“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): I don’t know anything about the Padres

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to (and aftermath of) the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. This is the Padres entry.

I know nothing about the Padres. Okay, not nothing, but they are probably one of my biggest weak-spots. I… basically know nothing about them. Oh, I know Matt Kemp is still pretty good, and both Tyson Ross and James Shields are not bad pitchers, despite the beating the Dodgers gave Ross on Monday. Oh, and Will Myers is still a guy!

But…. yeah, I really don’t know much about them. And I won’t insult you by claiming otherwise.

So instead, let’s talk about how awesome the logo is:

I mean, look at that. It combines the best portions of previous Padres graphical identities into a nice combo.

And that’s cool.

“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2015): The Padres do exist! Let’s remember when we thought otherwise!

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today, the Padres.

It’s nice to see that San Diego, one of the most beautiful cities in America, has finally gotten a MLB team again. I mean, maybe they’ve had one the last few years, but I honestly can’t remember. After all, the Padres were like extras in a movie: there, but unnoticed.

So, let’s remember the years where San Diego only technically had a Major League team, because we all forgot they existed:

2007: The last year I can truly remember the Padres existing before this year. They got into a tie-breaker playoff against the Rockies and lost in 13 innings. The age of darkness began.

2008: 63-99 and last place. America only recognized their existence when Jake Peavy or late-career Greg Maddux pitched, along with the occasional Trevor Hoffman milestone.

2009: 75-87, 4th place. The most notable thing listed about them on their Wikipedia page is that Jody Gerut became the first player in history to have a lead-off home run in a new stadium when he led off the first game at CitiField with a homer off of Mike Pelfrey. Jake Peavy was traded this year and Trevor Hoffman had gone to the Brewers. The sinkage into obscurity seemed to be in full swing.

2010: Actually a pretty good year, as they went 90-72 and finished in second place, a beacon of relevance in a ocean of meh. Oh, but they blew a 6.5 game lead late in the season and lost the division to the Giants, and then Adrian Gonzalez was traded after the season. And then they returned to obscuresville.

2011: 71-91, last place. I cannot remember a thing about this team.

2012: 76-86, 4th place. This was Chase Headley’s breakout year, if I remember correctly. Other than that, I can’t think of anything special about the Padres in 2012.

2013: 76-86, 3rd place. Was this the year they had the fight with the Dodgers? I think this was the year they had a fight with the Dodgers. Otherwise, I can’t remember a thing about them.

2014: 77-85, 3rd place. Tony Gwynn died and everything was terrible. Otherwise, I can’t remember much about them.

…And then there is 2015. I guess we’ll see how that turns out, huh?

Next time: The Cubs.

 

 

Argument: The Padres Are The Most Non-Descript Team In Baseball’s History

Okay, I may be wrong here, and I’ll get to the point in a second, but far as I can tell, here’s what the “All-Time San Diego Padres” team would look like going by WAR, minimum five years with appearances on the team:

Starting Pitchers: Jake Peavy, Andy Ashby, Andy Benes, Randy Jones, Eric Show

Relievers: Trevor Hoffman, Heath Bell, Mark Davis, Scott Linebrink, Craig Lefferts, Luke Gregerson

Catchers: Terry Kennedy, Benito Santiago

First Basemen: Adrian Gonzalez, Nate Colbert, Ryan Klesko (also OF)

Second Basemen: Tim Flannery

Third Basemen: Chase Headley, Phil Nevin

Shortstops: Garry Templeton, Khalil Greene

Outfielders: Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Gene Richards, Brian Giles

Tell me, oh reader, does that strike the fear of god into you? The answer: No, not really. I mean, yeah, it’s got two Hall of Famers and another likely one (Hoffman), but it doesn’t look like an “All-Time Team”, but rather a “Probably going to win a Wild Card if there aren’t too many injuries” type of team.

And that’s what leads me to this: The Padres may well be the most non-descript team in Baseball’s history. They aren’t good, they aren’t bad, they just usually seem to be… there, as if they exist only to make sure the schedule is full and that the divisions are even. Sometimes it seems as if they don’t even exist at all outside of box scores and the bottom-ticker of ESPN.

To put it another way: I once took a online quiz where I had to name all 30 MLB teams. The Padres were the last ones I remembered to put in.

And that’s why it is a bit surprising to see the Padres make so many deals this off-season- just yesterday they acquired Justin Upton and Will Middlebrooks, not long after they had acquired Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, leading me to say this:

But why is it in the first place that the Padres seem to far down in the Baseball Zeitgeist?

I have some ideas:

1) Lack of Postseason Success

The Padres have been to two World Series- 1984 and 1998. Both times, they got to play Washington Generals to some of the greatest teams in history, going down to the 1984 Tigers in five games and being swept by the 1998 Yankees. And the road to those World Series aren’t particularly notable outside of San Diego. The 1984 NLCS, for example, is more known for a Leon Durham E3 that set-up a big Padres inning that doomed the Cubs.

2) They traded away Ozzie Smith and Roberto Alomar

Fun fact: If I hadn’t had the “minimum five years” thing for the All-Padres team, the Shortstop would have been a young Ozzie Smith and his double-play partner would be a young Roberto Alomar. Problem for the Padres: they traded both of them away. And it’s not like they were nobodies treading around in the minors when the Padres traded them away- they were both traded coming off of All-Star seasons. One would think the Padres’ history wouldn’t be so nondescript if they had had them for most of their careers.

3) No No-Hitters

The Padres are the only team in baseball without a no-hitter. That means that they lack one of the signature moments that every other MLB team has.

4) They are crowded out

They share the same division as the Giants and Dodgers, who suck up almost all of the attention given to NL West. Not having the history of other “stuck in the division of giants” teams like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or Cincinnati means that they look even more non-descript by comparison.

This is all a shame, really. They have a beautiful stadium and lovely weather, and San Diego has a good baseball culture (amateur, etc.) even if their team doesn’t get much attention outside of the area. Perhaps the Padres’ moves this off-season will finally get the franchise that big moment that we can remember it by.

THIS YEAR’S MYSTERY TEAM WILL BE THE ███████

Next week, the Winter Meetings begin in Orlando San Diego. And while we no doubt will see funny images on MLB Network like Kevin Millar hanging out with Goofy at the Zoo and Brian Kenny trying to explain to Captain Jack Sparrow the Chicken why the win stat must be sent to Davey Jones’ locker  the slaughter, ultimately, it will be about one team. What team is that? Why, it’s the ██████████████!

Here’s how it will happen, of course:

The ██████████████, after all, will no doubt be the ones that will be rumored to be signing ███████████ on the first day, and the team that will be behind the massive three-team trade involving ██████████████████, █████████████, and ██████████████, which will feature ███████ and top prospect ███████, amongst others. Everybody will think the deal is nuts, but some will praise the ███████████’s GM, █████ ██████████, for his initiative and brilliant thinking. Others will call for his firing.

Meanwhile, the ██████████████’s current star, ███████ ███████, will then make a funny comment on Twitter about how he fell asleep in his █████████ home a few hours ago and is honestly wondering if he missed anything, and then make a second comment saying that this is the first time he heard about the ███████████ trade. It’ll be retweeted by everyone and become a meme, with people talking about how “█████████ is sleeping, make sure you do your deals now” or what-not. Everyone will be sick of it within 48 hours and it will then be resigned to the dustbin of baseball memes.

Then, however, a lull will fall upon Orlando San Diego for most of the second day. Instagrams of Joe Maddon walking around EPCOT SeaWorld and Alex Rodriguez showing up for reasons beyond mortal minds will fill the void while Ken Rosenthal is forced to tell Twitter people that A) he is taller enough to ride Space Mountain than a panda bear so stop asking and B) he’s too busy to go to Disney World the San Diego Zoo right now. But then, the ██████████████ will be rumored to have been talking to Scott Boras. But about who? The speculation will go throughout the day, until finally, we hear that █████████ has signed a deal! Except, it’ll turn out that that report is actually a fake account, and that ██████████ is actually going to somebody completely different.

Overnight, people will start talking about how lots of pizza is arriving at the ██████████████’s suite, and wonder whether this is proof that ██████████████ will be signing ████████. Nothing will really materialize, but, hey, it’ll kill time.

Then, later on, the ██████████████ will make that one final splash, signing ██████████. People will instantly declare them to be World Series favorites…

….and then, in 2015, they’ll miss the playoffs.

Whoops. Well, at least the ██████████████ will always have their great 2014-2015 offseason to remember.

(This article was originally published last year– hence the crossed-off parts)