San Diego Sports Fans' Bad Day: Chargers Lose the Game, Padres Lose Their Star
Sunday was a horrible day for San Diego sports fans.
On the same day the Chargers lost to the Raiders for the second time this season, the Padres traded All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox.
Two seasons potentially ended for two teams in two different sports in the same city on the same day.
The Chargers entered Sunday a 13-point favorite against a reeling Oakland Raiders team. Winners of their previous four games, the Chargers climbed back to within one game of the first place Kansas City Chiefs.
At the end of the day, the Chargers lost the game, lost ground in the division and lost control of their playoff destiny.
The Raiders thoroughly trounced the listless Chargers 28-13 in front of 68,183 fans at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers No. 1 ranked defense gave up their highest point total of the season and their No. 1 ranked offense scored their lowest total of the year.
Raiders running backs Darren McFadden and Michael Bush combined for 192 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The defense routinely harassed quarterback Philip Rivers and held the Chargers to just 21 rushing yards on eight attempts.
The loss dropped the Chargers to 6-6 on the season, moved them into third place behind the Chiefs and Raiders and put their playoff chances in serious jeopardy.
It also marked the first time they lost a game in December in their last 19 contests.
Across the country, the Boston Red Sox and representatives for Adrian Gonzalez were negotiating a contract extension that ultimately would not be necessary to consummate a trade with the Padres.
While the trade was officially announced on Monday, enough ground work was laid on Sunday for the Padres and Red Sox to agree on a five-player deal that sends Gonzalez to Boston.
In exchange for Gonzalez, the Padres receive a package of prospects including pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder Reymond Fuentes and a player to be named later.
Kelly was Boston's first-round pick in the 2008 draft and finished the 2010 season 3-5 with a 5.31 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 95 innings for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. Rizzo hit .263 with 20 home runs and 80 RBI in 107 games with the Sea Dogs. He also struck out 100 times in 414 at bats.
Fuentes, selected by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2009 draft, hit .270 with 42 stolen bases in 104 games with Single-A Greenville.
Gonzalez leaves the Padres as No. 2 on their all-time home run list with 161 long balls. He also is in the top-five for batting average, RBI, runs and extra base hits. Gonzalez won two Gold Gloves and represented the Padres as an All-Star the past three seasons.
The trade leaves the Padres with a gaping hole on the right side of the infield and in the middle of their lineup. The Padres overachieved in 2010 with a combination of veteran leadership and youthful exuberance, but Gonzalez was the centerpiece of their success.
Without Gonzalez, the Padres can't expect to compete in an improving National League West Division.
Sunday was a tragic day for San Diego sports. The Chargers 2010 season lurched closer to a disappointing end and the Padres 2011 season is over before it begins.
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