Our pals at The Platoon Advantage have decided to "determine what each team's weakest position is" from a historical standpoint and list the best of the worst, so to speak. The results from their first installment are more palatable for some teams (Dodgers, A's) than for others (Rockies, Padres).
San Diego's representative is Khalil Greene, the best player at the weakest position (shortstop) in franchise history. Go ahead, get it out of your system.
Greene was a good player for a few years. He finished second to Jason Bay in the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year race and hit double digits in homers for five straight seasons (including 27 in 2007) before heading to St. Louis and then disappearing altogether. Greene never became the new Jose Valentin some of us had envisioned -- more like the new Kevin Elster -- but provided value on offense and defense before his 2008 collapse.
Fans of teams with a rich tradition at shortstop are wondering what the heck I'm trying to sell, but consider who the Padres have run out there over the years.
Sure, Ozzie Smith ended up in the Hall of Fame, but do you know what he hit during his four seasons in San Diego? Try .231/.295/.278.
(This reminds me of one of my favorite bar bets: Who hit more home runs in a Padres uniform, Smith or Calvin Schiraldi? Feel free to use it; just give me a cut of the action.)
For an extra dose of perspective, here are the Padres' top 10 shortstops according to the WAR Grid mentioned in Bill's article (you can go deeper if you're feeling kinda happy about life and need a little bring-me-down to dampen your day):
Khalil Greene, 2003-2008
Garry Templeton, 1982-1991
Ozzie Smith, 1978-1981
Damian Jackson, 1999-2005
Tony Fernandez, 1991-1992
Ramon Vazquez, 2002-2004
Enzo Hernandez, 1971-1977
Geoff Blum, 2005-2007
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2010
Steve Huntz, 1970-1975
This doesn't include Chris Gomez, who played 510 games at the position, fifth most in club history. He's way down near the bottom, right there with such luminaries as Donaldo Mendez and Ricky Gutierrez. You may recognize Gomez and Gutierrez as two of the weakest hitting defensive liabilities ever to play the game, so there's that.
Don't get me started on third base, where Luis Salazar remains the leader in games played. Or the fact that Eric Show is the only pitcher to reach 100 wins for the Padres (he had exactly 100).
The good news? Hey, when I find some, you'll be the first to know.