It’s very easy to be negative and much harder to be positive. I always see the glass half full and I am going to share some of my thoughts on this season and why this was one of the best Padres season’s I can remember. It even surpassed my expectations and believe me I really felt like this team was much better than the experts had predicted.
CBS Sports picked the Padres to be last in the west with the Mariners / Phillies in the World Series! Mariners were a bit of a disappointment to say the least. 13 Writers from Sports Illustrated didn’t even mention the Padres! Not 1 of 35 Writers from ESPN picked the Padres to do anything! I could go on and on and find numerous publications in which all of them nearly had the Padres picked last in the National League West.
At the end of the day perhaps these predictions were somewhat correct because the Padres didn’t do anything but they sure gave us a great season! The Padres won 90 games. At one point they were 27 games above 500. This was one of the best Padres seasons I have been a part of. Yes they lost the division and came up short to advance to the playoffs but they gave us a great year of ups and downs, plenty of excitement and memories to last for many years.
My message to ownership / management. I have heard so many negatives, even tonight I read on the Padres boards that they wanted Kevin Towers (former Padres GM) back. Come on people. I was as big of a Towers supporter as you could find. You can say that this was Towers team and I can’t argue with that. He has his fingerprints all over but look at the key aquisitians first year general manager Jed Hoyer made. Look at what ownership did to push this team towards the playoffs! The Tejada trade was huge. The energy he brought with him was amazing, he had the whole team doing “Phantom High Fives”. You can say what you want about Ryan Ludwick. He may not have had great numbers with the Padres but management made an effort to get better and at the time I thought Ludwick would have been a bigger move than Tejada. The bottom line is that management did what we have not seen around here in years at the trade deadline. I was really impressed with the moves that they allowed Jed Hoyer to make.
Another item I would like to address. I always hear people saying that the Padres don’t invest money in players and won’t sign Adrian Gonzalez to a long term deal. I have news for you Padres fans. The Padres are running a business and their entitled to make a profit. If you ever get the opportunity of investing $400 million your not going to do it to break even. Petco Park wasn’t exactly filled to capacity with fans this year and I can understand that current economic conditions may have made it difficult to come out to a ball game but the new ownership group has done an incredible job of trying to make games affordable. If the Padres continue to have success on the field and economic conditions improve I believe the Padres will do much better with attendance but remember that the Padres have the 2nd lowest Fan Cost Index in Baseball. You can’t ask ownership to pay out huge contracts and ask them to lower prices and not come out and support this team. Also, do you really want to run the risk of taking on huge contracts that could potentially cripple the club financially? I believe they will make Adrian a reasonable offer and that is all I can ask but perhaps contracts, payroll will improve in the future as more and more fans come out and support this team.
Enough with my rant on payroll and affordability.
The positives about this 2010 season and moving forward.
– Jeff Moorad / Ownership – They lowered ticket cost, beer / concession prices and have done an incredible job of trying to make it affordable to go see a baseball game. They gave approval to go out and make moves at the trade deadline and took on payroll to make this team better. They went after the best players in the draft and made all efforts to sign them. It’s not their fault Karsten Whitson didn’t sign. He was offered a fair contract and had poor representation. The Padres signed last years 1st round pick and other draft picks from the 2009 and 2010 draft are already showing great promise in the farm system. They even brought the San Diego Chicken out on a few occasions!
– General Manager, Jed Hoyer – I was Kevin Towers biggest fan and I really had my doubts when Jed came on board but if you look at the moves he made before and during the season you can’t help but think this guy really knows his baseball. Jon Garland, Jerry Hairston, Matt Stairs, Yorvit Torrealba, Miguel Tejada, Ryan Ludwick, I’m probably missing someone. All of these players had a huge role in the success of the Padres 2010 team. In addition Jed made some great moves in the front office. He promoted Chris Gwynn to director of player personnel, brought Jason McLeod back to San Diego as assistant GM. Named Jaron Madison as the director of scouting. He even brought David Roberts in as a special assistant of baseball operations. This move really showed with David’s emphasis on speed and stealing bases. The Padres were 2nd in the National League in stolen bases. I can go on and on. Check out the Padres Front Office Page to see the other executives added to the team.
– Bud Black and all the young player – Bud Black had his contract extended. I really think Bud Black is doing a great job. We have some great talent on this club. Latos looks to have an extremely bright future. Clayton Richard seemed to get better as the season went on. I could go on and on, look at guys like Tim Stauffer, he was huge and came up big down the road. The Padres have a lot of great young players and the future is bright!
The San Diego Padres may have broken your heart when they lost to the Giants on Sunday and missed the playoffs. I know I was a bit down despite the Chargers winning big over the Cardinals. I walked around a bit, took a nap and really didn’t feel like talking to anyone. After a few hours had passed I started to think and reflect on the season and you know what? It was a great year and I believe that they are moving in the right direction. As a fan all I can ask for is a competitive team that competes with the top teams in baseball. We haven’t always had that here in San Diego. I can tell you that as long as the Padres continue to be competitive, provide good value and field a team competing with all the BIG BOYS I am going to continue to support MY Padres. Even if they don’t I will still be a fan but it’s so much more fun when you have a year like this one. All I can say is thank you to everyone in the Padres organization and Go Padres! I look forward to seeing you in 2011!
PS, special thanks to Alex Montoya with the San Diego Padres for letting me know about the Padres welcome home from San Francisco / farewell tonight at Petco. I wish we were welcoming the Padres home after a great successful run in the postseason but it was fun to give them a little support this evening. Big thanks for Heath Bell and Mark “Mudcat” Grant for going above and beyond and coming out to take pictures / sign autographs for the fans. I know my wife (picture on the right) was super excited to get a picture with Heath Bell! Oh yeah, and I forgot about Dick Enberg. Great move. Love it!