With the recent moves the San Diego Padres have been making, more and more fans are coming out of the woodwork to critique the team and basically bitch and moan. I understand the frustration as I have rooted for this team my whole life. I was there in the middle of the night in October of 1984 when the Padres returned home from Chicago down 0-2 in the series against the Cubs. I witnessed the magic that this franchise has buried deep within it.
The recent moves A.J. Preller and the Padres staff have pulled off are a good thing. I understand the complaints, but It’s painfully obvious that these fans either; A) Lack vision B) Are so beaten down by years of abuse at the hands of the franchise or C) They are not paying attention.
I know that hearing the team is rebuilding is a painful thing Padres fans. Especially after the excitement of last season and the hoarding of talent the team did on the trade front. That construction surely revitalized the dormant fan base, but this season and the dismantling of the talent piece by piece is quite a hard pill to swallow. It is truly challenging to the most die-hard of Padres fans. I get that. I understand your pain and trepidation about this new regime.
It is no secret that the San Diego Padres organization has continually abused their fan base. I write that without any hesitation as it is truly correct. From years of uncertainty about ownership, to the mishandling of its core players, the team has constantly made horrible decisions based solely on business and with no consideration of its fan base.
However do you believe keeping James Shields, Matt Kemp, Drew Pomeranz, Fernando Rodney, Andrew Cashner and Melvin Upton Jr. would have made a difference this season. With that group of veterans, the team struggled to keep its head above water. Why would you keep this team intact? Or even worse, why would you try to improve it by sacrificing young talent. The Padres team that started the season was a long ways from competing. That was clear. Keeping that core of veterans and trying to win with them by adding more talent would be like putting a band-aide on the gunshot wound of a mess this franchise has been in for years on end.
The clear answer was to restock. The clear answer was to gain a sense of semblance a “Padres Way” of selecting and developing talent. When has this franchise ever spent the amount of time and money they have recently on the international market? Perhaps the mid to late 80’s when the team cultivated talents like Sandy Alomar Jr, Roberto Alomar, Benito Santiago and Carlos Baerga. Not since then has the team even come close to produces an international talent. And the Padres have never spent the kind of money they have in this signing period. Spending upwards of $65 million dollars on young talent is a great thing for the future of this team. The past 30 years the franchise had completely fallen asleep when it came to drafting and growing talent from other parts of the world. You have to be excited this current regime realizes these past mistakes and plans on turning the page.
Moving on is what we all have to do. Thinking of this franchise as a hot mess is a thing of the past. This Padres are on an absolute upward trend. You can see the sun rising off in the distance but the major league team has yet to benefit and it could be a few seasons. I know it seems bleak. I know that these past few trades conjure up memories of the 1992-1993 fire sale. I know that seeing your team the butt of jokes is disheartening. This is different though. Yes prospects are prospects and there is no given that any of these young kids will amount to anything. There are tons of risk, especially when you consider most of the Padres prized prospects are 16-20 years old. With youth in a ball player comes uncertainty. I trust A.J. Preller and his scouts and so should you. The man is prepared and you can be sure no stone is left unturned when selecting young talent.
I have spoken to many of these young Padres players. There is a common theme I discovered about all of them. They are all ball players in every sense of the word. They all love the game and they all want to be the best they can be. You surround yourself with players like this in your farm system and success is a matter of time. Wil Myers presently represents the face of the franchise. The way he plays the game is something young Padres players should pay attention to. He has fun and the man gives it his all on every play. A lot of players make that claim, but with Myers there never is any question about his intensity.
There are tons of fans who have made the assumption that this team will not succeed until 2019 or 2020, well that is not necessarily the case. With Hunter Renfroe, Austin Hedges, Manuel Margot, Travis Jankowski and Alex Dickerson, the team has a solid core of young players that are either close to being major league ready, or are currently playing for the Padres. If the team can gain some starting pitching in the next year or so, they could very well turn some heads with their play. The future is now, don’t be swayed by the recent trades of veteran talent. The Padres are only making room for the waves of talent which are about to hit San Diego. The first wave is hitting now, so enjoy the show.