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.
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.