Before big cable contracts, San Diego had three professional teams – the Clippers, the Chargers, and the Padres. Now, they have one. Well, one if you can call the San Diego Padres a professional organization. History may render this classification debatable.
RECAP: Padres end series with loss to Giants
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 2, 2018
Why are the San Diego Padres So Consistently Bad?
Being a small-market team means that the Padres need to do a better job of drafting talent, evaluating Rule-5 players, and bottom feeding for lower-level free agents. Their record on these fronts is so-so to abysmal.
In 2015, new GM A.J. Preller decided that the Padres should make a splash. They signed James Shields and Josh Johnson (remember him?), and then gave away some young talent by trading for Wil Myers, Derrick Norris, Justin Upton, and Matt Kemp. The Padres were actually a mainstay on the national sports news for a brief time with all the comings and goings. But, they certainly weren’t a mainstay in the playoffs. They never made it.
The team couldn’t hit, couldn’t pitch, and couldn’t field – those three things are kind of important in baseball. They became a huge disappointment to the fans – fans who rarely have high expectations. Or, any expectations.
The horrible 2015 season made the San Diego Padres change their priorities and outlook. They took a chance in 2015 and had some people thinking the unbelievable – could the Padres actually contend for a championship? But, Hell didn’t freeze over, no one saw pigs flying, and there sure as hell isn’t any gold at the end of the rainbow. They finished eighteen games out of first place and twenty-four games under the break-even line; three games worse than the prior year.
The Padres got rid of the big salaries and the underachieving players (though Will Myers is still with the team), sunk money into international development, and focused on the draft and talent development.
Don’t Judge a Manager by His Record
If there was ever a time to not look at a team’s record when judging a manager’s performance, it is now with San Diego. Andy Greene seems to know his stuff, has a good handle on the dugout, and appears poised to make a name for himself in a manager’s uniform. Though, like Bruce Bochy, that might be in another location.
Greene needs talent. And he needs some of their top prospects to develop into all-stars and solid everyday players. Like the NBA Philadelphia 76ers did with their coach, Brett Brown, let’s hope the San Diego Padres wait a few extra years to climb out of the talent-less pit and give Andy Greene a real chance to manage a major league club. He seems like he has the ability to walk the modern manager’s tightrope between gut instinct and modern analytics. Time will tell; this being the Padres the clock will probably run out before the mountain top is reached.
It’s the San Diego Sports Curse
Forget Boston, forget Chicago, and don’t even mention Cleveland; San Diego has its own sports curse. And it’s bad!
No major-league championships unless you count the AFL Chargers in 1963, long before there was a Super Bowl. The Padres have been to the World Series twice (record of 1-8) and the Chargers went to one Super Bowl (got annihilated by the 49ers), and the two pro basketball teams (one ABA and one NBA) were always second-tier.
During the Red Sox dry spell and beyond, Boston has won numerous championships. During the Cubs lengthy time off the top of the mountain, numerous championship trophies were earned (can you say Michael Jordan?), and Cleveland has Lebron. And a recent NBA title.
So, fellow fans, it just might be the curse preventing your home team from hoisting a trophy and having a locker room champagne battle.
Then again, it just might be incompetent management, bad luck, and a small market with little hope of enhancement and expansion as it is bounded by an ocean, a foreign country, and two teams to the north.
No, it’s probably the curse!
Agree, disagree about the San Diego Padres curse? Comment below!