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.