Walk Toward The Light: Your 2009 San Diego Padres

Like 2008's Nail in the Coffin series, 2009's Walk Toward The Light aims to memorialize the eliminated teams that are gone and will likely be forgotten.

San Diego Padres

Current record 71-83

Season highlight They were dancing in the streets of the Gaslamp District on May 21 after hearing the news that Jake Peavy(notes) had exercised his no-trade clause and would be staying with the Padres instead of heading to Chicago to become a White Sock. So what if his decision had more to do with switching leagues and playing for Ozzie Guillen and moving to a team that was really no great shakes? So what if it wouldn't ensure he'd remain a Padre for future years or keep him from an upcoming DL stint? Back on that day, it wasn't a sad day to be a Padres fan (which is more than you can say for most days, of course).

Season lowlight Peavy's inevitable departure finally came on July 31 and it occurred under the most surprising of circumstances. Not only was he traded away at the last possible second on deadline day, but he waived his no-trade clause for the White Sox, the team he originally shunned. The lesson that should be learned by the U.S. government? Two months of watching the Pads' offense will get even the most zealous zealot to break.

We knew the Padres were done for when ... they were no-hit by the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez on July 11. Of course, it was quite obvious that San Diego wasn't going to contend much sooner than this contest, but being no-hit by the toothless Sanchez was an affirmation of the Padres' toothless offense outside of Adrian Gonzalez(notes).

The Stew's favorite posts featuring the Padres

Adrian Gonzalez is Mr. Anonymous As he puts the final touches on another amazing season of offense, the Padres' first baseman remains the best player the casual fan has never heard of. But hey, at least he's been featured in The Onion.

Bees! Bees! Bees everywhere! Padres fans often email and ask: "Hey, what's it going to take to get the Friars on the Stew?" I write back and link them to this incident, which featured a swarm of bees taking over Petco Park's outfield. The truth stings.

Gonzalez Bros. make Answer Man history Another good way is to have two charismatic baseball-playing brothers answer questions in the first-ever dual Answer Men session. Both Adrian and Edgar come off as guys you want to root for and this super sitdown remains my favorite interview that DB has done in 2009.

Wii Fit launches Heath Bell into stardom He had a tough gig trying to fill Trevor Hoffman's(notes) huge shoes, but Heath Bell(notes) did about as good of a job — if not better — than expected. He first made news this season upon announcing that he had lost 25 pounds via the Wii Fit, then garnered more attention when he ripped ESPN's East Coast bias and then made the National League All-Star Game. He was credited with the loss in St. Louis, but he made up for it with this retelling of his circuitous route to Busch Stadium.

Everth Cabrera can fly The Padres have some good young parts they can point to and their Rule 5 defensive wizard at short is one of them. Just 22 years old, folks.

Matt Bush takes place among history's biggest draft busts They usually describe failed No. 1 picks as "forgettable," but Matt Bush only wishes we could forget about the video of him crying while being hogtied by police. If there's ever a documentary made on the downfall of the Padres, I'm pretty sure this clip will lead it.

What the team needs to do for 2010 GM Kevin Towers is going around and telling folks that the Padres could be the 2010 Giants. I'm not sure why you'd try to sell your fans on the prospect of being an offensively-challenged team that misses the playoffs – heck, the Padres already fit that bill — but perhaps fooling your fans into thinking there's a Tim Lincecum(notes) or Matt Cain(notes) on the way is what it has come to in San Diego.

The offseason is sure to be full of Adrian Gonzalez trade rumors and Towers has a tough decision to make. Trading a first baseman for a haul of rebuilding prospects seems like a no-brainer, but when you figure A-Gone is the face of a franchise that is slipping with his fanbase, it becomes quite clear that there are no easy answers.

What to Read Next