Did anyone else realize that the baseball season starts today? All thirty teams will play today, March 29th and this will be the earliest the MLB has ever started a season?
Yeah, me neither. And I consider myself to be a Padres fan!
Despite not realizing today was Opening Day, I've been looking forward to this season for a while. I've been watching the Spring Training games. I've kept a close eye on the transaction wires, the SportsCenter updates, and the MLB shows. I've listened to the podcasts. And I'm still one of the few people that buys all the preseason baseball magazines at the grocery store newsstands.
San Diego's rebuilding plan began two years ago when A.J. Preller added a ton of high priced talent like Matt Kemp, James Shields, Justin Upton, Craig Kimble, and Derek Norris. They were the talk of the offseason...
And then, like seemingly all things regarding to San Diego sports, it didn't work.
But after a series of trades, international signings, draft picks, and key free agent signings, it's beginning to look like the San Diego Padres have finally done the right thing.
No, seriously! I mean it this time!
While this franchise will never match the payroll of the Yankees, Dodgers, or Cubs, unlike previous ownership groups, (this means you, John Moores) Ron Fowler and company aren't afraid to some money. More importantly, they are able to spend big money wisely. The baseball academy that they began in the Dominican Republic in 2017 is already reaping benefits.
They wanted their best player, Wil Myers, to be the face of the franchise. As good of a player as Myers is, that didn't fit his personality. He's more of leader by example type. But instead of forcing it as other teams might have done, the Padres signed Eric Hosmer to be that player. Hosmer is that leader. He will be the voice in the locker room. He's the kind of leader that took the time to learn to speak Spanish to connect with his Latin teammates. And because he's got a big, shiny World Series ring to show, the young players will listen.
MLB.com recently considered the Padres to have the best farm system in all of baseball. And with names like Manuel Margot and Austin Hedges already on the big league club and Fernando Tatis Jr, Cal Quantrill, Luis Arias, and Mackenzie Gore still growing in the minors, the future looks incredibly bright.
This team is still far from being a contender right now, but they are much closer to becoming one than many fans may realize. If the last three World Series titles in Kansas City, Chicago, and Houston have taught me anything, the best way to win is to build from the farm.
So, just a few days before airline companies raise their ticket prices through the roof, spring has arrived! And I couldn't be more excited.
(My apologies to those on the East Coast because it's 75 and sunny here in San Diego...) #SorryNotSorry