In the comments of Paul DePodesta's latest blog about Khalil, DePo gets into it a little bit with a commentor named Wade. Wade accuses him of "being a fan by job only" and then accuses the Padres of lying about future spending when the Ballpark was built.
I don't think your comments are at all fair. I will never disrespect the emotional ties of being a fan - after all, I've been a fan and grew up going to games with my father and grandfather even if it wasn't the Padres. I would hope you wouldn't disrespect what it means to have your livelihood tied to a team.
As far as the stadium is concerned, the Padres had never had three consecutive winning seasons in franchise history before Petco opened. This organization then enjoyed four winning seasons in a row upon the opening of the new stadium. In fact, even with the debacle of this past season, we still have put together a five-year run in Petco that is second only to the Dodgers in the NL West over that time frame.
We're certainly not happy with what happened in 2008, and we're all frustrated about it. But I think we'll look back at the first ten years in Petco as a great time for this organization.
It's true that most of the Padres employees in the Front Office probably weren't born Padres fans and likely they aren't even long term Padres fans. So while they know about our ups and downs as a franchise they didn't necessarily live through it. DePodesta is right though, we don't know what it's like to work for the Padres. I'm sure the endless hours of trying to find deals so the Padres can compete with their hands tied behind their back by Moores' budget.
With that being said, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that they aren't emotionally invested in the team when making business decision but at very least they must understand the fans connection. I would argue that some of the employees understand this better than others.
The issue of the ballpark being a means of increasing payroll will never die. Some fans had expectations that were met and others that didn't. The Padres did nothing to keep fans expectations in check in the late 90's, so part of this is their fault and part of it is the fans fault for letting their expectations run wild. I think when Lucchino left for Boston the direction of the Padres certainly changed to an organization focused on home grown talent.
The Padres can invest boat loads of money into the Minor League and foreign training camps but fans have yet to see any return on that investment. So while the Padres may have increased spending by 25%, most fans don't care about anything that happens off of Petco's field. No matter how often they communicate the good work they are doing below the Major League Level, people aren't going to care until they see results. It's that simple. If the Padres aren't careful they may be building up fan expectations about their young talent.
This last part is just a matter of opinion but I'm pretty confident that we are not going to look back on the first 10 years of Petco as a great time. I look at those 3 winning seasons as a bunch of frustrating teams that couldn't seem to get their act together and finish. The Padres attitude of just putting together a mediocre team in a poor division in hopes of rolling the dice and getting into the playoffs is irritating.