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The Bigger Picture Best and Worst Case Scenarios for AJ Preller and Padres Fans

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

I think everyone at this point is asking the same thing of AJ Preller: Why didn't you trade everybody on the Padres for other people on other teams? Or even better, Why didn't you trade the entire Padres pitching staff for a 55-45 record? That would put us just 3 games back of the Dodgers. That would be excellent.

But it was not to be. So what did happen? And more importantly, should we be happy about this moment? We collectively are walking along the beach of lonely baseball fans and there is only one set of footprints in the sand.

As Padres Fans, what we should be rooting for the most at this moment is that AJ Preller really is a #RockstarGM. Because what that would mean is that Preller sees something in the team right now that normal people and commonly accepted measures of baseball (win/loss records, most batting stats, all the fielding stats, etc) are not seeing, and that would be a post season team somewhere in this muck. It would also mean that despite 46 years of being told otherwise, the Padres really aren't a mid-to-small market team, but actually a team that can afford to randomly gut its minor league system in favor of big names, a la the Yankees or Dodgers, because the money will be there to restock later even if we give away veterans to free agency.

If Preller is the Rockstar he is, then he is about to do the rock star move. He's been acting drunk outside the hotel and he somehow crashed the limousine on the way to the venue, but put the guitar on him and they'll be talking about his encore for years. He's about to pull a David Blaine us and make like he doesn't know which card was actually yours, but then levitate into the sky to rearrange Ursa Minor into the 8 of clubs.

Is that your card? Dude.... Yeah.

We need for that to happen. Because the flip side is really a bummer.

We know that if Preller is not a #RockstarGM, then he has shown little to demonstrate that he is a #Moneyball GM. A Moneyball type guy looks a lot like the Pirates, Neal Huntington right now or Astros GM, Jeff Luhnow. Guys who've spent their time building out computer systems with information so forward thinking that other teams would risk federal persecution to hack into them and see what was there, or just generally capitalizing on years of years of minor league player development that they had overseen. We also know that Preller is not a #RegularGM. Meaning one who is just kinda floating along and has not yet established himself (because they're all dudes) as worthy of a whole lot of attention.

If Preller is not a Rockstar, Moneyball nor Regular GM, then he is the Fish. Preller being the Fish is the worst thing possible. It means that his lack of movement at the trade deadline shows that he's not sure if he should raise or fold. He's just going to hold tight and wait for the river. And that smells a lot like the Fish at the Table. The guy who bet too much at the flop and is now chasing around money against the odds.

Preller took the offseason and made a lot of bluster. He sat down at a poker table with an acoustic guitar, told the guy in the tux to deal him in, asked, "Have you heard this one?" and then proceeded to play the first few bars of Stairway to Heaven (I know I'm combining analogies here, but try to keep up). After everybody snickered at him, he then bet almost all of his stack on a jack and a six. And now he appears to be sweating it out as the rest of the players do their thing and his guitar slowly goes out of tune.

That's scary. A Rockstar is going to get to say, "I told you so" after the river comes up. A Fish is going to go home with a broken guitar.

In fact, let's not think too much about that. If you're a Padres Fan, then you're a fan of the underdog. And in any good underdog story, the hero has to hit rock (star?) bottom and get to the point of no return before he can prevail. A good underdog story is in fact a good Rockstar movie. It's the garage band turned stadium seller. It's band geek turned triple platinum. You have to suck if you want the story to be good, and we want this story to be good, so we're gonna ride this one out folks. Get your concert tees ready. Fire Periscope up on your phone. This is worth sticking around for.