Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the all-time greatest lineup of the San Diego Padres. Padres 101 checked out the stats of Padre greats from the past and chose one from each position to represent their all-time team, plus the manager. Selections are primarily based on offensive production. We invite your vehement protests, catcalls, and belly-aching, as well as any compliments you might be able to drum up, so log in and leave a comment! With that, let's get started. Parentheses indicate years played for the Padres.
Leading off, at 2B, Mark Loretta (2003-2005)
This pick probably surprises many Padre fans; most would have Roberto Alomar or Bip Roberts at 2B. But Loretta's lifetime average as a Padre, at .314, is better than both Alomar and Roberts (.283 and .298 respectively). His on-base pct. is also higher, and unlike the others, he had some pop in his bat. In his three seasons, he smacked 32 home runs and drove in 186 runs, compared to Alomar's three season totals of 22 and 157.
Batting second, in CF, Tony Gwynn (1982-2001)
Yes, I do understand that Tony did not play center-field, he played right-field. But, you see, we have a problem, because there just happens to be another Hall of Famer who also played right-field, and I'm not stupid enough to leave one of them off the all-time team. One of them has to move, and I can see Gwynn in center more readily than the other guy, who probably had a better arm than Gwynn.
Batting third, at 1B, Adrian Gonzalez (2006-2010)
First-base has some pretty hefty competition. There's good 'ol Nate Colbert, the first bona-fide slugger the Padres ever had. Steve Garvey, who slammed the single most famous home run in Padres history. Ryan Klesko. Fred McGriff. But "A-Gon's" numbers top them all. He not only hit for power, but his .288 avg. is better than the competition. He leads the pack with 501 RBI's, and his 161 home runs are just two fewer than Colbert's total, in one less season.
Hitting cleanup, in RF, Dave Winfield (1973-1980)
He and Gwynn are the only two players to be enshrined in the Hall as Padres. One of the few consistently bright spots in an era when the Padres only had one winning season, 1978. Big Dave's totals: 154 home runs, 626 RBI's, .284. And a rifle for an arm.
Batting fifth, at 3B, Ken Caminiti (1995-1998)
Yes, we found out later he used PED's. Bummer. That puts a taint on his stats: 121 HR's, 396 RBI's, .295, .540 slugging pct., and 1996 NL MVP. A good case can be made for Phil Nevin, who put up comparable numbers in his seven seasons with San Diego: 156-573-.288-.503. Take your pick.
Batting sixth, in LF, Steve Finley (1995-1998)
He was a center-fielder, so the outfield juggling act is complete. We just wanted the three best outfielders on the team. Too bad the NL doesn't use the DH. Brian Giles merits some consideration here as well. Finley's .276 avg. is just slightly less than Giles' .279, but Finley hit 82 home runs in four seasons, and Giles hit 83 in seven.
Batting seventh, playing catcher, Terry Kennedy (1981-1986)
I can hear the startled gasps now: "What?! No Benito Santiago? Benny runs a close second. Kennedy's avg., .274, and on-base pct., .319, are better than Santiago's .264 and .298. Kennedy played one less season, yet knocked in more runs, 424-375.
Batting eighth, at SS, Garry Templeton (1982-1991)
Ok, admittedly it doesn't feel right to leave Ozzie Smith off the team. He made one of the most brilliant plays at shortstop, not only in Padres history, but in MLB history. His nickname is the "Wizard of Oz." But his wizardry as a Padre was fairly confined to glove gems and stolen bases. Not much bat to speak of–a .231 avg., and a grand total of one home run in four seasons.
Templeton's avg., .252, is much better, his on-base pct. is about the same as Oz's, and he was also a great glove man with speed on the basepaths.
Batting ninth, pitcher, Jake Peavy (2002-2009)
The only others who could really even be considered here are Randy Jones and Eric Show. Show is the Padres all-time wins leader with 100. Jones and Peavy have exactly the same number of wins, 92, and one Cy Young each. But Peavy's overall record of 92-68 trumps Jones' mark of 92-105, and his 3.29 ERA is considerably better than Show's 3.59.
Closer: Trevor Hoffman (1993-2008)
Who else? Hoffman is MLB's all-time saves leader with 601, and 552 of those came as a Padre. He notched the Relief Man Award twice, in 1998 and 2006, and posted a 2.76 ERA.
Manager: Dick Williams (1982-1985)
Bruce Bochy is the only other contender. "Boch" has by far the most wins with 951, but he also lost 975 games, and in 12 seasons, led the Padres to only 5 winning seasons. Williams overall record of 337-311 gives him a much better winning pct. than Bochy, and his four seasons were all .500 or better. Both led the Pads to one World Series, both lost. Williams averaged 84 wins per season, Bochy, 79.
So there you have it. What do you think Padre fans? Be sure to log in and post your comment, and like Padres 101 on Facebook.
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Baseball, Dave Winfield, Garry Templeton, Ken Caminiti, Mark Loretta, MLB, San Diego, San Diego Padres, Steve Finley, Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman
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