NBC 7’s Derek Togerson takes a shot at predicting the future in this commentary
Now that 2015 is gone we can focus on 2016. There are a whole lot of questions that need to be answered about a whole lot of things in the San Diego sports landscape. So here are some takes on what I think will happen … and what I think should happen for a few of our local sporting entities.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: The Bolts will file for relocation to Los Angeles and win the vote of the owners on Jan. 13 in Houston, proving just how clueless the men who run NFL teams truly are. Mike McCoy will be retained as head coach and make only minor changes on his coaching staff. The Bolts will have a good NFL Draft, grabbing Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa with the 3rd overall pick. With him and a few young offensive linemen playing well McCoy’s game planning and in-game decision making will lead the team, playing at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of crowds about half the size of the ones USC gets, to a 6-10 record. Dean Spanos will then give McCoy a new contract because, hey, they’re close to being mediocre and that’s the Spanos sweet spot.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Internationally known mentalist David Blaine breaks in to the Spanos household in the dead of night (assisted by Penn & Teller) and hypnotizes Dean, making him believe he does not want to move the team to L.A. In fact, he wants to have Goldman Sachs build a stadium with 100 percent private money in downtown San Diego. Spanos will not file for relocation and choose to fire McCoy, sending Blaine to convince Jon Gruden to come coach the Chargers for $10 million a year. The Bolts still draft Bosa and add some young offensive linemen who play well. With Gruden’s game planning and in-game decision making they go 12-4 and win the Super Bowl, securing a spot in Canton for quarterback Philip Rivers.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: General Manager A.J. Preller finds a shortstop just before Spring Training but only to fill the position for two seasons as they wait for Javier Guerra to develop (so no monster trades and no Ian Desmond). Wil Myers stays healthy and has an All-Star-caliber season at 1st base. Tyson Ross has an All-Star-caliber season and throws the first no-hitter in franchise history but is not traded. Andrew Cashner has a bounce-back year and throws the second no-hitter in franchise history but is traded at the deadline to a contending team that needs another arm for the rotation. Catcher Derek Norris has an All-Star-caliber first half and is also traded to a contender who needs a bat, handing the backstop duties full-time to Austin Hedges. In return Preller gets another handful of prospects, setting the team up for a serious run of success … that starts in 2018. The Friars win 80 games, a step in the right direction under Andy Green, but still finish 4th in the National League West.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: General Manager A.J. Preller signs a shortstop named Ian Desmond. He then signs a corner outfielder named Alex Gordon and a starting pitcher named … Tim Lincecum. Don’t laugh. Lincecum has a career 10.9 K/9 innings rate at Petco Park, his best at any MLB ballpark (I know, it’s facing Padres hitters but just work with me here). Lincecum rediscovers his old magic at the ballpark he was born to pitch in, winning 25 games with a 1.28 ERA and 420 strikeouts (yes that number was chosen a reason). This time the drastic rebuilding works and the Padres win 130 games on their way to a World Series championship.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: San Diego’s new hockey team will continue its early season success as the Ducks find a way to get back in to playoff contention and leave their top prospects on the farm. The Gulls earn a playoff spot and make their way to the AHL Finals, beating the Toronto Marlies to win the Calder Cup.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Yeah, that pretty much nailed it.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: The basketball program wins the Mountain West regular season AND conference tournament titles to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament again. Along the way Malik Pope rediscovers his scoring touch, becoming the first round NBA Draft pick a lot scouts believe he’s capable of being. Steve Fisher’s guys win the first round game then get a rematch with Kansas, scaring the daylights out of the Jayhawks before falling in double overtime. Kansas goes on to win the National Championship.
The football program builds off its 10-game winning streak to win another MWC championship game and this time win the Las Vegas Bowl in front of a sellout crowd. Head coach Rocky Long gets head coaching offers from major power conference schools but turns them down to keep building the Aztecs in to the next Boise State, a mid-major team that scares the daylights out of Big-5 schools.
The baseball program wins the MWC regular season and conference titles and gets to host the NCAA Regional, where they advance to the Super-Regional for the first time. But, traveling to Berkeley they lose in three games to the California Golden Bears.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: The basketball, football and baseball programs are joined by every other SDSU sporting entity to win every single MWC championship of the year. They’re then able to take that success to Major League Soccer and with the help of John Moores build, not just a 35,000 seat soccer/football stadium, but an entire sporting complex to house an MLS expansion team and Aztecs football games in an outdoor facility and an indoor arena for the Gulls and Sockers to play in. That indoor arena will be so awesome it attracts a NBA team to come back to San Diego and that team is … the Clippers!
Owner Steve Ballmer realizes, even if he wins multiple NBA titles, Los Angeles will always be a Lakers town so he rights the Sterling wrong and moves the Clips back down south, where they average more fans per game than the Chargers do at their new stadium in Carson.
Happy New Year everybody!!!!!