“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.

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): Introducing CONTINUUVIDEO, with a preview of the SAN DIEGO 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 the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. This is the Padres’ entry.

With the renewed vigor of the Continuucast, I am proud to announce that the Baseball Continuum will also begin doing a VIDEO SEGMENT, entitled CONTINUUVIDEO. The first installment deals with the San Diego Padres.

Among the topics covered:

-San Diego’s preparations for the 2016 All-Star Game

-Discussion of GM A.J. Preller’s strategy after last year’s failures

-The Padres’ somewhat underrated pitching staff

-Fun anagrams for Yangervis Solarte (including “Solitary Avengers” and “Greatly Aversions”)

-And a special appearance by a guy who used to sell fish tacos at Petco Park!

Go see it here!

“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.