Thanksgiving, still my favorite holiday of the year.

Also, the time of year where everyone’s “[XX] Reasons For [insert team name] Fans To Be Thankful” pieces come out. And I do mean EVERYONE’S.

Two years ago I wrote about the things I was thankful for as it relates to the Padres. I thought it would be fun to go back and look at how those things worked out then give a new reason to be thankful.

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mikedeeMike 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.

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Why is this happening? Is this gonna be forever?

After being snubbed by both Pablo Sandoval (BOS) and Yasmany Tomas (ARI) the Padres offseason looked to be just more of the same — overpromising and under-delivering — by the time the Winter Meetings started.

It was even reported that the new GM A.J. Preller’s laptop was broken right before the meetings started.  Out came the “Padres are too cheap to even replace a computer” jokes.

Padres’ fans started to show their frustration.  We all knew what this team needed to do, but it seemed that Preller was just like the old GM.  Refusing to drink the iced coffee instead of trying to upgrade the roster with quality players.

It was beginning to look like an almost exact repeat of the previous two offseasons, with only Brandon Morrow and Clint Barmes added as free agents for “roster depth.”

Clint Barmes

Padres sign IF Clint Barmes to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with a club option ($2 million or $200k buyout) for 2016

C’mon.  After Everth Cabrera was DFA, you didn’t really think the Padres were going to put all their faith in Alexi Amarista at shortstop, did you?  Although. Barmes is basically Amarista without the outfield experience.  He was basically signed for infield backup and as a veteran presence.

Why Clint Barmes?

Brandon Morrow

Padres sign RHP Brandon Morrow to a one-year, $2.5 million deal (with incentives)

Tim Stauffer Part Deaux, is what it boils down to.  Doesn’t cost much and if he doesn’t crack the rotation he’ll be the long reliever, most likely.

Brandon Morrow looking to make comeback with Padres

Then, the last day of the Winter Meetings happened.  And that all changed.  Big time.

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More Than A Day
By Karl Fuchs

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we’re poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We’re wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you’ve got;
Realize it’s a lot,
And you’ll make all your cares go away.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year.  Last year, we gathered at The Bar to share a little of what we were thankful for.

This year I decided to do my own, mostly because I didn’t think of it in time to ask everyone else.

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On Sunday night, news broke out of the Domincan Republic that Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, along with his girlfriend Edilio Arvelo, had passed away in a car accident. I was hoping that it wasn’t true — probably like many of you — that it was one of those rumors somehow spread via social media that turns out to be a vicious hoax or some type of misunderstanding. As you certainly know by now, the story was confirmed and reported by Ken Rosenthal during the World Series, serving as a somber reminder that sometimes the escape that we call sports doesn’t always comply with our wishes. Taveras, a consensus top-three prospect over the last few years, was just 22 years old (his girlfriend 18) and had his whole career — and more so, his whole life — ahead of him. It’s a tragic, jarring loss, even though similar accidents and untimely deaths happen countless times each day. The fact that we’re part of a community — baseball fans in general and/or prospect hounds more specifically — in which Taveras played a prominent role makes his loss stand out, triggering all of those age old questions about life, and death, and things we don’t understand. Condolences to the family and friends of both Taveras and Arvelo, along with the entire Cardinals organization.   

Now, on a much lighter note, let’s discuss some news and notes in and around Padres land.

Joe Maddon speculation … commence!

Our continued focus on moves that might affect the Padres indirectly — like Andrew Friedman going to LA and the D’Backs front office shake-up — shifts to discussing Joe Maddon’s abrupt departure as Tampa Bay Rays manager. Maddon, who had amassed a .517 winning percentage and an America League pennant in nine years with the Rays, exercised an opt-out in his contract on Saturday that allowed him to walk away from his deal if Andrew Friedman left the Rays.

The immediate speculation was that Maddon, one of the game’s most respected managers, would take over as skipper for the Dodgers, reuniting with Friedman in LA and ousting Don Mattingly. Mattingly, despite two straight 90-win seasons, is firmly entrenched on the managerial wobbly chair with an early playoff exit in 2014 and an ongoing power struggle with right fielder Yasiel Puig. That narrative took a bit of a turn when Friedman issued this statement on Saturday:

As I said last week, Joe and I enjoyed a tremendous relationship working together in Tampa Bay, and I wish him nothing but the best, wherever his next stop will be. However, nothing has changed on our end. Don Mattingly will be our manager next season and hopefully for a long time to come.

With Maddon now essentially a free agent manager and the big spending Dodgers apparently out of the mix (at least for this year), you’ve got to ask yourself: why couldn’t Maddon’s next destination be San Diego?

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Oh, A.J. Preller…is there anything you won’t do to make San Diego fall in love with you? Although we have yet to see what the Padres general manager can do in the free agent or trade markets, one thing is becoming more and more apparent…the guy knows how to surround himself with good people. Last Thursday, Preller lured current director of player development Sam Geaney away from the Oakland Athletics. Today, the Padres website announced the hiring of former Los Angeles Dodgers scouting director Logan White. According to the LA Times, White is rumored to be named senior advisor to the general manager, as well as director of pro scouting.

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I call it a “Partially Gelatinated Non-Dairy Gum-Based Beverage”

It’s been a while since I wrote anything that wasn’t a While You Were Drinking or a news item.  And let’s be honest.  There’s only so many ways someone can say “this team sucks” and not come off as a total prick.  But make no mistake, this Padres team definitely sucked this year.

Yeah, sure, they finished with more wins than any of the previous three seasons.  By one.  One win.  I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass and tell you how the Padres have exceeded expectations after their horrific offensive start.  Sorry if you think I will.

Despite what some people may think they know about my opinions of other Padres’ fans, I believe the majority of fans are smarter than given credit for.  And that you all deserve straight talk, not bulls**t.

I’ve been writing bits and pieces of this over the course of the last couple weeks.  It’s very stream of consciousness, so it’s all over the place.  I don’t even know if it’s readable for anyone who’s not me.  But, there you go.  You’ve been warned.

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Earlier today, Corey Brock posted a piece over at Padres.com highlighting some players who may benefit from a late surge in 2014. While Tommy Medica seems destined to maintain at least a bench role, and Everth Cabrera might well see himself given another shot beyond 2014, it’s probably time to give Yonder Alonso a thank you, hand shake, and a pen set as a parting gift.

yonderbubble

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It’s late afternoon on Monday, August 4th, and the Padres have not yet selected their new GM, the man or woman they shall choose to lead us away from the Josh Byrnes tire fire and into the next tire fire an era of sustained success. We hear that it should happen this week, and some thought it might happen today, but no such luck, and all we’re left with is stale rumors.

I have no idea or inside information on who shall be chosen, and this post will contain no links to sources, because it’s all just rumor and speculation anyway, and if there was any actual information to post I wouldn’t be writing this speculative post. I do have some thoughts on who it might or might not be, though, and here they are, in no particular order:

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Living in Cleveland since 2006, I’ve been casually following the local NBA team, the Cavaliers, since my arrival. First, we had Lebron, and it was pretty cool. Then, all of a sudden, we had no Lebron, which wasn’t fun. Now we have Lebron again! It’s wild.

Wilder still, although the Cavs had the 9th worst record in the NBA last year, through the magic of the NBA draft lottery, they defied the odds and landed the 1st pick in this year’s draft. In the NBA, any team that doesn’t make the playoffs has a chance to win the #1 overall pick, and the Cavs lucked out, despite having less than a 2% chance of winning the lottery.

In MLB, there is no lottery, but there’s something almost as important. Teams who finish with the 10 worst records have their 1st round draft picks protected in the following year’s draft. That means those teams can sign a free agent who has received a qualifying offer from their current team without losing their first round draft pick. They’ll still forfeit a draft pick, but it will be a much less valuable 2nd round pick.

How much less valuable is a 2nd round pick? This year, the Padres paid their 1st round pick, Trea Turner, and over-slot bonus of $2.9 million. They also gave their 2nd round pick, Michael Gettys, an over-slot bonus, but of just $1.3 million. The gap only widens as you near the top of the draft, as top 10 picks in this year’s draft received bonuses up to $6.582 million, while no 2nd rounder got more than $1.8 million, and the highest slot value in the 2nd round was only $1.35 million.

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