With a new ownership group and many new faces in the front office, the San Diego Padres were hoping that this would be the season they started winning back some fans. So far, that has not been the case.
The team’s .424 winning percentage makes them the third-worst team in the National League, but they rank first when it comes to Most Boring Team. The team ranks dead last in MLB in batting average, on-base percentage and runs, 27th in home runs and 26th in the percentage of at-bats that end in strikeouts. If you’re looking for offense, do not even glance in the direction of Bud Black’s squad. even The team’s official website is tracking how it stacks up as one of the league’s worst offenses historically.
The problem may not be with Black, or even with the level of talent that GM Josh Byrnes has brought in, but rather with hitting coach Phil Plantier. Despite some horrendous offensive numbers and no MLB experience as a hitting coach when he was hired, Plantier has kept his job in each of the last two offseasons. The result has been an overabundance of groundballs, which are offense-killers.
When Black and Byrnes get the ax, an inevitability that seems to creep closer every minute, Plantier needs to go with them.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
A Bright Future for the Chargers
• Keenan Allen may not have won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award last season, but maybe that’s because he plays an old man’s game. Looking through the film, it’s easy to see why Allen became Philip Rivers’ favorite target in the second half of the year. The kid has every move and trick in the book to get open against even the best defensive backs in the league.
• Mike McCoy didn’t just lead the Chargers to the playoffs in his first year as the team’s head coach, he changed the culture of the organization from top to bottom to create a winning atmosphere. That’s something that Marty Schottenheimer was able to do as Chargers coach and Norv Turner never did.
• There are already whispers circulating at Chargers Park that rookie defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers could be the strongest player on the team. Whether he’ll learn the intricacies of his position is another thing entirely, but having incredible strength is a good place to start in the NFL.
Padres Bring Back the Brown(s QB)
In what can only be described as a failed PR move, the Padres used their 28th round pick in the draft on Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel. Let’s address some immediate questions surrounding the selection.
• Was it because they thought he might actually have a future in baseball? No. In fact, Byrnes has never seen Manziel play baseball.
• Was it because Manziel might be able to work as a motivational speaker for the Padres? Maybe, if he were attempting to motivate them to rally at 4 a.m. and hit another Las Vegas strip club.
• Who cares? It was the last pick in the draft. It wasn’t! It wasn’t even the last Padres pick! They selected 11 actual baseball players after picking Manziel, leaving Dustin from Padres Public to wonder, “Were the Padres really worried someone was going to nab Manziel before them?”
For a team that needs to prove to its fans that it is serious about winning baseball games, taking Manziel was not a very smart move.
Stories You May Have Missed
• Joey Gallo is a Texas Rangers prospect who is putting up unreal numbers in the minor-leagues. No, seriously, those numbers can’t be real.
• San Diego State’s Kawhi Leonard continues to have a fantastic NBA Finals and is still just 22 years old. Leonard has big potential and a bright future ahead.
• Everth Cabrera and Yasmani Grandal had some fun during a rain delay in Philadelphia.
• Vine of the Week: Oakland A’s OF Yoenis Cespedes might literally have a cannon for an arm:
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I’m John Gennaro, contributor to Active Voice and managing editor of Bolts from the Blue. You can tweet me @john_gennaro or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.