Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Padres’

The San Diego Padres took this picture shortly after the statue was unveiled.

Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn would have turned 57 years old on Tuesday if he were alive but his birthday was remembered in a fond way by the city of Poway.

Gwynn lived in the north San Diego County city about 20 miles north of Qualcomm Stadium during his Hall of Fame career and up to his death in 2014 due to salivary cancer. The eight-time batting champion with the San Diego Padres was honored Tuesday with the unveiling of an 11-foot statue of him in his Padres’ uniform tipping his cap and holding daughter Anisha.

And think, because Gwynn had a personal relationship with me, the ceremony was on my radar and I made sure the nice local story went national. http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/MLB/2017/05/09/Tony-Gwynns-hometown-erects-statue-in-his-honor/1141494361490/

It also reminds me of those times Gwynn the college baseball coach would get on my case because my newspaper wouldn’t let me cover more of his San Diego State baseball games. One night in the office, I scored big with this doozy: “Most people want to see more of Tony Gwynn. Tony Gwynn wants to see more of me.”

 

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It is time to do that new tradition — the weekly links thing.

I had the preview assignment for the San Diego Chargers versus the Indianapolis Colts and I kind of think you Chargers’ fans might be in store for a happy Sunday.

No, you won’t see rookie Joey Bosa in uniform for the first time. His hamstring is too sore — that’s what happens when you put a couple million dollars in your back pocket.

Um, no, I don’t know this from first-hand experience.

But the winless Colts are pretty banged up. Quarterback Andrew Luck has an achy shoulder and I lost count trying to figure out many Indianapolis defensive backs were injured.

OK, I got the abacus out — the number is six.

Philip Rivers has always enjoyed success against the Colts and it won’t surprise me at all to see him walking off the field giddy once again with Indianapolis having allowed a league-worst 73 points.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.espn.com/nfl/preview?gameId=400874624

 

Did you know Alabama coach Nick Saban attended Kent State? It is a fact.

He is helping his alma mater’s finances by bringing them to town for Saturday’s whipping. The upcoming victory will also be Saban’s 200th as a college coach.

Also saw during the week that Saban was on campus the day of the infamous Kent State shootings in 1970. He and a buddy stopped to eat and that kept them from being in the area when the tragedy unfolded and four college kids lost their lives.

Here is that preview — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/event/2016/52385/preview/top25/

 

Michigan’s all-purpose star Jabrill Peppers is now a Heisman Trophy candidate. How do I know?

Because I said so (or wrote so).

When someone with a national stage writes such a thing, it is out there forever and the legend begins to grow. He won’t win the trophy but he might be the best all-round player in the nation.

Here is the Michigan versus Penn State preview — http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/2016/09/21/Michigan-vs-Penn-State-College-football-game-preview-predictions-score/9261474432584/

 

And how about those Padres? They have won seven of their past eight games against the San Francisco Giants and have even done the unthinkable — beaten Madison Bumgarner in each of last his two starts against them.

Bumgarner will try to beat those rookie-laden Padres and a victory would be the 100th of his career. Hard to believe he has already been around that long, isn’t it?

The 2014 World Series hero has been in a bad mood lately and it probably has to do with his sinking team. The Giants have lost eight of their past 12 games and are in danger of missing the postseason in an even-numbered year (they won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014).

Here is the stellar baseball preview for you — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/mlb/event/2016/399122/preview/

If I had more free time, I’d write about whole 5,000 words telling you how A.J. Preller isn’t so stellar.

But you probably already know that after the San Diego Padres general manager was suspended for 30 games without pay on Thursday for deceptive practices regarding the health of players being discussed in trade talks.

This penalty was for the trade that sent All-Star left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox in mid-July.

Personally, I think the punishment is too light. I think Preller should have gotten an 81-game suspension.

The Red Sox weren’t the only team to complain. The Miami Marlins were known to be vehemently upset when they received Colin Rea in a trade with the Padres and he was injured in his first start. The Padres quickly agreed to take Rea back, which I found very interesting at the time.

That tipped me off that the Padres knew Rea was damaged goods when they included him in the deal with Andrew Cashner. Otherwise, you wouldn’t take a player back. You would just say, ‘Hey, he got hurt working for you, not us’ and let the chips fall where they may.

There is even a report out there that the Chicago White Sox are unhappy with information supplied by the Padres about James Shields, who might be the worst pitcher in the majors this season while going 5-17 with a 5.84 ERA.

Yeah, I bet Preller doctored information about Shields, too. I bet his report said something like this:

1 — James Shields is still really, really good. Like All-Star good.

2 — Don’t look at the win-loss record. James Shields will win a lot of games once he is on a better team than I built.

3 — No, that birth certificate says he’s 34? That’s wrong. James Shields is only 24.

4 — James Shields’ arm? Never ever been sore. None of our pitchers ever get sore arms. Bank on it.

I do know this — Preller and the Padres are in a lot of trouble. When you cheat like this, it stains your reputation and the other 29 teams are going to know Preller can’t be trusted.

It’s going to be really hard for the Padres to get fair value in future trades.

This line in the USA Today story about Preller and the Padres says it best:

“It’s embarrassing enough for the Padres to miss the postseason for the 10th consecutive year, but to actually cheat, and still have a 62-84 record, is deplorable.”

Ouch … but so true … the team known as the “Miserable Failures” has quite a miserable person serving as general manager too.

Yeah, A.J. Preller definitely isn’t stellar.

The latest vacation home to San Diego was nicknamed #AllStarVacay the night before I departed and it sure became a fitting name.

San Diego was playing host to the baseball All-Star Game for the third time. I had attended the previous two but had no aspirations of being at Petco Park for the 2016 midsummer classic.

But a big sporting event in San Diego can’t go on without me inside the venue. I believe it is a rule if you are bored enough to sift through the City Charter.

Less than 48 hours before the start of the game, there was my mother on her computer buying two tickets.

One for her … one for me.

She requested I buy her a ballpark soda.

Yeah, no problem … might even twist my arm enough to get me to buy two … so yeah, thanks mom!

Being in attendance certainly became the highlight of the vacation. The American League won the game and Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer was the MVP. It was a terrific evening at the ballpark.

Oh yeah, can’t forget that the Padres were 0-9 against the San Francisco Giants this season before I arrived in town.

I show up to the ballpark and the fortunes reversed — the Padres beat Madison Bumgarner the first night I attended and won on a walk-off balk the next night.

There are many other highlights to share so now it’s time to get to the latest edition of vacation by tweets:

 

JULY 7

–Been so busy & never got around to naming this year’s vacation. Starts tomorrow. Let’s go with #AllStarVacay since a little game is in SD.

 

JULY 8

–Security checkpoint totally empty at #Boise airport. Sorry, not taking photos of TSA. #AllStarVacay

–Am I back on an #NFL beat? Flight delay … Will miss connection & sit in #Seattle airport for four-plus hours. Bad start to #AllStarVacay

–Wow, @AlaskaAir has rude baggage worker on tarmac at #SeaTac. Now I hang in airport for four hours due to missed connection. #AllStarVacay

–Have passed more people in #SeaTac over past hour than I have seen in #Boise all year long. Not Boise airport, but whole city. #AllStarVacay

–Not a single sighting of a #Mariners hat yet at this airport. Perhaps I’m in Tucson airport & not Tacoma. #AllStarVacay

–OK, old-school #Mariners T-shirt from Mark Langston era spotted. Or Alvin Davis if you prefer. #AllStarVacay

–Actually made it to #SanDiego … Doesn’t seem real … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 9

–Famous Belmont Park roller coaster. #AllStarVacay

–Sunset at Famous Mission Beach #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 10

–Apparently, I’m going to All-Star FanFest for free. And, um, to the All-Star Game for the price of a ballpark soda. #AllStarVacay

–A must visit on #AllStarVacay — my dad’s grave site.

–Delicious pizza at famous Mona Lisa … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 11

–Nutty woman yelling all kinds of stuff on trolley. Not sure what her deal is. Just yelled about sodomy with a child. #AllStarVacay

–At Fan Fest … Sure there will be some cool things to see #AllStarVacay

–Apparently I’m suiting up. Might be playing in the game. #AllStarVacay

–Hey, Jim Leyland & Tony La Russa. Should I ask for the microphone & throw out some steroid questions?

–Met another sports trophy. Not as famous as the Stanley Cup. #AllStarVacay

–Rollie Fingers & Gaylord Perry.

–Here is why #MLB teams can pay players $25 mil a year. Fans paying $40 for caps. #CanBeHadFor20BucksOnFriday

–Tim Raines … A couple baseball fans just said “Who?” #ummmmmm

–Wish I could unhear Berman saying “Let’s get ready to Trumbo.”

–Love all the replay shots where people sitting close at the #HomeRunDerby aren’t watching. One brunette seen texting multiple times. #Weak

–Pretty sure Pokemon Go is as dumb as The Macarena & as bad as the Philadelphia 76ers. And I won’t Google to see if I’m wrong. #PokemonGoAway

 

JULY 12

–On trolley. This #AllStarGame thing is really happening. For price of ballpark soda.

–Proof you can get into the #AllStarGame for the price of a ballpark soda!

–View from the outfield where Giancarlo Stanton was launching homers last night. #AllStarGame

–Joe Paterno lies! Duh. All college football & basketball coaches lie. And ADs. The hire the stakes, the greater the level of deception.

–My view at #AllStarGame#AllStarVacay

–Randy Jones still has better control than most current MLB pitchers. #AllStarVacay

–Looks like Miguel Cabrera was only person in ballpark not holding up a #StandUpForCancer sign. Not surprised. #AllStarVacay

–Fans in #SanDiego got really excited last inning because… They were doing The Wave … HELP … #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 13

–Wow, really bad error by @USATODAYsports “Cubs All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant, who grew up in San Diego …” #RealAnswerIsLasVegas

–The highlight of every trip home — first In-N-Out burger of the year. #AllStarVacay

–Oh #Deflategate is back in the news? Sooo thankful to be on vacation & not having to waste carpal tunnel energy on that junk. #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 14

–Kept streak of not watching #ESPYs alive. So proud. Swimming in pool & watching The Lion King (Go Simba) with 9-year-old niece much better.

–No longer see #Chargers gear at the #Target in Murrieta. All #Rams now.

–If you start to become good & you’re on the #Padres, you must be traded. #MiserableFailures #PomeranzGiveaway

–Who the heck is Mike Pence? … Related to Hunter Pence? Bassist for SixPence None the Richer? Someone involved in SusPenseful marble games?

 

JULY 15

–If you fall off a cliff playing silly Pokemon Go, I sure hope you are wearing a helmet. Just sayin’.

–Glad to reveal I survived 70 miles of driving chaos on I-15. One woman cut me off & returned to her lane just in time to avoid contact.

–Hard to believe I used to drive in that junk daily. Don’t ever see real traffic where I live now. What they call traffic isn’t traffic.

–Got email from @SouthwestAir about $59 one-way #SanDiego sale. Um, this is like SIX one-ways. LOL Trip Total $344.45

@MrSportsBlog Hey, Mike. We fight tooth-and-nail to have the lowest fares. But due to demand, it can’t be every seat, every time.

Except it is every seat, every time NOT for sale from #SanDiego to #Boise. Every single flight. #NotFightingForBoise

#Deflategate is over? Like really over? Not pretend over? Not Brady faking us over? Like over over OVER? Now let’s end #PokemonGO

Live at #PetcoPark … Could see my third no-hitter … Madison Bumgarner vs #Padres … Aka #MiserableFailures

–Fan sitting next to my friend asked who is #Giants pitcher. My pal said Bumgarner. Fan asked “Is he good?” Ummmm, kinda sir. Kinda.

–Read the “Fun Fact” for Christian Bethancourt. Would rank as embarrassing fact for most MLB teams. #Padres

–Not making this up — Brandon Maurer is the #Padres closer. No grand entrance necessary.

–Yangervis Solarte dives into stands to catch foul pop. Ball had nacho cheese on it when he emerged. #Padres

#Padres win … 1-9 vs #Giants this season.

–This was awesome. Great play and even better emergence from stands. #ThirdBasemanInMyNachos

 

JULY 16

–@TerryBlas If you’re sick of hearing about Pokemon Go for the past week let me tell you what hearing about sports is like for the past three decades.

Wait? This person doesn’t like sports? Ummmmm.

–They somehow still let me on the #SanDiegoState campus. #SchoolLegend

–My college geology teacher used to insist “Earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings do.” I think he works for NRA. #ApplyNRALogicToAnything

–Back at Petco Park with the much-appreciated free tickets & preferred parking. Can #Padres beat #Giants again?

–Some guy named Schimpf owns Samardzija … SCHIMPF … Might have been found in a rec baseball league. #Padres #Giants

–Pitching isn’t working out for this Villanueva guy. Serving up BP homers. #Padres #Giants

–Buster Posey just homered in 10th & I realized I actually went to a game in #SanFrancisco tonight, not #SanDiego. #Padres #Giants

–Walk-off balk. Seen it all. #Padres beat #Giants again.

–Dang, my research displays #Dodgers won on walkoff balk just last season. Would’ve thought a longer span since it happened. #Padres #Giants

 

JULY 17

–Police killed in #BatonRouge? Night of Dallas shooting I saw dude on #CNN saying, “Why Dallas? Why not Baton Rouge?” Got your way, sir.

–Nearing the point where people in this country who want to live will never again go outside — except the folks playing #PokemonGO.

–Starting to sink in that #AllStarVacay ends tomorrow. Will miss highs of 72 & lows of 64 every day. Not ready to get back in mid-90s furnace.

–Not watching #Obama speech. More entertaining just to type in Obama in Twitter search & watch people go nutso in both directions. #FreeFun

–The #Padres have never thrown a no-hitter. Nobody anywhere wants that first guy to be Edwin Jackson. Nobody.

–Getting exercise at #LakeMurray. Gal just stopped a guy & asked if he was playing #Pokemon. She then told him where one is located. #Absurd

–Whoa! I just witnessed two people who didn’t know each other talking in SoCal. Used to go months without someone exchanging hellos. #Pokemon

–Dear Lake Murray, want to move to #Boise? The Idaho natives are threatened by Californians but they would like you.

–People at Lake Murray all have the Madison Bumgarner look going — lot of glares, no smiles or friendliness. #AllStarVacay

–OMG … Just passed a DAD & 20ish son & Dad said “Do you see that #Pokemon over there?” Both had faces in phones & we’re in sheer delight.

–3.51 miles of exercise at #LakeMurray … Matched a personal record with 0 hello exchanges. Exchanged eye contact with 1 person (20ish gal)

–Vacation ends tomorrow. Seems like it just started. Why does it have to go so quick? Then football starts & boom, year over. #AllStarVacay

 

JULY 18

–I hope I don’t accidentally find out what Kardashian/Kanye/Taylor Swift junk is about. Pretty sure I’d rather get run over by a bus Monday.

–Just saw this brouhaha about the Salt Lake soccer team & a columnist nobody outside of Utah knows. It reminds me M in #MLS stands for minor.

–Suitcase packed. #AllStarVacay nearly over. Going to be hard to leave the land of 72-high, 64-low every day for the #Boise furnace.

–@mshusa New post: “Astros hacker sentenced to 46 months in prison”

He got a much stiffer sentence than those female school teachers get for having sex with 14-year-old boys.

–Three people in front of me at TSA at SanDiego airport – repeat THREE – instead of the usual 300. This doesn’t even seem real. #AllStarVacay

–Hey, my flight isn’t going to depart on time. Knew there would be price to pay for there being only three people at TSA.

–Know I am back in #Boise. Copper Toyota LP 1A 7831G swerved to right four times in less than a mile on Chinden. Drunk, texting or #PokemonGo

This year’s edition of the San Diego Padres isn’t very good. No surprise there.

The only stunner is just how awful they are. They are a really, really poor baseball team.

But at least we now have a way to forever refer to them and we have Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler to thank.

These Padres are now known as the “Miserable Failures.” … #MiserableFailures if you are on social media. (Hey, even worked the term into Friday’s preview — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/mlb/event/2016/398628/preview/)

Fowler accurately described the team as miserable failures during his already infamous rant during a radio interview on Wednesday.

Fowler said the team’s 1-7 road trip was “pathetic” and “embarrassing” but nothing describes the state of the franchise better than the person signing the paychecks referring to the employees as “miserable failures.”

The Padres forgot that they are now the “Miserable Failures” for a 14-inning span as they drubbed the Seattle Mariners 14-6 on Wednesday and built a 12-2 lead after five innings on Thursday.

But yeah, nothing comfortable about a 10-run lead when ownership has let you know that you are pathetic. So the Miserable Failures collapsed like a teepee in a tornado and lost the contest 16-13.

The blown 10-run lead is the largest in Padres’ history. Also ranks as the biggest comeback victory in Mariners’ history.

Can’t wait to hear what Fowler says on the radio on Friday.

Fowler also went on about how “this baseball experience has been very frustrating, very embarrassing.”

Well, of course it has been. Fowler is one of those guys who has been part of the San Diego sports landscape simply because he is rich.

I first met him when he was chairman of the ballpark task force when the Padres were searching for a new home. He also was the host committee chairman for Super Bowl XXXVII.

There is nothing about his pedigree that suggests he should be running a major-league baseball team. Nothing.

And you can see that in what has gone on the past few years. The Padres, under current ownership, have no definitive plan.

Prior to the 2015 season, the club went on an absurd spending spree under new general manager A.J. Preller that seemed to fit some square pegs into round holes.

High-priced outfielder Justin Upton left as a free agent after the season and the club traded closer Craig Kimbrel for a bunch of minor leaguers one year after stealing him from the Atlanta Braves.

Still hanging out is outfielder Matt Kemp and overpaid starting pitcher James Shields. The latter serves no use for an organization as bad as this one.

Shields was pounded for 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings by Seattle on Tuesday, helping prompt Fowler’s rant.

Teams interested in trading for Shields laughed inside as Fowler reduced the pitcher’s trade value with his strong comments.

“To have a starter like Shields perform as poorly as he did yesterday is an embarrassment to the team, an embarrassment to him,” Fowler said Wednesday.

Fowler forgot to use the word miserable in his assessment of Shields.

After Thursday’s on-field meltdown, it might have been the right time for Fowler to try to equal the all-time famous rant of former owner Ray Kroc in 1974.

As the Padres were in the process of being outscored 25-2 while losing the first three games of the season, Kroc grabbed the public address system microphone and said in part “I’ve never seen such stupid ball-playing in my life.”

Those Padres were dreadful and were outscored 52-9 over their first six games. But they never were called “miserable failures.”

At least we now have a name to call the current dismal clowns on the club.

And think about it, Wednesday’s tirade was the first time overmatched Ron Fowler has assessed anything correctly during his woeful tenure.

“Miserable Failures” truly fits.

I often write between 20 to 25 sports stories a day and I never know what subject may arise.

It is an awesome deal when you think about it as my two favorite things in the world are sports and writing.

Oh, I forgot pizza.

Dang, you’d think I would get a pizza delivered while I’m writing about sports.

Anyway, I got asked to write about Matt Bush on Thursday and wasn’t that quite the unforeseen circumstance.

Bush was long ago designated the biggest draft bust in the history of the San Diego Padres and he took his buffoonery to an even higher level in 2012 when he went on a drinking binge in Florida and nearly killed a motorcyclist.

He went to jail for 3 1/2 years and we figured his whole sorry waste-of-talent chapter was over.

But here he is in the spring of 2016 attempting to make the Texas Rangers as a relief pitcher.

He got out of jail last October and could still fire a baseball 97 miles per hour so he received another “second chance.”

Bush, now 30, tossed two hitless innings in his first spring-training outing on Wednesday. Who knows whether he has forever overcome his demons or if another drinking binge lurks.

Regardless, selecting Bush No. 1 overall in 2004 will always rank as one of the dumbest decisions in Padres’ history. Taking the local boy over Jered Weaver, Justin Verlander and Stephen Drew seemed ridiculous then and still feels just as ridiculous now.

So if you’ve forgotten about Matt Bush and his struggles, here you go: A fresh off-the-presses account that took all of 30 minutes to write. Draft bust Matt Bush making a comeback

You know, because the next assignment was waiting.

Remember way back in time when Tim Flannery was a popular baseball player in San Diego?

Played on perhaps the most-beloved team in franchise history back in 1984 – the first of only two times the Padres made the World Series.

His biggest claim to fame is that it was him who hit the meek grounder to first base that Leon Durham of the Chicago Cubs somehow let go through his legs. That play opened the floodgates in the final game of the National League Championship Series and Tony Gwynn hit the blistering shot that almost took Ryne Sandberg’s head off and the Padres were headed to the World Series.

The Padres were the only team Flannery played for in his 11 major-league seasons. He also served a coaching stint during Bruce Bochy’s tenure as manager before he joined Bochy in San Francisco.

But apparently, Tim Flannery hates the Padres in 2016. Oh, and he hates the fans, too. Yes, he hates all of you.

You know, the fans that always rooted for him and appreciated that he hustled all the time. For a guy with a .255 career batting average, nine homers, and suspect range at second base, you’d think he would feel like a fortunate person.

But nope, this is what Flannery has to say to you fans (sorry, not cleaning up the grammar of a 58-year-old who missed writing class because he was apparently focused on becoming an expert judge at finger painting):

Tim Flannery @TimFlannery2

Ok, enough San Diego, here’s the deal

Ok. One time only. You Padre fans who drift on my site, challenge me to manage, rag on my for betrayal. Here’s the deal one time. One time only. We got run out of your, me and Boch, after he won. We have lived with “your traders” come back and win for us.” We won in SF for many reasons. If you don’t win in Sf you get run out of town. Everyone, the gm, coaches, player owners, they get the players, and pay to keep them. You Padre folks lose after pounding your chest about “winning the offseason” and give all your young studs away ( you should, you can’t pay them in arbitration years anyway) you then get draft picks, and your starting lineup will be lots of rule 5 guys, players no one protected. But sell the sizzle of the season” we got draft picks.” Your draft picks will be gone before 2 percent ever makes it, ( remember they haven’t even been signed yet) Then you have the ignorance to tweet me, shame me, while your team only won ever when we were there, but that makes you experts, but, your not the history of that team, we are. Though they lose you support them, enable them, demand nothing from your ownership, and feel great calling them your hometown”. You get what you demand. Leave me alone. People create history where they are, who they become in that moment. I’m a Giant for life, you all allowed the organization to do whatever they wanted, and so did Giant fans, but don’t diss me with your Padre loyalty. There were two World Series you ever went to, I was on those teams. It’s time now to grow up, get over it, quit demanding from me, and quit being fooled by the some smoke and mirrors. Quit being ignorant. You can’t even write now your starting lineup, no one knows, is that weird to you? Don’t you think maybe I’m not the problem, and you all should hold the team accountable. I’m Done playing with gloves on. Leave me alone , I am part of baseball history, even in your town. You do something for once. But I’m not feeling guilty for winning 3 in 5 years, I know what the demands took from me as a mean, a husband, a dad, a coach…Coach Flan. Do t be a hater, get your head out of your arse, educate. Tim….demand to win.

So there you go, some bitter ramblings by someone who feels the fans are the reason the Padres aren’t very good.

It was interesting that he said “maybe I’m not the problem.” I’ve never once heard anybody say Tim Flannery is the problem for why the Padres are a substandard franchise.

And there’s this – if you post this type of nonsense on Twitter, you open yourself up to comments.

Apparently, Flannery didn’t like my comment when I retweeted his silly missive to my followers: “Tim Flannery thinks he’s why the #Padres went to 1984 World Series. Oh, he did hit wimpy grounder Leon Durham missed.”

And that comment went sailing right past Flannery – you know, like those fastballs did when the Padres tried to make him a starter – and this was the best reply the baseball journeyman could muster:

flannery.crop

After all those years of squeezing wins out of San Diego Padres teams with little talent, the 2015 season had a chance to be manager Bud Black’s time to shine.

Perhaps having a few players who can actually play would lead to more wins. Perhaps managing some postseason games was finally on the horizon. Perhaps people around the country would get a chance to see why Black has such a good reputation despite being stuck with a poor organization all these years.

Perhaps the Padres would forget they are the Padres and wouldn’t do something stupid.

Too late now — the stupid has been done.

Black was fired on Monday with the Padres sitting a game below .500. Kind of a poorly timed move considering the offseason overhaul that netted starting pitcher James Shields, closer Craig Kimbrel, outfielders Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, catcher Derek Norris and third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

The plethora of new faces requires a bit of an adjustment period so possessing a 32-33 mark with 97 games remaining isn’t exactly an awful managerial performance. And who knew that Matt Kemp (two homers in 64 games) was really Carlos Quentin in disguise and will never again be the player who hit 39 homers and drove in 126 runs in 2011.

Good job getting the manager fired, Matt. Don’t be surprised if Black searches out Clayton Richard and sends him to the ballpark with a message — Google search near-fight between Kemp and Richard in 2013 if you need details.

Black was in his ninth season with the Padres and was the 2010 National League Manager of the Year. He wasn’t hired by new general manager A.J. Preller so there is no loyalty there and an organization always looks for scapegoats when a team is believed to be underachieving.

The Padres appointed bench coach Dave Roberts to be interim manager and are undergoing a search for a full-time manager. Triple-A manager Pat Murphy is among the candidates and perhaps a long-time manager such as Ron Gardenhire would be a good fit.

Preller came from the Rangers organization so let’s hope he has forgotten how to get a hold of former Texas manager Ron Washington.

There is still too much weirdness stemming over Washington’s sudden mysterious resignation from the Rangers late last season. He went into hiding for two weeks and emerged briefly to say he cheated on his wife.

Since people inside baseball cheat on their wives all the times, it is whatever Washington didn’t reveal publicly that is even more important. He needs to keep attending those marriage counseling sessions and allow more time for his image to be restored before he’s filling out lineup cards again.

Since Black was fired with a losing record — what would have happened if the Padres had defeated the Dodgers in Sunday’s 12-inning game? — his tenure ends with him tied with Bruce Bochy for the most losing seasons (seven) in franchise history.

We all saw what happened with Bochy once he left the poorly run San Diego organization: He began accumulating World Series rings — three in the last five years with San Francisco — and is now being mentioned him as a possible Hall of Famer.

I see Black having a similar renaissance once he joins a better organization. We will someday see him managing in the postseason and perhaps he does win a World Series title.

I mean, who would have ever forecasted Ned Yost managing in Game 7 of the World Series? You would have been laughed at for suggesting that one but there was Yost and the Kansas City Royals sitting one win away last October.

And you can laugh a lot at the notion of the 2015 Padres crashing the World Series as well. The Preller experiment definitely needs more time to develop.

San Diego took a step backward by unceremoniously making Black the first scapegoat.

American Pharoah is now a legend and the impressive horse will be fed the biggest pail of oats and be served the most delicious bales of hay ever invented.

Trainer Bob Baffert can certainly afford to buy American Pharoah the best bales of hay around after the horse became the 12th Triple Crown winner in horse racing history on Saturday. Not since Affirmed in 1978 had one horse won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

You remember 1978 — that’s when stamps cost 13 cents and, gosh, did my mom think they were expensive. Dave Winfield still played for the San Diego Padres and thought he was underpaid. The Cars were taking over the rock music world with their debut album.

Let all that sink in … yeah, 1978 kind of seems like ages ago now.

And now 2015 is a memorable horse-racing year thanks to American Pharoah.

It was a standout race as jockey Victor Espinoza quickly moved American Pharoah to the front and led the entire way while posting a winning time of 2 minutes, 26.65 seconds.

American Pharoah breaks the jinx that had been picking up momentum over the last decade as short-sighted people began saying there would never be another Triple Crown winner. That’s kind of like saying the Chicago Cubs will never again reach the World Series.

Ohhhh. Yeah, bad comparison.

There had been eight attempts since 1997 with horses such as California Chrome (2014), Smarty Jones (2004) and Silver Charm (1997) among the disappointments. There were also major failures such as Big Brown (2008) and War Emblem (2002).

If horses have a memory, perhaps War Emblem was scarred by the eighth-place performance at the Belmont. Two of my brothers and I saw him at the Pacific Classic in Del Mar two months later and he was a nonfactor in that race as well and finished sixth.

Who knows where Silver Charm hangs out these days but we had a lot of fun picking on him in the sports department that no longer exists. Two of the dudes — or should I say gambling addicts who like horses more than people — were so crushed when Silver Charm failed to win the Triple Crown but the rest of us really enjoyed sticking the needle in.

You see, not every horse can be Secretariat — he’s the 1973 horse racing Triple Crown winner — but American Pharoah can take his place as one of the better horses in recent times.

American Pharoah won by 5 1/2 lengths over Frosted, which pales in comparison to Secretariat — even today, he could still win, show or place — and the famous dash in 1973.

Secretariat won by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Count ’em up — 31.

He eats bales of hay … Secretariat.

And now let’s serve up some extra bales for American Pharoah for ending the Triple Crown drought.

I personally went through some sacrifice as I watched 4 1/2 minutes of horse racing this year instead of my usual two.

And with the drought over, there goes the annual anticipation and hype the horse-racing folks create about the possibility of the first Triple Crown winner since the 1970s.

Now there is nothing to look forward to when the 2016 Kentucky Derby rolls around.

So I may be back to watching just two minutes of horse racing next year.

Thank you American Pharoah! Enjoy the extra oats and hay!

If the date would have been April 1, no sane individual would have believed the deal.

But it was the afternoon of Easter Sunday and I’ve never heard of the Easter Bunny making up bogus baseball deals.

So it defied logic when you initially heard that the San Diego Padres acquired standout closer Craig Kimbrel from the Atlanta Braves for two clunkers, two prospects and a draft pick. You know, because you typically have to give up at least one bona fide player for a dominating All-Star who is just entering his prime.

Suddenly the Padres have a real closer – sorry Joaquin Benoit, you are an eighth-inning guy as I’m pretty sure David Ortiz’s blast off you is still sailing. Solidifying the back end of the bullpen makes winning the National League West a real possibility.

The Padres had to take strikeout-machine Melvin Upton Jr. in the deal – he’s the brother of solid-hitting Justin Upton – but gave Atlanta some of its own trash in clunkers Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin.

The Braves obtained pitching prospect Matt Wisler and whether or not he pans out will determine whether they received something of value in the deal. The baseball world is full of prospects who never lived up to their billing or even reached the majors so that is quite a gamble when you are giving up one of the top two closers in the game (Kansas City’s Greg Holland being the best).

Kimbrel has 185 saves over the past four seasons so Padres general manager A.J. Preller is again proving to be a magical trader as a first-year GM. The offseason haul included the offseason acquisitions of outfielders Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers, catcher Derek Norris and third baseman Will Middlebrooks and the signing of starting pitcher James Shields as a free agent.

It is a weird feeling to know the Padres are entering the season with a solid chance of making the National League playoffs and also a candidate to win the NL West. It is quite the transformation from last season’s horrid hitting squad.

It is hard to understand what the Braves were thinking by dealing Kimbrel but you can tell general manager John Hart is worried about the reactions of the players. He told reporters that either himself or manager Fredi Gonzalez will explain the situation to the players and answer questions prior to Monday’s season opener.

When you have to hold a meeting to explain a trade, you’re not in a position of strength.

But the Padres certainly are – a glaring hole has been filled in a most surprising manner and nothing but optimism reigns heading into Monday’s opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Because Sunday they pulled off the equivalent of showing up at the car dealer with a Tonka Toy and trading it for a Rolls Royce.