AJ Preller was smart to praise Dodgers when asked about Padres’ roster
By Jerry Trotta
Padres GM AJ Preller wisely opted against saying something about the Dodgers’ loaded roster.
Don’t let a few blockbuster moves from a small market team like the San Diego Padres distract you from the fact that the Los Angeles Dodgers have been the gold standard of the NL West for almost a decade.
The Dodgers have won eight straight division titles and have advanced as fas as the NLCS five times during that span, which includes three World Series appearances and the end of their championship drought in 2020.
Despite all of that, and the fact that the Dodgers’ roster is arguably as loaded as ever, everybody has been jumping on the Padres’ bandwagon following their recent bombshell acquisitions, putting aside the very relevant fact that they haven’t accomplished anything yet.
In light of all this buzz, it would be smart of San Diego to keep their head down and not make any rash comments that would put a target on their back months before the new season even gets underway. Well, in impressive fashion, GM AJ Preller did just that when he ducked a question about whether his roster was now superior to that of the Dodgers’.
"“Uh, that’s, that’s pretty better right there,” Preller told reporters. “They’re obviously, they’re the class of the league right now and they’ve been the class of the division for pretty much the decade. We’ll see how it plays out. … The goal here is to win a championship. That’s the idea.”"
Let it be known that we have nothing against the Padres outside of a competitive standpoint. Their performance during the 60-game sprint last season was blown out of proportion, but that was mostly due to the media falling in love with them embracing a swagger that the game of baseball could really prove to benefit from.
Much like their playoff surge, which ended getting swept by the Dodgers in the NLDS, our beef has everything to do with the media blowing smoke up you know where despite the fact that they haven’t won anything.
We’re not saying we want fans and pundits to praise the Dodgers around the clock, but let’s not pretend like San Diego’s roster, as impressive as it is, can even compete with Los Angeles’ when it matters most.
The Dodgers’ core has been together for years and some members of it are just now entering their respective primes. The Padres’ foundational pieces, outside of the recently-acquired Blake Snell, are grossly inexperienced when it comes to the playoffs. Do we really have to remind you that five members of their lineup hit below .230 and their team ERA was 6.24 in October?
We shouldn’t, but the media has pretty much forced our hand in the matter. San Diego certainly deserves credit for taking advantage of a slow-moving market, but that doesn’t mean they belong in the same conversation as the Dodgers as far as championship contenders are concerned.
Preller deflecting the aforementioned question indicates he knows that flaunting an elite roster on paper means nothing if you have zero trophies to show for it.