One thing got cemented this past season. The Padres are on the heels of the Dodgers for that NL West division. After a few key acquisitions in starter Mike Clevinger (who’s working toward an extension with the team) along with some bullpen help and a new catching core, things are looking promising for the show Pads.
In a chat this week, Dodgers legend and former Padres star Adrian Gonzalez shared his thoughts about how far off San Diego is from catching the powerhouse boys in blue.
Obviously, they have [Fernando] Tatis [Jr.] that’s going to be the rock of how they build their team. [Manny] Machado’s there, [Eric] Hosmer’s there, which are really good guys to complement Tatis. … But it comes down to pitching.
Again, they got close in 2020, albeit in a much shorter 60 game season. Often dubbed the little brother of the Dodgers, at times it feels like the club could be building more to beat LA more than build for a deep postseason run. And that’s something A-Gon touched on.
For a team like that Padres, it comes down to focusing on how to beat the Dodgers. And I know that teams don’t want to say ‘we’re setting up our team to beat another team, we’re setting up to be the best team possible.’ But if they want to have success, they got to be able to beat the Dodgers. They need to get players that wont be intimidated by, first and foremost, the fans — because the fans take over Petco — the fans, the players, the team… because there seems to be that aura of you win a game and think you did so much when in reality it’s just a game.
Somewhere Trent Grisham is quaking in anger no doubt.
All kidding aside, Gonzalez is on the money here. And maybe the team doesn’t need to bring in players with the mindset to look beyond winning that one game against the Dodgers, maybe it’s just getting the talent already on the roster to have a different focus.
Perhaps 2021 is the year where the San Diego team focuses on more than just the Dodgers. They’re definitely talented enough. It might be that they just need time and experience.
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