Morning Coffee with Mark Whelan: Keeping Tyson Ross Out of ASG a Huge Marketing Mistake


It’s bothering me more and more that Tyson Ross is pitching on Sunday, which will prevent him from pitching in the All-Star Game on Tuesday. One of the Padres’ biggest problems is that, on a national scale, they may be the most ignored team in baseball. And now, when one of their rising stars is honored with an All-Star selection, they are choosing a course that will keep him from playing on a national stage.

Somebody in the front office get Wayne Partello, the marketing VP, involved in this decision. This is about more than the 2014 baseball season.

Because of a rule change, starting pitchers who pitch this Sunday are ineligible to pitch in next Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Ross is scheduled to pitch on Sunday. Rather than adjusting their rotation schedule to allow their young star to pitch in the All-Star Game, the Padres have decided to keep him on schedule. This ensures that the only Padres player selected for this national spotlight event will not participate.

You know what fans nationally know about the Padres? I asked my friends in Connecticut what they know about the team. These guys are big baseball fans.

Frank said “they can’t hit.” That was his entire email. Frank spent one year researching the Negro Leagues, and another year researching pre-1900 baseball. He can talk knowledgeably for a long time about Mule Suttles and Pebbly Jack Glasscock. But when it comes to the Padres in 2014, he knows they can’t hit.

Paul, whose vast knowledge of baseball may be more contemporary then Frank’s, said “Awful lineup. Cashner, and he could be traded but he got hurt, could have a woman GM, can’t think of much more. Oh wait, I did know Huston Street was doing well and that other young pitcher (forgot his name).”

The next email said “Jesse Hahn, that’s his name.”

Trust me, the reason Paul knows about Jesse Hahn is that he’s an avid fantasy baseball player, and his pitching is under-performing.

Typical baseball fans may have read this week about Huston Street being snubbed for the All-Star Game. But unless they’re stat junkies or just follow closers closely, they were probably more concerned about Chris Sale and Ian Kinsler being snubbed. Bleacher Report had a list of the biggest snubs, and named 15 players. Street was not on the list. Certainly the numbers confirm that Street not being selected was a snub, but the fact that he didn’t make a list of 15 players speaks to the Padres’ lack of relevance on a national scale.

Fans nationally don’t know about Seth Smith. They don’t know about Tyson Ross. They have never heard of Alexi Amarista or Rene Rivera. They may never have heard of Yonder Alonso or Yasmani Grandal or Chris Denorfia. They know that Carlos Quentin got traded from the White Sox a couple of years back, but they can’t remember where he went.

You know what people do know? They know that we fired our GM before the halfway point of the season.

On the east coast, on an average day, they don’t know if the Padres won that night, because the game is still going on when they go to bed. And they don’t bother to check in the morning.

I know. I lived outside of San Diego for 30 years. I am a giant baseball fan. The Padres and the Royals were the two teams that got the least national coverage, by far.

Have you ever taken a marketing class? Here’s your semester project. Make this team relevant nationally.

If your first step is to keep your rising star pitcher out of the All-Star Game so he can pitch in one regular season game instead of a different regular season game, you get an F.