Padres and Eugene agree on four more years

The San Diego Padres completed the trifecta when the reached an agreement with the Eugene Emeralds on a four year deal for the Emeralds to remain a short-season Low-A affiliate of the Friars, through the 2008 season.

Despite a poor product on the field in 2004, the Emeralds enjoy their relationship with the Padres. They also draw extremely well for a franchise that is setting record lows.

"The fans out here are pretty amazing," pitcher Clayton Hamilton said. "We are not doing to well but they seem to come out to the park every night. They must love baseball. That is pretty neat."

"I was not interested in change, I think this year was an anomaly," Eugene president and general manager Bob Beban said. "Our relationship is terrific, and the reasons we came in with them in the first place four years ago are the same today as then. I love dealing with the Padres."

Eugene has the worst record in the Northwest League at 20-46, but the Emeralds finished with a winning record during each of the past two seasons.

The Emeralds rank third in the league with an average crowd of 3,211 and will go over the 100,000 mark in attendance for the 20th consecutive season when they return home to face Salem-Keizer on Saturday.

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