Nothing has happened yet, but all indications are that life is about to get real interesting around these parts. With that in mind, here’s a little something to help you through as we move forward into the unknown…
Q: What the heck is going on with the Padres?
A: Principle owners John and Becky Moores have filed for divorce. Custody of the team will be a part of the proceedings, although as of early October, “no decision regarding the Padres has been made.” Some reports suggest that total payroll could plummet to as low as $40 million in 2009. This may or may not be the result of a desire to make the franchise more palatable to potential buyers.
Q: Why did the Padres pick up Brian Giles’ option?
A: Because he’s real good and he comes at a reasonable price; the team doesn’t have a lot of players who fit that description.
Q: What’s the deal with Trevor Hoffman? Is he leaving?
A: Looks like it. As for what’s going on, it depends on who you ask. Hoffman’s camp has their side of the story, the Padres have theirs. I imagine — as does Melvin Nieves at Sacrifice Bunt — that both contain elements of truth; have fun looking for them.
Q: Where is Jake Peavy going?
A: I don’t know, but it sounds like the Braves and Cubs are primary targets.
Q: What might the Padres get in return for Peavy?
A: They might get just about anything. Rumors are rampant, but the situation is so fluid that it’s hard to know which to heed and which to ignore. I’m operating under the assumption that all publicly available information at this stage is unreliable, so I won’t offer any names. If you’re curious, though, you can always try Google.
Q: When will Peavy be traded?
A: Very soon. Or not soon at all. Less facetiously, most folks seem to expect movement before the Winter Meetings scheduled to be held in Las Vegas December 8 – 11. With my luck, a trade will happen while I’m off the grid in Hawai’i over Thanksgiving and you will have to wait a while for my scintillating analysis.
Q: This sucks.
A: That’s not a question, but yeah.
Q: If the Padres conduct a full-on Fire Sale, will they be really bad in 2009?
A: Possibly, although they were really bad in 2008 without benefit of a Fire Sale, so I’m not sure how much difference a shedding of payroll will make. Then again, I’m not one to use lack of funds as an excuse for not competing. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see the Padres move Peavy and improve their record next year. That apparent incongruity may cause a few heads to explode. Cleanup on Aisle 4.
Q: Should I panic?
A: Only if you think it will help.
Q: Should I abandon the Padres?
A: If you are serious in asking the question, then yes, you probably should leave.
Q: Okay, where should I go?
A: Try the Red Sox. I hear they’ve got a pretty big bandwagon.
Q: Can I come back when the Padres are good again?
A: Sure. We’re easy that way. We’ll give you a little bit of grief, but it’ll pass.
Q: How long should I stay away?
A: Let’s see, the Padres’ last Fire Sale came in ’93. They reached the playoffs in ’96 and the World Series in ’98. So, what’s that, 3-5 years? Of course, this assumes that any potential new owner is as good as Moores was when he rescued the team from Tom Werner and that the current braintrust remains in place. You may have a different crystal ball.
Q: Doesn’t this all piss you off a little?
A: Yeah, the situation stinks and I wish it didn’t exist. But it does, and my opinion has no bearing on its resolution, so I don’t stress. Here’s hoping the folks in charge do as well as Randy Smith did in ’93 and get the team back to the World Series so everyone can jump back on the bandwagon and be happy again.
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That’s the situation right now, but it may change at a moment’s notice. Chasing rumors in the hope of gaining insight is like chasing gnats in the hope of gaining sustenance. It could happen, but I wouldn’t want to count on it.
If you value your sanity and don’t want to be taken for a ride by various media wags who may or may not have a clue, my advice is to keep your head down until the decision makers announce something. Then we’ll have actual news to dissect instead of a giant, steaming load of crap that sells copy and satisfies nobody but the advertisers.