, Catcher is 2, etc? Pick a number out of a hat, and add that number to the position number that guys usually play. For example, if we draw a 4, then we’d end up with this defensive alignment:
Pitcher: Everth Cabrera
Catcher: Carlos Quentin
First Base: Cameron Maybin
Second Base: Smith/Venable/Deno
Third Base: Andrew Cashner
Shortstop: Rene Rivera
Left Field: Yonder Alonso
Center: Jedd Gyorko
Right: Chase Headley
Everybody hit from the other side of the plate. Righties bat lefty. Lefties bat righty. Switch hitters stand on their hands and swing with their feet.
Pick one lucky fan per game to hit cleanup! That’s it, Matilda Blatch, you’ve won today’s contest. Come on down and suit up. You’ll be playing Center Field today!
Today only: Giants vs. Padres playing Over-the-Line on Fiesta Island. Come early, and bring your own beer. Teams will be going by the names The Gum Swallowers and The Sons of the Beach.
My wife’s suggestion: Give the fans paintball guns, and let them take a shot at any player who strikes out.
Let the Swinging Friar and the Petco mascots hit.
Get the SweenDog off the microphone and back on the field!
Two words: Wiffle Ball!
Any other suggestions? Feel free to add in the comments below… Because clearly I don’t have the answers either.