Was there a bigger disappointment in MLB 2021 than the San Diego Padres?

Apologies to my subscribers. I don’t normally publish two posts in one day, but some issues can’t wait.

This past Spring, I was really looking forward to the start of the MLB season. My San Diego Padres had had an excellent COVID-shortened 2020 season, going 37-23 (.617) and winning the NL Wild Card Series against the Cardinals, only to fizzle against the Dodgers in the NLDS due to pitching woes. In the offseason, the Pads picked up pitching aces, Matt Snell and Yu Darvish, to shore up the staff.

The Padres started this season extremely well. Their 34-19 (.642) record at the May 29th mark was the best in the entire MLB. Let that sink in. With one-third of the season under their belt, the Padres were king of the MLB hill. At the All-Star break, the Padres had slipped a bit to 53-40 (.570), but no one was hitting the panic button.

However, after the All-Star break, the Padres descended into a death spiral of draconian proportions, winning only 25 of their last 68 games. Things were especially bleak the last 28 games played in September-October with the Padres winning just 7 of those contests. Here’s a sobering stat: after August 10th, not one of the other 29 MLB teams compiled more losses than the 13-34 Friars. Not the Orioles. Not the Diamondbacks. Nobody. Such a catastrophic collapse points to one thing: although they would deny it, the players collectively gave up. The Padres finished with a final record of 79-83 (.488), third in the NL West. No one, and I mean not one soul on the planet had figured the Padres would finish below .500 at the start of the season.

Much of the Padres’ troubles were due to pitching, with both injuries and ineffectiveness plaguing the staff. Team ERA for the overall season was 4.10 (#8 NL), but post-ASG was 5.04 (#11 NL). Joe Musgrove (3.18) was the only starter with an ERA under 4.0. Snell and Darvish were both disappointing.

Good managers find a way to win. When a roster this talented completely self-destructs, as the Padres did, a good portion of the blame must go to the skipper, Jayce Tingler. There’s a very good chance he will be fired shortly after this is published. But what about GM A.J. Preller? Doesn’t he share some of the blame for selecting a wide-eyed guy to fill the manager role who had zero managerial experience.

There’s a good chance 22YO Fernando Tatis Jr. will win NL MVP, a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season. The Padres have a good foundation for 2022. Let’s hope they hire a manager who has the wherewithal to lead the talented roster to the postseason.

14 thoughts on “Was there a bigger disappointment in MLB 2021 than the San Diego Padres?

  1. one of the biggest disappointments in recent baseball I think. I think the turning point was a couple months ago when reports were they were getting Mad Max- and he ended up a Dodger. They did have disappointing results from pitchers- and injuries to pitchers- and whatever became of McKenzie Gore- the great pitching prospect? When you are reaching and sign a washed up Jake Arrietta- things have gone south- heads will roll- and the GM’s head should be one of them. I would also suggest the next manager be a veteran with a winning background- not a young untested rookie skipper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So disappointing to drive a Corvette and have Kias passing you on the expressway. Sure, there were nagging injuries to the pitching staff all season, but the post-August 10th meltdown was roster-wide and that’s on Tingler. Yup, the young guys needed a veteran skipper with some knowledge and swagger and not a buddy-buddy players’ manager. Where’s Dick Williams?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. it should be an interesting off-season. The talent is still there- 2022 will be interesting. The injuries- every team has them and this year to me was really ruined by injuries to stars around the league. Kind of puzzling.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So your saying the Padres need a reformation?

    All dumb jokes aside I was really rooting for the Padres. Real shame the collapse. Those early games against the Dodgers this year felt like the Playoffs. I’m an Orioles fan so I still enjoy watching Manny play (did not and still don’t enjoy his temper though) and we O’s fans loved Wayne Kirby when he was a coach with the team. I hope they do better next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, my friend. Oh, that was a NASTY collapse. I enjoy watching Manny play and appreciate having him on the Padres, but I wouldn’t want to be his teammate. Hope the O’s can make some strides next year. Rochester used to be Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate and we all loved the Os back in those days – Powell, Robinson, Robinson, Baylor.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The Rays had an outstanding season with 100 wins! Hope they do well in the playoffs. The Pads already have a tough row to hoe next year with the Dodgers and Giants. Nobody expected the Giants to win 107 games.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think Baseball is the only place in life where “Padres” is something you are ok with lol.
    I”m surprised there’s another team out there called Frairs; goes to show how little MLB I know.
    I learn something here, something I’m reminded of: Leadership matters!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: Baseball is the only place in life where “Padres” is something you are ok with

      Lol! You’re almost right. I’m ALSO “okay” with cities, towns, and streets being named after very Catholic names. No sense objecting to that! I started following the Pads in 1970, way before I was saved, but it definitely is comically ironic that I follow the Padres!

      RE: Friars
      That’s actually the nickname for the Padres. The “swinging friar’ is the Padres’ mascot. I can generally block out the team’s nominal connection to the California Franciscans until I see the swinging friar.

      RE: Leadership
      Yeah, one “general” leadership principle is that experience counts for a lot. Putting a person with no experience in such a demanding position is not wise.

      Liked by 1 person

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