Release the O-Dog
OK boys and girls, it is time. It’s time to let this one go. Like that feeling you get when you’ve been drinking all-night and you get the spins and you know the only way you’re going to feel better is if you just gag yourself and beat nature to it’s logical conclusion. Yea, It’s just like that.
Orlando Hudson has got to go.
ChickenFriars editor and all around gentlemen, Justin Hunter, posted about this subject a few days ago and for the most part I agreed with him. However, I feel like he went a little easy on the whole ‘O-Dog experiment’ and I on the other hand will not.
Back in 2010 we decided it would be a good idea to let a player walk away from our team for seemingly no reason whatsoever. He was scrappy, he played harder than anyone on the field, he was an absolute joy to watch and he was the sparkplug that ignited a team no one thought had a chance to a possible playoff run. He was David Eckstein. He also might be my favorite Padre to ever play in Petco. When he was a Padre I called Eckstein “At-a-boy” on account of the fact that every time I saw him play I’d always yell “At-a-boy” like I was watching my kid play little league. That’s how fun he was. It’s not often you get a player like Eckstein on your team and it’s even harder to let him go. But, the Padres did let Eckstein go under the direction of a GM I can only describe as a ‘deadbeat dad’ and was promptly replaced by Hudson.
With my heart broken I reluctantly welcomed the second-baseman known as “O-Dog” into the fold. There were those who were extremely happy about the O-Dog addition claiming he was a huge offensive upgrade at second (not true) and a great clubhouse leader (also not true). But, people drank the misguided Kool-Aid that Jed Hoyer gave them and 2011 was pinned to be a banner year. Mark Grant couldn’t stop talking about how great a leader Hudson was and seriously tried to fit the nickname “O-Dog” into every single sentence he uttered (and utters).
Then reality hit and the four horsemen of the Baseball apocalypse came riding down 7th Avenue. And Padres fans slowly began to realize that Jed Hoyer was a bad general manager. Don’t believe me? Ask the 6-12 Cubs, or the 5-13 Padres. Hoyer decided to bring in a parade of players who had one or two good seasons and were now looking for a rebound year: Jorge Cantu (War), Brad Hawpe (Pestilence), Jason Bartlett (Famine) and of course O-Dog (Death). And let’s not forget the ridiculous screw job Hoyer orchestrated in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. Just helping out his old pal Theo over in Beantown. People tried to give Hoyer the benefit of the doubt, but it all became prologue when he skipped town a year later for a bigger payroll and slumber parties with Theo and Anthony Rizzo; leaving us with so many aging hitters it seemed like we were over the legal limit.
The Jed Hoyer relationship was a bad one. When he was here it felt like he was cheating on us and could care less if he got caught. When he left town all our suspicions were proved right, and like a bad father he walked out on his family leaving Josh Byrnes as stepdad to pick up the pieces. Not only did Hoyer sign bad players, he signed them to ridiculous contracts like the current one with O-Dog; up until this point it’s almost handcuffed the team into playing him. But, no more! We have to cut him loose. We learned halfway through last season that O-Dog is not the clubhouse guy we thought he was, while simultaneously finding out his “best” years were back in Canada apparently still waiting on immigration. And, it’s not like we’ll be left with a giant hole up the middle. We have two pretty solid options at second base in Andy Parrino and Logan Forsythe, couple that with the move of Jedd Gyorko to second and the position starts to become deep. It seems like the team might finally be ready to let O-Dog leave town.
(And, let me take care of this before anyone tries to complain…Yes, Jason Bartlett is and has struggled since he got here. However, we don’t have depth or a real plan B at short. In fact the next guy “in line” is Jace Peterson. Who’s Jace Peterson? Exactly. He’s working his way through Single-A ball now and is at least two seasons away from taking the field at Petco.)
Like a broken home we must cut our losses and try to survive as a unit. The Padres will never be the Yankees. We’ll never be able to sign big time free agents unless our payroll expands. So, in the meantime we have to get rid of the things that remind us of old dad and start building a relationship with new dad. Giving us a guy like Carlos Quentin was a start and making a few high-profile trades to remind the world we exist was also a smart move. New dad understands that all we need is gifts and attention. What we don’t need is another dog. We got one, and all he does is stare out the window and bark.
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