Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Padres thinking of moving the fences in

The San Diego Padres' home field, Petco Park is known as a pitchers park. But when you look at the current dimensions, it's a bit extreme. The Padres offense had been punchless the past few years and management feels that it's almost a competitive disadvantage to play there.

So management has tinkered with the thought of moving the fences in.

“We’re open-minded and we’re seriously considering it,” Padres interim CEO Tom Garfinkel said Tuesday.

“I do believe it is too extreme right now. It will still be a pitcher’s ballpark. But a hitter should be rewarded if he crushes it. And if a team is down 4-0, they should feel there is some hope. It’s just too extreme.”

Translation: It shouldn't be so difficult to come from behind since we don't have to much going for us offensively.

The decision has to be made by the end of the season and the team's plans have to be submitted to MLB.

“We’d have to submit plans by the end of the season,” said Garfinkel, who said the Padres have not decided on the distance that the fences would be shortened.

“I don’t think a final decision needs to be made until October,” said Garfinkel.

Garfinkel knows that shorter fences would mean more excitement, more ticket sales, and higher television ratings, even though what he says speaks to the welfare of both teams.

“We have to get it right. We are studying everything. There are still going to be some nights when the conditions would still be such that it’s going to be hard to hit a homer no matter what the distance is to the fences.

“But a solidly hit ball should be rewarded. Baseball is a match between the pitcher and the hitter. We’ve seen a number of times here where the hitter wins that battle and gets nothing to show for it.

“It should play fair. Four runs should not be an impossible deficit to overcome.”    

Garfinkel is probably tired of seeing long fly balls by the home team come up short. I look for the Padres to go ahead and move the fences in but I don't know how much it's going to help their team.

Vontaze Burfict has options

With news of a failed drug test and his draft stock near rock bottom, former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict is already looking at other options in case the NFL doesn't work out.

Here's a quick rundown of Burfict. He once was thought of as first round material, but his weight ballooned to an unmanageable 259 pounds. His production slipped and Burfict became a walking personal foul, many that cost his team. Since then he's slipped off teams' draft boards due to a poor combine and character concerns.

Burfict figures that if he doesn't get drafted or make it on an NFL roster that he'll play in the Arena league or go back to school.

"I'm truly blessed just to be in the position that I'm in right now," he said. "If I don't get drafted then I will have to go back to school, but I love football so much that I won't give up on football. But I will go back to school and finish up my schooling and stuff like that and probably go somewhere else like Arena football or something but hopefully I make it to the NFL.” 

I'll say this much, at least he has a backup plan. Not much I can say for others.

If I were a GM I'd take a late round flyer on the guy. If he's disciplined enough he could be the steal of the draft. If you get the human personal foul, he could get you fired.