Mandatory Credit: cnn.com
So why would the 1989 team be ranked ahead of the 2005, 2006 teams who won back-to-back N.L. west titles? Those teams had a pretty easy division, mainly in 2005. The 1989 Padres had the talent to get the job done, but ultimately not everyone made the playoffs in those days, before the extra wild card slots was established. See only the Cubs and Giants made the playoffs in 1989 from the National League, the Padres finished 3rd overall in the National League, one spot shy of getting in.
Only two teams made the playoffs from the National League. The list of talent on this team was great! Of course you have to start with the great Tony Gwynn, Benito Santiago, Roberto Alomar, Garry Templeton, Bip Roberts, John Kruk and Jack the Ripper (Jack Clark). As for the pitching, closer Mark Davis lead the team with 44 saves winning the third Cy Young Award in Padres history at the time. That season also had Bruce Hurst and Ed Whitson leading the staff in wins.
Unfortunately, the Padres fell three games behind the Giants and did not make the playoffs in 1989. During the ’89 campaign, Gwynn and Clark had a verbal sparring match that last for the remainder of that season and on into the 1990 season. Clark chose to leave San Diego and signed with the Boston Red Sox.