San Diego Padres

Play at plate haunts Giants as they fall by a run to Padres

Play at plate haunts Giants as they fall by a run to Padres

SAN DIEGO — Derek Holland currently has a problem with allowing runs in the first inning, and when that was brought up a few minutes after Saturday’s game ended, he smiled.

“I wish I could say what I really want to say,” he said. 

Perhaps that holds true of all the Giants.

They fell 5-4 to the Padres on a night when the visiting dugout was filled with grumbles and sour faces in the late innings. The Giants did not agree with several strike calls as they tried to overcome the one-run deficit — most notably, a strike two call to Hunter Pence that was far outside — but they were also peeved about a play at the plate that was not overturned. 

Joe Panik tripled with one out in the seventh and tagged up when Andrew McCutchen hit a laser to right. Hunter Renfroe’s strong throw was cut off and redirected to the plate, and Panik was ruled out on a bang-bang play. A lengthy review process upheld Rob Drake’s call. Bruce Bochy said Shawon Dunston and Chad Chop, who handle the replay decisions for the Giants, felt Panik was safe. 

“I haven't had a chance to look at it, but they were pretty confident he was safe,” Bochy said. “But it wasn’t overturned. They said he definitely beat the tag. We’ll find out what happened.”

The play was one that always seems to trip up the review system. It was clear pretty early on in the process that whatever was called on the field would stand. Several angles appeared to show A.J. Ellis missing the tag, but there was at least one that showed Panik possibly missing the plate. Panik said that if Ellis tagged him, it was just a grazing swipe. He had not gone back and watched a replay of his slide. 

“It happens,” he said. “It was really quick. You think your foot hits it. The call is the call. It happened quickly. I thought it hit home plate, but I guess it didn’t. I have no idea. I didn't ask for and explanation. With replay, it is what they say.”

Later, Panik added, “It’s not something you can cry about.” The Giants won’t, because they know they gave this game up in other ways, wasting Evan Longoria’s upper deck shot and a similar blast from Andrew McCutchen. 

Holland allowed two runs in the first, settled in, and then got wild in the fifth. The bullpen was mostly strong, but Cory Gearrin got beat in the seventh. Renfroe’s two-run rocket to left gave the Padres a lead that would hold up.

“A couple of pitches in that inning, that was the difference,” Bochy said. “His ball was up more than it normally is. They took advantage.”

Report: San Diego makes splash, Padres add Hosmer on eight-year deal


Report: San Diego makes splash, Padres add Hosmer on eight-year deal

PEORIA, Ariz. — Just the thought of free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer joining the downtrodden, youthful San Diego Padres sent a morning jolt through the spring training clubhouse.

The on-field vibe seemed equally cheery, as country music blared as players went to work under sunny skies in the Arizona desert.

Hosmer reached a preliminary agreement on an eight-year contract with the Padres, pending a physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the tentative deal, speaking on the condition of anonymity Sunday because there had been no formal announcement of Hosmer’s potential signing.

It would become official once he passes a physical early in the week. While the final position players reported Sunday — most were already in spring camp — ahead of Monday’s first full-squad workout, Hosmer wasn’t expected in the desert until at least Monday.

Hosmer, who spent his first seven major league seasons with Kansas City, would receive a reported $144 million.

Padres manager Andy Green could only discuss the acquisition of Hosmer in generalities since it isn’t final, but was hopeful of having his full team together Monday.

“I can’t replicate the magic of the first day twice, so, yeah, you want him or anyone to be there when you’re talking,” Green said. “... Not that there is any real magic on the first day, but it’s always nice to have your camp settled as early as possible.”

The 28-year-old Hosmer batted a career-high .318 in 2017 and matched his best from the previous season with 25 home runs. A four-time Gold Glover and All-Star in ’16, he drove in 94 runs and scored 98 for the Royals last season. He also had a career-best .385 on-base percentage.

Veteran right-hander Chris Young also came to the Padres this offseason after most recently pitching three seasons for the Royals, calling Hosmer “one of my all-time favorite teammates” who brings “a competitive fire” that will be much-welcomed.

He hadn’t been in touch with Hosmer in recent days but they did communicate earlier in the winter when Young chose San Diego and discussed that it was among Hosmer’s top choices, too. Young said he didn’t want to add any pressure to Hosmer making a decision.

“Hos is a legitimate All-Star,” Young said. “I think he brings a veteran experience, he’s a winner, he’s a champion and a great mentor for young guys. So I think he fits all the categories I think you’re looking in terms of a teammate, a leader, a competitor. I think he makes any clubhouse better, much less this one.”

While most every club feels a sense of optimism this time of year with a fresh slate as spring training begins, the Padres were especially upbeat as they got going early Sunday at the idea of the power-hitting Hosmer in their lineup and at first base.

San Diego went 71-91 last season for fourth in the NL West above only the San Francisco Giants, and the Padres haven’t been to the playoffs since losing in the 2006 NL Division Series.

Green knows what someone such as Hosmer could mean to a club’s chances of turning it around .

“It was always time to start contending for me,” said Green, beginning his third season as San Diego skipper. “It was always go out and win opening day and go out and win every game. I haven’t been very good at that, I have to acknowledge that. At this point in time, opening day has been cruel to me so far.

“But I think we show up with the expectation of winning the first game of the season and don’t waver from that no matter who’s in that clubhouse. Does it get easier if certain people are in that clubhouse? Yeah, it sure does.”

Wil Myers, who played 154 games at first for San Diego last season, was ready to move positions as needed. He can play elsewhere in the infield and all three outfield spots and Green said he would be “magically” taking fly balls in right field Sunday.

“Wil’s been great with everything that’s ever been asked of him,” Green said.

Myers said the Padres communicated with him during the offseason about the possibility of adding Hosmer, saying: “When I saw that possibility I was very excited. To be able to add a player like that I think is very cool.”

Myers played in 2010 with Hosmer in the minors with the Royals.

“I know nothing’s definite right now but just to be able to hopefully add a guy like that is pretty special,” Myers said.

“He’s a great guy. He’s going to be a guy that fits really well in this clubhouse. ... You’ve heard a lot of great things about him, what he does in the clubhouse and who he is as a person.”

Now that Philly gets its parade, San Diego deserves our kindest thoughts


Now that Philly gets its parade, San Diego deserves our kindest thoughts

We are running out of a lot of things in this country, and now that Philadelphia gets to book a parade route for the first time in a quarter-century, we are less one “long-suffering city” story line.

And we say “city” rather than “fan base” because everyone loves a parade – except the people caught in traffic. A parade takes over an entire city, not just a single fan base, so when Eagle fans line Broad Street, they’re not kicking off any Phillies, Flyers or Sixers fans. It’s a civic event, which we learned most recently when the Warriors jousted with the city of Oakland over their parade bills.

Thus, the new city most gripped by parade-o-phobia is a city full of sports fans that has plenty more to gripe about than just no championships. It’s San Diego.

Bordertown not only hasn’t had a championship in 55 years, the one team that got it for them just moved to Los Angeles with a revolting lurch, and the league in which they won that championship hasn’t existed for 49. In short, almost all the people with memories of that championship are called Grandma or Grandpa – and no, we will forgo the “isn’t everyone called that there?” joke.

Worse still, the city has only the Padres to make its floatmaking case for it, and as a single-franchise city with an open wound just 90 miles up the road, San Diego deserves our kindest thoughts – if we are still capable of such things.

The multi-franchise city with the longest parade drought is Cincinnati, which last filled the streets in 1990 with the Reds, followed by Minnesota (1991 Twins), Washington (1992 with the football team) and Atlanta (1995 Braves), and given what Washington has provided for us all, its next parade should probably be right after the meteor hits.

Here, we’ve been over-paraded with three in San Francisco and two more in Oakland in this decade, one more than Chicago (three Blackhawks, one Cubs), so smug is not the way to play this. Philadelphia’s parade will be a perfectly Philly hot mess, made all the better by the fact that it hasn’t happened there since . . . well, two years ago as it turns out, with Villanova.

But that's the thing about a parade. They actually happen more often than you think -- but not so frequently that they should be taken for granted.