Padres, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down

“It’s a disease. Nobody thinks or feels or cares any more; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God damn mediocrity.

– Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road 

The Padres have lost 4 games in a row, which, in and of itself, isn’t newsworthy. It’s relatively mundane actually. The Padres are 3-7 in their last 10. Again, not great but nothing to stop the presses over.

No, the Padres issue isn’t the losing anymore. At least not the losing on the field. It’s the loss they are beginning to experience in the stands and in living rooms where Padres fans reside.

It’s apathy. And it’s a disease. A disease that the Padres have brought upon themselves and a disease that only the Padres can cure.

This is a random sampling from simply searching the term “Padres” on Twitter. This is becoming the issue facing the Padres. Because for a time the fans were angry. Angry at the roster building, bringing back the same 76-win team as the previous two years. Angry at the play on the field, which has been poor to say the least. Angry at the in-game management and the never-ending bunts with the team’s “best” hitters. Now, some of this anger was misguided or an overreaction. Some of it was genuine.

But at least people were angry. At least that was an emotion. The Padres have scored 14 runs in the month of June. 14 runs in 12 days. That’s barely better than 1 a day. In the midst of that, the Padres drafted Johnny Manziel as an obvious PR move. Personally, I didn’t have an issue with it but I understand why some did. And it did little to keep the angry masses at bay. But again, at least then it was an emotion. This? This apathy? This is worse. So much worse.

I’ve been a Padres fan for as long as my memory goes back. Beyond my parents, the Padres are the longest lasting relationship I’ve ever had in my life. But these days I’ve found it hard to muster up much of an emotion. Perhaps I’m numb to the losing. I don’t know. Though it’s not just the losing. It’s the WAY they lose. Defeated before they step on the field. Offense so lackluster that even a 2-run deficit feels astronomical.

For what it’s worth, it’s not the players I necessarily blame. I hate when you see people complaining how the team “doesn’t care” or “has no emotion.” These are professionals. I have no doubt they are out there giving their best effort. For whatever reason, those efforts are not translating into success on the field.

The team is predicted to win 76 games again this season. This feels worse somehow. In years past, sure the team was losing but the rebuilding process was still ongoing, or injuries, or whatever. But this was to be the year that the fruits of that rebuilding began to bloom. So far, that has not been anywhere close to the case.

The first sign of real emotion and knowledge of the situation came yesterday from Mike Dee, when he called into the Darren Smith Show. 

“This is unexpected, to be 10 games under 500 and to be now at the bottom of the division is unacceptable and I’m profoundly disappointed about how things are going.  Gotta get it right.  We’re gonna get it right.  But it is not where we thought we would be for sure.”

Whether wholesale changes are warranted is no longer the issue. Wholesale changes are necessary as a sign of faith or, at worst, a sign that someone, somewhere is awake and sees what is happening. Mike Dee seems to understand that.

“Stay tuned, if it doesn’t turn around, we’ll have to make some changes.”

Angry fans will still tune in. Apathetic fans will simply tune out.

Apologies for the somewhat rambling post. These are the dark times folks. But better days are ahead. Right? Right? Please God tell me better days are ahead…

Comment below or Tweet me @LeftCoastBias.

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  • Robby Deming

    I agree with all of this. I’m a lifetime Padres fan but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find the motivation to turn the games on. MLB.TV is probably lucky I paid for the season up front, because I honestly don’t know how I’d feel throwing down $25+ a month to watch this team flop around.

    Two weeks ago, I was thinking Byrnes should stay and was ambivalent about Buddy. Now, I just want something, anything different to show me that ownerships gives a shit. But when you factor in some of the unforced PR errors of the ownership (Headley contract last year, PA change, letting Masur go, not caring about the brown), I don’t have a whole lot of hope.

    I thought I was just having a hard time getting into the season because the Ducks were in the NHL playoffs for a while. But they’ve been out for a few weeks and I still don’t much care.

    Ownership needs to do something symbolic, of else they risk blowing any good will they had by replacing Moores and Moorad.

  • SDPads1

    I’m going to take a page from the Ghost and post this:

    • Bastard. That was going to be the excerpt for the House Flight.

  • ballybunion

    Yup, it’s a disease, and it’s spread to all the hitters. Now they’re ALL taking fastballs over the plate and swinging at off-speed pitches off the strike zone. They’re supposed to be doing just the opposite. Now even Everth Cabrera, who was so good last year at fouling off borderline pitches, is taking them for called strikes. It would also be nice if they knew enough to shorten their back swings and concentrate on making contact with two strikes, instead of swinging for the fences. Too bad there’s no dominant personality on the team to set the tone in the clubhouse with a kangaroo court, like Don Baylor did.

  • GoldenBoy

    The Padres offense has failed miserably in not being able to capitalize on any mistakes, and not having the slightest idea of how to hit low & outside pitches. Especially as of late, the opposing pitchers have been attacking the Pads low & outside and our hitters continue to try to pull the ball.

    Pulling the ball in this situation is expected when a team is pressing, but this team has been pressing all season. I also think they’re victims of overthinking everything. This is part of the blame that is placed on Bud Black. The Padres hitters have been working very hard all season long, but they’ve probably been working too hard. The coaching staff is overloading them with information. This is obviously happening & everybody is crippled by their own overthinking.

    And to be honest, I’ve been even more disappointed with the front office. The idea that a bunch of cheap gimmicks & lame p.r. moves are gonna get anyone excited about the Padres just makes me embarrassed to be associated with this team. I absolutely adore the Padres, but all of these stupid p.r. moves really get me down. The Padres brass need to foster a more fun, rowdy fan experience. These supremely bland uniforms are just asking the fans to be complacent about the team.