Three or four weeks ago, the Taco Train wrote a sort of smart-ass ,midway report which (if read) was best forgotten by the time your brain tendrils had been distracted onto their next meal. One of the assertions of the piece was that Eric Hosmer was the perfect complementary player for the Padres.
If other players were doing their part, we KNEW Hosmer would be doing his, and his efforts would help the total end up being more than the sum of the Padres’ parts.
We knew this from what Hosmer had done with the Royals, where he was the perfect complementary player, and from what has been promised to us by every member of the Padre organization since January as if the Bible was being decoded by God itself for a refresher course. Hosmer was the glue. He was the one, as Bob Dylan would most definitely put it, to bring it all together, to bring it all back home for the local nine. 2020? 2022? When Armageddon happens? No one would say, but basically, he was expected to be the glue from Day One.
Since writing the piece, the Padres have continued their mid-season tumble. They’ve gone from a lovable story about playing above expectations, to just another “Padre Punchline”. They write themselves. Hey! When was the last Padre W? The last Padre W? They cancelled that show. Poor ratings.
Last night I stayed up late, well past my bedtime (whatever the hell that is), and computed Hosmer’s statistics since I wrote my adoring piece. He is EXACTLY 3-for-37 with two bunt singles, a bloop, a blister and a bad rash. Sabremetrics values the blister (good for improvisation) but not so much the bad rash. It doesn’t have much to say about that.
THE TACO TRAIN JINXED ERIC HOSMER!!!!
Wil Myers has returned from the disabled list en fuego like 2016 Wil Myers. Boy, would there be joy in Mudville if along with Wil’s brilliant performance which is so marvelous for all Padre fans to see, Mr. $144 million dollar man could join in the fun. Yet the reverse has happened. Seemingly in direct proportion to Myers’ amazing run of form, has been Hosmer and his cratering at the plate. The other day I heard Hosmer had a negative ground ball ratio. Whatever the hell that is. It almost sounds like a negative ozone layer, which I fear is what awaits us. Anyway, I guess if the globe can heat up because of the ozone layer (or its negativity), Hosmer could heat up because of improving his negative ground ball rate? (Who says grasping the not so obvious can’t be fun?)
Back to the point: We have the biggest popcorn offense this side of the 1896 Washington Senators (a notorious popcorn offense outfit), but with Myers, a hot Hedges, a rejuvenated Margot, with Jankowski still setting the table, there are opportunities to be had. We could be riding nine out of 10 if our offense wasn’t shooting impotent daggers into the concubine sea, and Mr. Hosmer is shooting most of our impotent daggers. I have unfortunately jinxed the Floridian with my midway report card and allusions to heaven and justice and brides and epic songs.
So, I hereby renounce my analysis of the $144 million dollar man as the glue that holds this team together. The straw that mixes the drink, the perfect complement to everyone else’s complimentary status. Screw that. I’m here to win baseball games. Not to lose three out of four to wanna be Han Solos from LA (when they choke again like dogs in the playoffs we’ll have to have fend off the fleas all the way down here) or lose yet another game when we’re one strike away to gangsters from Chicago who still haven’t paid for what they got away with against us two years ago. The Taco Train doesn’t forget. Period. It’s frickin’ BS. So, I hereby apologize for the jinx I put on Mr. Hosmer, and by extension, the whole team. It’s one thing to be complementary, it’s another to be subservient. Maybe if we put him in the 9-hole he’d snap out of it.
Til’ then, long live polarity, jocularity, prosperity, temerity. Most importantly, long live Eric Hosmer hitting the other way and reminding us all of the great Mr. 19, and long live not trying to yank everything like Hosmer has been doing with increasing passion lately.
Most of all, long live the W’s. Just give us the damn W’s please. Everything else sounds like 1973 to me, and trust me, if you weren’t around for 1973 the first time, you don’t want to be around for it again.