Friday, August 14, 2009

Padres All-Time Team

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the San Diego Padres, This Week in Baseball is set to name its all-time Padres team on its episode:

TWIB studied the rosters of every Padres team and came up with the top player at every position on the diamond as well as three pitchers.

Benito Santiago gets the nod at catcher, Nate Colbert is at first base, Mark Loretta is at second, former MVP Ken Caminiti starts at third, Garry Templeton mans shortstop while Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield join Steve Finley in the outfield.

The rotation includes former Cy Young Award winners Jake Peavy and Randy Jones while the all-time leader in saves, Trevor Hoffman, is set to be the club's closer.

This is a pretty good selection. I was surprised to see Mark Loretta, who played only three seasons with the Padres, but second base is kind of a weak spot for the franchise. Roberto Alomar was a better overall player, but he also played just three years in San Diego, and Loretta's three years were better than Alomar's. When San Diego won its first pennant in 1984, the second baseman was Alan Wiggins, a speedster who didn't hit much but stole a ton of bases (every team in the '80s seemed to have one of those guys: Vince Coleman, Omar Moreno, Otis Nixon, etc.). But Wiggins lasted only three years. So it's Loretta by default.

I like the choice of Nate Colbert,* who is mostly forgotten today. Adrian Gonzalez may one day stake his claim to the position, but for now Colbert is a great choice, even over Ryan Klesko. (Klesko has better stats but Colbert played in a less offensive-minded era.)

*I assume his name was pronounced "KOL-bert" but thanks to Stephen Colbert (KOL-behr), I can't pronounce it that way.

In the outfield, the only quibble I have is with Steve Finley. I think Brian Giles deserves it more, but reasonable minds can disagree.

In all, the Padres can boast two Hall of Famers (Gwynn and Winfield) and one sure Hall of Famer (Trevor Hoffman). Not bad for an expansion team.


Stephen said...

Re: HOF'ers, you could also give them partial credit for Ozzie Smith.

As for the choice of Caminitti at 3b, no doubt he game them a few great seasons, but given that they were PED fueled, I might have considered Phil Nevin, or maybe Dave Roberts for his 1973 season.

David H. Martinez said...

Yeah, Caminiti is a controversial choice, but since PEDs weren't really against the rules in 1996, I can't justify keeping him off the team. Nevin was good for the Pads, but he only played 3B for about 1-1/2 seasons. Graig Nettles is another possibility, but he only played 3 seasons in SD and not all that well. Caminiti is the best choice.

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