Padres Canon: Matt Bush

Padres Canon: Matt Bush

Last year Nick Burmeister (@PadresHaiku) and Nicholas McCann started a series of debate email chains that was designed to establish The Padres Canon. They’re still working out the kinks of what that is exactly, but it’s basically supposed to be their own PadresHOF. Matt Bush made it to the majors with another team and they started talking about it. Enjoy!

NICHOLAS MCCANN – May 13, 2016 2:14pm

Dear Haiku, Today is an upsetting day for me. Matt Bush is making his Major League debut as a Texas Ranger and it’s bringing up a lot. I don’t know Matt Bush and I don’t really care about what this special day means for him. Congrats, you’re not dead, Matt!

Ok, that was a horrible thing to say. The Matt Bush story brings out the worst in me. I think I actually blame the things that went wrong in my 20s on him. Regardless, his arrival to the highest level of the sport should shed some light on the last decade of Padres baseball. My vote is to put this ex con in Padres Canon. The team will never put him in the Padres Hall of Fame, but I think we need to remember what happened. We can’t forget that the Padres could have had Jared Weaver or Justin Verlander, but went with the cheaper option who was a local kid. Petco Park was built on the premise that if we made it happen the team would spend more money. Well, this, maybe more than anything else, was an early example of it becoming clear that this would never actually happen. Thoughts?

NICK BURMEISTER (Padres Haiku) – May 13, 2016 3:23pm

I’m Matt F#&king Bush!!!!! and I’m not f#&king canon!!!

I don’t think he belongs. Matt Bush is a prime example of the failures of the Padre front office. He was a local talent and could claim a legitimate stake to being the number one overall pick. Sure we missed out on Verlander and Weaver, but it’s not like Bush wasn’t worthy, he was a legitimate high level infield prospect and could have been a real superstar. He also has demons. He never played for the major league club, so to me, he’s a no go for the canon.

The Padres could’ve had Verlander, or Weaver, or heck, we could have had Homer Bailey or Phil Hughes. Who’s to say after drafting those players they would have turned into the players they did for the Padres? The Padres could have ruined those players with poor coaching and player development. Matt Bush could have been the next Ozzie Smith had he been drafted by the Mets or Tigers that year and Verlander could have turned into Jeremy Sowers had the Padres drafted him. A bad minor league system can ruin even a sure bet (Verlander was more of a finished product but I’m just using him as an example).

This is why I’m not so keen on tanking in baseball. In other sports a single player can transform an entire team, in baseball it’s more of a crap shoot. Sometimes you draft Mike Piazza sometimes you draft Donavan Tate.

All this being said, I find it hard to blame Bush. He’s an addict.

I’m disappointed, but addiction is a disease. Will power aside, I place less blame on him than on the team for not helping this young man fight substance abuse when they could.

NICHOLAS MCCANN – May 14th 10:30am

He pitched one inning and got his first strike out in his debut.

I agree. He was a high school kid who got thrown into a high pressure situation that he wasn’t ready for. It happens.

My issue is that the Padres didn’t want to pay signing bonuses for other prospects. Jared Weaver was the best pitcher in college baseball and was ready to make an impact immediately. Sure, other teams followed the Padres and passed, but I think this situation is a huge part of the story of the Padres.

His whole career arc is like an alternate 1985 from Back to Future version of Trevor Hoffman: drafted as a shortstop but makes it as a reliever.

I wonder what could’ve been and I wonder if the Padres had a better infrastructure in player development this could have turned out differently.

NICK BURMEISTER (Padres Haiku) – May 14th 2:12pm

Honestly, I’m glad he got a strikeout. Good for him. Also, kudos to Texas for taking on guys like Bush and Josh Hamilton. But let’s be clear, I’m not 100% up on Josh Hamilton’s career but I don’t think he was ever guilty of multiple hit and runs. These were heinous crimes but Bush did his time. I’m much happier when the justice system handles these situations and not the professional sports leagues. We shouldn’t have to argue over suspension time for domestic abusers like Ray Rice, Johnny Manziel, or Greg Hardy. They should just go to jail and do their time.

If we’re going to add something to the cannon to represent the cheapness of the Padres front office it should be Kevin Towers’ Tommy Bahama shirts. That guy’s ego got in between the team and many great players.

As far as Verlander is concerned, don’t forget the trouble the Tigers had signing him. Detroit gave up on him until Verlander’s dad took over negotiations. He wasn’t represented by Boras. If Detroit had problems signing him there would have been a 0% chance the Friars would have gotten anything done. Maybe Towers didn’t want to waste a pick on a player he knew he wasn’t going to sign? *cough Eli*

You’re lucky we’re doing this over E-mail because if we were in the same room and the Matt Bush came out of your mouth in the same sentence as Trevor Hoffman, I’d slap the 1.21 gigawatts out of you.

As an aside, three of the top ten picks in 2004 were from Rice University… all pitchers.

NICHOLAS MCCANNMay 14th 4:42pm

My Dad always wanted me to go to Rice.

Let’s just hope Matt Bush stays out of trouble. His career should mean more than a symbol for our franchise’s futility.

NICK BURMEISTER (Padres Haiku) – May 14th 6:20pm

My dad was just happy I moved out when I was 18. I hope he does well too.

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Nick was born in San Diego in 1980. He started The Kept Faith on blogspot in 2008.

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