Thursday, June 7, 2007

Union-Tribune MLB draft coverage is Bush league

Does anybody else remember this story from the San Diego Union-Tribune on June 8, 2004?

By Bill Center

Kevin Towers couldn’t hide his delight.

"This is a great story," the Padres general manager said yesterday after introducing Mission Bay High shortstop/pitcher Matt Bush as the No. 1 pick of baseball's 2004 draft.

And the story started with a report in this newspaper Friday.

At the time, Padres director of scouting Bill Gayton was assessing the three collegiate frontrunners for the Padres' No. 1 pick in the draft – right-handed pitchers Jered Weaver of Long Beach State and Jeff Niemann of Rice and Florida State shortstop Stephen Drew.

Gayton was asked about Matt Bush.

"We've talked about Bush," said Gayton. "We love him."

When Bush read that quote Friday morning, a light went on.

"I've always loved the Padres," said Bush. "If they love me . . . "
Bush put in a call to one of his advisers, Ken Felder.

"I asked Ken that, off what I read in the newspaper, would it be OK if I called the Padres and told them I wanted to play for them," said Bush.

OK, so now we know why the Padres took Bush – instead of three players ranked way ahead of him – as the first pick in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft.

It all comes back to the San Diego Union-Tribune. And it all comes back to Bill Center.

They’re the culprits who started this whole mess with Bush! We all know how Bush got into an altercation soon after joining the Padres minor leaguers … and how he has been a monumental failure.

OK, so the Padres are switching him from shortstop to pitcher. Trevor Hoffman made the same position change and is now the all-time saves leader with 500.

But for every Hoffman, there are hundreds of Matt Bushes who fail.

Who do we have to thank for this horrible failure? Sounds like “credit” is due to Bill Center and his newspaper!

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