So here we go again. 2012 Spring Training. Hope springs eternal. Every team starts the year tied for first place.
There are alot of outstanding issues relating to the Padres off the field heading into this year….Will the new ownership group get MLB’s approval to take over the team? Will Fox Sports San Diego sign a contract and what cable systems will it be on? Who will be the announcers? Postgame? Pregame? There are all things that will iron themselves out shortly. The bigger issue is about the product on the field.
The big question in San Diego that pertains to the Padres is: Do we have a chance of contending in the National League West in 2012?
A lot has changed since the end of 2011 season (which came around July for myself).
The Padres lost Heath Bell through free agency (Marlins overpaid and too many years). What good is an overpriced closer if you aren’t leading games late?
The Padres traded Matt Latos & Anthony Rizzo. Latos showed that he was a bit of a headcase and probably couldn’t handle the load as a #1 guy. He is going to have challenges in Cincinnati with that hitters park. Rizzo on the other hand is a 4A player. Can hit .375 in the minors but under .200 in the majors. I wish him luck in Chicago.
As for some additions? There are some interesting stories shaping up….Carlos Quentin returning home where he grew up after an All Star career elsewhere, Mark Kotsay returning to San Diego as the utility veteran, Orlando Hudson, will he bounce back from an abysmal 2011 season. Will Jesus Guzman find a position to play and can he continue to be the hottest hitter on the Padres.
The big challenge are:
Are these young players ready to be in the big leagues and can they learn to hit in Petco Park? Do we have enough arms to put together a solid starting rotation and bullpen?
I am going to reserve judgement for the first month of the season. I am heading to Spring Training next week and have no idea who some of these guys are. I will need to see their photos to pick them out of a lineup.
So here’s to our first place Padres!
About the Author
Written by Craig Weiss
We moved to San Diego in 1983 right before the Padres improbable run to the 1984 World Series. My family has been season ticket holders since 1987 and love our seats in Petco. We have remained loyal Padres fans through all the ups and downs. Real fans remember these events - the bad times: Scrub Chub, Roseanne, Lamar Hoyt, San Diego Swap Meet & Tony Gwynn Jr getting a triple off Trevor Hoffman. It's the good times that keep us coming back for more. Tony's 3000 hits, Trevor's 600 saves, Rickey's walk & run records, All Star Games, Playoff Runs, sweep in LA to end a season and The Murph and now Petco Park. As difficult as the Padres are to watch at times, they are our team. I am not a professional writer, but a pessimistically optimistic fan - or just a realist.