You ask, how can the TinCaps of Fort Wayne, the Midwest League affiliate of the San Diego Padres, top the evil empire?
The TinCaps crossed a line that not many professional clubs do; 100-plus wins. The staggering fact in this case, is 100 wins in 149 minor league games, topping out at a .678 winning percentage, something that the Yanks couldn’t overtake with their .636 winning percentage (.644 if you include the playoffs).
When you think of 100 wins in this day in age, it is incredible.
According to Fort Wayne manager and former Chicago Cub, Doug Dascenzo, incredible is an understatement.
“It was crazy, magical, unbelievable at times,” said Doug Dascenzo, Fort Wayne’s manager who will skipper the Padres’ Double-A club in San Antonio in 2010. “I think it’s fair to say it was one of those years of a lifetime. This is my 25th year in the game, and I’ve never really experienced something quite like that, especially in the Minor Leagues. To win over 100 games in a Minor League season, when you played 149 total games, that’s pretty crazy.”
Not only did the TinCaps win Minor League Baseball Organization of the Year, they shattered numerous team records; wins in a regular season (94) and wins in a half-season (49).
As you know, the San Diego Padres are in a serious transition period. They recently acquired a new general manager in Jed Hoyer, who has learned from the best. When you say learned from the best, I mean Theo Epstein who took a club that was in a World Series drought decades long and took them to the pinnacle.
At present date, the Padres finished fourth in the National League West and if the rumors are true, their slugging first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez and starting third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff could be absent by the end of the 2010 season.
The success of the TinCaps signify a positive in the Padres organization.
Despite the shortcomings of their MLB club, their current prospects such as 2008 Northwest League MVP Dan Roberston, Simon Castro who led the league with 157 strikeouts, Erik Davis who had a league-high 16 wins, and saves leader Brad Bach (33), gives the big club an optimistic outlook.
Whatever the 2010 season holds, the Padres are in good hands with a general manager who knows how to win, a pipeline flooded with potential future stars, and nothing but clear skies on the horizon regardless of the inevitable struggles that they may face.
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is also available for hire or freelance opportunities.
Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.