It’s not OK to be upset about the missing Gwynn tribute

Tony Gwynn passed away during the first part of the 2014 season. Teams across baseball had touching tributes, and baseball remembered him as they should have. It seems fitting that during the 2014 All-Star Game, whether it was in the pregame ceremonies or during the game, there would be a Gwynn tribute. But there wasn’t. And according to a few baseball writers out there, Padres fans (and others) have no right to be upset.
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Tyson Ross and Huston Street do not pitch in All-Star Game

We all know the All-Star Game rosters are too large. Really, the only time that’s not the case is when the game goes into extra innings (2002, anyone?). However, the rosters under normal circumstances mean there are players elected to the game who don’t get to play. I’m not sure if I like that or if I’d rather see a smaller roster with the understanding that players like Tyson Ross and Huston Street would likely not be All-Stars.

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Why don’t we love Huston Street more?

I remember the first time I saw Trevor Hoffman come in to close a game for the Padres. I don’t remember the year exactly. Could have been 1997 or 1998. I don’t remember the outcome of the save chance. I do remember the crowd reaction. I remember how I felt. I remember the noise. Like a thunderclap that would not end, I could feel the rattling all the way into the depths of my chest. Everyone was on their feet. Hell’s Bells. High leg kick. Slow change. Trevor Time.
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Happy Padres news

As proof that I do not seek out stories that only bash the 2014 Padres, here are some nuggets of happiness.

Padres are offensive!

In July, the Padres are the third-best team in the National League. If standings were based in offensive wins above replacement, the Padres would be leading the division! Their 1.8 offensive fWAR in July puts them behind only the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals.

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The league has yet to figure out Odrisamer Despaigne

While the San Diego Padres have been dreadful for most of the season and virtually unwatchable, there have been bright spots. And what would we do in a season like this if not look for bright spots? Seth Smith has done a nice job. So has Huston Street and Tyson Ross. Chase Headley might be getting better. And hey, Paul McCartney is coming to Petco. Beyond all that, though, there is Odrisamer Despaigne. He’s performed well beyond expectations, and that is mostly due to a league that it still trying to figure him out.
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Padres farm update

The San Diego Padres, like many other small-market teams, are reliant on their farm system. This isn’t simply a way to stock the 25-man roster at the Major League level, it’s the best way for the club to be competitive. So every GM that comes to San Diego is tasked with building a strong farm system in hopes that some cheap, young, generational talent will come along to help propel the club into the postseason. For this reason, we keep a close eye on the farm.
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Comparing Tyson Ross’ and Seth Smith’s All-Star resume

In San Diego, the prevailing notion is that the Padres will get but one All-Star in a given year. That could change in the future, but as it stands, the club has had multiple representative just three times in the last 12 years. So, when a Padres player is not elected by the fans as a starter, we all start analyzing the available crop to see who will be the managerial selection of the year. Many thought that player would be Seth Smith in 2014. Many were wrong. Tyson Ross was names the Padres’ lone representative to this year’s Midsummer Classic.
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How the Seth Smith extension could work out for San Diego

Yesterday, the San Diego Padres made a strange move. They signed Seth Smith to a two-year, $13 million extension. In a vacuum, the deal itself is not strange. However, we don’t live in a vacuum. We live in a world where there are extenuating circumstances that should be examined before any team decision is made. San Diego has seen its farm system slowly backtrack, they’re currently one of the worst offenses in history, despite raising payroll the club isn’t getting any better, and they don’t have a general manager in place. But, the team felt compelled to give their current best player an extension.
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Tony Gwynn

Time heals all wounds, and eventually the sadness of Tony Gwynn‘s death will subside. However, it still feels so close, so recent. For that reason, I thought it was important to re-post my story about Gwynn. 

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We’ve known for a while that Tony Gwynn was a mere mortal like the rest of us. The signs presented themselves in the latter part of his career when his ailing knees refused to support him. They showed up when he made frequent trips to the bench and the disabled list. The greatest sign of all came in 2010, though. Gwynn was diagnosed with cancer, and any thought that remained of his baseball immortality was gone. Now, he’s gone and the world is a sadder place.

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Padres were historically bad in June

It feels like I re-launched The 5.5 Hole just to bang on the Padres. I didn’t. Even if the words I write are negative right now, I still enjoy writing them. Is that masochistic? Regardless, here comes another Debbie Downer post. The Padres just finished one of the worst offensive months in baseball history. They hit just .171 in June. That’s the worst mark since 1920.

The live-ball era is widely considered to have begun in 1920, so San Diego just had the worst offensive month in the history of modern baseball. Let’s run through some numbers from the month:

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