What is there to say about the San Diego Padres right now? At times, they are nearly unwatchable. Other times, they are merely watchable to see in what way they will fail in spectacular fashion (Orlando Hudson throwing the 2nd out to the ball girl who promptly gave it to a young fan was the highlight of futility of 2011 so far).
The most interesting question revolving around this team right now has been when they will trade their most recognizable player and lone All-Star. In my mind, Heath Bell has already been traded. As has Ludwick. I'm less inclined to buy into Mike Adams rumors as that appeared to me to simply be a "hey, let's ask for the moon for him and see if someone bites." And hey, it's July 27th, someone still might.
So here we are. Just over two months to go and the best I got for you is "When is Heath Bell going to be traded?" Personally, I have already found myself emotionally detaching from Heath Bell. As his trade is not so much a "if" but "when," it's time to prepare for life post-Heath. The nice thing if you are a Padres fan is that the All Star Game was a nice going away party in many ways. The Padres lone All-Star was all over that game, between being mic'd for the Fox broadcast to "The Slide," Bell gave Padres fans a fun night on a national stage. But by the end of the weekend, the Heath Bell era (at least version 1.0) will likely be over.
These, my friends, are dark times. Though they could be darker. The Padres could have lost 17 games in a row. Vedder Cup karma.
There is a lot to be blue about these days, so here are a few positives that Padres fans can turn to as we enter the final two months of the season:
1) Hey, only 2 more months to go!
- This has been a brutal season by any standard. Watching your favorite team lose close to 100 games a year removed from winning 90 is a bit of a shock to the system, no matter how prepared you may have been for it. "Oh, but I knew they would be bad because they traded Adrian..." Really? Did you know they would be this bad? And were you prepared to watch them play this poorly? Didn't think so.
2) Anthony Rizzo is KILLING it...in Tucson
- Ok, ok, this is really more bittersweet than anything. If this season has taught us anything, its that the offensive stats the Tucson Padres put up are not quite what we should be expecting when these players are called up. Part of that is elevation of Tucson (2,389 ft above sea level), part of that is poor pitching in the PCL. But, I still believe that Rizzo is going to be a good MLB player in the future. And the fact that he continues to destroy AAA pitching only buoys my belief. I just don't think that day is this year (though I can only assume we will seem him back by September at the latest).
3) Trevor Hoffman's Number Being Retired
- As mentioned before in this space, there are really only two players that I consider to be iconic Padres. Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman. On August 21st, the Padres will retire #51 in a post-game ceremony. Quick, try to name the next Padres who will have his number retired. Wherever he is, he doesn't play for the Padres currently in all likelihood. So let's enjoy this.
4) World Records!!!!
- Trivia time! What MLB team set a World Record on Wednesday, July 27th? Only one, and its your San Diego Padres! Now, the world record was most dogs in costumes in one place (or something like that), but still, don't see the Dodgers setting any World Records.
5) Chance to Bandwagon for Two Months
- With the Padres playoffs long since dead, the final two months will give Padres fans the opportunity to bandwagon on another team and enjoy some peripheral playoff race excitement. This doesn't mean you forsake the Padres by any means. Whatever team you choose to bandwagon with, when they play San Diego we are all expecting you to root for San Diego. The official Left Coast Bias bandwagon pick for the final two months: Pittsburgh Pirates. Not super imaginative but I really can't imagine anyone (outside NL East fans) not rooting for the Pirates.
Some side notes. All kidding aside, the number one positive thing (other than the prospects Texas is going to hand over for Heath Bell) has been Cameron Maybin. I don't know if the Padres have ever had a player more tailor made for Petco Park's centerfield. He is young, with a high ceiling, and has provided some of the most jaw dropping plays in CF this year. He is, by far, my favorite new Padres. And as of July 31st, he will move into position as "favorite Padre" for Left Coast Bias. I'm excited that he is going to be here for a long time.