Rant and Raves from a Displaced Padre Fan

Well, the season is over for the Pads and even though they didn't make the playoffs they sure did make the season exciting. Sure, everyone would have loved to see them playing in Oct. but at least they did have an impact on the Giants not making it. It's nice to see the Dodgers not making it past the first round. The only downside to that is they were the only team from our division, but I can live with them out of it. Now if the Yankees can follow them out.

It will be very interesting to see what transpires this off-season.

Kevin Towers has stated that the core team will stay intact. What that means I'm not sure. There's talk in the papers about Nevin and Klesko making $41.5M over 3 years. Well, let's see… that's about $14M/season or $7M per player. That's about the money Wells is asking for to play next year too.

Would the Pads dump those players and give the money to Wells? I'd hate to see it myself and maybe $7M each for them is too much but they have paid for it in other ways over the last few years, staying around during the slump years. Klesko is coming off a surgery a year ago and I think wasn't healthy a lot of the year.

Nevin? Why would you risk losing a known power bat?

There were reports that his "behavior" has something to do with it. You can call is behavior, I call it passion. His few issues were fairly minor considering he didn't climb into the crowd, he didn't throw a chair into the crowd and he didn't broker a cocaine deal via his cell phone. Keep the passion.

Another issue seems to be related to Nady and where to play him and what to do with him. Bochy (and Nady) have stated he needs and wants to be a daily player. That may be true but when he's been called up he hasn't done much. To me he hasn't proven he can be an everyday player at the major league level. It's a "chicken and egg" problem though. Do you trade away someone to make room for him and then find out he's not an everyday player (or maybe he really is) or do you wait until he proves himself?

I'd stay with Klesko and Nevin and wait to see what happens next year but I'm sure Towers likes Nady's price tag a bit better. Jettisoning one of these guys will bite us later. Keep them and re-sign Wells.

Look at the price tag average for these guys over their stint in a Padre uniform and it may help take the sting out of a few $7M years for them. Yes, the Pad's need another pitcher (even if you keep Wells) but the base rotation is there and I agree with Towers that the core team should stay in tact. Again, the core team must be ok; they kept it together during the trade deadline.

There are a few other places and people that can be dealt, pick up some extra money and then add another power bat in the lineup. Of course, Petco wasn't a homerun type of park but you only play half the games at home so you need the big stick in there. Looks what the Pads did on the road vs. home. Speaking of money and the new stadium, I've been trying to figure out how to measure success for the Padres. One way is too look at the bottom line financials. The other is the win/loss record. Financially, I've got no idea except to look at the revenue stream coming in.

Let's round down and say there were 3 million fans this year. Say they spent $30 each at the game (more if you count merchandising, TV, parking, etc.). That's about $90M. If you add in the television revenue and other items it seems like a good business to be in. It seems like a pretty good return on investment for a team that spent probably $55M on salaries. I'm sure there are some overhead costs but I figure those are offset by the appreciation of the asset.

I guess I'm a financial pessimist. I keep waiting for the balance sheet numbers so the Pads can state they didn't make enough to spend more on salaries.

Look at other factors though and we'll see that the investment paid off. The Pads did reach an all time attendance record, were in the top of the list for MLB baseball attendance (by average) and yet still trying to make ends meet in the $65M range for next year (so there will be an increase in salary)?

I'm also a realist and that number seems pretty fair. It's a business but I still think the fans deserve a continued winner and with Petco now open and with the players the Pads have, next year we'll have another contender. Really, that's all you can ask for. Be competitive and forget the "rebuilding" year jargon, etc., etc.

The foundation is there, just a few tweaks and trades and next year we'll be watching the Padres playing though October!

Looking back at the season there were a lot of highlights. Peavy was awesome. Congratulations. Loretta? What can you say? I'm glad the Pads have him locked up through '06 and he may have been my favorite player overall. I was (generally) happy to catch any games on television because I knew the Padres were always in the game and could win. Maybe next year they'll be on some more ‘Games of the Week', etc. and I'll get to see a few more. When does Spring Training begin?

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