27 years ago today, the Padres clinched their first of two National League pennants. At the time, San Diego said, "There's no looking back now!" Chicago said, "F_ck this game!" The rest of the United States said, "San Diego has a baseball team?"
After that magical 1984 season, the Padres did indeed continue their winning ways and made it back to the World Series only 14 years later. Practically back-to-back championships and something only 6 other teams have accomplished since 1969, when San Diego joined the MLB.
However, in today's world of free agency, only Tony Gwynn was on both World Series teams despite the mere 14 year gap between the championship seasons. How a team like the 1984 Padres could be dismantled so quickly after a World Series appearance was remarkable to even the most pessimistic baseball fans. The general sentiment around San Diego was, At least wait for the second decade before giving up on those guys.
However, patience wore thin on the Padres and the 1998 Padres were not the 1984 Padres. Now, as we approach 2012, the Padres approach the 14 year anniversary of the1998 season. Once again, San Diego's impatience has shown itself and, hard as it may be to believe, the 1998 team was so dismantled that no returning players from that group of champions will be on the 2012 team.
Cest la vie, says this breathtaking blogger. That's what you get when money enters the game. It's like people want to see late rounds of post season play every decade, a feat, which most of baseball will tell you is literally impossible.