A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Worst?

Well, my Padres finally broke their ten game losing streak on Tuesday night.  In case you haven't been paying attention, they were 0 for July until the 9th!  Wow, it's been a long and depressing streak, especially since they were slumping before that as well.  In what has turned out to be a incredibly weak division, they went from being one game out of first in the NL West to being six and a half back.

Fortunately, they got a swell performance from veteran hurler Eric Stults, who went the distance, allowing one run on four hits.  Alexi Amarista drove in both runs in the 2-1 win, on a triple and a bases loaded single.

But they got back to building the next streak last night, losing to the Rockies again, this time by a 5-4 score.

Anyways, in honor memory of the horrific ten game losing streak, I dug through my Miscellaneous Padre binder in search of... the ten worst Padres I could find.

Maybe it sounds a bit harsh, a little negative, but I'm a realist.  I love the Padres, but they're not in a great spot right now, and they've had more bad years than good in their history.  Can you name the last player to throw a no-hitter for the Padres?  What about the last player to hit for the cycle?  Still thinking?  It's because you'd have to be able to see into the future - it hasn't happened yet.  World Series rings?  None.

Well, in we dive to the pile of the washed up, the promised rookies, and overall scrubs that have been on the Padres.  Some I actually like, others I loathe, while there were some that I had no idea who they were until I started this post.  They're not listed in order, because being in this group is bad enough.

Kind of a shadowy picture, but we're leading off with Cliff Floyd.  I was a fan of Pink during his more productive years, but his last year in the bigs was spent in San Diego, where he went .125 (2 for 16) in 10 games in 2009.  Not a great note to end on.

Terrmel Sledge was blessed with a sweet last name and a decent baseball card, but was cursed in SD, batting .215 with 9 homers and 30 RBI in 138 games.

I think I might have every Dann Bilardello card as a Padre that was ever made.  I need to look into that.  Still, as much as I like this Padre backup backup catcher, dude wasn't awesome.  Didn't get a lot of time as some guy named Benito was the starting backstop, and Mark Parent, who wasn't all that stellar, was second on the depth chart.  Dann with two N's hit .186 in 32 games over two seasons, as 1992 would be his last year in the majors.

Ryan Ludwick was a miserable Padre, but look how cool this card is!  I'm guessing he was out, just because that's how things usually went for Luddy.  He was supposed to be a boost to the offense when he joined the team, and though he led the team in homers once, he was still a huge disappointment.  Over 160 games as a Padre, he hit 17 homers and had 90 RBI, but hit a weak .228.  He obviously hated playing in Petco Park, so it was good for everybody that he left, once his trade value had been completely destroyed.

Is this depressing you enough yet?  Alright, we move on, this time to a trio of greenish cards.  Don't let that "League Leaders" card of Randy Myers fool you.  He did have 38 saves in '92, which was second in the NL (behind future Hall of Fame snub, Lee Smith), but the real letdown (besides his 4.28 ERA that year) was that he was a bust for the Padres in '98.  They picked him up to bolster the bullpen, and he went 1-3 with a 6.28 ERA before getting injured, which ended his career.  The Friars had to eat a lot of his fat salary too.

I placed these two Rays (Holbert & McDavid) together because they both fell into the same category - rookies who didn't pan out.  And they're even from the same set!  Who had the worse career in the 619 area code?  You decide!  McDavid hit .222 (10 for 45) with no homers and two RBI during his major league career, all spent with the Padres.

Holbert posted a weak .179 batting average from '94 to '95, during which he appeared in 68 games.  He hit more home runs than McDavid (2), and had more than twice the number of RBI (5).  Congratulations, Mr. Holbert, you're the Ray of the Day.

By the way, have I mentioned that it's not easy to make it into the Miscellaneous Padres binder?  I have a binder for my team sets, ones that are awesome and worth getting the whole team collection of ('71 Topps, '84 Mother's Cookies, '91 Fleer, '93 Topps Gold, etc.).  Then I have a Player Collection binder. Those cards wouldn't really come into play here, since none of the guys that I collect were disgustingly horrible.

Look at this card of Dennis Tankersley.  Isn't it kinda cool looking?  High socks, mid windup action shot.  Looks slick.  Tankersley had a 1-10 record in his career (all spent with the Padres) with a 7.61 ERA.  In one start in 2003 (his only one that year), he actually failed to record an out, giving up three hits and four walks, all of which came around to score.  Seven runs in ZERO INNINGS!  How many times has that been done?

Another of my favorite cards in the "MP" binder, Ben Davis.  He looks like a cartoon superhero here, but I think wooden bats might've been his kryptonite.  As a Padre, he hit .238 with 19 homers and 101 RBI.  Not bad at all for a full season, right?  Well, it took him three seasons to get those numbers, so color me not-impressed.  In Davis' defense, he was a "highly touted" prospect, and those just don't always work out.  The hype surrounding his arrival to the team was unwarranted.

Okay, maybe I saved the worst for last.  I almost feel bad for Melvin Nieves, since it's not his fault that he was the main piece in the Fred McGriff trade.  But he still was, and he was a huge bust.  As a kid at the time, it didn't make sense to me how that was a "fair" trade (the idea of dumping salary to make money didn't compute to my elementary-aged mind).  Getting Nieves cards has hurt even recently, and I usually dumped them on my fifth graders when I came across them.  But I kept this one as a reminder of the painful past.  And I'm just a sucker for cards that have "Rookie" emblazoned across them.

There are worse Padres out there.  The first that came to mind were Anthony Rizzo, Jason Bartlett, and Orlando Hudson, all of whom were miserable as Padres, though they had success elsewhere.  But they didn't have any cards in the Miscellaneous Padres binder (just the Team Set binder) so they didn't qualify.  Such are the complicated rules of the game here at the Backstop Blog.

Thanks for reading if you made it through this.  Part of me wants to encourage others to go through and find a similar group for the team of their choice, but it's a painful exercise, and one that I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

It's probably not worth it.  I'll toss up another post here in an little bit to cleanse the palette and get some positive vibes back here.


  1. I have SO MANY amazing Cliff Floyd rookies and inserts. I wish he was awesome. I'd be a millionaire....

  2. Great, yet very sad post for Padre fans. Dave Stanton is another "can't miss" prospect bust that comes to mind. Maybe someday the Pads will get a phenom like Puig.. we can dream.

  3. It's not a good sign when the Padres lose to the struggling Giants. Hopefully they'll take care of them tonight. Go Padres!

    As for worst Padres... Matt Bush would be up there on my list.

  4. It had to have been hard to come up with "just" these players as the worst of the Padres. In compiling my "Monday Minor Leaguers," it's amazing, and pretty disappointing to see how short-sighted San Diego's scouts have been over the years. While the draft is an inexact science at best, you'd think the Padres would have gotten lucky at least once in a while.