When the Problem Is Everything

“What’s the fish today?” he asks. Call him Joel. We’re in the dining car, south of San Luis Obispo.

The Padres fired their GM, Josh Byrnes, a few weeks ago. The new owners inherited Byrnes from the old owners, who never actually owned the team. Ergo, adios.

“Tilapia,” says the attendant. Joel orders the steak, as does his wife.

The team hasn’t found a new GM yet. That hasn’t stopped anyone from cleaning house.

“Ti-LA-pia!” Joel chews the word, spits it on the table, like Lasorda saying “Be-VA-cqua!”

All-Star closer Huston Street got shipped north to Anaheim for four of the worst farm system’s best prospects. One or two might pan out in an Alexi Amarista/Dale Thayer kind of way.

People spit the word “PA-dres” in similar disgust, and who can blame them? Losing tastes awful. So does the directionless dismantling of a team stuck in free fall since notching 90 wins four years ago.

Chase Headley, the franchise leader in games played at third base, went to the Yankees for Quad-A infielder Yangervis Solarte and hard-throwing Class-A right-hander Rafael DePaula.

Tearing stuff apart is easy, even without a GM. Putting it back together is hard.

I’m sure the Padres got what they could for the remaining two months of Headley’s contract. I’m also sure that paying the largest-of-large-market Yankees $1 million to take him off their hands isn’t how it’s supposed to work.

The owners will find someone to do the job of rebuilding this franchise, because someone is always looking for work. But will it be done well? And how long will it take?

The stupid part is that Solarte has outhit Headley this year. Worse, Headley led the Padres with 32 RBI. The Rockies have seven players with more. So do the Indians, Tigers, Royals, and Brewers.

Joel’s wife flags down our attendant. She doesn’t like her steak.

“What seems to be the problem?”

“Everything!”

Everything? There’s no solution to that. Next time get the fish.

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  • LynchMob

    Who might be the next GM? Pro’s & Con’s of the candidates? Are the Padres working a good process to find the right GM? If they are not, then truely “everything” is a problem now and will be for the foreseeable future. But if the org is doing good work to find the right GM, then things can and will be better … that’s what the fan in me is rooting for.

    re: I’m also sure that paying the largest-of-large-market Yankees $1 million to take him off their hands isn’t how it’s supposed to work … this is the one point I disagree with. Didn’t the Padres come out $3 million ahead in the deal? I’m all in favor of them saving $3M any time they want to … on the assumption that that $3M can/will be used if/when they ever get into a position where spending an extra $3M might make the difference between making the post-season and not. Is that too “looking at the Padres thru rose colored glasses”? Perhaps … but I’ve been a fan far too long to look otherwise. Put me in a position that matters and perhaps I’ll do otherwise … but for now, I’m just a fan … and I will be a fan tomorrow … and beyond.

    Thanks, GY!

    • voxratio

      The process looks excellent, except for the problem of not having a GM in place to accomplish the trades. Preller, Ng, Hazen and Eppler all appear on the surface to be extremely qualified, and none of them would be retreads. My heart says Ng, my head says Preller, my “oh crap Mike Dee is involved” liver says Hazen, and my “this is the Padres” gut says Eppler because of his local ties.

    • Geoff Young

      I have no idea about the next GM or the process.The candidates seem worthy, which is encouraging.

      As for the Padres giving the Yankees $1 million, that will always be hilarious.

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  • Len Gutman

    I’m truly depressed about the state of our Padres. I knew this spring that they weren’t going to hit this year, so I’m not at all surprised by their lackluster season. But what I had hoped for in these past few weeks was that they might find a way to lure a few decent bats to town by selling some big league talent. The Headley deal was tit for tat. The Street deal left me with a bland taste in my mouth. With just a few days left before the deadline I’m not hearing anything promising about moving Ian Kennedy or anyone else.

    This team has no plan, especially given the obvious that we also lack a GM. But even still, the long term prospects aren’t good either. For half a decade now the team hasn’t been able to hit and I don’t buy the Petco thing as there are plenty of teams that play in pitcher’s parks that can score runs. The ONLY player on our current roster that can hit the ball with any power and regularity is Gyorko.

    What is the plan? When are we going to see some bats at the major league level? Will next year’s starting nine include Rymer Liriano, Austin Hedges and Hunter Renfroe, or are we going to go into another season with the same old losers like Maybin, Venable, Denorfia, Alonso and the rest?

    I look around the league and I see other teams getting better. The Houston Astros will be contenders before we will!