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Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin and Chase Headley are finally healthy, another successful draft for Tom Telesco and more in our weekly sports roundup.
After a while, it’s easy to get tired of being told to wait. You start to feel as though you’re being fooled, and no matter how long you wait, nothing is coming.
This, I think, is a sort of purgatory that most Padres fans inhabit: constantly waiting for Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin and Chase Headley to get healthy. When the team isn’t hitting well, it’s because those guys aren’t out there. When the team isn’t fielding well, it’s because those guys aren’t out there. At this point, if you had no idea what a Padres lineup with Quentin, Maybin and Headley in it would look like, I wouldn’t be surprised.
So, in April, when the team and the local media were telling Padres fans that the cavalry was on its way, we were justifiably wary. Yet, here they are, and the Padres have won five of their last six. Headley has played in five of those games, getting a hit in four of them, and two home runs. Maybin has started four of the six games the team played in the last week, and picked up a hit in three of them. Quentin, the centerpiece of the team’s offense, played in two of the team’s last three games and picked up one hit and two walks
None of those numbers above are mind-blowing, but they’re enough. They’re mostly an improvement over the backups, and there’s a good chance they’ll get better and more consistent as the season goes along — if they stay off the DL list. Will that be enough for the team to compete for a spot in the playoffs?
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At the end of the 2014 NFL Draft, not everyone agreed on everything, but most agreed that Tom Telesco had put together another stellar draft class.
• I handed out grades for each Chargers selection, giving only one (Chris Watt) a grade below B. A man with a better understanding of offensive linemen, however, says Watt might have been the team’s best pick.
• Telesco lived up to his word, adding lots of speed to the team and keeping the roster very balanced.
• Which Chargers players (and coaches) were the most hurt or helped by the draft? I’d love to see the team try to find a wide receiver after final cut day at the end of the preseason, but that probably isn’t possible. I guess that just means more of Ladarius Green on the field. Or maybe seventh-round pick Tevin Reese could make the team?
• I’ve called my shot. Auburn’s Chris Davis, one of 17 undrafted free agents signed by San Diego immediately following the conclusion of the draft, will make the team (if he’s healthy).
Unless you’re one of the larger markets in baseball, chances are you’ll need to find at least one “home-grown” star to find consistent success. That means someone drafted by the team, groomed through the minor leagues, who came up to play at an All-Star level while remaining under team control and relatively inexpensive. The Angels have Mike Trout, the Giants have won two World Series on home-grown stars Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, and many other teams around baseball try desperately to follow their example.
The problem, at least for the Padres, is that none of their home-grown stars seem to pan out. Kyle Blanks, who looked ready to be a power-hitting stud outfielder just a year ago, was traded to the Oakland A’s on Thursday because of his inability to stay healthy. Jedd Gyorko, who nearly won NL Rookie of the Year last year before being given a big contract early this year, can’t seem to figure out how to hit. Will Venable has all of the potential but is inconsistent at best. Everth Cabrera looked ready to be a home-grown star last year before getting busted as part of MLB’s Balco sting against performance-enhancing drug users.
In fact, according to Baseball Reference, the last time the best Padres player in any season was home-grown was in 1997, and that player was Tony Gwynn.
• Former NFL safety Darren Sharper is still an awful human being and allegedly serial rapist, so his defense team is shaming his accusers.
• Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman pitched a routine inning of baseball. Nothing special happened. And it was beautiful, because the boring inning showed just how mentally strong Chapman is.
• Last Saturday, Michael Sam became the first openly gay NFL player when the St. Louis Rams drafted him in the seventh round. Now, with some help from Oprah, Sam is about to become the first NFL rookie to have his own reality show.
• GIF of the Week: I was really sad to see the Washington Wizards knocked out of the NBA Playoffs last night, because I wasn’t done watching John Wall do insane things with the basketball.
Stay safe, San Diego.
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