Dear Padres fans,
I, like most of you, have been watching the Padres ever since I got into baseball. As a fan base, we’ve been through it all. We witnessed one of the greatest hitters of all time play the game in our uniform for his entire career. We’ve seen one of the best closers ever do his thing, over and over and over again. We have seen, and will never forget, Padres “legends” themselves, like Benito Santiago, Jake Peavy, Brian Giles, Heath Bell, Adrian Gonzalez, and other players that have thrived in the Friar colors.
However, we’ve gone through some rough times as well. Known as the bottom dwellers in the National League West, our team has struggled to be consistent playoff contenders. We’ve made it to the big show twice, and have managed to only win one World Series game in franchise history. Our team always finds themselves looking up from the bottom, seeing teams like the Dodgers and the Giants consistently playing in the postseason. It’s been a decade since we have even made the playoffs, something that haunts us because we love our team so much.
I’m here to talk to you about the 2017 season for our beloved team. Unfortunately, our sister team in the Chargers has departed from our city. It’s a shame, since our city rallied behind them, and poor ownership caused them to depart. Nonetheless, the city of San Diego is officially the Padres’ city now. We represent one of the most beautiful cities in the world, often regarded as one of the best this country has to offer. For the first time ever in reality, the city belongs to the Padres.
This upcoming baseball season might not be what we’re hoping for. An appearance in the postseason is something that is not likely. I understand that it is frustrating to continually support a losing team, but please Friar Faithful… listen up.
The talent on our team is there. We have the young guys ready to play, and we have the core pieces of our offense locked up for years to come. The pitching staff is armed with veterans, but veterans that have proved that something good is still there. The bullpen is surely not going to be as poor as it has been, and the curious case of Carter Capps will surely be exciting to see.
Our offense is surely something that will be impressive. People often forget that our team hit a home run in 26 consecutive games last season, a good amount coming from rookies Ryan Schimpf and Alex Dickerson. Young guys Manuel Margot and Austin Hedges look to build upon their fantastic seasons with El Paso last year, while the powerful bat in Hunter Renfroe hopes to continue to hit balls out of Petco Park (literally). Offensively speaking, Padres fans, we have nothing to worry about.
Our pitching, needless to say, may struggle. Is there potential for us to be good? Certainly. Clayton Richard was fantastic last year. Jhoulys Chacin was a consistent pitcher with the Rockies. Luis Perdomo was our ace last year. Christian Friedrich showed signs of consistency last season, and potential signee Trevor Cahill won’t be too bad. The bullpen might not be too bad as well. Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter both were not bad last year. Recently acquired Tyrell Jenkins is a flamethrower and could see a bullpen role. Brandon Maurer has all the potential in the world to be great, and like I said earlier, keep your eyes open for Carter Capps.
You’re probably wondering to yourself why I am even writing this. It’s very simple: the future is here for the San Diego Padres. The talent is finally coming to Petco Park, ready to show what they can do, and what they will do, to win games for our team. The fact of the matter is that this team needs its fans. It is hard to watch a continuously struggling team, I understand, but this is our town now. The city belongs to our franchise, and as a fan base that strongly loves their team, we need to support them. If you have the chance to, go out to Petco and watch them play. Wear your jerseys, represent your team, cheer loudly, have some fun.
Just remember, Padres fans, this team needs us just as much as we need them.