The San Diego Padres have overhauled their anemic offense and with the remodel, renewed enthusiasm engulfs all of San Diego. The fans are truly excited to see what this team is really made of. The ability is there throughout the whole squad, it’s just a matter of chemistry now to take them to the promised land.
Chemistry is no easy thing to predict, and in all reality it only take one rotten apple to ruin the whole bunch. If this team can pull all in the same direction, then the sky is truly limitless for them. Bud Black must do whatever it takes to gain that chemistry, if it means spending time with each other outside their baseball job. Or just gelling together by playing innings in spring training, something has to be done to assure the team is prepared come April 6th.
Barry Bloom at MLB.com wrote a very nice article about the Padres and their comparison to the World Series teams of 1984 and 1998. Bud Black’s comment to Bloom:
"“As an organization we’re excited. From top on down there’s a different vibe, so we are excited about that. The plays are excited. That’s the thing I’m pumped about. The guys are excited about each other, getting to know each other and about getting this thing going on the field.”"
Bud Black sounds like he is ready to go, it’s been a long time coming for him. He has a team ready to compete now.
To compare this team to the 1998 or 1984 teams is unfair. Yes, there are striking similarities but this team should not put any more pressures upon themselves. The biggest difference in those teams and this one we see before us is, those teams essentially came out of nowhere. Nobody saw those teams coming, while this years teams arrives with much deserved hype.
Both the before mentioned squads of 1998 and 1984 had amazing starts that catapulted them into first place right away. The 84 team started out 8-1 and the 1998 team started out 11-2. We know the fate of both teams as they ultimately fell in the World Series to the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees respectively. Does that mean if this team starts out hot, Padres fans should plan for a World Series? Certainly not.
If this team starts out hot then it would definitely be a great thing. Removing some early season pressure is a good thing. Now if this team starts out cold, like most Padre teams in recent year, don’t go jump off a bridge or something. It might take this team a little bit to get going once the season starts. I believe if they can finish April around .500, they have set themselves up for a competitive season.
Trevor Hoffman also spoke about this years Padre team and reiterated Bud Blacks comments:
"” Being a part of the ’98 season, this has a very similar feel to it coming in, with the potential of what can happen. It’s going to take Spring Training for this group to come together and believe that the potential can be a reality. But it has a very similar feel.”"
Hoffman would know as he saved a career high 53 out of 54 games on that National League championship team. He was a vital member of the clubhouse and knows what it takes to succeed.
When you really look at this team, there are some glaring holes on the field and in the lineup. Will anyone step up to play shortstop and bat lead-off? Will the experiment of Wil Myers in center be a success? Will Yonder Alonso finally provide quality at bats from first base, a position that should have an offensive force? If things start out slowly and one of these questions becomes a real problem them anticipate AJ Preller making a move to fix said problem.
I have said it all along, this team will be fun to watch. Now will all that fun translate into victories? That is the question. Just know San Diego Padres, that the fans are behind you 100 percent.
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