Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dog Days are here !!!

-The Dog Days of Summer-

In a typical season many guys will start to hit that proverbial wall come late July when the weather starts to heat up and personal endurance is put to it’s first real test, the bats seem heavier, feet seem slower, the arm is a little sore, and the sweat comes like an unwelcome rain storm. These days are known more commonly as the Dog Days of Summer and can last into September. The good news for Padre fans is that this shouldn't be much of an issue this year. The bad news is that it’s not because their players are that much better conditioned, but instead it’s because of the revolving door of players used again this season.

While every team suffers injuries throughout a sports season, it appears that the Padres again have pissed off the baseball gods and are going for back to back record injury seasons. To lend some perspective on this at one point in the first half of this season they had lost their :

  1. -#1 pitcher and Staff Ace
  2. -#2 pitcher
  3. -#3 pitcher
  4. -#4 pitcher
  5. -starting SS
  6. -back up SS
  7. -Starting 2bag
  8. -backup 2bag
  9. -super utility player that is essentially the 3rd back up option for the IF/OF
  10. -4th OFer and scheduled DH for interleague
  11. -starting catcher
  12. -back up catcher
  13. -starting LFer
  14. -multiple key bullpen arms

It’s truly been another amazing ride to watch this team be completely ravaged by injuries for a second year in a row. I do my best not to offer up excuses, but I’m sorry even a large market team, with extreme revenues and a monster farm system couldn’t overcome this kind of loss, and expect to compete for very long.

Now you might be on the side that thinks that most of the players that hit the DL weren’t very good to begin with. To that I’d simply say at least they were big league players already, not AA and AAA unproven green prospects.

Personally I enjoy watching the future play, but what I don’t enjoy is watching them all play at the same time on the big league club with no chance of keeping up with established big leaguers, because they should be in either AA or AAA developing. It’s par for the course to bring up players and give them their proverbial “cup-o-coffee” when rosters expand, or to fill in occasionally while someone is on the DL. Where this goes sideways is when your entire starting roster (essentially) is on the DL, and you have to promote so many guys, just to field a team, that ultimately you end up fielding a minor league club.

I realize the dynamics surrounding this franchise, it’s ownership change, the cause spurring the sale, the ousting of Sandy Alderson, and I have been one of the few outspoken that continue to support the team, while trying not to turn into a Chicken Little crying “the sky is falling”, but it’s hard to keep that stiff upper lip when you’re watching a team continuously getting their teeth kicked in on and off the field. I just hope that Jeff Moorad and Co. have a really good idea of how to fix this without rocking a boat already treading turbulent waters. I hope they realize what a blessing Adrian Gonzalez is to this franchise specifically. What a marketing wet dream he is for San Diego especially, and that he should be the poster child in an attempt to fight tooth and nail for a huge share of the market to the south, thus increasing our market size and overall revenue intake. If they trade this guy (specifically) away, I’m not sure it will matter what comes back in return, because they will have killed any chances of successfully marketing to Mexico, and this franchise might not recover. Adrian Gonzalez is the single best marketing tool we could ever hope for to target Mexican fans, and Mexico overall as a revenue stream, and he’s already here……DON’T SCREW THIS UP !!!

I continue to say this, maybe not enough here however. This team has talent at the big league level it’s just very young and inexperienced. That will change, but it still requires, and for a large part is lacking, direction and leadership. Whether or not that leadership will come from the coaching staff or the players remains to be seen, but something has to happen to change this truly uninspiring brand of baseball we have here now.

Play Ball !!!

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