Good stuff from Tom Krasovic in a recent Padres notebook:
- Brian Giles said in November that "he would let everyone know when he is done” and "would not hang around” once it became apparent to him that baseball had passed him by.
The .161 batting average that Giles carried into yesterday recalled those comments. So, with all respect to a fabulous career, is Giles done?
"With a guy on second base and you hit a liner to center, you need one of the balls to fall,” he said. "It helps get your confidence back. I'm frustrated more than anything.”
Giles didn't use the word unlucky, but one statistic did. His batting average on balls in play – which exempts home runs – was .172, far below his career average of .294. According to baseball-reference.com, Giles' BABIP has never been below .265 for a season. That happened last year. The pressbox view is that he also isn't driving the ball as hard as in years past.
"I've seen signs,” manager Bud Black said. "It's coming.”
I was going to write something here about Krasovic being a great example of a BBWAA member who's come to appreciate the new(ish) metrics, but then I came across this interview and realized that he's been sabermetrics-friendly for quite some time now. Which I should have known already (or remembered). For all our talk about the dinosaurs in the print media, it's incumbent upon us to recognize the good work -- whether sabermetrics-friendly or not -- that's still being done at dozens of newspapers around the country.
Anyway ... Saturday, Giles doubled and walked. Sunday, he didn't play. Yesterday, he pinch-hit and doubled. Are those more of those "signs" that Bud Black was seeing? Perhaps. Giles is 38 and last season was a bit of a fluke, but there's simply no reason to think he's not still a pretty good hitter, down deep inside.
This is an interesting bit, too:
- When Jake Peavy decided against accepting a trade to the White Sox, it marked at least the fourth time this decade that a Padres player used his no-trade powers to stay in San Diego. Phil Nevin vetoed trades to the Reds and Orioles. Giles nixed a trade to the Red Sox last August.
Giles said last year that he was displeased that the decision confronting him became public. Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod, was irked, too, that Peavy was put in that position Wednesday and Thursday. Player agent Scott Boras went one step further, saying yesterday that such trade attempts might be a breach of contract.
"The player has a contractual right that is being infringed upon when clubs attempt to trade a player with a no-trade clause without his consent,” Boras said. "It places the player, his family and his team in a position of peril and great emotional distress, which could affect his performance. It's a perception thing. There will be no [trade] discussions with any teams. Period. You do not have a right to trade this player.”
Boras is full of it, of course. But buried deep within his bloviating is the kernel of a pretty good question ... It's one thing to discuss trading a player with a no-trade clause ... But must the clubs be so public about their discussions? I suspect that Peavy and his family will, within the confines of their palatial home and (presumably) their gated community and their access to private jets, will somehow survive their peril and their great emotional distress. Boras overstates his case, because that's what he does. But you have to wonder if it's completely fair for the Padres to have put him that uncomfortable position.