Padres Canon: Will Venable

Padres Canon: Will Venable

On Tuesday, Will Venable was traded from the Padres to the Texas Rangers. Nick Burmeister AKA @padreshaiku and I get into it over his legacy and whether or not he should be in the Padres Canon. It’s probably too soon to have this discussion, but we had it anyways. Regardless, we both think Will was a class act during his time in San Diego! Please weigh in and use #PadresCanon.

NICHOLAS MCCANN Tuesday August 18th 4:23pm

Dear Haiku,

Maybe it’s too soon, but we should talk about it. I think Will Venable is totally Padres Canon. He needs to be because I don’t want people to forget The Venable Era. That’s what I’m calling it. It’s that post Bochy through this afternoon time period that needs a name. Sure, there is obviously an overlap with the Preller Era, but you know what I mean. Will Venable was the poster child of a franchise frozen in a cocoon of suck and his significance is important. I have no doubt that at some point Will Venable will be a coach in the minors for San Diego, then he and Nick Hundley will be together on the major league staff in some capacity of authority. It’s going to happen. I believe it. But for now, it’s really weird that Will Venable isn’t a Padre. It feels noteworthy, even though it shouldn’t. This leans me towards Canon.


NICK BURMEISTER Tuesday August 19th 9:53am

Sweet Jaded Nick,

Will Venable is not canon. Sure he’s the guy that stayed on the team though all the ownership turmoil and he was the Padres MVP a few years ago, but he’s not canon. If there was a guy that represents the era you mention, it’s Buddy Black. Plus maybe it’s too soon to tell. He had a good year in 2010 when the team was really good. I just remember feeling so frustrated with him over the years. Granted, Buddy had him bunting every time you look but still.

Did his slumps not hurt you? Did his overall blandness not hurt you?

NICHOLAS MCCANN Tuesday August 19th 11:48am


I’m not jaded now like I was when this was all happening. First, Bud Black is Padres Canon. That’s a separate discussion, but I think anyone who manages the team that long is in. That being said, Will Venable is the definitive player of the Bud Black Era. It’s all the same thing. The stats don’t matter. His smile-that “it’s so great that I’m just playing baseball” smile- is the first thing I think about when I remember the ownership insecurity, the loss of stars, and the overall perpetual below average product that whoever was in charge was convinced we would accept. Putting him in is a simple recognition that we were being insulted.

Will Venable made us believe he was a 25 year old player who had potential for 8 years. His youthful exuberance and good teammate nature was the lukewarm cup of coffee that we used to pass the time. His career in San Diego is just one long lost season. It’s part of us. He is Canon!

NICK BURMEISTER August 19th 6:32pm

The “stats don’t matter” and “I’m just glad to play baseball” points are red flags. His career was not significant from a franchise point of view. He was super boring. He had some highlights but so did Paul McAnulty and he’s not canon either.

I’m picking up on what you’re putting down about how Will represents a lost era of Padres potential. But does a boring light hitting platoon outfielder belong in the canon…generally? To me canon includes players, executives, and other phenomena that made serious impacts on the team. I just don’t think he fits that mold.

NICHOLAS MCCANN August 20th 7:16am

If Will isn’t Canon, Tim Flannery isn’t Canon. Are you prepared to say that?

NICK BURMEISTER August 20th 2:43pm

No I’m not. Are their careers that similar? Flan was always a better hitter and played on a pennant winning team. This is part of my argument. Venable is wholly unremarkable in his career save for a few spectacular catches. Guys like Benito and Flan did something of consequence, Venable not so much. Plus did will ever do anything this cool?


I definitely see Will coaching the Giants. I think Max Venable played for them. Chris Denorfia will one day be in the Padres coaching staff. Book it. Remember though it’s just too early to have this discussion. People will vote with their heart not their heads and we’re going to end up with a canon full of Jesus Guzmans and Jody Geruts.

NICK MCCANN August 20th 8:08pm

I don’t remember anything Will Venable did outside of a few bright spots this year. He was forgettable in a way I don’t want to forget. Let’s let the readers decide.

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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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