The Sports Pages: Erlin Speaks, Byrnes' History, and Better Off Head(ley)

“I always turn to the sports pages first, which record man’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.” -Earl Warren

Considering all the success that David Freese had in leading the St. Louis Cardinals to their World Series win, there has been a justifiable amount of attention given to how he got there. As I’m sure you recall (or, if not, have had your face rubbed in), Freese was a Padres farmhand back in 2007, when then-GM Kevin Towers shipped him off to the Gateway City in exchange for Jim Edmonds.

Certainly, Freese has provided a greater return for the Cardinals than Edmonds did with the Padres, but is all the lamenting worthwhile? Mike over at Padres Trail took a look at Freese and compared him to Chase Headley. What he found that was despite Freese’s superior offensive numbers, defense and durability issues makes Headley the much better fit in San Diego.

The dust may have settled on Jed Hoyer leaving for the Cubs gig, but what do we really know about new Padres boos Josh Byrnes? Ray at the Sacrifice Bunt took a look back at the farm system that was when Byrnes took the helm in Arizona and it is a staggering amount of talent.

Infortunately, Byrnes spent the majority of his time in the desert dealing away young pieces to add (or make room for) major league players, many with big-time contracts. That same formula won’t work in San Diego.

The off-season is typically heavy with minor league chatter, especially so in smaller markets. With so much of the big club’s future tied to how quickly and how well a prospect or group of prospects develops, interest is understandably high.

One such prospect that has many a Padre fan excited is left hander Robbie Erlin, who came to the organization via the Mike Adams trade in July. The southpaw posted a 2.14 ERA for Texas’ High-A affiliate before being assigned to Double-A San Antonio upon coming to the Padres. Despite being only 20 years old, Erlin cruised to a 1.38 ERA in six regular season starts for the Missions. John Parker sat down with Erlin for a little Q & A on milb.com.

What does a 91-loss season that follows a 90-win season do to attendance figures? Typically, not much as many of the tickets are purchased well in advance.  Despite their struggles, the Padres actually sold more tickets to home games in 2011 than the 2010 squad did, averaging 26,457 per contest according to Sports Business Daily.

Unfortunately, San Diegans who weren’t headed to the park decided they had better things to do than to watch this team, even on television. The Padres saw the sixth biggest loss in TV ratings of any major league club this past season. By contrast, the surprisingly good Cleveland Indians were the biggest TV gainers in the league.

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Tags: Chase Headley David Freese Josh Byrnes Robbie Erlin San Diego Padres

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