Padres Editorial: Off-season Moves Create A Holy Trinity

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Hello Friar faithful and thank you for checking out Friars on Base!

My name is Nick Wilson and I have been in love with the San Diego Padres my entire life. I remember catching a bullet from Mark Kotsay as a kid at the Q and how excited I was. My enthusiasm for this club has been going strong since that day.

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Though most fans have never met them, individuals like Tony Gwynn, Jerry Coleman, and Trevor Hoffman give a sense of community to the fans that makes the team feel like family. That is why I love the San Diego Padres.

Also, in my humble opinion, the Padres have to be the greatest team to wear brown uniforms in the big leagues.

Aside from my favorite hobby of indulging in a Padres Beer fest before a game, I also follow the club with a passion. So much passion, that I figured I would give writing a try!

Here is my take on the off-season, please let me know if you guys are as excited as I am in the comments below.

For years Padre fans have been living off glimmers of hope in our organization. Hoping to recapture the electricity the city had back during the 1998 season. The amenities of Petco Park and players like Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Piazza, and Greg Maddux have been enough to tide the loyal fans over the past 8 years, but have not come close to the ultimate goal, a deep run into the playoffs.

When Carlos Quentin was traded to the Padres, there was yet another wave of optimism and hope. The off-season was filled with excitement as we imagined an outfield consisting of a five tool right fielder with unlimited potential in Will Venable, a freakishly athletic center fielder in Cameron Maybin, and a legitimate cleanup hitter in Quentin.

Quentin was sidelined for the first third of the season with a knee injury, but made his presence known in a big way when he rejoined the club later in the season at Wrigley Field. His thunderous swing sent balls flying in every direction, notably over the heads of delusional Chicago Cubs fans. There was a burst of energy in the fan base, the clubhouse, and especially Ted Leitner.

This appeared to be a dynamite trade for the Padres, which raised the question, why on earth would the Chicago White Sox trade away an All-Star talent like this? Well the White Sox saw something that the Padres did not and sold high on their slugging, balky left fielder. Meanwhile the Padres fell further down into the all too familiar rabbit hole of investing in the wrong player.

San Diego is a comfortable place, perhaps even too comfortable. We have picturesque beaches, a vibrant night life, beautiful homes, and spectacular weather all year long. The relaxed atmosphere our city provides has unfortunately become a scapegoat for Padres players whose careers slowly fade with our teams playoff hopes.

In other words, we’re just too nice. Think about it, on what other team would Venable be given 8 years at the big league level to “develop” and reach his potential? Would the New York Yankees be comfortable with Maybin eating his daily double bacon cheeseburger and popping on a drug test for amphetamines? Would the Red Sox accept the players’ excuses for their poor hitting on the dimensions of Fenway? Worst of all, would any other team lock down these players to multi-year multi-million dollar contracts before they have legitimately proven themselves on the field? The answer, of course, is hell no.

In a desperate attempt to save money management in the past has looked to find “home town discounts” throughout the major leagues. They would salivate on big league potential from the San Diego area, hoping that they will get the same return Tony Gwynn brought to the club. The problem however, is that Tony Gwynn was as anomaly. Touched by the hand of God, a talent that will never be replaced.

For example, the Padres selected Matt Bush number one overall in the 2004 draft, passing on future star players like Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, and Hunter Pence. The Padres gave him a $3.15 million dollar bonus to basically get busted for drunkenly assaulting high school athletes. We brought notorious party animals, the Giles Brothers together, whose careers comfortably faded in San Diego.

Lastly, we paid top dollar for the gargantuan Carlos Quentin, a University of San Diego alumnus, who filled our hearts with hope that fateful series in Chicago; then proceeded to enjoy his guaranteed $8 million salary with a no trade clause, while his smoking hot wife iced his knee in his North County mansion.

The friar faithful have stood by and watched these desperate moves eat away at our beloved organization for years. Finally the chosen one, A.J. Preller, has arrived.

In one short off-season he and the new ownership group have taken steps to absolve us from the old Padres ways and march us towards a new style of thinking and managing that has revitalized our fan base.

The last eight years have proven to us that a defensive minded and speedy team is not the recipe for success at Petco Park, and A.J. has certainly moved away from that identity. He has taken the “potential” from our farm system and transformed it into a lineup that has legitimate talent. Corner stoned by proven winners and leaders in Kemp and Shields. Most importantly, the only guaranteed contracts generated are going to playoff tested, experienced, big league players.

The transformation of the outfield has given the fans a squad to cheer for much like “The Legion of Boom” in Seattle, or “The Steel Curtain” in Pittsburgh. Something that I like to call, “The Holy Trinity”. Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton have each had great success at an early age in other organizations. I am counting down the days to see what “The Holy Trinity” can do together in a Padres uniform this season.

It is fair to say that our win projections have not jumped much due to a supremely right handed lineup, low defensive metrics, and some infield questions; but I predict the addition of “The Holy Trinity” will take a couple of those one run, seven inning game losses away from Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross.

Ticket sales have increased 600 percent since the acquisitions not because we think we will win the World Series this year, but because our management group has finally moved away from their boring, desperate brand of baseball, and found personnel to create a special ball club in America’s finest city.

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