“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.
I have to tell you. The #padres have lost the fans, including me this season. Time to CLEAN HOUSE!
— Beau Gray (@beautown) June 13, 2014
Kind of want the #Padres to bring back Nevin and Towers so I can finally abandon this sinking ship without hating myself.
— John Gennaro (@John_Gennaro) June 12, 2014
This team just isn't very good. I've stopped even being mad because it's not worth it. Why care when our owners don't? #Padres
— Colleen Peters (@colleen_teresa) June 8, 2014
The @Padres have created an enormous state of apathy with its fans by producing the most boring brand of baseball imaginable.
— Ian Holmes (@iHolmes_8) June 12, 2014
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.