“They need to change” admits one former Padres player

Credit: J.Clark/ EVT Sports

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There are major issues within the San Diego Padres that need to be addressed if they ever want to live up to their potential. 

It is not a secret that the San Diego Padres are not a successful franchise.

With zero World Series titles and only a handful of playoff appearances in the 50-plus-year existence of the organization, it is pretty safe to say things have not gone well for the Friars. For the greater part of their tenure in Major League Baseball, the Padres had no ambitions of winning. They were just going through the motions.

Year after year, the fan base endured sub-par baseball from a roster full of nobodies. A few stars were sprinkled into the roster here and there, but once the player was deemed too expensive, they were shipped off to another franchise. The Padres were a place where quality baseball players started their careers.

In recent memory, the times have changed dramatically.

Instead of being poverty-stricken, the Padres are spending like no other time in their existence. With a roster well north of $253 million for the 2023 season, the Padres are a privileged bunch. Peter Seidler came into town and committed huge money toward the payroll. But his financial commitments have not resulted in wins. The Padres did make it all the way to the NLCS last year but fell short of their goal and lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.

With a roster full of All-Stars, the Padres looked to be a dominant force in 2023.

Instead, the team is struggling to keep its head above water. The team is eight games under .500, and playoffs are nearly impossible. Though the Padres are technically not eliminated from the playoff race, they would need a major winning streak. For a team that has failed to win more than three games in a row all year, that seems unlikely.

So what happened? How did this team fail so miserably?

In a recent piece from the Big Lead, we discover some fascinating things about the Padres.

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One source in the piece indicated, “With how much they’re spending on the field, it’s incredible how cheap they are behind the scenes. I don’t get how they don’t see it.” That is absolutely troubling and sheds new light on the Padres’ difficulties in 2023. Major League players need preparation and the tools to succeed. Shockingly, the Padres appear to be vastly behind other organizations in player development, advanced scouting, and analytics. Hearing this makes sense, as the Padres have struggled this year in one-run games and have failed to win an extra-inning game all season long.

I wanted to find out more about these internal problems, so I contacted dozens of former players. Most wished not to communicate about the situation but did verify that there are some issues within the Padres organization. Some men were downright upset with the organization.  A couple of players were very outspoken, and here is a bit about what they explained to me.

“They were really bad with communication. I was traded without any heads-up at all. Nobody in the higher front office even called me (at all),” a former Padres player communicated to EVT. Calling a player and telling them they were going to be traded is not a common practice. But, some organizations and front offices are very transparent in their operations. Players appreciate that. “It is just common consideration,” the player explained to me. “I have a family, and it was upsetting to be moved without any communication at all beforehand.”

It is no secret that former Padres players come back to haunt the team in terms of production for another organization. Motivating a player on the way out of town is probably not the best way to conduct business. “Yes, I do feel extra motivation when I face them,” he admitted. It is only natural to want to “stick it” to a team that gave up on you and did so without any remorse.

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For the Padres, these simple lapses in judgment and consideration go a long way to motivating people. In the game of baseball, motivation goes a long way. Major League Baseball is a business, but you surely do not want to inspire a player who may be facing you someday. That is just bad business. Really bad business.

A few players spoke about the tools needed for success at the major league level. Some do not utilize analytics and such, but others rely on it for extra information to improve. The Padres are complacent in this department, and these inadequacies have happened for a long time. Dave Cameron was hired by the team in 2018  but only made it three seasons with the club, as he left in 2021 without any reason given. Cameron came to the Padres as an expert in baseball analytics from FanGraphs. He is very respected in the industry but was never heard from in his tenure with the Padres. It is like his opinion was not taken into consideration at all by the club.

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EVT tried multiple times to speak with Cameron when he was employed but was denied by the franchise. His time in San Diego was a mystery.

“I needed the proper tools to succeed and wasn’t given them there. My new franchise goes out of their way to get me prepared on a daily basis,” another former Padres player said intensely. This former player is enjoying a productive season in the majors and believes his new preparations are key to that. These are professional athletes, but other teams have tools to get better, and the Padres don’t utilize them. It is really head-scratching.

” I am better now,” the player admitted since leaving the franchise. “They need to change.”

Hearing something like this makes you wonder if the current players are reaching their true abilities on the baseball diamond. Virtually every player on the roster is having a “down” year with the bat. Juan Soto has regressed since coming to San Diego, and it’s starting to make sense now. The All-Star slugger needs the proper tools from his franchise to get the best out of him.

Changes must be made if the Padres ever want to reach their lofty goals. That is clear.

All messages to the San Diego Padres were unanswered as the club is not that talkative these days. Communication issues plague the Padres, and this comes as no surprise. The fans of the team can only hope that they learn their lesson. If changes are made, perhaps in time, this team can hoist a World Series title.

If not, it is only a matter of time before total self-destruction.

4 thoughts on ““They need to change” admits one former Padres player

  1. Step 1) fire Preller. I mean c’mon, this guy has proven he does not know how to build a roster. Can anyone forget the Matt Kemp in CF or Wil Myers at SS experiments? 2) Rebuild. I mean tear it down to the studs. Or…choose wisely. As in keep Kim, but move him back to SS and Cronenworth back to 2B, and trade Machado, Bogearts, Soto and Tatis. Yes trade all of the big 4. Prioritize paying down their contracts to maximize the near-MLB ready prospects.

  2. I am saddened to hear this, but it explains a lot. Frankly, the blame for this goes right to the top. This is Preller’s responsibility, and he has fallen short. He has shown his strength is finding raw talent (Tatis), but his weaknesses are roster formation and overall structure. Given what we now know about him, I do not know how we win with him at the helm.

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