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Old 08-04-2018, 10:51 PM
Raider Disliker Raider Disliker is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Las Vegas
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Default Permanent Cellar Dwellers?

I have followed the San Diego Padres since the expansion season of 1969. Which brings up a problem -- 2019 represents the 50th Anniversary of the club, and there is not much to celebrate.

Item: Padres trade their All-Star reliever, Mr. Hand, to Cleveland ("Mr. Hand" is a "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" reference; "Ridgemont High" = "Clairemont High").

Item: Padres' Manager Andy Green, in a post-game press conference, attributes a loss to "bad luck". Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn and L.A. Dodgers correctly stated: "Luck is the residue of design" -- i.e., by good planning, you put yourself in the position to have good luck, and to exploit it.

The more general problem is that through the brilliance of marketing and ancillary distractions, each game is like a party where events on the field are just background, like a kind of elevator music. Success on the field? A chain of .400 seasons shows that there is no serious commitment to success.

It is easy enough to say L.A., New York, and Chicago are the major media markets where the money is, and the Padres are just a small town franchise like Pittsburgh, just can't economically compete. Yet, St. Louis, for instance, does well enough over time.

Ownership needs to conduct some sort of survey or referendum among the fan base to determine what strategy the fans would support to try to bring this team back to relevance. They may as well play 2019 in 1969 style uniforms; they are starting over from square one. There will have to be major investments in the farm team system; the Padres will have to "grow their own". Bidding on veterans is a waste of money. If they have a decent starter or reliever, keep him! Pitching, defense, and speed and aggression on the base paths is the cheapest, most efficient approach to becoming competitive.

I would hope that the glories of, say, 1984 are not out of reach in what's left of my lifetime.
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