Now that the NFL has officially ended the lockout, San Diego fans can officially move on from the disappointment that is the Padres' 2011 season to the eventual heartbreak that will most likely be the Chargers' 2011 season.
While attendance dwindles and interest wanes, the Padres will still have to play baseball. Ask any General Manager and they will tell you, you can't lose 100 games without playing at least the majority of the 162-game schedule.
The Padres are only on pace to lose approximately 92 games, but that's assuming they continue to play with the same "success" after the the July 31 trade deadline when they are sure to be without several of the productive players they currently employ.
One player sure to still be dawning the blue and, uh, sand or beige or whatever the Padres are wearing these days is Orlando Hudson. The Padres couldn't trade him if they wanted to.
Unlike Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick and Aaron Harang, there is no interest in an oft injured, well traveled second baseman who doesn't know how many outs there are.
The Padres lost their 59th game of the season last night 6-1 to the Diamondbacks in front of a crowd of 22,679 fans about half of which are probably making their annual pilgrimage from the desolate heat of Arizona to the beaches of San Diego.
Hudson personally assisted the D-Backs by tossing a souvenir into the stands after he caught the second out of the sixth inning with runners on first and second bases. By rule, each runner was awarded two bases, allowing Arizona to take a 4-0 lead.
Immediately following Hudson's lack of awareness, he first tried in vain to negotiate with the first base umpire and then turned to the stands in attempt to retrieve the ball as if that would rectify his gaffe. Hudson later said, "It happens. That's all I can say. And then I started laughing."
Hudson's utter failure of a season is compounded by the unrealistic expectation that he could replace incumbent veteran second baseman and clubhouse leader David Eckstein. The O-Dawg has spent more time on the disabled list this season than he has leading a young Padres team toward improvement. His .241 batting average is more than 35 points below his career average and his nonchalant attitude is more poison than proliferation.
Eckstein may not have been overly athletic or productive, but he always hustled and always knew how many outs there were. And I'm almost positive he wouldn't start laughing if he forgot how many outs there were and cost his team a run.
Hudson may very well have earned his way out of a Padres uniform, but not until after game 162.
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