Smoltz: Baseball "Needs" Padres To Be Relevant

San Diego last made the playoffs in 2006 but hopes Manny Machado will change that – and sooner rather than later

Tiki and Tierney
February 21, 2019 - 7:52 pm
Manny Machado Los Angeles Dodgers NLCS MLB

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The San Diego Padres signed Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal this week, but after missing the playoffs in 12 straight seasons, will they actually turn their franchise around in the next two or years? Will they actually start winning?

“Yeah, I think they can,” FOX Sports lead MLB analyst John Smoltz said on Tiki & Tierney. “Baseball, to me, needs the Padres to be relevant. I’ve always said it; I think San Diego is such a great place not only to play, but to be relevant again. They haven’t been in a while.”

Indeed, the Padres last made the playoffs in 2006 and have finished with a losing record in eight straight seasons.

Machado could change that.

“There comes a point where you’re ready to pour in – and it looks like they’re ready to pour in,” Smoltz said. “Literally put in some chips to not look like it’s three years away; it’s a year away. The way baseball has been played over the last three or four years, when you put the right pieces together, you can start climbing that ladder of success.”

Smoltz cited the Braves as an example. Atlanta went from 72-90 in 2017 to 90-72 in 2018.

“The Braves weren’t supposed to win the division last year,” he said. “No one in the world thought they had a chance. They won the division. And then they came up against the Dodgers (in the NLDS), and there was a difference. When you start measuring yourself in your league against the better teams – How do we beat the Dodgers? How do we climb and beat the Rockies – I think the Padres are getting closer to that being part of the conversation.”