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The Direction of the Padres Front Office 

Carlos QuentinOkay, this may wind up being a bit of a rant. Hang with me. There will be a point.

I haven’t written a piece for Friarhood in a long time. In fact, I just recently got a text from Steve. It simply said: “Writer’s block?” I didn’t even respond to that.

So, the question I asked myself is why? Why haven’t I written anything in so long? Why didn’t I text Steve back? Sure, there was a family vacation, there was a writer’s workshop, there was work to be done with the back yard. The thing is, though, I’ve always had these time constraints going before, yet I’ve always found the time to write. Not so, now. Why?

In the midst of trying to answer this question, I found another: when was the last time I checked a Padres box score? Yikes. The answer to that one caught me off guard. It had been months. Now, mind you, I’m a guy who is pretty religious with my Padres. Checking scores, listening to the radio broadcasts, making time to see them on TV. Since I’m not a San Diegan, I have to use all the resources I can to track down my team. Yet, here I was, literally not giving a darn. Why?

I think it comes down to this. Who is this new ownership group, and what are they doing with this team? I have no answers, and I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one looking. But their lack of…anything, really, has left me feeling on the outside of my fandom for this team.

I had an excellent coach who once explained the game in very simple terms. There’s pitching, hitting, and defense. If you can perform well in two of those areas, you’re going to be a playoff team. So, let’s look at our boys. Defensively, the Padres are solid. They sport a .987 fielding percentage (I know, not the best metric) that is good for 8th in the league. Fine. What about offense? This team is a team struggling to get on base, and they lack any serious pop (MLB ranks in parenthesis): .691 OPS (23); 833 K (9). On the mound, things are even worse: 4.20 ERA (24); 1.37 WHIP (27). Definitely not a playoff team. But we knew that.

So, what is ownership doing about it? The answer is, nothing, it seems.

Let’s go back to the offseason and recap all the moves the team made to improve its roster: traded for Tyson Ross, signed Jason Marquis, Travis Buck, and Freddy Garcia. Byrnes went looking for starting pitching, but the market didn’t seem to have much to offer. Okay.

What about now, as the trade deadline approaches? Joel Sherman tweets this today: “Padres feeling better about future offense, not moving Quentin or Headley in this mkt, and more doubtful even rlvrs Gregerson/Thatcher move” Are you freaking kidding me?! Now, I’m not going to pretend that Sherman knows the inner moves the Padres are or are not going to make, but even this suggestion simply makes my blood boil. It sounds nearly identical to the dismal offseason that created our current cellar-dwelling team: poor market, and we’re comfortable with the team as it stands.

Are you, as a fan, comfortable with this team?

The trade deadline will tell us a good deal about this ownership group. In all actuality, though, the inactivity thus far has been revealing. I want to know what this team is doing and where this team is going so that I have something to root for. I’ve been in a perpetual limbo since the season started.

Part of that limbo was self-created, as I wanted to give this group some room to set itself up and begin to reveal its plan for this team. But what I see now concerns me. We keep sending members of the pitching staff off to season-ending surgeries. Sure, Cashner, Gregerson, and Thatcher have been fine, but our catching situation includes a prospect turned cheater. Our first baseman hits like a second baseman. The jury is still out on our second baseman. At third, we have a guy who is a shadow of his potential. Don’t get me started on the outfield. Really, the only player with a bat worth talking about has been Everth Cabrera.

On the minor league side, the organization continues to scuffle. Its overall rankings dropped from a season ago, and it will likely fall a bit further after several key prospects have struggled this year. Friarhood’s own Brad Beattie gave a nice rundown here. Granted, there are players moving up, but the fact is Mayo’s prospect list for San Diego went through some major shuffling. And it wasn’t the shuffling you want where players are graduating from the prospect list.

Okay. End rant.

Honestly, there really is nothing new in this piece of mine. And that’s exactly the point. There really is nothing new with this team since its last-place finish in 2011. Oh, wait. There is one thing. A new ownership group. Not that anyone could tell.

Memo to Fowler and Co.: give us something to care about. Please.



About the author: Chris Kelly

Husband, father, teacher, and proud member of the Friar Faithful.

  • Great work Chris! It appears many fans are confused by the direction of the organization. Especially with the timing of prospects and veterans that will be leaving after 2014. Why not just gut it now and let some of these kids play instead of throwing away 2014 and waiting until 2015 for the young kids?

    • Tim Valencia

      agreed, the plan that the FO seems to give off is stay the course we are on the right track. Honestly, with all the pitchers coming back from TJ or other surgeries, it could be another lost season. With how terrible this season has been, i dont know what it would take to incur a fire sale. I mean seriously lets take a look, 2 PED suspension, multiple TJ surgeries, 10 game losing streak, potential worst SP in the majors statistically, No hit at home. With all of the issues, the stagnation shows the FO is a rudderless ship or delusional planning thinking that 2014 will be the year.

  • Jayson Bailey

    I think 3/4 extensions they gave out were mistakes. Maybin, Hundley, and Quentin. Maybin and Hundley because neither are good players. Quentin is our best player, but he’s always hurt and is a terrible fielder. The rotation baffles me. Marquis had no business being resigned. Richard has always been bad. Luckily for us(not them), they’re both out for the year. Stauffer and Ross both deserve a chance. Bass did too, but they sent him down and he’s completely fallen apart.

    • dvmin98

      How can you say Richard has always been bad? He was solid the past couple years. Marquis was a good signing, but as a #5. Unfortunately, he was our #1 for awhile.

      Bass is garbage, Stauffer is nothing more than a long man. Stults and Cashner have been solid for the most part. Volquez is an enigma.

      Next year, if healthy, our starters (if no free agents/trades) will be Cashner, Luebke, Ross, Stults and maybe Volquez. Weiland, Erlin(don’t like him), Smith, Sampson and possibly Kelly will all be waiting in the wings. O’sullivan hasn’t been bad, but he’s had Volquez-itis with the walks.

      If we can pick up one or two starters, I think we could be solid.

      • Tim Valencia

        Your thoughts on getting new starters is erroneous. 1.) Which Starters will we sign? Take a look at the FA market upcoming, Garza, Kuroda, E santana, J Johnson? Which of those is one that you can hang your hat on? 2 Even if there was a great SP in FA what money are we going to shell out to sign him? Remember while we are shedding some smaller contracts, (EV, Richard, Maquis, etc) the following players will be getting raises, Q, Maybin, Hundley, Venable, Deno, Cabby and others. 3. so your only option is to trade in the offseason when value for our players will be lower. Right now we have leverage, and we of course arent using it.

        • dvmin98

          Your thoughts that I said free agents only is erroneous. I said pick up. Trade, free agents, however.

  • Tyler

    Seriously though, will the Padres just do SOMETHING. Trade the entire team outside of Gyorko, Alonso, and Cashner, I don’t give a crap. Just. Do. Something.