So You’re Saying There’s a Chance…Padres 2016 Edition


I am an admitted baseball apologist. I think baseball is the best sport in the world, MLB the best run league of at least the main four American sports leagues, and secretly (well, I suppose not anymore) smile when I see an emerging scandal in another league because it means that baseball looks that much better in comparison. Jayson Stark shares my affinity for baseball and annually has been coming out with a column noting just how much MLB rather than the NFL oozes of parity. What I get out of it is that though 2016 might not be the year for the Padres, it also might be. Better yet – more than any other sport if this year isn’t the year the chances are greater than next year will be.

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As the article comes out during the Super Bowl, it focuses on the NFL and does have a little bit of a “little man with a chip on his shoulder” attitude about MLB towards the NFL, which I don’t think is even really needed, but so it goes.

Some quick facts he pulls up worth repeating:

  • “Did you know that Manning, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have been your AFC QB in 12 of the past 13 Super Bowls? And 13 of the past 15?”
  • “…the Broncos, Ravens, Patriots, Steelers or Colts are always in the Super Bowl? They’re just five teams in a 16-team conference. But they’ve now represented the AFC in the Super Bowl for (ready for this?) 13 years in a row. Yep, 13. And 18 of the past 20.”

He produces a chart showing what the playoff turnover looks like. On first glance, it looks pretty even:

2016-02-11_16-11-25 /

This shows that for six straight season MLB has had more playoff turnover than the NFL. Last year the “final 4” of MLB had the Royals who hadn’t won a World Series since 1985, the Mets who hadn’t won since 1986, the Blue Jays since 1992 and of course the Cubs who haven’t won a World Series since 1908!

Stark continues:

“In the past five seasons, all but six baseball teams have made the playoffs (that’s 80 percent), as opposed to the Anything Can Happen League, where 68.8 percent made it (22 of 32). And once again, there were many more playoff slots open in the NFL (60) than in MLB (48)”

So while the Padres are part of that six team – history shows that their time is coming. In the past few years it has come for the Astros, the Royals, and let’s not forget until the last several years the Pirates hadn’t even made the post-season since 1992 themselves.

More from Friars on Base

Teams that do the right thing in Major League Baseball do have the chance to get to the playoffs, big market or small market. The Padres ownership group – now stabilized – is spending the money that needs to be spent for this team and developing a farm system for help. The culture is shifting in the right direction and Manager Andy Green will be a big part of that.

My hope is that we will look at this chart next year and the Padres will add their name to the list of new playoff team – not another year on the “missed playoff” list. Anything can happen over 162 games – and those days of reckoning continue to approach.