With the Chargers struggling and a possible exit in sight, the San Diego Padres can capitalize and become the city’s most beloved team again.
The San Diego Padres have a “golden chance” (as Jerry Coleman would say) to take advantage of the ongoing San Diego Chargers’ soap opera. In recent years, the NFL has reigned supreme in popularity with sports fans locally and nationally.
However the Chargers’ hold on the local fan base appears to be unraveling (just as television ratings have fallen nationally for all NFL games).
The Chargers’ bid for a new stadium couldn’t even garner 45 percent of voter approval for a tax on other people (visitors that pay transient occupancy taxes at local hotels), hardly a vote of confidence. Attendance for the Chargers is down more than 10,000 per home game, and the team ranks second to last in the league.
In contrast, the local baseball team is staying right at home and appears to have every intention of at least trying to build a successful organization. The Padres should take advantage of the Spanos family’s inept handling of the entire coming/going saga.
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But the Padres need a cheerleader-in-chief. Until recently, Mike Dee and Ron Fowler spoke for the team. Dee, of course, departed suddenly, leaving only rumors about the reasons behind. Fowler’s days as managing partner may be coming to an end. For many teams, the general manager acts as the cheerleader, but A.J. Preller’s lack of enthusiasm for that task coupled with his monosyllabic delivery make him a poor candidate.
However, Andy Green makes a perfect candidate for the job. Ask Green a question about any subject related to the Padres and settle in for a torrent of words. Green’s enthusiasm, knowledge and energy is contagious.
At the beginning of last season Green had the unenviable task of trying to establish authority over a bunch of highly paid veterans with out sized egos like Matt Kemp, James Shields and Melvin Upton. By contrast, the roster as constituted now consists of a bunch of 20-year-old players with Clayton Richard being the oldest at 33. These young players should prove to be a much more malleable group for Green.