I had on Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo this week on the Talking Friars podcast and one of my questions to him was about his comments he made on the Darren Smith Show earlier this month. If you don’t recall, Russo said on XTRA 1360 that the San Diego Padres should “be patient” with Eric Hosmer.
That same day, I wrote an article disagreeing to that statement and continued that discussion with him face-to-face. After going over the stats of why the Padres shouldn’t be patient with Hosmer (and frankly why they should trade him), Russo said “you’re right. He has been a disappointment.”
Hosmer being a disappointment is an understatement when you consider he has only earned $4.5 million of his $80 million base salary over the first four seasons of his contract.
Russo later tried to say that Hosmer isn’t the reason why the Padres won’t win. “If you want to swallow up $50 million and trade him...you’d rather not trade him to a National League team and have him come back and bite you, especially in the division [then go ahead].”
“You’re not gonna win a championship because you trade Eric Hosmer, Ben. You gotta look at bigger pictures than that. That’s not going to win. You gotta go out there and get some starting pitching. Eric Hosmer has not costed you a championship.”
After I replied that Hosmer came up small in the 2020 NLDS against the Dodgers (hitting .148 in the 2020 NLDS and grounding out with the bases loaded down by one run in Game 2 to essentially seal San Diego’s NLCS hopes), Russo replied “Nobody cares, you weren’t beating the Dodgers anyway...that was three games!”
Those three games were only the biggest three games in the franchise’s history in the last 14 years. After I told him Hosmer hit only three home runs combined in the 2014 and 2015 postseasons with the Kansas City Royals, Russo tried to come back by talking about the 2014 AL Wild Card Game when Hosmer started a 12th inning rally by hitting a triple to the left-center field gap (because the outfielders collided) in Kansas City’s 9-8 win.
Russo then said something interesting about Fernando Tatis Jr.’s leadership being a bigger problem (which I totally disagreed with).
“They need Tatis not to fight with his teammates in dugouts in September,” Russo said. “Be a leader. You didn’t see Hosmer do that. This is a guy who embarrassed his franchise and had a fight with Manny Machado when they were falling apart in September in a pennant race. That’s not championship baseball. That’s what you should be more concerned about.”
As I said back to Russo, Machado and Tatis are way past that and it isn’t a big deal anymore. Both of them stood on the field together days later and said they had moved on. The bigger issue at the end of last year was the pitching staff falling apart and Emilio Pagan giving up home runs three home runs in four batters at Dodger Stadium.
You can watch or listen to the entire debate I had with the “Mad Dog” for yourself here.
Let me know your thoughts on Russo’s comments in the comments section below!