It’s everybody’s favorite time of year – Hall of Fame voting season! Every year, we gnash our teeth and argue in circles over mostly stupid things. The most recent trend seems to center on excluding players who played during the “Steroid Era” (but not those who we perceive as being clean, because you can just tell…you know?), which completely avoids context and usually devolves into general shouting at clouds. And then there’s Curt Schilling, who deserves to be in, but is an all-around awful/racist/xenophobic human being…which was probably enough to keep him out (for now), but several writers have finally decided he was bad because he posted a picture a shirt implying journalists should be hanged. Which is awful, but that was the tipping point? Anyway, enough garbage – we’re here to talk about Trevor Hoffman’s candidacy.
In case you weren’t paying attention, a General Manager was suspended 30 days by Major League Baseball, and it wasn’t Dave Stewart for taking over an on-the-rise Diamondbacks team and running them into the ground. Ineptness is generally fine with Major League Baseball. Were it not, our beloved Padres would have been forced to fold a long time ago.
No, it was our own AJ Preller, suspended for the 2nd time as an employee of a baseball franchise, this time for failing to disclose required medical information when trading all-star starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox for top prospect Anderson Espinoza.
It’s a really crazy situation. According to multiple reports, Preller, whose suspension begins today, pissed off just about everyone he made a trade with this year. It went so far that the Padres had to take back Colin Rea from the Marlins after he partially tore his UCL ligament in his first start after being traded, with the Padres having to send intriguing prospect Luis Castillo back to the Marlins to make things right.
The White Sox were also upset with the medical information disclosed during the James Shields trade, but despite the tire fire he’s been in their uniform, they sought no compensation and did not formally complain to the league about the trade. They’re stuck with him, but the Padres are paying most of his salary already, and Erik Johnson, the guy they sent back in the trade, almost instantly evaporated into the ether never to be seen again. Maybe he’s pitching for the Padres in the Upside Down.
It seems only the Red Sox tattled to the league like the whiny babies they are, which led to the investigation into the Padres record-keeping, which led to the 30 day suspension, which has now led to a variety of hot takes from Padres fans and from around the baseball world.
Back on the deceased, original version of The Vocal Minority, I posted in response to the rumors that the Padres finally had settled on (or were soon to settle on) new ownership. The idea was, after the disaster that had been the Moores divorce/Jeff Moorad/post-divorce Moores debacle(s), that Padres ownership needed to make a clean break and start fresh. It’s been 4 years and 10 days since “The Suggestion Box” went up, and #FireMikeDee day seems like a good time to take a look and see how the O’Malley/Seidler/Fowler group and their CEO Mike Dee have done with what I consider to be the most important parts.
You may or may not have noticed the absurd amount of content from multiple Padres blogs calling for the firing of team president Mike Dee. If not then take a few moments to read them over here. Go on, I’ll wait. Still not done? Jesus, man. Fine, Mike Dee is trash and should be fired, is the basic gist.
Have you ever bought a tank? I never have. I’ve never had reason to need one, but even someone tried to convince me it was the ultimate survival tool, or if I just thought it was the premier vanity item, I still don’t see how I would want to buy a tank.
Mike Dee is a tank salesman. He didn’t really mean to end up one, as I’m sure as he set his plans in motion for the season he was not contemplating being one. Yet here he is, selling what he built. His team is a bottom dweller and it is sinking fast. He now has to sell what he unwittingly created; a tank.
He planned on selling a contender. It’s all his team hawked in the pre-season. The Padres have the All Star Game this summer. Surely people will buy season tickets in droves to have the opportunity to finally see an All Star Game at PETCO. He must have planned to have a decent product to sell and combine the decent product with the lure of an ASG package and figured sales should soar. The fly in the ointment turned out to be a big fly. Like horse fly size. Like tank fly size.
Mike Dee needs to go away.
There, I said it.
In the three years Mike Dee has been the president of the Padres, the amount of public relations screw-ups, oopsies, and outright disasters have far outweighed any good that may have come during his tenure.
From forcing general managers to waste draft picks on alcoholic football players, to naming a part of Petco Park after a reviled figure in baseball, to just straight up screwing the pooch when it comes to fans complaints, Dee’s reign at the top is marked by failure.
Mike Dee needs to be fired.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Ghost of Ray Kroc
Statement Regarding Ron Fowler’s Comments of
June 1, 2016
In response to the growing number of jokes being thrown around about Ron Fowler’s rant being a modern day equivalent of The Announcement, the Ghost of Ray Kroc has released the following statement for the press and public.
The San Diego Padres replaced their retired numbers display on top of their batter’s eye with an advertisement. That in itself says a lot, but let’s be fair and think a little more.
The Tom Garfinkel regime added other large smatterings of advertisements to Petco Park in the form of a giant golf club and paint can, among others. More recently, Ron Fowler and Mike Dee have taken ads in Petco Park to another level. Seemingly everything not nailed down has a corporate sponsor attached, including an almost impressive ability to create new places to display ads, including a large freestanding National University sign in left-centerfield and a Sycuan banner hanging above another ad on the light tower in right field.
Fans were especially vocal about the National University sign, but the increased corporate presence was followed by real change to the team’s finances. I asked CEO Mike Dee about the ad revenue at the 2014 Padres Social Summit, and he said that money would go back into the team. Indeed it appeared to, because after the National University and other signs debuted in 2014, the Padres raised payroll significantly.
And while payroll dropped in 2016, we’re expecting a large shopping spree in international free agency this year, and it makes perfect sense to lump that spending to MLB payroll as every team faces choices about where to allocate their budget. I’m sure if Dee or the Padres responded to fan complaints, they would point out the increase in spending as the reason for the ads, and point to the benefits fans have seen.
“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”
Spring Training is upon us once again. A time for optimism. A time for learning. A time for critiquing.
The Padres front office has recently been doing interviews where Mike Dee, Ron Fowler, and Peter Seidler all declare their belief in being big believers in belief, despite all apparent evidence to the contrary.
In other words, they have Great Expectations for this season.
What follows is my Padres brain dump for this spring, using select quotes from Charles Dickens’ classic novel, Great Expectations.