The Padres strange history continues in 2023

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Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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After years of failure, the San Diego Padres energized the city for the 2023 season. But, for whatever reason, the team has failed miserably, which only amplifies the unique history of this franchise. 

The history of the San Diego Padres is a strange one.

Honestly, there is not a whole lot to be excited about. For one reason or another, the fan base has been suffering for the better part of fifty years.

Thankfully, players like Tony Gwynn provided so much joy for the city.

If not for Gwynn, the ’80s and ’90s would have been tragic to Padres fans. It was still devastating to some as the franchise constantly retooled while allowing justifiable talent to slip away. At the same time, ownership groups nickeled and dimed Tony Gwynn, almost forcing Mr. Padre out of San Diego.

Ultimately, Gwynn’s loyalty meant too much for him to accept any deal elsewhere.

The modern era of Padres baseball sees the team spending around $246 million on the payroll for the 2023 season. Only the New York Mets have committed more money this season. That seems unfathomable as the San Diego market is one of the worst in all of professional sports.

With the Pacific Ocean to the west, the desert to the right, the border to the south, and Los Angeles to the north, the San Diego market is pinned into a corner of the country. It takes a special breed of sports fan to stay loyal to the Padres.

Support from Mexico is slowly building as the Padres have done much in Tijuana to construct a following. The Padres have also played in several Mexico Series over the years as MLB expands the sport to the global market.

The support for the Padres in the eastern part of the region and Imperial County is also growing increasingly each season. And slowly, the Padres are denting the Los Angeles market and pulling in fans from that area. Younger fans are enthralled with the style of play the Padres display.

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In recent years, the Padres have brought in players from Japan (Yu Darvish), Korea (Ha Seong-Kim), and Curacao (Jurickson Profar) to their roster. Add them to a strong Dominican, Venezuelan, Mexican, Columbian, and Cuban group within the Padres system, and you have a team represented by several nations.

These are all positive things for the franchise, but how have they flipped the script and spent like no other time in its history?

How has the San Diego Padres gone from poverty to wealth in a matter of years? How did they accomplish this all of a sudden after years of frugalness and claiming poverty to the fan base?

It can’t all be as simple as Peter Seidler and his ownership group opening their pocketbooks. There has to be more to the resurgence of the Padres. They are thinking creatively in the marketing sense of the game. Fans are packing Petco Park like no other time in the stadium’s history. People want to experience the theme park-like setting in Downtown San Diego. The party does not stop when the Padres play, and Petco Park is the hip place to be.

With money to spend and a growing fan base, 2023 was supposed to be the year for the San Diego Padres.

Several media outlets and professional prognosticators picked the team to win the division. But here we are in late August, and the season is essentially over for the Padres. They sit 62-70 and 20 games behind the Dodgers, who will win a division title again and further establish their dominance in the NL West.

How has this happened?

Your guess is as good as mine. This star-studded roster has entirely fallen on their face, and the Padres’ strange history continues.

Well, at least we have the weather in San Diego. That is consistent.

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