Sep 20, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; General view of the scoreboard after a 2-0 win by the San Diego Padres against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
I want to build off of Mark Whelan’s article “Why Don’t We Expect the Padres To Win?”, which I enjoyed very much. I caught myself doing this at the beginning of this year. I looked at our roster, the moves we had made in the off-season and said to myself: “We have a legitimate chance to finish over .500 and maybe even make the playoffs!” I look back now and think…is that all I expect of the Padres? Is it a successful season if we finish 82-80? I don’t know about anyone else, but I felt a little different in September of 2010 when the Padres squandered a 6.5 game lead over the Giants with 37 games to play. I felt cheated. I died a little bit that day. Why? Because by late August of that season, I wasn’t surprised we were in 1st place, I expected us to win the division. I expected it. Anything less would be a failure.
What has changed in 3-plus seasons? Now if the Padres score more than 4 runs I am as happy as a clown. If we win a series or two, I am ecstatic. If we inch our way up to .500, I get butterflies. Something is wrong. This means I am OK with mediocrity. Heaven knows I have gotten used to mediocrity, having also been a Chargers and BYU fan all my life. But why can’t we expect championships and to compete for championships every year? Look at the Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox, and Braves. They expect to compete every single year, no excuses. Forget payrolls and ballpark dimensions. It hasn’t stopped other teams. We should expect the same level of play from the San Diego Padres. It shouldn’t feel like we “took down Goliath” when we win a series against the Braves or Cardinals. We should expect that. We have major league ball players playing against other major league ball players. So what’s different? Something needs to change. Actually, I think some things need to change. Just firing Bud Black, moving in the fences or “bringing back the brown” will not fix this culture we have in the organization. We have settled for mediocrity. We have settled for .250 averages, 15 home runs and a middle-of-the-pack defense. In my opinion, the trading deadline is less than 2 months away and we should be active.
I am a die-hard Padres’ fan. I have been and always will be. I can’t help it, it has been in my blood ever since my dad took me to my first game in 1997 at Qualcomm Stadium. I was dazzled by Tony Gwynn and I will never forget the first time I was in attendance to hear “Hell’s Bells” for Trevor Time. Those were the good ol’ days. How can we bring those days back?
We should expect to win. The front office owes it to us to produce a winning product on the field. Right now, I don’t want to spend $100+ on jerseys and tickets. I like to buy things that make me happy and proud. Those are two emotions the Padres do not get out of me at this moment. Will I keep watching them? Yes. Will I don my official on-field Padres cap on campus tomorrow? Of course. But until we stop accepting mediocrity, the Padres will continue to play…Quadruple-A baseball.