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The bandwagon jumper's guide to the San Diego Padres

So, you saw the Padres on SportsCenter last night and thought to yourself, Hey! That team in San Diego looks pretty good, and since my team sucks chicken feet, maybe I'll adopt the Padres this season! Or maybe you normally root for an AL team and you figure it'd be fun to watch that other league sometimes. Adopt the Padres to have something to root for when your team isn't playing! Or maybe you are a fairweather Padres fan, and you're just now coming back into the groove.

Whatever your reason, you're on the Padres Bandwagon now, and there's some things you'll probably want to know. Just so that when the post season rolls around, you're not the only kid on your block who doesn't know how to spell "shillelagh" and so you can sound like you're in the know when talking Padres. Here they are:

The Rally Shillelagh - If the Padres are in need of a rally, Mark Grant, the team's TV color man, breaks out the shillelagh. It's not as big or menacing as a traditional shillelagh, but it gets the job done. Devestating its powers are to see. (I yodaspoke right there and I have no intention of seeing the new Star Wars. Must be osmosis.)

Usage: "I couldn't believe how the offense came to life there in the 7th. Must have been the Rally Shillelagh."

Show your pelo! and Big League Hair - Maybe you haven't noticed, but the Padres have beautiful hair. From Ramon Hernandez's long, flowing locks that flip around whenever he takes his catcher's mask off; To the various frosted tips glistening like golden spikes; to Khalil Greene's rebel vulcan stylings. It's gotten to be a tradition to show off a player's pelo (Spanish for "hair") in celebration of a run scored.

Usage: after a runner comes in to score, "Show your pelo!" Then, once the hair is shown , "That right there is some Big League Hair."

Responses to common subjects when talking about the Padres. So you overhear somebody talking about the Padres and you're at a loss for something to say because you haven't been on the bandwagon that long? Never fear! Just listen for one of these names and say what's in the quotes:

Jake Peavy: "Yeah, Peavy's great. Can you believe he didn't get one Cy Young vote last year? I mean, come on!"

Khalil Greene: "He would've been rookie of the year if it hadn't been for getting hurt at Chavez Ravine. And why does the Chavez Ravine parking lot smell like urine anyway?"

Brian Giles: "I heard he shaves his legs."

Bruce Bochy: "You know what they say about guys with big heads... Yeah, me neither."

Sean Burroughs: "I don't know if he'll ever hit for power, but he was such a cute little fat kid at the Little League World Series."

Phil Nevin: "If it weren't for that guy, the Padres would be undefeated right now."

Trevor Hoffman: (loudly in a screeching voice) "A-ROLLIN' THUNDAH!! A-POURIN' RAAAAAIN!!"

Aki Otsuka: If somebody mentions Aki, don't say anything, just do this: Make a pair of fists. Cock your elbows at 90 degrees. Swing them back and forth in a marching motion. No need to say a word. People will know and some may even buy you a drink for your efforts.

Scott Linebrink, Chris Hammond, Rudy Seanez, Dennys Reyes or anybody else in the Padres bullpen: "Can you give an entire bullpen the MVP award?"

Finally, if you don't get to hear the game on the radio, but somebody's talking about what Jerry Coleman did today, be sure to have checked WDJCDT? for the latest.

Now that you're armed with knowledge, go forth and recruit more Padres fans to the cause! This is our year, baby! Show your pelo!