Before Huston Street pitched for the San Diego Padres, he was one of those closers that you always felt your team could stage that ninth-inning rally against.

Doesn’t throw all that hard, prone to letting guys reach base and seemingly easily rattled with the pressure ratcheted up. The latter reputation was his own doing as the residue from his horrible postseason performances in 2006 with the Oakland Athletics and 2009 with the Colorado Rockies was mighty unsightly.

Street may finally get another chance to erase those postseason blights (9.00 playoff ERA and nightmares of Magglio Ordonez, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth) now that the Padres have dealt him to the Los Angeles Angels in a six-player deal in which four minor-leaguers are coming San Diego’s way.

And the funny thing is I will now miss Huston Street being on the Padres. He has been the best closer in the majors over the past 2 1/2 seasons – look it up yourself if you don’t believe it – by converting 95.2 percent of his save opportunities. Yep, he was a splendid 80-of-84 in save situations for San Diego including 24-of-25 this season before Friday night’s trade to the Angels.

There sure wasn’t much suspense this season when Street came into a game. The ninth-inning was typically over quickly as the 30-year-old Street – fully aware he can’t blow guys away – would have impeccable pinpoint location and flat-out mow down opponents.

He had a 1.09 ERA in 33 games this season and was named to the National League All-Star team for the second time in three seasons.

Street had a club-friendly option for 2015 so I was of those folks saying the Padres should keep Street if they saw themselves as contenders next season. But this move pretty much answers that question for us, doesn’t it?

The Padres – who also need to hire a new general manager – aren’t going to be contenders next season in the eyes of upper management.

If you know your Padres history, you also know not to get excited over any club-fueled propaganda – and, unfortunately, the media-fueled hype from the softy baseball writers in San Diego. The Padres have missed on a lot of these proven stars for a wheelbarrow of prospects thing too often – does Fred McGriff to the Atlanta Braves or Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox ring a bell? – so patience and seeing how things play out is the proper way to view the situation.

The Angels are considered to have one of the worst farm systems in baseball and three of the players they gave up are already 22 years old or older. You know, old enough that there are people in the Los Angeles organization who have dissected their skills and undoubtedly began wondering if they are major-league caliber players.

Let’s just say the Padres better hope there is a major-league player or two in the package of second baseman Taylor Lindsey, shortstop Jose Rondon and pitchers R.J. Alvarez and Elliott Morris or else the skeptical San Diego fans will remember this latest giveaway for years to come.

Now that Street is gone, the Padres ought to start tearing down this very bad baseball team.

Chase Headley has been a disappointment since his career year in 2012. Trade him.

Carlos Quentin has been horrible all season, is injured way too often and is a complete jerk as a person. Beg a team to take him (just request a few dozen batting-practice balls and be done with him).

Joaquin Benoit will replace Street as the closer but he did a superb job with the Detroit Tigers last season showing everybody that he’s not a ninth-inning guy. Send him to a team that needs another reliever to pitch the seventh or eighth.

Now that we know the Padres don’t plan to win this season, just go all Trader Jack McKeon and get rid of as many as these clowns as you can.

What the Street deal does is show all of us the Padres are once again on their very familiar long road to being a viable playoff contender. You know, the never-ending-circle of mediocrity they’ve been riding for most of the Petco Park era.

Perhaps that is why Huston Street should really be missed – moving him is that not-so-small reminder that the ownership in San Diego still isn’t fully committing to providing winning baseball.


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