“Sneak Preview-What the Padres Are About to Become”
Take a long look into the Atlanta Braves dugout, and you will see for yourself what Padres baseball is about to become.
The Padres close out their series with the lowly (16-42) Atlanta Braves today, head into the Draft tomorrow, then the baseball trading deadline at the end of July. By the time we get to August 1st, you might not be able to tell much of a difference between the Padres and the Braves, and that’s not good for fans at Petco Park, and long time suffering-disappointed Friars Fans.
You do remember the era, the aura, of Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Chipper Jones? What the Braves have on their roster heading into this afternoon’s game, is a far cry from what they used to be. You do remember Bobby Cox, the NL-East division titles, trips to the postseason? Not any more.
It’s the new blueprint in baseball. Tear it down. Tank it. Rebuild it. Hope you draft right. Hope you get lucky. Hope you stay healthy. Maybe you can become the Cubs, or the Royals or the Pirates.
But doing it that way means pain, lots of losses, an erosion of fan support.
The Padres seem headed where the Astros just went, where the Cubs have been, what the Royals and Pirates became, and now, in the other dugout, what Braves are this day, and for days to come, a bad ballclub.
It’s a nightmare. You can only buy Petco Park as a destination point for so long, if the product is so bad. You can only sell the fan’s experience for a limited time. You can only advertise the All Star week for one given period of time. You betray your corporate sponsors and your broadcast partner, when your brand of baseball becomes last place baseball.
It has been painful to watch what the Braves have become. In a span of two off-seasons, Atlanta off-loaded 9-established players. Stripped the roster to the ground, leaving behind 1-established star to suffer by himself, 1st baseman Freddie Freeman. And in rebuilding, there is no guarantee in what you get in return for what you give away. The deals, as of today, don’t look good, and that’s why the Braves are where they are in the standings, and why Padres fans should freak out.
Shelby Miller, promising pitcher, shipped to Arizona for minor league shortstop Darby Swanson, lst round draft pick, who could be years away.
Alex Wood, promising young starter, dealt to the Dodgers in a multi-player deal that brought back infielder Hector Olivera, now suspended.
Jason Heyward, budding star outfielder, traded to the Cardinals, for Shelby Miller, since traded away.
Christian Bethancourt, out of option catcher with a bad glove, sent to San Diego for pitcher Casey Kelly.
Michael Bourn, established outfielder, moved to Cleveland for since released 3rd baseman Chris Johnson.
Evan Gattis, power hitting multi-position player, flipped to Houston for minor leaguers, who never panned out.
Justin Upton, power hitting outfielder, on to San Diego for a collection of kids, Mallex Smith, Jace Peterson, Max Fried amongst others.
Andrellton Simmons headed to the Angels, for young arms Sean Newcombe and Chris Ellis, neither of who are in the majors yet.
Craig Kimbrell-Melvin Upton traded to San Diego for Cam Maybin, Matt Wisler, and the Carlos Quentin contract.
Bryan McCann, established clubhouse leader-catcher, let go to become a free agent starter with the Yankees.
Cam Maybin, coming off a good year, exits and heads to the Detroit Tigers.
The nightmare that is Atlanta’s roster also includes the loss of four key young starting pitchers to surgeries.
Kris Medlen, never came back from arm woes, and is now in the KC Royals chain. Mike Minor, struggling with post-surgery issues, was cut loose, and is also in the Royals chain. Brandon Beachy had two elbow surgeries, and was last seen, was trying to find his career in the Dodgers organization. Jair Jurjjens never rallied back from knee surgery. The afore mentioned Wood, and youngster Randal Delgado, were packaged in trades.
All the hope for Atlanta, has been washed away, by players who washed out, injuries that wiped out careers too. Since their philosophical change, and the importation of GM-John Hart, the Braves are (83-137) in the last year and a half, and it’s going to get much worse before it might get any better. They could get close to 300-losses by closing day 2017.
How awful this must be for a franchise and a city that saw 15-first place finishes and 3-second place finishes in a 2-decade span.
Oh you can rave about what the Chicago Cubs have become. Wrigleyville is so much fun now, and granted Cubs fan is a loyal lot, but Chicago bottomed out, going (198-288) over a three year window, till the draft picks and the Cubans arrived.
The Royals have had a nice little run in the Mike Moustakas-Eric Hosmer years, but KC gave its loyal Royal fans a product that was (176-310) over a three year period.
The Pirates went 22-years without a playoff game, went thru lots of ownership changes, front office firings, and philosophical U-turns. The Buccos had a six year stretch where they went (388-573). Anybody for that type of rebuilding calendar?
And of late, there is the Houston situation. The Astros had a bounceback surprise season last year, though this year has been slow off the launching pad. But Houston tore the Astrodome down, and burned the franchise to the ground. They were a catastrophic (162-324) over three seasons, till last year’s summer of exciting baseball.
So the Padres appear to be about to embark on tanking. James Shields is gone. Matt Kemp might be next. Fernando Rodney, Andrew Cashner, John Jay anyone?
Yes they have 6-of the top 85-draft picks tomorrow. Yes they have money to spend in the International Free Agent period. But those type of talents, if they pan out, are three to five years down the road. And the scoreboard has just told us what kind of teams the Cubs, Pirates, Royals and Astros gave their fans over three years, using the same business model.
Padres, and Padres fans, take a long look into the Braves dugout today, and see for yourself, what your ballclub is about to become.
A sneak preview of what the next couple of summers might be like.