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Monday, March 24, 2014

Paul Faries, Hopes Up - 128

Originally published Oct. 6, 2010
Bip Roberts was gone and the Padres had three prospective replacements in-house. One of those prospective second basemen was Paul Faries, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Faries worked through the winter, playing in Puerto Rico, trying to give himself the best shot at Roberts' old job, The Times wrote. But Faries didn't get the job and neither did the other two. The Padres went out and got Kurt Stillwell.

"I think we all got our hopes up a little bit," Faries told The Times that February. "But deep inside, we kind of had a feeling they would try to fill the hole before we got here. They didn't want to just hand one of us the job.

"I guess you can't blame them."

After getting into 57 games for the Padres the year before, Faries only got into 10 in 1992 and 15 more in 1993 with the Giants, his final games in a four-year major-league career.

Faries began, drafted by the Padres in the 23rd round of the 1987 draft out of Pepperdine. He played that year at short-season Spokane, hitting .307 in 74 games.

He made AA Wichita in 1989, hitting .265 with six home runs and 52 RBIs. He also had 41 stolen bases.Then it was AAA Las Vegas and later San Diego for 1990. With Las Vegas, Faries swiped another 48 bases.

Called up in September, Faries made his debut Sept. 6, getting one hit and narrowly missing the game-winner, The Times wrote.

"He hit it right on the screws but right at the second baseman," Padre Manager Greg Riddoch told The Times of the near-game-winner. "If he didn't hit it right at the guy, that would have won the game."

Faries could have used that hit. In 14 games for the Padres that year, Faries hit just .189. He returned for 1991, playing in those 57 games, but his average was worse, .177.

But he had his highlights. In April, Faries hit a two-run, seventh-inning triple that proved the difference against the Dodgers. Faries was given the start at second as Roberts had the day off.

"I was pretty excited just to get out there and play," Faries told The Times. "You almost get used to sitting on the bench."

In July, Faries got his game-winner, putting down a suicide squeeze to win a game in the 12th. In August, after returning from a demotion, Faries got two hits that helped lead to the two San Diego runs in a 2-1 win.

For 1992, Faries got just 11 at bats with the Padres, making the most with five hits. Traded to the Giants for 1993, Faries got 36 more at bats, but only eight more hits, his final ones in the majors.

Faries, however, played four more seasons in the minors. He played 1994 with the Giants' AAA club in Phoenix. He even made the AAA All Star game and won Pacific Coast League MVP honors.

Faries returned for one final year in 1998, signing a minor league contract with the Tigers at AAA Toledo, hitting .290 with five home runs, 33 stolen bases and never getting a return trip to the majors.

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