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It has been a crazy and rumored-filled past couple of months really, but the non-waiver trade deadline has now officially passed and the only guys who left town are Randy Wolf and Tony Clark.

It was signings like Wolf and Clark that had us optimistic before the season started but for whatever reason, they really weren’t the answer to our offseason puzzle.

Somewhat remarkably, Greg Maddux and Brian Giles are still around and while they still could be dealt by the Aug. 31 waiver deadline, it is a lot tougher to pull off. For a more detailed explanation about how that deadline works check out Paul DePodesta’s post on the subject.

Over the weeks of trade talk the one thing I couldn’t help but get tired of hearing is how activity or inactivity at the deadline was somehow related to how much an organization cared about its fans. Winners were making moves to show their fans how much they wanted to win while losers were showing their fans that this season was lost but are thinking about the future.

So what is it supposed to mean when a team trades two aging pieces for two once promising but now somewhat forgotten arms? If you buy into that philosophy, it means our Padres don’t care about us.

However, I think our lack of activity is more about wanting to get proper value in return more. We know Kevin Towers will pull the trigger on all kinds of deals but if he isn’t getting anything close to what he wants, he’s not going to make a trade just to make a trade.

Maybe part of my problem is that I still refuse to believe we really are a basement team in a weak NL West. We probably should have realized that our No. 5 starter was going to be a permanent problem once Mark Prior was lost for the long term, but who knew Khalil Greene would fall off as much as he did offensively and that Jim Edmonds wouldn’t start playing until he secured his release from SD?

There’s a difference between cursed franchises like the Pirates and just having bad luck. Hopefully we aren’t about to become the Pittsburgh of the West Coast.

JIM HIGGINS

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