As the calendar flips from 2018 to 2019, we prepare for another year of San Diego Padres baseball.
When you sit back and think about the San Diego Padres in 2018, it doesn’t exactly invoke happy, warm, fuzzy feelings. There was a 66 win season, one of the lowest offensive outputs in franchise history, major injuries to Wil Myers and Fernando Tatis Jr. a lot of Eric Hosmer ground balls, and a starting rotation which saw its best pitcher go 8-9 with a 4.08 ERA in 130 innings. It was a rough year.
We could continue to dive into the subpar performances and regressions from the “first wave” of heralded prospects and look back at plenty of off the field moments that caused outrage (rightfully so), sadness, and disappointment, but I want to take a different tone here.
I don’t want to dismiss the play we saw in 2018 and pretend that 2019 will be a season in which Luis Urias hits .330, Fernando Tatis Jr.comes up and wins Rookie of the Year, and Manuel Margot suddenly becomes a 5-win player, but I do want to look forward with open arms.
I also don’t want to dismiss the off the field actions that took place. Thank you to those who fought relentlessly against a certain radio personality who still infuriates me when I think about it. Thank you to those who spoke up against scumbags with connections to domestic violence who we will no longer see connected to the San Diego Padres. Thank you for showing us how powerful of a tool social media can be, in a positive manner.
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Maybe it is a mix of an early morning binge of Fernando Tatis Jr.highlight reel plays from the Dominican Republic, mimosas, and the thought of the ball dropping on a brand new year that has me feeling this way, but I’m excited for 2019. You can question the team’s decisions and believe 2019 may not be a highly successful year, yet remain excited about what begins in just over a month. Or maybe you are happy with the way the current roster is constructed and you can’t wait to see how it plays out in 2019. Hopefully, it all comes together to make something memorable.
Padres fans disagree about a lot of things, but one thing we all agree on is that we love baseball and want nothing more than to see this team succeed. So while New Year’s alcohol continues to warm me up and the anticipation of the first sights and sounds of spring training bring me to my feet each day, I’m going to keep in mind, even if it gets bad, why I love this game.
I guess I can say that my resolution for 2019 is to always remember why baseball is so important to me. It’s the one thing that closely connects my family. Even my mom, who is bored by most sporting events, often jumps at the chance to join us at a night at the ballpark. I may be sitting at home and watching a game on TV, but the sounds still take me to a place that nothing else can. A place where my family is together, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. A place where, even though I never had the opportunity to meet my grandfather, I know he is sitting next to me, enjoying something he always wanted in life, taking his grandkids to the baseball diamond.
Happy New Year, Padres fans. May 2019 bring about amazing things in your life and some great San Diego Padres baseball, as well.