After entering the season as one of the favorites to win the World Series, the San Diego Padres begin the final week of the regular season on the brink of being eliminated from playoff contention. The team with the third-highest payroll in baseball will miss the playoffs, a shock for a talented group that was one step away from a World Series appearance a year ago.
Reports have surfaced calling the Padres a “dysfunctional organization,” something that would certainly contribute to a well below-par season. Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove was one of several San Diego players to dismiss that claim.
“Obviously, there were things that went on in the clubhouse this year that we didn't do a very good job of addressing and handling,” Musgrove said, via the Associated Press. “I think if we addressed some of those things sooner instead of kind of letting them fester, some of that stuff might have worked itself out. By no means is it a dysfunctional organization.”
Musgrove did not get into specifics but said some of the things that were mishandled led to the leaders of the team trying to do too much.
Musgrove's season fits the mold for the Padres' 2023 campaign. He started the season on the injured list, making his debut in late April. He dazzled through three months before again landing on the shelf in early August and was shut down for the season in mid-September.
It's unclear exactly what went wrong for the Padres this season and until that's discovered, speculation will continue. Even with an uber-talented roster, it's hard to win in the MLB. Perhaps the Padres' woes are simply the baseball gods giving them the short end of the stick.