Padres draft Johnny Manziel in 28th round

Johnny-Manziel-PadresIf Johnny Manziel falls flat on his face in his first season with the Cleveland Browns and decides he wants to pursue a career in professional baseball, the San Diego Padres will have the first shot at him. The Padres selected Manziel with the 837th overall pick (28th round) in the 2014 MLB draft on Saturday.

Yes, this is for real. As our friend Matt Clapp reminded us, this is not the first time a team has done something like this. The Colorado Rockies drafted Michael Vick in the 30th round of the 2000 MLB draft when he was coming out of Virginia Tech. It’s called a publicity stunt.

Either the Padres had literally no players on their board worth drafting after 27 rounds, or they really liked what they saw from Manziel when he visited Petco Park and threw out the ceremonial first pitch last season.

Manziel actually played baseball for 15 years before football became his only priority, so he has plenty of experience. But, again, we all know what the Padres were doing here. Manziel will never play pro baseball. When you consider some of rare gems that are found extremely late in the draft, it’s kind of a shame they would waste a pick.

Padres promotion gives winner season tickets for hitting home run at Petco Park

petco-parkSince opening in 2004, Petco Park in San Diego has been known as a pitcher’s haven and one hitters cringe at the thought of. The Padres’ home has finished last three times and second-to-last twice in home runs allowed.

In an attempt to increase the number of runs scored, sections of the outfield fences were moved in prior to last season. Batters were able to take advantage of the changes in 2013 and next month fans will have the opportunity to do the same.

On March 15 the Padres will be hosting a promotion giving those 16 years of age and over a chance to swing for the fences. The winners will receive season tickets. To win all you have to do is hit a home run. Sounds simple enough, right?

petco-park-dimensionsBefore stepping into the batter’s box a waiver must be signed. Participants will only be allowed to swing at one pitch, so selecting wisely will be key. If you played Division 1 collegiate or professional baseball you won’t be eligible to claim the prize. Sorry if you happen to fall into either group.

In case you’re wondering what it will take to be the owner of two seats in the upper infield section, above are the park’s official dimensions.

H/T HardballTalk

Umpires blow two calls on same play in Padres-Rockies game (Video)

Blown call

Nolan-Arenado-foot-off-bagThe San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies played into extra innings on Thursday night, and the umpiring crew may have determined the outcome of the game. Or maybe they didn’t. Well, they certainly made things more confusing than they had to be.

As you can see from the GIF above that GameReax shared with us, Yasmani Grandal hit a ground ball to third with the bases loaded in the top of the 12th inning. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado tried to get the force out at third and fire to first for an inning-ending double play, and he almost pulled it off. Chase Headley scored the go-ahead run when the runner was called out at third and safe at first.

The problem was the umpires got it backwards. The runner at third should have been safe, but third base umpire Cory Blaser called him out despite the fact that Arenado released the ball well before he touched the bag. Then, first base umpire Ed Hickox called the runner safe at first when the throw beat him by about a step. Here’s a video of the play:

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Dodgers Twitter account goes ‘Anchorman’ after brawl with Padres

Zack Greinke Carlos QuentinThe Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres brought us our first bench-clearing brawl of the season on Thursday night, and things got very ugly. Zack Greinke suffered a broken collarbone after standing up to Carlos Quentin, who charged the mound when he was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning.

Thursday was the third time Greinke has hit Quentin in their careers, but Carlos was also hit a league-leading 17 times last season. It remains to be seen if the melee will spark a rivalry between the two teams throughout the course of the season, but the Dodgers official Twitter account did their part to stoke the fire after the game had ended.

The confrontation reportedly continued after the game when Matt Kemp had some words for Quentin outside the locker rooms, which led to a number of fantastic memes. Between the Dodgers “Anchorman” tweet and all the entertaining memes, this has turned out to be a fun mess to follow. If only Greinke didn’t have to pay such a major price.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Carlos Quentin charges Zack Greinke to incite bench-clearing brawl (Video)

Zack Greinke Carlos QuentinCarlos Quentin charged the mound after being hit by a pitch from Zack Greinke, inciting a bench-clearing brawl between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres on Thursday night.

Greinke had a full count on Quentin with the bases empty and the Dodgers leading 2-1 in the sixth when he plunked the Padres outfielder in the left arm. Quentin stared out at Greinke, took a few steps towards the mound, and then decided to charge. Greinke dropped his glove, braced for the contact, and dropped his left shoulder into the charging outfielder. Catcher A.J. Ellis rushed out and tackled Quentin to the ground, and then it was “every man for himself” after that, as announcer Vin Scully said.

Greinke was replaced by pitcher Chris Capuano after suffering an injury, which was later revealed to be a broken collarbone. Center fielder Matt Kemp was ejected for going crazy during the brawl, and he was replaced by Skip Schumaker.

Kemp was likely fuming because he felt the Padres had thrown at him earlier in the game:

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Padres announcer says ‘hubba hubba’ when ball girl makes great catch (Video)

It’s a shame the Padres are 22nd in the MLB in average attendance. Obviously the fans don’t know what they’re missing. Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell may be gone, but clearly the Padres did a great job this offseason in acquiring elite foul ball shaggers. As you can see from the video above, the Padres ball girl reached over the wall to make a great catch on a line-drive foul ball on Wednesday.

The good news is the catch prevented the young lady from getting a sunflower seed shower like some others in her field have had to deal with this season. But did the Padres announcer really say “hubba hubba” when she made the catch? I honestly don’t even have anything to say about that.

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Josh Byrnes, Ben Cherington Play GM Musical Chairs

Being a baseball GM as of late has become something of a merry-go-round ride. Still in the thick of the World Series, MLB is getting dizzy with management changes within big-name ball clubs.

The official announcement came Friday night: Theo Epstein is leaving the Red Sox to become the Cubs’ president. That was the first domino.

With a big hole to fill, Boston quickly slotted assistant GM Ben Cherington into Epstein’s former seat. Both teams will hold press conferences on Tuesday, the next off day in the World Series, to present their new bosses.

Another domino fell when Epstein decided to poach long-time friend (and former Red Sox assistant) Jed Hoyer, the Padres’ GM, and bring him into the fold. This would be Epstein’s first move as President since he managed to swing a deal where Hoyer comes in as the Cubs’ GM.

So in one decision, Epstein has rocked the executive world of three franchises. And, it seems, a lot of nepotism was in play since Cherington and Hoyer worked together as co-GMs during Epstein’s absence from the Red Sox in ’05. Remember too, it was Hoyer who traded All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.

The good news for the Padres is that they get a few players in exchange for letting Hoyer go. The San Diego club is turning the reigns over to Josh Byrnes — another former Theo Epstein assistant — who was the Padres’ former Vice President of Baseball Operations.

All this and baseball hasn’t even hit the off-season yet.