Rant and Raves from a Displaced Padre Fan

Now that the Chargers' season is over we can start to focus on San Diego's other team. While watching the Chargers lose in OT, everyone has to remember that it's better to make it to the playoffs rather than watch it from home. This is something for the Padres to focus on for 2005. Remember the end of season last year and the Pads? They were watching from home unfortunately. Let's hope that this year is different but…

There's not much that has really happened over the last few months in my mind. It's almost like Christmas lights and decorations going up before Thanksgiving. Did you see Valentine's Day cards, etc. appearing before Christmas was over? I was really hoping for some big Christmas news from the Padres but maybe it'll come before Valentine's Day.

A lot of talk about signings by New York, Boston, Chicago, etc. but the Padres are sitting back and waiting and see what Valentine's Day might bring to them. Certainly, Finley doesn't seem to be a kiss on face of the Padre fans. The signing of Seanez and Reyes didn't really fulfill my Valentine list that I sent to Saint Valentine this year and hopefully management isn't really counting on these two signings to get us where we'd like to be next year.

Seanez had some respectable numbers over the last year but with a life-time ERA of over four, he's a gap-filler. Reyes is a left hander in an otherwise rotation of right handers so that alone may keep him on the club, but his life-time ERA is over 4.75. Maybe the Padres can work their magic with these two and get lucky but with only a one-year contract. I think they are protecting themselves. Seanez could make almost a $1M in 2005 (with incentives) and Reyes reportedly will get $550k. Between the two, the Padres will spend $1.5M. I figure that if the Padres had added that to the Wells deal it would have made the difference.

The other left-handed pitcher the Pads picked up (via trade) was Randy Williams. He appears to have some upside potential with a good strike out ratio in Triple-A in Tacoma and did well in the Majors after a bad initial start in three games.

I'm glad to see Woody Williams back and he'll help remove the arrow Wells shot at us and Chris Hammond, another lefty, seems like another nice pick up but I still feel the Pads are filling gaps and playing the bargain deal with these one-year contracts ala Wells. If the player has a comeback year then they'll try to sign them to a longer contract but get a one-year bargain. Maybe that makes sound financial sense especially since most the pitchers seem to have experienced many Valentine Days.

Other items of interest will be the fall-out with the BALCO "special" on 20/20 a few months ago. I'm sure there will be some high profile players other than Giambi admitting now that they used performance enhancing drugs despite claiming they never took anything. Time will tell but I'm sure we'll all keep an eye on this.

How will Major League Baseball react? They seem to have a different philosophy in my book on this whole subject compared to other sports. Have you seen what happens in Bicycling? You use, you lose. You're off the team or worse.

In one of the articles I wrote last year, I thought the Yankees would spend in excess of $200M this next year. Looks like that prediction (I admit this was not some great insight) will come true. This only adds to the widespread hatred of this team outside of New York. Something has to change in the league with regards to spending money and working a bit on parity. It doesn't help the game that all the money is spent in the Northeast with no regard to the other 80 percent of the teams in the league. I don't want to hear about taxes and distribution of those dollars to other teams. I want some type of level playing field and see some distribution of players. Yes, I like the way football does it. If your team is mediocre one year, at least you know that next year truly could be different. The rampant spending for players by those teams almost leaves as bad a taste in your mouth as one of those little heart shaped candies with the writing on them.

Well, enough ranting and raving. Congratulations to the Chargers. You made the playoffs and while it was heart breaking to see you lose (just like my elementary grade love LaRay Lanning captured my heart many years ago) it was fun while it lasted. By the way - if anyone knows where LaRay is now, let me know! Carver Elementary, class of 1971.

Kevin can be reached at: kevin_mcintyre@yahoo.com

MadFriars Top Stories