Cole Hamels alienated Padres fans in Feburary by stating that he'd have no desire to play for a team whose fan's only show up "between the third and sixth innings"
In an attempt to clarify those remarks, or save a little face on the PR battle, he attempted to cast blame upon the front office for making it difficult to be a fan. To back up those remarks, he brought up the Padres trading away Fred McGriff. The merits of his comments has been hotly debated on Gaslampball, and I'm not here to add much more to that discussion, other than to say it must not have alienated him to badly, as he claimed to root for the Padres in the 98 Series. 5 years after McGriff was traded. Basically he's a fairweather fan that rooted for whomever was good, mostly the Dodgers.
I somewhat understand where he's coming from and understand the frustration of the fan when it seems there aren't any players you can see play for a long time in this city. But as I discussed recently, the team hasn't exactly traded away stars for the sake of saving money, other than Gonzalez. I don't have a problem with the Padres trading him, but I understand the frustration, as I too was initially upset. I was also disheartened when I heard Sheffield and McGriff had been traded as well in 1993. That was a rather difficult year for me as a Padres fan, as it was also the last year the Padres conducted Spring Training in Yuma. I was angered at the front office more for ripping my team away from me than I was for taking away the players.
These discussions got me wondering who McGriff was traded for. I discovered he was traded to Atlanta for three players, the most notable being Melvin Nieves, with none of the three having noteworthy success in the majors. When searching for the trade history, I ran across this gem from 2009, calling the "worst trade in Padres history" All Star SS Khalil Greene was sent to the Cardinals for minor league right-handed pitcher Luke Gregerson. I remember being dismayed at Greene being traded. I also remember thinking, let someone else deal with his fragile , well, everything. I remember when Gary Sheffield was traded to Florida for some relief pitcher who used to play SS at the University of Arizona (Bear Down, Arizona!) how terrible that one was too. But I Stuck with my team, for better or worse, and 598 saves later (mostly with the Padres) Trevor Hoffman turned out to be pretty danged good.
The point is we can think a trade is great, or a trade is bad at the time. But only history and time for all the parties to play out can ever tell us truly if it was a good trade. We all want our next Tony Gwynn, the great player that fans will come to see in good seasons and in bad, for the next generation. Perhaps we might see that in Luebke, Maybin or Hundley (although with the catching depth behind Hundley, that would surprise me) whom all received extensions this offseason. Perhaps we'll never see it again. But I will always root for the Padres, whomever is in those uniforms. Because I hold out faith that the collection of young talent coming up will eventually form a championship team. And If they don't? I'm sure my heart will be broken over the loss of another player, and there will be more weeping and gnashing of teeth as we endure another ownership group and wonder about the direction they are taking the team. And I will root, root, root for the Padres all the way through.