With the Eric Hosmer signing, the San Diego Padres have surely changed gears in an attempt to gain relevance in a very competitive National League Western Division.
However, attempting to compete, and actually doing so, are two very different things. Time and time again, franchises spend millions of dollars only to be disappointed come October when playoffs begin. The Los Angeles Dodgers have historically proven that spending money can result in heartache, and doing so is not a guarantee of success.
It requires more than a financial commitment to become a winner. It is about a change in culture – a change in philosophy. And lastly, it requires a bit of luck. The Padres have had seemingly no luck in their entire existence.
You cannot buy luck, or earn it either. Magic like this just happens. But some argue a change in culture and philosophy brings with it a certain kind of luck. Perhaps the baseball gods will shine upon the Padres fairly soon as they are well overdue for success.
Philosophy and developing a “Padres Way” is something that manager Andy Green has emphasized during his time in San Diego. He was well aware of the lack of tradition with this franchise and he has done well to help develop a Padres’ philosophy. The team desperately needed teachings that can be implemented from the major leagues all the way down to rookie ball. Consistency is key.
Andy Green can do most of this. He has a way about him that gets things done, but sadly, he cannot do it all alone. There is a necessity for leadership at the highest level. That is where Eric Hosmer steps in.
Having a player who grinds each and every day with his teammates, while showcasing plus skills, is valuable on so many levels. Young players learn and get better in an assortment of ways. Some digest coaching better, some need discipline and order, while other require veterans to mentor them.
Presently, the Padres’ farm system is stocked with teenage talent. Fernando Tatis, Gabriel Arias, Jeisson Rosario, Mackenzie Gore, Tirso Ornelas, and others provide an excellent future. These young men require guidance though, as they each face the difficulties in the game that are inevitable. With the mentorship-type philosophy the Padres have implemented, the rough times should be few and far between and each player should be given ample opportunity to develop.
So with an excellent system formulated by upper management and developed major leaguers in place, is this franchise on the verge of something special? As mentioned before, there is a lot of luck involved in sustaining long-term success for a baseball team – factors that you cannot even begin to understand. The Padres are set up for success. The system is burgeoning before our very eyes. Witnessing the talent first hand in the back lots of the complex only educate you of that fact.
It is only a matter of time before several of the Padres’ minor leaguers become household names. To proclaim this team as a squad on the verge of greatness is a bit premature, but the statement could also be very close to the truth. 2018 will be an exciting year as this team takes yet another step in the right direction.