The Peavy Incident

August 2, 2009 – 11:14 pm by Ryan Phillips

jake-peavy

So it finally happened.

We’ve discussed it for months and now Jake Peavy has finally been traded from the San Diego Padres. Those of you who know me well, personally or from reading this site, know my feelings for the Padres front office right now.

Well, don’t worry…don’t worry. I’m not going to do what you all think I’m going to do which is just flip out…that’s enough quoting of “Jerry Maguire” for one post. Just give me a second…

OK, I’ve composed myself.

Trading Jake Peavy was inevitable. But the reason it was inevitable is why this is so messed up. I don’t begrudge Padres GM Kevin Towers, he’s doing his job. I’m angry at both of San Diego’s ownership groups: former owner John Moores and current owner Jeff Moorad. They’re to blame for this miscarriage of justice.

The reason Peavy was packed off to the Chicago White Sox for a quartet of power arms, is because of his contract. The 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner is owed a minimum of $52 million over the next three years. In these economic times a contract like that just doesn’t fit with a medium/small market team like the Padres.

My question to Moores is, if there was even a chance you couldn’t afford Peavy’s deal, why did you sign off on the contract? Why would you put your team, your business in such a horrible position? It’s just a case of bad management. That, coupled with how he handled Trevor Hoffman’s free agency this past winter has forever tarnished his legacy in San Diego.

For Moorad, the head of the slowly transitioning new ownership group, the Peavy situation was a chance to hit a home run with San Diego’s fans. If he had announced from day one that Peavy was off the table and that the team was going to keep him no matter how hard it was on the financial side of things, I guarantee fans would be showing up to the ballpark despite the Padres’ 43-63 record.

San Diego’s fans are willing to accept a losing season and some bumps in the road if we know the team is committed to winning and putting the best players it can get out on the field. But right now that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Right now it looks like the Padres are committed to one thing: saving money. That’s a sad state of affairs for a team with such a great and dedicated fan base and an amazing, publicly-funded, downtown ballpark.

The Peavy Incident hasn’t made me angry, it has made me sad. My team is now no better than a basement dweller forced to sell off its few prized chips for whatever it can get.

While the asshats at ESPN have been slobbering all over themselves about how Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell will surely be moved in the offseason, they’re actually wrong. Now that Peavy’s $15 million salary and Brian Giles will both be off the books next season, there’s no reason to continue the sell off. They were only shopping Bell and Gonzalez because they needed to dump contracts.

It would be idiotic to dump the 27-year-old Gonzalez, a native San Diegan who is making less than $5 million and happens to be one of the best hitters in baseball – not to mention a Gold Glove first baseman. While Bell is currently one of the best values in baseball. He’s easily a top five closer and he’s only making $1.255 million this season.

Look, it sucks being a fan of the San Diego Padres, alright. I love and hate them so much right now I can’t even begin to describe it.

But no matter how much they hurt me or how often they send away the best talent on the roster, they’re still my team. I can’t just abandon them and not look back. We’ve been through way too much together to just let it go because they traded away the franchise’s best homegrown talent since Tony Gwynn.

So good luck to Jake Peavy, I’ll always root for him no matter what. And to my Padres – because even after all of this, they are still my Padres – get your shit together and do it quickly. The fans in San Diego can only take so much disappointment and Norv Turner happens to be coaching the city’s football team.

God save San Diego’s fans.

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  1. 10 Responses to “The Peavy Incident”

  2. Wow, surprisingly lucid and fair to the Padres. I guess waiting a couple days was a good thing. Honestly, I was expecting more of a blow-up, I guess knowing this was coming for several months helps.

    By Pablo on Aug 3, 2009

  3. I mean, I guess it could be worse. You could be a Pirates fan.

    By MJenks on Aug 3, 2009

  4. Great commentary. We’ve suffered through the loss of a fan favorite before, and it will happen again someday. The 1992 All-Star game had 10+ former Padres players. In any case, I’m not motivated to hop on the train and head down to SD for a game.

    By Dr. JwB on Aug 3, 2009

  5. well put…and level-headed indeed. if it makes you feel better, my mets haven’t even traded our best players and still stink. as a season ticket holder, this cover of our commuter paper (amNY) had me giggling this morning. giggling/crying.

    http://amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/some-mets-fans-struggling-to-unload-tickets-1.1344100

    By Cecilio's Scribe on Aug 3, 2009

  6. i think it’s important to separate emotional attachment from pursuit of success. if you look at it on paper: peavy’s hurt and won’t contribute to a losing season anyways. so why not re-stock. one of these guys could be the next peavy. clearly the padres need to pursue the Rays’ model. hopefully, moorad knows what he’s doing! and anyways, it couldn’t be much worse!

    By mark on Aug 3, 2009

  7. It’s because I didn’t write it, Pablo.

    By McD on Aug 3, 2009

  8. As someone who’s been going to Padres games since I was in diapers, and will probably be going to Padres games when I have to wear adult diapers, I think you’ve summed up the feelings of many Friar faithul. The front office sucks right now, and the owners just simply aren’t concerned with winning. The Pads aren’t that far removed from just missing out on their third straight NL West title and now the over/under on losses is in the triple digits. But still, they’re my team and unless they raze the statue of Tony outside of the stadium they’ll always be my team. They White Sox may have just become my favorite AL team though. A healthy Peavy in that rotation would be tough to deal with. Best of luck #44, I hope you know that your fans here are still your fans.

    By Bryan on Aug 3, 2009

  9. The problem with Peavy is that he might really just be a creation of pitching his home games in San Diego (since 2002, he has the 3rd best home ERA but the 22nd best road ERA among pitchers with over 400 IP). Combine that with his horrendous postseason record (just 3 starts but he’s been terrible in all three) and maybe Peavy really isn’t worth $16m a year.

    By Tom on Aug 3, 2009

  10. McD – maybe you need dueling posts?

    To everyone else – I hope this isn’t rude, but is every single Padre fan reading and commenting on this site? Cause if not, we can’t be missing more than a few…

    By Pablo on Aug 3, 2009

  11. “If he had announced from day one that Peavy was off the table and that the team was going to keep him no matter how hard it was on the financial side of things, I guarantee fans would be showing up to the ballpark despite the Padres’ 43-63 record.”

    I don’t know….our fans are pretty shitty. Have you ever looked in the stands at a game in Petco? You’d really have no idea it was in San Diego.

    The FO erred by saying that they HAD to trade Jake. This admission drove down their bargaining power. Anyways, I’ll still wear my #44 throwback.

    Good to see there are other passionate Padre fans out there.

    By Avenging Jack Murphy on Aug 4, 2009

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