Will power needed to win, or the Padres’ promising season fizzles out



Trevor Hoffman throws the ball. before the Padres dropped the ball this season

John Anthony Risso, Crier Staff

The Padres are the biggest example of how winning in the offseason does not mean that you will win in the regular season where it counts. The San Diego Padres were deemed the unofficial winners of the offseason and a playoff shoo-in because of all the amazing moves that they made. They traded for previous Cy Young Award winner, Blake Snell, and runner-up Cy Young Award winner, Yu Darvish. They also picked up Joe Musgrove, a competent starting pitcher from the Pittsburgh Pirates. These moves were set to make San Diego’s starting pitching an elite force.

 All this pitching strength, combined with extending Fernando Tatis Jr. to a 14-year contract, is what made people say that the Padres won the offseason in February. We are in October now, and the Padres are eliminated from the postseason. 

What happened to make them crash and burn so hard? They were supposed to be one of the most exciting teams in baseball fighting for a World Series title. Three words: San Francisco Giants. 

The Giants shocked the baseball world by having the best record in baseball and the highest win percentage by the end of the season. At the beginning of the season, many said that the Giants were a mediocre team that would be trampled by the superior Dodgers and Padres. San Francisco has a lot of older players on their team. Some of these players include Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, and Wilmer Flores. All these players were much better in the 2010s when they were younger, but now they are old and in their early to mid-thirties. That might not seem old to some, but in the baseball world, the players’ performance usually declines in their mid to late thirties.

As a result of San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles all being in the same division, these teams have to play each other often. The Padres crumbled with all the pressure of facing the Dodgers and Giants a lot. 

Snell had a mediocre first half and Darvish had a mediocre second half. Both pitchers were wildly inconsistent. The one bright spot in the Padres’ season was that Tatis put up an MVP caliber season. That still could hold the Padres afloat during the regular season. 

The Giants quickly claimed the National League West division title and the Dodgers claimed the first National League Wild Card spot. That means that San Diego’s only chance was winning the second Wild Card spot. The Padres had sole possession of the second spot, but they choked in the final month. The St. Louis Cardinals went on an incredible hot streak and snatched the second wild card spot. Now, San Diego must sit on the sidelines and watch the 2021 postseason occur. 

Just because you trade or sign great players doesn’t mean you will win. Baseball is a game of two teams fighting each other with willpower. That is exactly why bad teams win against statistically better teams. That proves that the Padres didn’t have enough willpower to be a winning team this season.