Alliteration! Who doesn’t love a nice dose of alliteration to start their weekend right?
Well, we’ve made everyone. We’re here. One weekend to go, a few colored eggs, a couple basketball games, and then BAM! Opening Day!
Or Night. Or whatever stupid way MLB chooses to do it. The point is. When this weekend ends games will have been played that actually count. By time you’re home from work on Monday night, the Padres will have Game 1 of 162 in the books. What will happen in that game? No idea. If they lose will people freak out? Possibly. Tis the effect of waiting 5 months for games to start; the first few games feel more important. They aren’t, of course. They are just 1 piece of a 162 piece puzzle. But for some reason, the first few games feel like edge pieces, instead of stupid middle pieces that probably just contain clouds and sky. Ok, the puzzle analogy has gotten away from me a bit. You get the point though.
That doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun and make a few predictions, most of which are almost certainly doomed to be wrong. So, without further adieu, here are 10 things that WILL* happen in 2015.
*Guarantees not Guaranteed
10) Andrew Cashner Will Make More Than 25 Starts
Cashner might be my favorite player on the team. He’s just fun to watch. And not in a goofy way. In a holy-f-this-guy-is-awesome way. Unfortunately, the brilliance he flashes comes exactly in that form. In flashes. His injury history has been recounted numerous times, between cutting himself while hunting to the more mundane, yet far more serious for a pitcher, shoulder injury. So why the optimism in 2015? Well, the upside to injuries is it does limit one’s innings pitched (Cashner in 2014 pitched 123.1, somehow still ranking 4th on the team), the addition of Shields takes the pressure off both Cashner and Ross to be “aces” and because I’m hoping Oprah’s The Secret is real. So I’m putting it out there in the universe. Keep Cashner (and Ross, Kemp, Myers, etc.) healthy.
9) The Left Coast Family Will Make More Trips to Petco Than 2014
This should be easy to do as in 2014 we made a grand total of 0 trips. Wasn’t avoiding them but hauling a then 1 year old, the wife, and myself south 100 miles is a bit arduous. And boy, it’s tough to get up the will to go through all that to watch the product in 2014. Let’s just say the motive is stronger in 2015.
8) Yonder Alonso Will Make The Most Starts At First
That was fun wasn’t it? In Spring, watching all these different iterations of first base opportunities. And while, maybe against lefties (heck, maybe against Kershaw on Monday) we could see a Carlos Quentin or Wil Myers start at first, Yonder remains the first baseman. I’ve trumpeted Alonso in the past, only to be proven wrong by most of the 2014 season, then recant my support and now I’m tentatively back on the Alonso train. Maybe it’s the fedora but I just can’t quit him.
But more importantly, in the land of righties the lefty is king. Well, maybe that’s strong. But, this is a righty heavy lineup to say the least. Alonso is one of only two potentially legitimate left handed bats on this team. That fact alone should keep him in the lineup ahead of anyone else at first.
I’m not so sure this is a bad thing either.
7) The Padres Will Be Buyers At The Deadline
With the addition of a 2nd wild card this isn’t much of a stretch. You have to be having a pretty historically bad season to not be within striking distance of a playoff berth by July 31.
6) Pork Belly Nachos Will Return!
I mean, probably not, but think of this as more The Secret stuff. They remain my favorite ballpark food. I dream of them. If teams can put a hot dog inside a Krispy Kreme and deep fried nachos, can’t we put delicious, salty, fatty pork belly on some nachos?
5) Matt Kemp Finishes Top 3 For MVP
This assumes he’s health, obviously. Because when healthy, my goodness can this guy rake. If the Padres even sniff a playoff spot in late September they will have approved by more than 10 games from a year ago. A big reason for that will be the offense if that occurs. And my bet is Kemp will be the biggest part of that offense.
4) A Padre Will Throw a No Hitter
Every day it doesn’t happen it becomes more and more astounding that it hasn’t happened. This year, I’ll say it’s Tyson Ross that pulls it off.
3) A Padres Will Hit for the Cycle
See above: No Hitter. Candidate: Wil Myers
2) The Padres Will Hit the Over 85.5 Wins
I don’t bet the “Don’t Pass Line,” and I don’t bet on my favorite teams. But if I did, I wouldn’t bet on them to win less games. It helps that they get to play so many games against Colorado and Arizona.
It may only take 86 wins to get in. The Padres won 76 last year despite an abysmal offense. They’ve vastly improved that offense and somehow improved a pitching staff that was pretty good a year ago anyway. Are there 10 extra wins in all of these new players? I hope so. I think so. I’m betting on it.
So there you go. Let’s play some ball already!
Most Fridays you can find me here. Optimism runs deep (until midseason at least). #BringBackThePorkBellyNachos. Tweet at me @LeftCoastBias