A Serious Question For Padre Haters

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I have a serious question for Padre haters. Why?

If you are a local and are frustrated with a lifetime of disappointment, I get that. You’ve been burned, you don’t want to get burned again. I’ll ask you this, though; when has the Padres’ farm system gotten THIS level of attention? I actually don’t know. I’m a new Padres fan. I moved to San Diego a few years ago and like to root for the home team, so I have adopted the Padres.

In 1998, when I was 10 years old, I rooted for the Yankees to beat the Padres, much to the disappointment of my grandmother, who lived in San Diego for much of her life. Mistakes were made. The point is, I’m coming to you as a bit of an outsider. What I’ve been told is that the Padres never spend money to keep good players around very long. Is that the case now?

If there is evidence to support the notion that things are different, are you ignoring it? Or is the sheer insane amount of talent the club acquired in 2016, as Derek Togerson details here, a commonplace occurrence? If it is, keep hating. If it isn’t, maybe give them a chance.

Speaking of giving them a chance, that’s something Nick Hardwick apparently isn’t doing, and he apparently thinks all those prospects are “suspects”. I’m sorry. What does Hardwick know about baseball? Nick, if you are somehow reading this, please don’t show yourself at Petco Park in five years when this team is in an entirely different situation than it is now. We all know Padres fans like to boo people for no reason, but you, sir, deserve to get booed out of this town. You had your chance to be on the bandwagon, please stay the heck off when you realize baseball isn’t your expertise and the Padres do something your Chargers couldn’t.

At this point, you might be asking who the hell I am. Fair question.

I’m a baseball fan that is overly obsessed with following minor leaguers. I read scouting reports all the time, and I can tell you the scouting reports on the Padres’ farm are incredible. The depth is unbelievable already, and this team will be drafting early for another season or two. So the farm, that is already one of the best in the league, will get better before guys are promoted to the majors, and the rest are traded to fill major league gaps.

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What the Cubs and Astros did was amazing, and what the Padres are doing now could very well last longer than what they did. Both of those farms systems produced World Series wins and were quickly diminished. This Padres farm won’t be diminished as quickly. There will be Joey Lucchesi’s and Eric Lauer’s coming up every year for the next five years, and we haven’t seen the cream of the crop yet.

But no. A.J. Preller doesn’t know what he is doing. You’re right, Nick, A.J. has Clayton Richard and his bloated WHIP in the rotation and is expecting to win this year, and is surprised, like you, that the wins aren’t coming yet. Give me a break.

If fans outside of San Diego are reading this, why hate on these apparently not-so-lovable losers when they fall just short of finally getting a no-hitter? As if that accomplishment is somehow standard operating procedure and a close call is somehow a bad thing. Were you hating the Red Sox in the late 90’s, or the Cubs earlier this decade? Maybe you were, but to me it seems like the general feeling was people rooted for those teams to finally get over the hump. Now it seems like no matter what the Padres do, they are somehow enemies of the game of baseball. Like acquiring Matt Kemp. Or trading him away and investing in youth when it became apparent that Kemp and company just didn’t fit. In 2016, when the current owners invested millions in international free agents, they got criticized heavily for not spending money to field a competitive team. A fan next to me at Petco Park that season proclaimed matter of factly that the Padres owner “is an asshole” for not spending money, when the Padres literally set spending records that year.

The Marlins have gotten plenty of well-deserved blowback for their rebuilding ways, but it seems fans also realize the need for them to do that, while far fewer understand what the Padres are doing now. Why? Why hate on this small club playing out here on the West Coast, in a town that would mostly rather be surfing.

Is that it? Does everyone hate that we have fun things to do? You could always move here, you know.

On second thought, don’t. Baseball, and this wonderful town that will soon have a team worth cheering for, is more fun without you.

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Sean Stone
Sean grew up watching and playing sports in Louisiana, but is now living in San Diego pursuing a MBA at University of Phoenix. Always had a soft spot for San Diego teams and is excited about the new buzz surrounding the Padres.

5 thoughts on “A Serious Question For Padre Haters

  1. Wow, this was a frustrating article to read. It is kind of rambling here and there with a not-so-clear point–or even “question” (other than “Why?”). Furthermore, as is all-too-common these days, this article overuses/misuses the word “hate”! Could it be that people–true fans–like/love the Padres but “hate” how the team is consistently mismanaged? Could it be that it is not about whether or not money is spent, but HOW it is spent? Perhaps some people are happy by the fact that the Padres spend a lot of money. That is foolish. Spending $200+ million on not one, but two iffy/below-average first basemen is absurd. It should get multiple people fired. Yes, the farm system is great (now). It is very promising, but Preller’s Debacle (the Myers trade) and Preller’s Folly (signing Hosmer) have blunted hope and momentum. Add to this several other horrific moves and this makes true fans “hate” this transactions. These moves were horrendous at the time of the trade, and they get worse as time goes on, and they will continue to get worse and they will continue to hinder the team going forward. That is incompetence on a scale that has never really been seen on the level of pro-sports teams (yes, mixed in with some good moves, and some lucky ones). Nevertheless, there are still far too many fanatics in denial. In fact, they tend to condemn any objective assessments as “hate.”

  2. To answer your question requires rephrasing it. First, as a lifelong San Diegan, I desperately want the Padres to win. This town is an untapped baseball hotbed. The caveat: 50 years of bad drafts, 40 years of promises, a stadium vote to further enrich a mendacious carpetbagger owner, shambolic trades, Rule V, Matt Bush, a cabal of ingenuous insulting ownership , all with a net yield of zero. Embarrassingly, national media treat the Padres as a talent pool for the rest of the league at trade deadlines. San Diego is therefore known as a town with “great weather” which only underscores the lack of respect the country has for our afterthought of a team. The correct question is why the impatience? The answer is framed in this sad legacy, which over time inevitably leads to cynicism. If you say they are doing the right things now, you may be correct, yet this wildcat GM let go two playoff managers and then cheated in trades and was suspended. An ill-considered 2015 delayed a competitive team. Teams that have rebuilt well recently include the Braves, the A’s to some extent, the D-backs and Phillies and they have done it quicker than our “process” seems to predict. Furthermore, the process of tanking is anathema to the competitive spirit and just ethically wrong. (Preller has said the Padres do not subscribe to that strategy, although it tests veracity given the numbers of Rule V guys they kept). It’s your money the Padres want and in exchange you have to demand the best. The Padres brand, as compared any other MLB team, is not a value proposition, given the lowest all time winning percentage in the modern history of MLB. That is why perpetual patience is a cancer upon the spirit; demand the best in everything you pay for and of yourself. The Padres are a business, period, complete with At-Will employees; treat them as a smart consumer. Their strategy may work, but they have a huge obstacle, namely themselves, to overcome.

    1. Mark you have some flaws with your padre so fustration rant, Braves and Phillies where of course going to have faster rebuild times because they start there rebuild atleast 1 or 2 yrs before ours did ( keep in mind we only started our “rebuild” I guess toward the end of 2015) and the D backs are always a solid club so I wouldn’t call there’s a “rebuild”. With that said our “wildcat” GM produced a better farm system them all of those teams and have 2 pitchers drafted less then 2 yrs ago already pitching well in the big leagues. And about that suspension.. did you find it ironic how we rec 2 pitchers that each had TJ from both marlins/red soxs in the trades they are calling dirty..hmmmmm. Mark had to responded to the article made for him..classic!

      1. Kevin, of course, everything is not perfect. I find defending Preller without questioning him is a fools errand. The Myers for Turner trade is questionable, just look at comparative WARs, and the ability to remain on the field. Your inference that the Padres received damaged goods in trades is the first I have ever heard about it, is there anything beyond circumstantial evidence to support that? We have a tacit admission from Preller and the Padres, that by taking back Rea that there was something medically wrong as well as the admission of two sets of medical records, which to my way of thinking only could be for obfuscation. Furthermore, Preller has been suspended two times, which to me indicates more than a willingness if not to stretch the rules, but to smash through them. As for farm systems, if the measurement is winning teams and a highly rated farm system then yes we have bingo. However, if you recall in 2012 we had a highly rated farm system, and if memory serves, none of that translated into MLB wins for the Padres. Farm systems are nice, probably necessary, but do not invariably predict team performance at the MLB level. I do have one question for you, though, why are the D-Backs usually a solid club, and the Padres are not? BTW getting huffy at me, won’t change a doggone thing about facts, dates and how fast teams move toward the top. We should also not forget that both the Braves and Phillies, before they crashed, had multiple playoff appearances in THIS decade and are now in first place something the Padres cannot point to. To me that is missed opportunity. I normally do not view EVT, but perhaps a young person asking why we should not blindly support an organization with no track record of success put me over the top. An encouraging note, is the amount of money the padres have spent on player development, but another caveat there, where was the great flood of DR players when the Padres opened a baseball academy there well over a decade ago? I think Franchy Cordero is the first, and Franmil Reyes (who was offered up last season as a Rule V guy, but all teams passed on) is the second. So nothing is guaranteed, and this farm system, may or may not work to elevate the MLB club, but as for me, they will have to prove it first. In the meantime, tanking is unacceptable. In my view, defending the Padres as an organization is a fools errand, until they prove otherwise. They have gotten a free ride mostly in this city (except for the outrage at the fire sale 25 years ago), for too long.

  3. Hardwick is a joke.

    People hate because they don’t know what’s going on.

    When I explain the waves of talent that will constantly be coming up to the majors they don’t get it. Then they complain it’s taking too long. The city of Philadelphia is on board with “The Process.” San Diego needs to be on board with what I call “The Blueprint”

    Multiple Championship runs. Go Pads!

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