Except when it doesn’t.
So, Huston Street and Tyson Ross are your San Diego Padres 2014 All-Stars, although Ross will not play having started on Sunday. Street was named to replace Ross on the active All-Star roster.
The Padres wanted us to write-in Seth Smith on our All-Star ballots this year. Because his name wasn’t on the ballot and everyone else sucked.
Last week, I explored possible replacements for Ross on the All-Star roster this year. Seeing as how Smith was
denied not chosen, that got me thinking: When was the last time a position player from the Padres started an All-Star game?
The last time a position player actually started the All-Star Game was 1998 at Coors Field in Denver, when Tony Gwynn was voted in by the fans. Andy Ashby, Kevin Brown, Trevor Hoffman, and Greg Vaughn joined Gwynn as All-Star reserves.
1998? That long ago? Have the Padres really sucked that bad? Well, yes and no. Part of the problem with having the fans vote is players that get national attention tend to get the most votes. And the Padres have rarely gotten national attention since 1998. Not for anything positive, that is.
Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, just that’s the way it is.
So, what happened between 1998 and today? How many players have been All-Stars since?
In a Saturday morning article, Time for the Padres to get bold, the U-T San Diego’s Matt Calkins advocated surrendering the farm system’s pitching depth for an impact bat. Calkins’ suggestions centered around the addition of either Giancarlo Stanton or Mark Trumbo, “the Angel with a lifetime OPS of .768 over four seasons.”
These players have been mentioned before during this off-season and rather than rehashing the pros and cons of adding their bats right now I would rather focus on Calkins’ idea about how the Padres should compete with today’s behemoths of the game:
The Padres aren’t anywhere close to a team like the Dodgers, Red Sox, or Yankees, who can bulldoze their way to the postseason with sheer force. They, however are one that can pirouette their way in with some good fortune and a critical extra piece.
Now’s the time to get that piece. Now’s the time for the index finger to stop wagging “no” and instead pull the trigger.
This is an interesting approach and it begs the question: When is the right time for a team like the Padres (i.e. limited resources and less margin for error) to push all in and go for it?
Last night, Andrew Cashner pitched a complete game, 9-inning shutout while facing the minimum 27 batters. Cashner is the first pitcher in Padres history to complete the feat, which immediately put Padres fans and media on notice. Was this the greatest start in Padres history? That’s a question surely to get a lot of subjective response, but there is a statistical measure that can also help guide us. We’re going to take a look at the numbers, throw in some subjective analysis, and take a get a glimpse into the greatest starts in Padres history.
Cashner dressing the deer last night (artist’s rendering)
Tonight, the San Diego Padres will play host to the NL West division leading Arizona Diamondbacks with the chance to make seriously progress in making up their 5 game deficit. The Padres will also be honoring the 1998 National League Championship team. Players from that 1998 team will be present at the game signing autographs and NLCS MVP Sterling Hitchcock will throw out the first pitch. The Padres will be wearing the now retro 1998 uniforms and I imagine quite a few highlights will be shown between innings. So, for today’s post I thought we’d reminisce a bit about the 1998 club in preparation for tonight’s festivities.
First things first. 1998 is considered retro now? I’m not sure I’m ready to live in a world where that’s true but the facts are tough to disputed. Somehow it’s been 15 years since that 1998 season though for some reason I still consider the early ’90s to be 10 years ago. 1998 saw “Shakespeare in Love” somehow beat out “Saving Private Ryan” for Best Picture, saw “My Heart Will Go On” and “The Boy Is Mine” rule the airwaves and “Seinfeld” and “ER” be the highest rated television shows on the air.
This is where we gather from time to time to talk about something big in the Padres world or just the Padres or just baseball. It’s a roundtable discussion. Except, you know, no round tables. This is a Public House…so we’re at the bar.
*All opinions are of those who are attributed to them. No opinion here should be construed to be that of the collective.
Padres Trail wrote an excellent post a couple of weeks ago regarding the most seminal Padres moment. His choice, a fine one, was Game 3 of the 1996 NLDS. If you haven’t read his post already, go check it out here.
This topic got a lot of us thinking “what are our seminal Padres moments?” It’s a somewhat complicated topic for a team with 0 World Series titles and only 2 appearances. But seminal doesn’t necessarily mean “great.” They are moments, for better or worse, that stay with you. An easy way to test what moments these would be for you? They are the first moments that come to mind when you think “Padres.”
Here, we’ve limited ourselves to picking 3 moments in total. Some good, some bad, all memorable.
So, presented for this week’s roundtable discussion, The Bar presents “Seminal Padres Moments.”