I was brought into EastVillageTimes for my direct opinions and the fact I don’t really give a damn who I offend or irk. My opinion is just that, mine. So don’t take complete offense to it as I am only communicating my beliefs. EastVillageTimes takes no responsibility for my opinion.
As a life long Padres fan, residing here in America’s Finest City, there are things that are really starting to bother me. The Padres have always been looked down upon by other Major League franchises. That in itself really pisses me off. The only history this team has……… is a history of disappointing their fans. It goes back to the original philosophy of this team. The teams of the 70’s were an absolute joke, and it took the franchise until 1978 to have their first winning season. Not exactly a great way to start out a brand new franchise.
The feeling of a team with no identity clouds the Padres. It always has. The true identity of the Padres is….. an average team. They are hardly ever horrible enough to earn high draft picks, but just average enough to finish in the middle of the pack. The teams philosophy has always been to finish .500 and don’t embarrass the team.
The team has always made the safe draft selection too. Whether it be to save money or to play it safe, the team has never gone the extra mile when scouting talent and drafting players. Their history of wasting top draft selections is downright depressing. From Jay Franklin (2nd overall 1971) and Mike Lentz (2nd overall 1975) to Matt Bush (1st overall 2004) and Donovan Tate (3rd overall 2009), the Padres have continually wasted top five selections.
Beyond philosophy and scouting the team has also failed with its public relations. It was an absolute miracle the team was granted a new stadium downtown. The World Series run of 1998 powered the stadium push and without that the team would probably already have left San Diego. The Chargers are gong to need a run like that in order to save their life in San Diego. They are capable, so we will see if that is a possibility or just another SD Sports fans dream.
I am old enough to remember both Jack Murphy Stadium and the Padres of the 80’s and 90’s. The teams then had heart and soul and the teams of recent years just seem to be going through the motions. I understand the game has changed, I am not oblivious to that. However the game at its roots is still the same game played 130 years ago. Yes modern-day athletes are filthy rich and have rich people’s problems, but the fans are still the same. The fans have never changed in 130 years of the game. We as fans pay to see these men play the game. These men are the best in the world at this sport and deserve to be paid for it. However, the game is so perfect that if you play the game without certain criteria, you might as well give up and go home.
The game of baseball recognizes laziness and insecurity. It punishes players, teams, fans and franchises for their stagnant support of the cause. If a team does not pull together for one common cause, then they are instead cheating themselves and the fans that support them. The Game of Baseball will police itself. That you can most definitely count on.
Let’s no kid ourselves, this 2015 Padres team was put together incorrectly. Not a huge breaking story, but very much the truth. The team is way too right handed and let’s not even speak about the defense. The pitching staff has under-performed most of the season, but that is what happens when you put an inept defense behind a pitcher. The offensive struggles and inconsistencies have also resulted in a pitching staff that has been victimized by the Padres front office and their plans. The defense must improve and balance must be in the whole line-up.
Like most fans I love this team very much. Despite the love I can see that the team lacks direction. Constantly other teams are pushing the Padres around. The reputation of the Padres is that of a very soft team. From the take out slide that injured Cory Spangenberg, to the beanings of Matt Kemp and Justin Upton in Atlanta, the team shows no fire. I don’t expect them to pick fights every night with other teams, but I do expect the team to fight and support one another. If they choose not too, then teams will walk all over the Padres.
With all that being said, I still see improvements on this team that should lead to something very special. The team lacks a coach like veteran presence who demands respect and will call out ANY player if they do not perform at a level required by the team. Effort on the ball field can never be taken away by a slump or a bad call. Effort is in your heart and mind. That is what the Padres lack from their whole 25-man roster.
The future is bright, I am not too clouded to see that. The team has taken many positive steps in the past 12 months. We as fans must keep on the team and demand more. The support from the fan base can be very magical and it is our time to show the team that we support them. The soft Padres can be no more if this team intends to compete every year in a difficult National League West.