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Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Good news first.  Attendance for 2015 closed at 2,459,742, which is the 7th  highest total in 46 seasons that the San Diego Padres have been a major league franchise. 

Bad news.  On the field the Padres finished 2015 with a 74-wins and 88-loss record, which was good enough to finish fourth out of five teams in the National League West division.  The team’s .457 winning percentage put them 18 games behind the division leaders, the Los Angeles Dodgers.  And, they fired two managers this season.

San Diego’s historic spending spree leading up to the beginning of the 2015 season translated to a losing record that was even worse than 2014 when Bud Black was the manager. Last year the team won 77 games. In hindsight that is an amazing reverse engineering statistic.  How do you get worse?

Easy.  Check the stats. In 46 seasons the Padres have finished “above” .500 (win more games than you lose) only 14 times.

If you said the San Diego Padres were historically lousy that would be akin to you predicting the sun will rise in the East.

The last time the team finished over .500 was in 2010 by winning 90 games and losing 72.  The Padres have won 90 games four times in its history.

The team’s two World Series championship appearances in 1984 and 1998 came about after winning 98 and 92 games respectively.

What can be done to get on the right track?

Over the years in a media career I’ve had the opportunity to discuss the San Diego Padres with professional baseball players.  Granted, my discussions were limited to ten or so.  But each pointed to one reason why the Padres lose more games than they win. 

Simply put, the Padres do not have a winning tradition.

The following is an example of the current win/loss tradition:
Let’s take a look at the 2010 roster than won 90 games compared with the 2011 team that won 71 games.   In a nutshell, the two seasons reflect the lack the team has had since its inception to deliver a winning tradition.  For that the blame goes on the ownership. 

The 2010 team had quite a few “gamers” on the roster.  They were players who refused to quit.  They hustled.   In 2011, those players were missing.  See charts at end of this blog.

Having a poor winning record (i.e. tradition) does two things.  The advisors of younger up and coming major league quality players don’t encourage their son/client to sign on with the Padres.  Players have only one career.  Why waste it playing for the Padres?   Of course, that message is massaged with baseballspeak.

If you fail to sign or develop ML quality players that team will be perennial losers.
The winning record of the Padres since 1969 defend anyone calling the organization losers.  Sad?  Yes.  Unfair? Maybe.

But how does one get a winning tradition?
By winning more games in a season than you lose and do it year in and year out.
If the 2015 Padres won eight more games they would have finished 82-80.  Not great but it becomes one step closer to shedding the loser label.

Scouts, agents, college coach and other Major League influencers will take a look at the Padres if they have won more games than they lose over a decade.  One game over .500 makes you a winner.

Improve by eight games.  Is that too much to ask someone making six figures or better to play a game?  Obviously it is for the Padres organization.  The Padres throw away games with sub par pitching.  If you are a so-so pitcher at the major league level you do not throw the ball over the plate.  So you nibble at the corners and because you are part of a so-so pitching staff you end up walking seven or more opponents per game.  Recipe for disaster.  Recipe for a losing tradition.

Another comment Major League players have told me is the Padres should invest money in a quality draft and farm system year in and year out.  Percentages show they look like fools when they make trades with other teams.  Is it bad luck or lousy management?  No team has bad luck for 32 years?

One question they all dodged was the following.  By mid-August and the team is 15 games out of first place, why does the team keep trotting out starting pitching that has already lost a dozen games?  Why not bring up a young ace (if you have one) from the minors and give the kid experience.  Losing 12 games by September is not a sign you have a hidden ace up your sleeve.

My interviewees mumbled “that just isn’t done?”
What isn’t done?
Thinking out of the box.
Well, thinking inside the box has earned the team 32 losing season out of 46.
Time for ownership to fish or cut bait.

Bottom line:
With more than 2.5 million fans showing up to see a bad movie season after season, ownership should be thanking a few stars overhead.  People go to games for far more reasons than being rewarded with a win.  Baseball in America is a social event.  It’s a bonding experience—generation to generation.

Catching a foul ball with a grandchild sitting next to you is more important than a win.

Players are damn lucky they can earn a good living playing a game that is revered by millions, a game played by Civil War soldiers, a game played by boys and girls as young as four years of age.

Maybe a lot of you think this is a negative column toward the Padres.  So be it.
But, as a bad as they are “most of the time” they are the only team I will pay money to watch play and to root for ever game of every season.  The Padres are the only team my sons and grandsons root for even though they live in the San Francisco Bay Area

But such loyalty “every now and then” needs to be rewarded.

Come on, guys, suck it up.  Eight games.  Just win one more game than you lose and we’ll all be winners!

Full year wins and attendance stats since 1969:

One last thing.
As for who should be the manager for the 2016 season?  Look at history.  The two managers, who led the Padres to the World Series Dick Williams and Bruce Bochy have won World Series titles.  Yes, yes, I know Bochy didn’t win until he left.

Find a candidate who has won a World Series as a manager.  I can think of two: Bobby Cox, Joe Torre.  To see either of those gentlemen in a Padres uniform brings goosebumps.

That’s a start.

                              --Ray Kroc, owner of the San Diego Padres

Dave Anderson of the New York Times wrote a wonderful article about Ray Kroc when the Padres beat the Chicago Cubs to advance to the 1984 World Series:




October is one eclectic festy month in North Park, where events range from school festival's, fun runs, foodie festival at 30th & University, plus an Italian film fest and Afton Miller's neighborhood-wide garage sale.


ALL MONTH—Now open in downtown Los Angeles, The Broad, a new contemporary art museum. (Grand & Second) opened on September 20 and general admission will be free. You'll be able to reserve your free tickets at above online address for visits running through the end of the year. Tickets have entry times beginning every half hour.  Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro (with Gensler). Currently, The Broad is displaying the private collection of its founders Eli and Edythe Broad.

OCTOBER 18: A collection of eight Victorian and church in San Francisco’s Alamo Square neighborhood will be on tour from 1 to 5 pm to support Victorian Alliance historic preservation efforts.  Also on the tour is the Westerfeld house and a restored “painted lady” from the City’s popular postcard row.  Tickets:


OCTOBER 10: Ancestry aficionados take note.  The first ever Genealogy Day is set for Satuday, Oct. 10 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.  Renowned genetic genealogist, CeCe Moore, from TV’s “Finding Your Roots” and “Genealogy Roadshow,” will kick off the event with a keynote presentation titled, “DNA: Stories from Finding Your Roots.”

Participants will have the opportunity to choose two out of four breakout sessions for both beginning and advanced researchers. Session topics include Researching Your Family Tree – How to Get Started, Autosomal DNA – Discovering Your Ancestors in You featuring CeCe Moore, Social Media and Networking for Genealogists, and a panel on Local and Online Resources for Genealogy Research.

The program will also include a continental breakfast and an exhibit hall full of experts to answer your questions on the process of researching your family tree.

Co-sponsored by the SD History Center and the SD Genealogical Society.  Tickets are $40 for SDHC and SDGS members and $50 for non-members. 

Ticket info:

OCTOBER 13:  The 9th annual Italian Film Festival showcases a dozen new films produced in Italy in 2013 & 2014.  Many are having San Diego premieres. Called festival 2015, the cinema series begins at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park.  Other venues include La Paloma Theatre (North County) and UltraStar at Mission Valley’s Hazard Center.  Info:

OCTOBER 17 & 18: The popular St. Patrick’s School Fall Festival begins at noon both dates.  This North Park neighborhood tradition includes a classy music stage, food, beer garden, games and the ‘hood’s largest rummage sale.   Sneak preview for the rummage sale is Oct. 16 noon to 5 pm.

OCTOBER 17: Historic and ever so hip North Park is holding its 2015 Taste of North Park with more than 30 restaurants and at least 10 craft breweries participating.  Festivities begin at 11 am thru 3 pm at 30th & University.

OCTOBER 18:  San Diego’s Theodore Roosevelt Middle School is holding its second annual Trick or Trot fund raising 3K and 5K fun run: Prizes for winners and for creative costuming.  Register:

OCTOBER 24: North Park Garage Sale organized by realtor Afton Miller.
Event takes place 8 am until noon.  Those living between Alabama, 30th, University and Juniper are eligible to register:  Register at or call 619.683.5453.  Deadline to register is Oct. 13.

OCTOBER 31:  The elaborate Day of the Dead celebration that Save Our Heritage Organisation initiated in 2010 and developed into an annual regional and national attraction for Old Town San Diego is so successful that the non-profit group is transferring the impresario role to the Old Town business community.

With last year's attendance estimated at 75,000, the colorful, authentic festivities of November 1 and 2 in Old Town have followed and expanded upon the hallowed Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos. It honors deceased loved ones with personal altars, offerings of food, drink, and flowers, and cemetery vigils, all of which are meant to invite ancestors to return to visit the living.

"SOHO has established Old Town's Day of the Dead programs as a meaningful cultural experience and destination event that remains true to its beloved Mexican origins. We've shown how a genuine, large-scale presentation of cultural heritage is economically smart and highly beneficial for a historic area," Alana Coons, SOHO's Director of Education and Communications, said. "Authenticity is essential for a community to retain and strengthen its identity, rather than staging a popular event that could be done by anyone, anywhere."

Rooted in religion and folklore, the Day of the Dead spiritually unites life and death, and is not to be confused with Halloween. However, because Halloween falls on Saturday this year, Old Town's Day of the Dead celebrations will be held October 31-November 2.

The non-profit SOHO is the region's largest and most effective preservation organization and the operator of five museums. SOHO's partnership with Old Town shops, restaurants, and hotels has created a seamless, high quality Day of the Dead event for individuals and families, held indoors and out, day and night, and extending to Old Town San Diego State Park.

Turning over the Day of the Dead management does not mean SOHO is leaving the festive event. As in past years, SOHO will continue to present special altars, live music, and workshops at the two Old Town museums it operates. They are the Adobe Chapel, 3963 Conde Street, where a large backdrop of silk and handmade paper flowers adorn the altar, and a painting of Mexico's revered Virgin of Guadalupe will be on display; and the Whaley House, 2476 San Diego Avenue where, during all three days, there will be live concerts, free and fee based craft workshops, and multiple historically themed altars.

"Our broadening of public awareness and participation in the Day of the Dead celebrations has received tremendous acclaim," said Coons, who launched the massive Day of the Dead events just five years ago.

Coons measures success in the mushrooming attendance and the speed with which non-Latin visitors grasped the Day of the Dead's enduring cultural significance for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Old Town's celebration is the only one in the San Diego region to be held throughout an entire district, albeit one that is walkable, accessible by public transit, and hospitable to hunger, thirst, and shopping for Day of the Dead mementoes large and small.

"While we can expect changes with the new leadership, every effort is being made to keep the growing event as authentic and high-quality as possible," Coons said.

Volunteers are needed to assist the new organization now and during the Day of the Dead weekend. Volunteers, vendors, performers, and sponsors should contact Bob Barros at (619) 656-4721 or More information can be found online at the 2015 website:

Courtesy of West Coaster craft beer magazine and website (

October | Oktoberfest Celebrations: Everyone is embracing German culture (and beer) to varying degrees, from ‘hoods like Carlsbad, El Cajon, La Jolla, La Mesa and Ocean Beach, to local breweries including AleSmith Brewing Co.Ballast Point Brewing & SpiritsGreen Flash Brewing Co. and 24-7-365 Germanic Lightning Brewery. Consult our events page and brewery websites for more deets. | Various Locations, Dates & Times Vary

October | Beer to the Rescue Releases: It’s another big month of one-time-only beer releases for this charity effort benefiting the Lupus Foundation of Southern CaliforniaHalf Door Brewing Co. will debut its extra special bitter (Oct. 12, East Village), followed by 32 North Brewing Co.‘s dry-hopped Irish-American red ale (Oct. 22 in Miramar) and Rip Current Brewing Co.’s red rye imperial IPA (Oct. 28 in North Park). | Various Locations, Times Vary

October 10 | Birdies & BeersIt’s the official unofficial sporting pastime enjoyed by just about every pro brewery in the Greater San Diego area. That’s right…disc golf? Go figure, but the only thing San Diego’s fermentation specialists seem to love more than ales and lagers is a good fling. Get in on a great day on the greens that includes beer, food, music and helping out a good cause. | Sun Valley Golf Course, 5080 Memorial Drive, La Mesa, 11 a.m.

October 18 | Pour It BlackAs autumn sets in and the temperature “falls” from 85 degrees to a chilly 82, the time for darker, heartier beers presents itself and Stone Brewing Co. is more than prepared. With more than 100 different brown-to-onyx hued sour ales, porters, stouts, IPAs and barrel-aged brews, quantity, quality and variety are all well represented at this annual fest. | Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, 10 a.m.

October 21 | Drinkabout!Yes, this event happens every month, but having the fun and value of taking part in free transport to a handful of standout imbibing strongholds offering special deals and beers within San Diego’s sudsier neighborhoods can’t be understated. Get on the bus and get in on a good time. | Various Locations; Normal Heights, North Park, South Park, University Heights; 7 p.m.