Fans ran the bases, caught fly balls, got autographs, took pictures, and had one heck of a time at FanFest this past Saturday. There was a buzz around Petco, and a lot of talk about the playoffs.
At the leadership forum, hosted by Mark Grant and Bob Scanlan, the brass spoke about the state of the Friars. Manager Bud Black said, “the hope is real” in 2014. GM Josh Byrnes stated, “this is the most talent since I’ve been here,” and that the bullpen will have the, “ability to shut it down.” Assistant GM A.J. Hinch said the Padres are “religious about every little detail,” when they are thinking about signing a player. Hinch said newly acquired outfielder Seth Smith is known as a great teammate, and the Padres are excited to have him in the clubhouse.
Huston Street’s mental game shined through at FanFest, saying there is “no such thing as an excuse,” and “if you want to stay here, play better.” Street has played extremely well for the Padres, saving 56 games in 59 attempts over two seasons. He also said a lesson learned from his father, the late James Street, was that “everyday you get better or worse, you don’t stay the same (paraphrase).”
As the Friars get ready to report to Spring Training (February 13th for pitchers and catchers; February 18th for position players) they will be focusing on getting better everyday.
Ted Leitner, Padres radio announcer, ended the awards ceremony with a “Beat LA” chant. The Padres open against the Dodgers on March 30th, and I have a feeling they will begin the season 1-0.
FanFest 2014 Photos: