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What kind of season did the Padres really invest in?

I've entered a spiral of frustration with this team, which is probably why I haven't posted much recently. My frustration stems from the growing suspicion that the front office had to know that this wasn't going to be that competitive of a team. I know it's been hashed and rehashed, but there were so many gambles going into this season, I wouldn't be surprised if KT scored himself free meals at the buffet for the year.

Pick me apart all you want, but by my now-clouded-with-rage recollection, here are some of the gambles I can remember:

  • Hairston would continue his tear at left field based on a month's worth of production.  
  • Paul McNaulty would finally prove himself a Major League hitter capable of outperforming any defensive liability he might be.
  • Jim Edmonds would find a fountain of youth and not instinctively try to destroy the Padres as he had done in his entire career prior.
  • Mark Prior would return anything on his million dollar investment. Hey Padres, if you have that kind of money to throw around on people who live in San Diego, then shake some my way. I can put "perfect throwing mechanics" on my resume too.
  • Tadahito Iguchi's less than steller MLB hitting career would somehow turn around in a park designed to eat guys like Iguchi alive.
  • Khalil Greene would not injure himself as he had done in every year except last year.

And that's really just the gambles that didn't pan out. I'm a little surprised that Randy Wolf turned out to be the win that he turned out to be. I'm still annoyed about the Chase Headley thing. I'm glad that Brian Giles continues to be great and that Kouzmanoff continues to be very capable.

I watch this team that we field now and it's completely turned over, but even more frustrating, it's actually somewhat competitive. It's competitive with a nice little blend of young guys looking to prove themselves at the Major League Level. I know it's a different set of gambles when you're dealing with guys who are on the rise, but why weren't we hedging our bets with guys on the rise instead of gambling on guys who were on the decline or had a history of disappointment? I know it's easy enough for me to say now, but we obviously had questions about several of these decisions well before other gambles started rolling up craps.

Why didn't the Padres gamble on the upside?